Kyokou Suiri

May 17, 2020

Supernatural themed anime. Nah. Not my type. Detective mystery kind of anime. I’ll pass. Not my cup of tea. Even more so when you mix both supernatural and detective genre as an anime, that’s a sign for me to stay way clear. So how the heck did I end up Kyokou Suiri that was screaming with such elements? Number one: I’m a sucker for a pretty face and the promotional poster did well enough to make sure I notice that. Heh. I guess that is enough of a reason but if you need another reason, number two: The partly amusing synopsis that has the main character has a crush on a guy who has supernatural powers like her too. They go around solving supernatural cases in hopes that he will reciprocate her feelings. I don’t think this would be some sort of romcom but I’m hoping to see something of that sort. Oh, who am I kidding?

Episode 1
Kurou Sakuragawa doesn’t remember Kotoko Iwanaga. So she has to refresh his memory that it was in this hospital 2 years ago that she saved him from a bunch of kids. Yup, they were running in the hallways and he accidentally bumped into them, causing him to fall. Had Kotoko not been there to catch him, he could have died. Once he remembers, his cute face has her smitten because it reminds her of a goat. So goats are beautiful? And also linked to the devil… Since he isn’t really amused, she mentions about his recent break up with his girlfriend, Saki Yumihara. Apparently she heard from the nurses he is often here to visit his cousin with a long term illness. I guess the nurses don’t need to worry about privacy policy of non-patients and can gossip away. So Kotoko was pretty jealous he had a girlfriend a year his senior. Now that he is single, Kotoko wants to date him with marriage in mind. Since he laughs it off, she wants to know the reason they broke up. Last year when they went to a trip to Kyoto, while strolling along the river, they spotted a kappa. Naturally they were both afraid. But the kicker was Kurou got afraid and ran off, leaving Saki behind. Since she was going to a different place to work, she took that chance to break up with him. Hence Kurou thinks his cowardice isn’t worthy for her love. However Kotoko smells something amiss. She thinks that it was the kappa who got afraid after seeing Kurou and ran. Thus Saki became afraid of knowing what kind of ‘person’ Kurou was. Kurou dismisses it all as some lie. I mean, why would a guy tell the real reason he broke up to another girl, right? Kotoko then talks about spectres, ghosts and spirits. She is quite knowledgeable about them. When she was 11, she was kidnapped for 2 weeks by spirits who made her the Goddess of Wisdom. She became a mediator to conflicts for low level youkai. If he wants proof, he can refer to an old article whereby a kidnapped girl was found napping at the park with her right eye and left leg missing. She shows proof of those missing parts.

Kotoko then leaves on a bus. A samurai youkai is stalking her. Turns out to be a friendly ghost as he was worried Kurou might do something nasty to her. About that library demon thingy, he hopes she could get rid of it. She doesn’t think it would be difficult if Kurou helps her. Flashback shows how police found her at the park without an eye or leg. The doctor operated on her but found the wound has already closed. A police tried to talk to her what happened but Kotoko seemed to be talking to a little youkai about her eye and leg trade-off in exchange for some godly powers. The next time Kotoko and Kurou meet, he already did his research and although it did mention about her case, there was nothing supernatural. She jokes that it might be a delusion of hers. Just then a tanuki youkai comes pleading to Kotoko for help. The barrier at the library is destroyed. Kotoko seeks his help but he doesn’t want to get involved. Then she guilt trip him that she might die, her body will be featured in tomorrow’s newspaper and he will regret for the rest of his life of letting a girl who confessed to him die like that. Isn’t that blackmail? But it was enough to make him help. In the library, I guess this demon isn’t interested in conversing. Kotoko gets reckless in trying to fight it off. She is shocked when he holds her close. Does he have a thing for getting naughty during danger? His logic is that he won’t let her be reckless again. He lets the demon eat his arm. Of course it regenerates back to normal and the demon chokes and explodes. He notes his meat is poisonous. So who is Kurou actually? When he was 11 years old, he ate 2 different flesh of youkai as much as he could.

Episode 2
Kurou has gotten more famous among the youkai ever since that ‘stint’. He elaborates further about the youkai he eat. While one of them (the mermaid) supposedly granted him eternal youth, the other negated the effects of that youth. Kotoko wants him to accompany her to the mountains to hear out a serpent god’s complaint. He rejects her because he wants to eat his pork miso soup tonight! Of course she tracks down his house and tries to convince him again but once more he rejects her. This time he gives her a jacket (since she’s wearing a lovely one piece dress, I mean, who goes to the mountains all dolled up like that?) and some of his food. You’re on your own. So no choice, she heads to the mountains while pouting about the attitude of her ‘boyfriend’. She meets the serpent god at his dilapidated swamp. Previously he was the water god but with humans gradually forgetting about him and nobody made offerings to his shrine, it has since been in decline. The pressing question he wants Kotoko to answer is why a woman dumped a corpse into his swamp and said she hopes for him to find it. It is bad enough humans pollute and throw rubbish into it. Now a human corpse too? A few days ago, police discovered the body of Hiroo Yoshihara who worked in a construction company. They found a suspect, Aoi Tanio who is his girlfriend. Although she confessed to the crime, they find her story hard to believe. From the police records, Kotoko reads previously she had another boyfriend, Yoshikazu Machii. He too worked in the construction company and was embezzling money. He managed to get a female worker to commit suicide with him to make it look like a lover’s suicide. Aoi became distraught on this and moved back to her home at the base of this mountain and lived as a shut-in for 2 years.

One day, Yoshihara appeared at her doorstep and claimed he was the one who killed Machii and he was the real culprit who embezzled the money. Because Machii and the female colleague found out about it, they threaten to go public so had to kill them and make it look like suicide. Yoshihara is now repenting because recently he has been hit by a spade of misfortune. In her rage, she killed him. Besides dumping his body in the swamp, she also dumped the murder weapon, a knife here. Now, this is all the official recorded statement. Kotoko now deduces what really happened. Yoshihara called Aoi to meet up and because she was suspicious about it, she called Machii’s younger brother. So when Yoshihara came to confess, it was the brother who got enraged and killed Yoshihara. Because the brother still had a future, Aoi agreed to sacrifice herself as the culprit. After all, she has not much to lose compared to him. Dumping the body in the swamp was to give him an alibi as well as to wash off the evidence of the killer. Although Aoi can clean every inch of the house to rid of evidence, what about the evidence outside? Hence her words of hoping him to find the corpse is her way of praying for rain to wash the evidence outside. The serpent is enraged because this is not how an offering should be made! He wants a young girl as sacrifice! Is he joking?! Before he jumps to further conclusions, Kotoko reminds him of 2 ways to wish for rain. The conventional way of praying to a god and there’s the other way of provoking the god and to anger him so as he will rampage and make it rain. The serpent remembers it did rain the next day after the body was dumped. But why did Aoi say those ambiguous words and not specifically for it? Because there might be other humans nearby and they may have heard what she said. Then the police may have looked further into the investigation for an accomplice. Of course Kurou shows himself. He heard everything. So was he worried about her all the while? Good boyfriend. But the serpent is still dissatisfied why Aoi really threw the body into this swamp. Uhm, was he not listening? Wasn’t it to wash off the evidence on the body?

Episode 3
Apparently there’s more to it. Kotoko believes Aoi wanted to retrieve something she dumped here many years prior to the corpse. That was what the whisper of hoping to find it meant. And that thing she is hoping to be found is a foetus from her miscarriage from her ex-boyfriend. She was pregnant with his child when he died and that was when she didn’t know the truth. That was why she dumped the foetus in the swamp. After the truth came to light, she regretted her actions. It’s the same reason she dumped the corpse there so as to let the police investigate and help search. She wants to retrieve it so as to give the foetus a proper burial. Of course that foetus will never be found as the serpent has been directing the little spirits to clean up the swamp from time to time. After 4 years, you think it would not be there let alone not at a decomposed state? Kotoko returns with Kurou as she explains further that her deductions may not be 100% the truth and are based on the most reasonable facts. There was a chance the serpent may have misheard what Aoi said but would such a great guardian ever admit they misheard something? If it was in the slightest chance, this would have destroyed the original premise of the story. Kurou admits this fearsome power of hers but is still worried of putting herself in danger like that. He suggests accompanying her the next time she goes out exterminating youkai. But she takes this as a sign of admission that they’re dating. Gotcha?

Two years later, we see Saki working as a traffic police. Her colleague, Tokunosuke Terada is puzzled about her report. A guy crashed his car after seeing a puppy ran across. However the initial story he heard was different. A faceless woman in a frilly dress and big boobs wielding a giant steel beam was what he saw. So why did Saki change the report? Saki knows that Terada is also looking into the case known as Steel Lady Nanase. She was an idol (mostly popular because of her huge racks) who died in an accident. A steel beam smashed into the hotel she was staying. Ever since, there has been sightings of her but recently there have been reports of her attacking others. As Saki was there at the crash site, she felt something eerie and believed that guy’s statement. Terada thinks somebody is behind this prank and that an organized crime may be behind this. Of course Saki who believes in ghosts knows Nanase is the real deal. Because she is a ghost, the police cannot deal with this anyhow. Saki is forced to relive haunting memories that her ex-boyfriend is one. She knew he was not an ordinary human seeing he had regenerative abilities. But that fateful night when a kappa appeared, it was afraid of Kurou and pointed him out as a monster. This has Saki thought she needed to reconsider how she could stay with him. After breaking up, she could see more supernatural events ever since. On her way home, she stumbles into Kotoko facing off with Nanase! Kotoko tells her to run but Saki is tired of running. She charges at Nanase! Oops. She’s a ghost. Punch doesn’t connect. But Nanase can actually hurt her! This is cheating! Luckily Kotoko is able to touch Nanase and gives her a good kick. Nanase flees. Saki thinks Kotoko is also a ghost but she doesn’t entirely deny and is more of something in between. Kotoko doesn’t want her to get involved anymore but on the contrary Saki is more interested to help and insists she come to the station to record her statement. After showing her badge, Kotoko then realizes this is Kurou’s ex-girlfriend! Feeling awkward? Saki doesn’t remember her until Kotoko proudly points out she is Kurou’s current girlfriend! Oh damn. Saki punches her! Heh. This will be a graver fight than with Nanase!

Episode 4
Saki patches up Kotoko but still can’t believe she is Kurou’s boyfriend. After all, she is sure Kotoko is not his type! Kotoko shows picture proof of their being together. Kurou looks sad and annoyed in all photos. I’m sure that’s not him being shy. Saki mentions about the future she and Kurou plotted out but she never counted him on being not human. Kotoko corrects her that Kurou does look like human although cannot be categorized as such. So that still means he is non-human, right? Kotoko then introduces herself as the Goddess of Wisdom. If that’s the case, pure priestesses can’t be deflowered, right? Dating without making out is going to be hard. Not impossible. Just extremely hard. The ladies get serious talking about Nanase. But it ends up about Kurou because Saki knows Kurou isn’t the kind to leave his girl and do dangerous things. So what happened to him? Kotoko mentions he has been missing for a week. She couldn’t contact him and before he went missing, he left a message telling her not to come look for him. So maybe the guy just hates her? Saki ‘brag’s how Kurou was always there for her and always replied her messages. Since this isn’t going anywhere, Kotoko leaves but advises Saki if she ever sees Nanase again, make sure to run. Saki continues her investigation on Haruko Nanase or more popularly known as her stage name, Karin Nanase. When she was first scouted by the talent agency director himself (those boobs of course), she wasn’t a big hit and wasn’t popular for a year until she landed a late night drama role. Some flamethrower girl with an intriguing opening credits! With her rise to the top, comes misfortune too. Especially that accident that killed her father. Official reports stated he fell down the stairs. But rumours spread that Nanase might be the one who killed him as there were ‘evidence’ of a diary entry of her plotting to kill him. Also, there was a huge insurance amount on him. When this whole thing blew out of proportion, Nanase kept a low profile by staying and hopping from one hotel to another. Until she met her death with steel beams falling onto her. Everything from her neck above was crushed and beyond recognition. But her belongings on her and in her hotel room proved it was her.

Saki talks to Terada about Nanase being a vengeful ghost. He finds it artificial because of the way she dresses and swinging around a steel beam, it is something that the masses would love to hear. There must be something in the shadows behind this other than Nanase’s will. Saki realizes that if Nanase was indeed a vengeful spirit, she wouldn’t be pandering to the masses. There is a possibility that Nanase’s death could be a murder case instead. Kotoko is also doing her online research on Nanase. There is a creepy occult website on her. Even creepier, the image of Nanase is exactly depicted as the real ghost. Like as though the person who saw her personally drew an exact replica of her. She realizes it is actually the opposite and if that’s the case, it would be hard to defeat her. As the info all over the internet is a mess, she needs a reliable source. Like the police. This means going back to Saki and asking for a favour. Oh boy. As Saki continues to look into the files and is perturbed of the statements made by Nanase’s older sister, Hatsumi, she heard a knock on her balcony window. Oh sh*t. Freaking out at this little tree spirit at first, he assures he comes in peace and is only here to deliver a message from Kotoko. She wants her to meet up. While Kotoko is waiting at the diner, a ghost reports to her the sighting of Nanase nearby. So she has the ghost wait for Saki while she goes to find Nanase. Soon enough, she sees Nanase fighting off somebody. Isn’t that Kurou?!

Episode 5
What’s worse than hiding and watching Kurou fight? Why, Saki coming by to yell at Kotoko for abandoning their meeting place and leaving a message to a ghost! But be quiet! The fight is in progress. Saki wants to help him but Kotoko doesn’t want her to bother with that. Kurou is fighting clumsily and gets bloodily clobbered. Of course he regenerates and when he does, it’s like he makes a comeback and starts strangling Nanase. Now the tables are turned? Kotoko believes Kurou has another ability, that is to see the future. This is thanks to the kudan (cow with human head) meat. It all began when his ancestor was obsessed in wanting a premonition ability. To do so, they believed in eating a creature with that ability. Hence the kudan. However many died after eating it. The experiment continued silently until one day Kurou’s grandma had all the kids eat the kudan meat she secretly cooked into their meals. All of them died except Kurou. Grandma was so happy that the wish finally came true and then killed him so as to see if death could give any foreboding abilities. Kurou is then subjected to mortal wounds as experiment to see if he could see the future and being an immortal. So over the years Kurou has grown ‘accustomed’ to the pain that he doesn’t feel anything. Of course it is soon discovered the abilities Kurou got was different of what they wanted. Back to the fight, Kurou snaps Nanase’s neck. Of course ghost girl revives. You can’t kill a ghost like that, right? With Kotoko stepping in, Nanase disappears. Now the true fight begins because Kurou ignores Kotoko to greet Saki. How dare you do this to your current girlfriend?! Although Kurou admits Kotoko is his current girlfriend, he sounds like he is doing her a favour. Kurou makes Kotoko apologize for whatever, whether she is at fault or not. He is sure she would have troubled her in some ways. Kotoko gets jealous thinking he might have some feelings for his ex. Better break up this mood now. Or is breaking up an option?

The trio gather at Saki’s place to talk about Nanase (aside Kurou not batting an eyelid admitting Saki is hotter than Kotoko!). Kurou explains that he was fighting Nanase because the youkai were seeking his help. After observing him being an asset to Kotoko, they don’t find him that scary. Kurou went on to look for Nanase until he stumbled upon her. Strangely, unlike other youkai, Nanase do not fear him. Although Nanase is a ghost, Kotoko believes there is a way to defeat her completely. To put it shortly, the manifestation of Nanase is because she is a monster created out of imagination. People spread rumours about something and that something manifests and solidifies because of the common traits people believe in. Thanks to the power of internet, this is why Nanase is able to manifest and become so powerful in a short span of time. More accurately, there is a site that accurately depicts her, thus spreading the rumours at an alarming rate. It would be strange for a ghost of a rumour to look so precisely as this when there has been no solid eyewitness. Hence it is the opposite. The illustration on the website wasn’t modelled after the ghost but rather because many imagined Nanase as so, therefore the ghost took that form. Everything is backwards. The site wasn’t created because there was a ghost but rather the ghost was born because of the site. So this site is actually the true identity and form of Nanase.

Episode 6
It sounds simple, right? Just create a better story to attract the mass and make them believe in this new story. That is why Kotoko needs details from the police so that she can create a story that will surpass the current rumours. They need to make people believe that Nanase isn’t a ghost and once that happens, Nanase will naturally cease to exist. It doesn’t necessarily be the truth as long as the story they make is more interesting. That’s why Kotoko will use rational fiction to counter Nanase. She needs 2 important factors: Who is the culprit behind this and why the culprit is doing this. Kotoko finds Nanase’s files hidden underneath Saki’s pillows. Since she warned her not to get involved but was stubborn, Saki is now forced to reveal the police’s findings. As we know, she is hiding here to avoid the media after being accused for killing her father. It feels weird that she would be waiting at the construction site at night. While it might seemed that somebody called her to meet, her phone records showed that only her manager was being contacted and nobody else. Hence meeting somebody else was ruled out. There were also evidence of cigarettes around her body and in her pocket. They believed she was smoking while waiting. It couldn’t be from the perpetrator because it was raining heavy that night so I guess the rain washed away any saliva DNA whatsoever. Even more baffling, when the steel beams fell, she died in a way that showed no signs of self-defence. Like as though she wanted to commit suicide. Though a theory surfaced that someone knocked her out beforehand and placed her on where the steel beams fell, it is unlikely since she was running away from the media, it could be that she was in a desperate situation and at that moment she thought death was better for her. After the police ruled her death as accident, there was an unofficial theory that it could have been suicide. Hatsumi had a motive for killing her since she would have gotten all her sister’s inheritance. She was the only one who denied her sister was in a suicidal state. She seemed convinced if Nanase were to die, it wouldn’t be in such a way.

With all those facts from the police that Saki knows, it is time for Kotoko to visit the murder site and ask the ghost who actually witnessed all this! The human ghost confirms that the steel beams fell on Nanase and she did nothing to dodge, hence definitely a suicide. So why wasted time and bothered asking Saki if she can just ask the ghost? She wanted to see what is generally seen as the truth and the conclusions that stemmed from it. So Kotoko is pretty impressed that the police were able to deduce this accurately. Kotoko will use the info she has to create a better story. But it will still remain if the people will accept it. After all, humans aren’t always logical to begin with. They part ways as Kotoko returns with Kurou who explains more about the kudan abilities. He mentions how the future isn’t fixed and it is split into many infinite paths. Because of that, the future is undetermined. But would that make telling the future impossible and contradicting? The kudan doesn’t actually make its predictions by looking into the future. Rather, it makes those infinite paths into a single future and thus the power to determine which future will happen. In exchange for this power, it uses up all its life force and dies. Even so, it can’t determine any kind of future. Therefore it is theorized that those who are about to die can see the future. As for Kurou, despite he can regenerate, he still cannot see very far into the future. That’s why he couldn’t find a solution to defeat Nanase. Too many paths and he couldn’t sort them in time. When he mentions he couldn’t see a future where Saki isn’t involved in this, Kotoko wonders if he would’ve used this power to prevent a future that prevented their breaking up. Well, he would definitely use this power to lead to a break up with Kotoko!!! Seriously, he doesn’t think he can get back with Saki and is sure she feels the same way. Kotoko now thinks hard for a story and hopes there won’t be a victim as it will surely make things harder. So long as nobody confronts Nanase, it’ll be alright. You don’t say because Terada now comes face to face with the faceless Nanase! She attacks and he thinks his judo can stop her. Only, his fist went through her! Then she slams her steel beam on his face! Next day, all over the news that a police officer is found dead with his face crushed.

Episode 7
Saki is interrogated by the police on her whereabouts during the time of Terada’s death. Can’t say she was at the murder site. Instead, she says she was home alone. Later Saki talks to her boss about Terada being on the case of Nanase. Although the media has not caught wind yet, the public is trying to tie Terada’s death to Nanase. Saki gets a call from Kotoko to meet as she needs info. In the hotel, Kotoko and Kurou discuss how the internet is going wild with rumours that Nanase killed Terada. With this spreading nationwide, this is going to be harder to solve. Kotoko believes Rikka must have a hand in this and Kurou hates to agree to this but admits it might be true. When Saki arrives, Kotoko tells her that Terada was indeed killed by Nanase as witnessed first-hand by a youkai. It would have been ideal if the people thought it would be another normal murder and this will naturally tone down the power and influence of Nanase. Kurou then can use his ability to narrow down and seal Nanase’s future. However with the police trying to pursue for real evidence, this will make things more difficult as everything needs to be consistent. With Nanase getting more violent each time, she fears there could be multiple victims as the fantasies expand. With the media trying to cover the story and fanatics even visiting the site to show something, they could stumble into Nanase and become her latest victims. At that point, people’s imagination will further strengthen Nanase and make permanent her existence. As there is no time and to prevent further victims, Kotoko must create a story and a lie and solve this by tonight. But it is harder than it looks. They just can’t come up with a story that somebody has a grudge with Terada since they have to make other factors consistent to this story. And it’s not. They also need to create a culprit that will have everyone believe without actually hurting a real person.

With Kotoko at the end of her wits, Kurou suggests creating not one but several stories. As Nanase wasn’t born yesterday, there must have been lots of trial and errors to get her to turn her into this monster today. There must have been various methods to make sure her popularity didn’t fade. Otherwise, how would she have gotten this popular in a short span of time? Using the hundreds of cooked up fantasies to get closer to the solution they want, until then he will continue to determine the future that’s going to happen. He might die several times but he has resolved himself to do that. Kotoko then thinks hard and has come up of 4 ways. But right now she is tired and wants to sleep. Kurou and Saki leave her to her slumber while they go get something to eat and prepare food for Kotoko when she wakes up. For now, the plan is to have all the youkai alert them whenever Nanase appears. Kurou will then rush down there to keep Nanase at bay to prevent any victims. If she escapes, they’ll track her down and he’ll repeat the same thing. Saki talks to him about how long he has been dating Kotoko. Well, shortly after they broke up but it’s not like he wanted to. She thinks they make a fine couple because he can’t be chasing Rikka forever. Kurou is shocked to hear that name so why mention it? She thought Rikka was his type. Rikka was Kurou’s older cousin and a long term patient in that hospital he often visited her. She died while they were still dating. Flashback when Kurou told Saki about Rikka, she was interested in meeting her. So Kurou brought her to see Rikka and despite being pale and frail, she was quite a beautiful woman.

Episode 8
Call it a woman’s intuition, Saki when she first looked a Rikka, she could tell Kurou was in love with her. His first love. So as not to bother them, she waits at the café below. She notes that Rikka despite being a quiet woman, she has this ability to corrupt those around her. She then heard rumours from others how she often tried to kill herself. Hence Saki thought if Kurou is dating Kotoko just to break free from Rikka, she wouldn’t mind that. Kurou then admits he does love Rikka and might be tied down to her but sometimes he wished she wasn’t around. Saki is surprised because this indicates that Rikka is still alive. Yes, she hasn’t passed away as she assumed. Remember, Rikka is his cousin. You know what that means. When Kotoko wakes up, Saki asks her if she had met Rikka. Of course. Kotoko then spills the beans that Rikka was living at her mansion up until a month ago! At the start of the year, she was forcefully discharged from hospital. As a long term patient, the hospital didn’t know what to do with her and with the change in director and political landscape, they kicked her out. Surprisingly she agreed. Hence the rumours swirled that she died. At first she wanted to stay at Kurou’s place and help him do all the housework. But his fantasies were probably making it all dangerous so he called Kotoko for help. She agreed to let Rikka stay at her place in exchange he would give a spare key to his place. He won’t do that but seeing that he has nightmarish fantasies of Kotoko doing the housework, I suppose he has to choose the lesser of 2 evils. Saki thought Rikka hated Kotoko but Kotoko clarifies the time Kurou first brought her to see Rikka, Rikka did mention she wasn’t a good match for him. Kurou agreed! Rikka felt bad and tried to give some hope that Kotoko wasn’t the worst. In fact, Rikka and Kotoko were like best friends and celebrated each other’s birthdays. Until a month ago she claimed she had found a job and a place to stay and left. However the contacts she gave were fake. They tried to find her and Kurou who seemingly got some info on it, went missing to look for her and told Kotoko to not come look for her. As he was looking for Rikka but stumbled into Nanase instead.

It is safe to say at this point that Rikka created the Nanase urban legend. While staying at Kotoko’s place, she had access to her PC. Kotoko didn’t particularly check as she wasn’t interested, not until she heard about the Nanase case from the youkai. Looking at the webpage, she knew it was Rikka behind it because the illustration of Nanase was definitely Rikka’s unique style of drawing. Rikka might have longed for creating a monster out of imagination and the perfect timing of Nanase’s death may have been all the convenient ingredients for her to get it going. It could be possible that by doing this, she wants to see how far she can go with her ability to decide the future. Talk put on hold when a youkai reports the appearance of Nanase. Meanwhile Rikka slits her own throat to see the future. In no time, she returns back to life. As Kurou goes face off with Rikka, Kotoko enters the site’s forums to post. Saki wonders if Rikka as the admin will delete her posts. Kotoko believes it is not likely because by doing so, she will send a signal that she is trying to hide something and that the ghost might not be real. So since she wants Nanase to exist, she must leave all posts alone. Kotoko explains one of her solutions akin to discussing a bill in parliament. Rikka may have the majority support of the forum for those who believe Nanase exists. But Kotoko believes that there are many others who are just watching this site. If Kotoko can present a plausible story that fits with the facts and win over those support of anonymous people viewing the site, they stand a chance in defeating Nanase. By hiding the real facts and presenting various contradicting ones, they can turn fiction into fact and get away with it.

Episode 9
While Kurou fights Nanase, Kotoko begins her fight on the internet forum! She posts that Nanase is not a real ghost and that it is all an elaborated setup by the killer to hide behind this urban legend and go on a killing spree. While many do not initially believe her and pose several questions, Kotoko is able to come up with plausible theory to support her lies. So for the most part of this episode, we hear Kotoko describe how the killer setup all this just to kill Terada and of course many are still sceptical because why go through all that trouble just to kill a police officer and instead of just using a simpler method like poisoning. It’s because the killer wants to hide his real identity. Kotoko believes the killer is actually a female so by resorting to this killing method that seemed like it required a lot of work and strength, this would distract the police’s investigation from the real culprit. Because the killer knows Terada well, this narrows down the suspect to be a female police officer who works in the same department with him. With some starting to believe Kotoko’s theory, Saki then realizes Kotoko has painted her as the suspect! Hold on! But soon some start to pour cold water on this theory because they still find it impossible for a female police officer to actually do all this elaborated setup by herself just to kill a male colleague. While the change in flow can be attributed to Kurou dying (yeah, he died a few times already) and seeing the future, the same can be said for Rikka. As she possessed the same power, this is why the flow again changes against them. Despite she isn’t censoring any posts and has to maintain this site, she still clearly has a big advantage because of her head start in having many believe in the existence of Nanase. While many in the forum still believe in Nanase the ghost, what Kotoko needs to do is just for part of them to believe it. She will repeat this process so as to chip away the ‘support’ for Nanase. That’s why if she doesn’t get the majority for one theory, she’ll go on to the next one. So on to solution number 2 then…

Episode 10
Kotoko changes her stance that Nanase is now a real ghost. But what is the real reason she had to reappear as a ghost and attack others? To the point where she had to kill a detective? If it is believed her death was by suicide and she did come back as a ghost seeking revenge on society, wouldn’t she have gotten her revenge since she has become popular? Hence she came back as a ghost not for revenge but to tell the truth. Remember, her father was wary that she was out to get him and evidence suspected Nanase of killing him. The one who killed her father is no other than the father himself. Feeling inferior over his daughter’s success, he hatched a plan that would make it look like she killed him although he killed himself. So after Nanase was killed and her soul went to the afterlife, she met her father who told her the truth. Shocked, she started to have regrets and returned to the world as a spirit to tell everyone the truth. She wanted people to know the tragedy that she didn’t kill her father and that’s why she went on a rampage as a ghost and turned evil because of her father’s betrayal. Therefore Kotoko wants everyone to believe in Nanase’s innocence as this will only bring peace to her soul. This solution is almost quite effective as many start to believe this. Nanase is much weaker (though Kurou died many times over!) however Kotoko knows this is not over yet as there are some who still don’t find the theory plausible since Nanase went too far in killing a detective in addition to causing havoc to others.

Now Kotoko moves on to the third solution in which Nanase is a fake ghost created by a living human being. She talks about some inconsistent points that doesn’t match up to her death. Then she brings in Hatsumi’s name who doubted her death as suicide. It is believed that Hatsumi couldn’t accept her sister’s death and so and despite the evidence of her being presented, it could be that Nanase’s body was switched out with a double. I mean, how reliable are all the evidence? While it is extremely hard to replicate the person with the same blood type, possessions, etc, it is not impossible. It could be that Hatsumi doesn’t have a good relationship with her sister. As Hatsumi refused to accept her sister’s death, this started affecting her life and psychology. Hence there is somebody who was concerned about Hatsumi’s state of mind and decided to prove that her sister is dead. Therefore, dressing up and going around as Nanase the ghost to spread the rumours. It can’t be Hatsumi’s boyfriend or a close family member as she would have noticed unusual night time activities. The culprit could be somebody single with deviant tendencies. Unfortunately he almost got caught by Terada and had to kill him. Cornered after going so far as to commit such a murder, he might have wanted to further their relationship by going as far as to harm her. Kotoko wants everyone’s cooperation to help find this pervert. As this solution is more effective and the majority agreeing to Kotoko’s view, however Nanase still isn’t weakening and has killed Kurou a few more times! Because now an anonymous person (Rikka) points out the flaw in Kotoko’s theory. If Hatsumi was afraid of Nanase seeking revenge on her, what the culprit did was only to worsen her sanity. Because Nanase would have been portrayed with a milder persona instead of a violent steel beam killer. Now that Nanase has killed someone, Hatsumi’s fear would be at max and her psyche shred to pieces. Therefore the culprit’s motives doesn’t match up. The internet now switches sides to Rikka.

Episode 11
Kotoko notes that everything she has done as well as Rikka’s actions have all been part of her plan. You see, the reason why Kotoko didn’t just use the 4th solution is because she needs to use the first 3 as the basis and foundation for the fourth which is the actual truth. Though Rikka can destroy any parts aside the conclusion, this would make her stand out more. Hence she is forced to take the simplest solution. So the 4th solution that Kotoko presents to the internet is that Nanase the ghost is created by no other than Nanase herself and this means she is very much alive. Needing to get away from the media spotlight, Nanase somehow met a girl who has the same physique like her. For some reasons, she managed to convince her to be part of her plan. A plan to switch their lives. Of course Nanase set her up to meet at the construction site, caught her off guard by knocking her out and then dropping the steel beams to completely crush her face. Therefore the body found at the site is not the real body of Nanase. After planting evidence, Nanase fled and is now living her new life as that person. At this point, the internet now discusses and reasons by themselves about this conclusion. For instance, why would she go all the way to create a ghost of herself? It is so to convince others that she is dead. That is why the ghost is in her shape and that she is playing the ghost herself. Although Nanase the ghost is weakening against Kurou, Kotoko still needs to deliver the final blow. In order to make this ghost rumour spread fast, this site was created. Hence Kotoko accuses the site admin is actually Nanase herself! Kotoko claims her role wasn’t to prove the existence of the ghost but to expose Nanase herself behind this (which is of course a lie).

Kotoko now explains why Nanase killed Terada. As she was in the city to find out the next place to make a scene, she stumbled into Terada. His detective instincts kicked in as he stopped and questioned her. He thought she looked familiar (are there no other girls in Japan with such humongous boobs?) so when he realized she is Nanase, she panicked and knocked him out. And then she killed him and made it look like the ghost did it. Therefore Nanase’s crime is killing Terada. She is free to refute this but also wants her to prove that she is not Nanase. The internet is now in uproar. Many believe Nanase is still alive and some believe she is the killer and must be arrested. It doesn’t matter if Rikka reveals the real truth because the internet has pretty much believed Nanase the idol still lives. This helps Kurou to pick out the future to defeat the ghost while Rikka herself is stumped as she cannot grasp the future she wants. Kotoko then hopes for everyone to vote in their minds and their conscience of Nanase’s existence. Finally a monster born from lies has been destroyed by lies. Kurou takes the steel beam and smashes it back at Nanase.

Episode 12
Rikka sends an email to Kotoko acknowledging her victory. This time. So I guess she’ll be back, huh? Saki asks why Rikka is doing this. Kotoko skirts around the question as she talks about people having vivid imagination that it is enough to create ghosts. This means there is a possibility of creating a god. Kotoko goes to pick up Kurou. Knowing he is tired from the fight, she lets him eat a banana. Then she makes a cheeky remark that she’ll eat his banana later! I think it’s been a long day… All the youkai pop up to celebrate Kotoko as their saviour and heroine but they have to cut short celebrations and go home because Saki is terrified. Soon, people spoke less about Nanase the ghost as the focus now shifts to finding Nanase the idol. While it could create a whole new legend, we’ll find out when the time comes. As for the Nanase website, Rikka took it down.

Later Saki meets up with Kurou to find out the real truth of why Rikka is doing this. Kurou first explains himself that he has resigned to the fact of having such powers. But noticing that he could age and grow like normally, there is a possibility he can die of old age. Generally he can live a normal life. However this is not the case for Rikka. She is adamant of wanting to become a normal human again and will do what it takes to achieve that. Saki remembers Rikka was once experimented on by a medical team. But because no modern technology could cure her predicament, she decided to grasp the future she wanted herself. Kurou doesn’t know what she is thinking but she is definitely doing abnormal things just to become normal again. While it sounds dreadful that Rikka might create monsters in the future, Kurou assures Kotoko won’t allow it because it goes against the natural order that she is tasked to protect. That is why she gave up her right eye and left leg. Both agree that they cannot get back together again after what happened. That’s why Kurou promises to look after Kotoko as she is more fearless than he is and takes more risks. Initially Kurou didn’t want Kotoko to get involved with this Nanase case and tried to deal with it swiftly. But after Kotoko got involved, Rikka might see Kotoko as her biggest threat and target her. That’s probably why he didn’t tell Kotoko because if he did, she would want to get involved. He promises not to let her die because she deserves happiness.

Kotoko wakes up after sleeping for more than a day. Instantly she regrets this slip up because this means giving Kurou and Saki more time together! Yeah, she’s blaming him for it. Nothing he says can soothe this sulking girl. Even if his points are valid. Yeah, she’s pretty sore about it. After she is discharged, she continues to warn him not to do anything without her knowledge. Then she asks about some Kuebiko legend that contains a princess with a similar name like her. She knows about it but doesn’t take too lightly his smirk comments about it. Because the story was about a princess who was being sent away to be married but only to be returned because she is ugly. And then Kurou reminds her that Kotoko herself is beautiful, that’s why he hasn’t sent her back anywhere. Can you hear Kotoko’s heart melting? She still tries to play the tough girl, though. Then they walk back together hand in hand as Kotoko thinks of introducing him to her parents.

Fiction Is Truth Inside The Lie
Well, that’s all folks. Another mystery solved without much ado. Thanks to the power of the internet, people’s minds and opinions can change like shifting sand. Aren’t we so glad with the advent of high speed internet these days? So until the next big case and mystery, we know what to rely on when that happens. Yeah, technology so modern but human mind set still primitive. That’s why some lore never die out.

If you know me, you could probably tell that I am not really amused by the story and plot. Even more so the supernatural world in which I am totally lost. Not that I have never watched such genres in my life and did so from time to time, but I never really found a liking for it generally (even Jigoku Shoujo was just because of a certain seiyuu). Even if the plot and story of this series is pretty much straightforward, I didn’t really find it engaging. As this is of a detective mystery genre too, there are lots of conversations and works of deduction at play here. I’m not the brightest tool in the shed so trying to understand the deductions at hand is one thing and my limited Japanese vocab as well as their own supernatural folklore is another thing. Both of which, diminishes my overall enjoyment. Just because I had to think to make sense of what they say!!! Yeah, it’s tough being stupid.

So if you ask me, the first few episodes establish what this series is going to be and for the remainder 3/4 of the show, the Nanase mystery is pretty much the main course and feature for this season (you can tell from the opening credits animation anyway). So on one hand it is good that this does not have an episodic feel whereby every episode is a different case to work on, but with the Nanase case occupying a big chunk, it really drags out the story. It’s a unique way to fight a fictional monster and in that sense it is interesting but unfortunately casual viewers like me won’t be totally impressed either. So is this why the official English title for this series is called In/Spectre? As in, inspector, the detective? Okay. Pun well played.

I’m not really a mystery fan so the deductions and theories that Kotoko or other characters come up don’t really feel exciting. I know it doesn’t take a lot of brain power to digest and put together the pieces of the puzzle and I’m just ‘engaged’ and continuing to watch the episode so as just to find out the answer. I mean, I’ve already ‘invested’ my time and ‘interest’ in this series, they better give me an answer that I can understand even if it is not satisfactory! So ultimately Kotoko’s tactic of using fiction to fight fiction isn’t fighting fire against fire. Rather, a lie told often enough becomes the truth. That is what it feels like here. Whoever told the most convincing lie wins. And it was obvious who the better ‘liar’ was here. I hope Kotoko doesn’t use this sly move on Kurou’s heart. There is that possibility she might if she gets desperate enough.

For a detective mystery genre, there is quite a few bloody and violent moments. I am very sure they are not spooky or horror. Just blood and gore. Especially Nanase the ghost starts swinging her steel beam. Like as though this is your mini action moment amidst the deductions. Poor Kurou. How many times he got killed just to find the future he wants. It’s not very often that you get to see a main character get killed and revived so many times. You must be an amateur if you can’t stand seeing Kurou getting split in half or his limbs torn to bits or just bearing the full brunt of the steel beams. Gory indeed. And yes, nothing screams attention and fanservice when you have a very busty ghost as your antagonist. I guess that’s why we got unconsciously attracted to know more about mystery. How the heck did Nanase got bigger boobs than her older sister?! Mystery indeed.

The characters themselves despite being a small set of cast, they aren’t interesting. They quickly establish in the first couple of episodes of the supernatural powers that Kotoko and Kurou have. It feels like it needs more expansion and fleshing out but with the Nanase arc getting in the way, we just have bits and pieces. If the detective mystery becomes too draggy or a bore, sometimes they light the mood up with some short cheesy romcom lines. This is where most of the ‘comedy’ comes from. Funny. At least something I can grasp at first go and bring a smile to my face. Seeing Kotoko trying to get closer to Kurou but that guy always feels so reluctant but she doesn’t give up. One day, just one day… And then with Saki getting dragged in the picture, weird rivalry that isn’t actually a rivalry on the cards. What are the chances Kurou still has feelings for his ex? Ah, that unsettling anxiety that every current girlfriend will always have. But seeing how things ‘ended’ it is safe to say that they won’t be seeing each other anymore. Unless fate…

Sometimes they want to show us that Kotoko-Kurou relationship is more than just this supernatural detective partners thingy because I clearly remember at one point during the midst of the deduction, Kotoko just suddenly telling Kurou that she will be attending the same university as him. Like, how is that relevant in any way? It felt so out of place that it made me go, “Huh? What? What was that all about?”. Like as though she is announcing in advance his path to hell… Hahaha! I’m sure Kurou is tempted to kill himself a few more times to see which future doesn’t have Kotoko in his life! Like they say, opposite attracts as we can see Kotoko and Kurou at polar ends of their character. One is quite outgoing and lively while the other just reserved and emotionless. Maybe that’s why they make a good pair. Or not. So with him sticking around Kotoko, it feels more like an obligation to protect her rather than a romantic one. But who knows? There could be a future that it will truly become one. But for now, their relationship is amusing because of the hot-cold-hot-cold jabbing they give each other. It makes you wonder if all those wisecracks at each other mean they are truly deeply in love or just hate each other’s guts. Give them a few more years, they’ll be acting like a true married couple!

Poor Saki. You would think that after being able to see ghosts and spirits, she’ll get used to it. Unfortunately she still gets spooked by the friendliest of ghost. Don’t laugh. That’s what you call a phobia and I’m sure all of us have our own inner fears that we won’t overcome. Ever since Saki got dragged into this mess, she started seeing more youkai and at this rate, I fear she might go crazy and lose her bat sh*t insanity. Though, I hope not to see this happen to sweet policewoman. Thankfully, Kurou did promise her that he will tell spirits, ghosts and youkai not to appear in front of her anymore. Yeah, that doesn’t mean they’ll not be around her. At least she’ll have goodnight’s sleep. Now she just have to fight the ghosts and demons in her mind about this.

Rikka being the main antagonist and mastermind for this season, I don’t think she is really a bad person. She is one who became so with such a pre-existing condition because of somebody else’s actions. So while wanting to return being normal is pretty normal, perhaps it is the methods that most of us would not agree on and that’s why she looks like the villain. More than often, we do understand and sympathize with the reasons why villains act so but not so much of the methods they employ. Sure, it must suck to be an immortal. I’m not sure what her problem of just living life normally is. It’s not like government agents are out to kidnap her and use her for experiment or weapons, right? And so in her bid to become normal, she caused a lot of problems to the innocent. So that’s where we draw the line. Rikka, bad girl.

It might be just me but I somewhat notice something about Kotoko’s right eye. They don’t seem all that fake to me because at times I noticed that when she moves her eyeballs, both eyes moved! Correct me if I’m wrong but if her right eye is fake, shouldn’t it be stationary and not move? But I see them move in the same direction. Is there some supernatural play at hand? It might be creepy and viewers would start to notice that one eye stayed still so I guess to not bring this up, they just animate her eyes the same way a normal humans would have both eyes intact. Her left leg might not be obvious since she is using a stick to assist in her walking. But the way she walks, still it gives an impression that she has her whole left leg there. She might have gotten used to make it look like she is walking normal since she has been this way for many years so this one isn’t as obvious as the missing eye.

Artwork and animation are pretty okay. A series that is mostly talking and deducing don’t need a lot of animation. So sometimes Kurou’s fight with Nanase feels a bit jerky. But cover it up with blood and gore, nobody is going to notice, right?! And of course it goes without saying, Kotoko being the cutie pie that attracted my attention to watch this series. Rikka too but she has this creepy look the more you stare at her. I feel like she might steal my soul! As for some of the youkai, they look cartoonish like as though they popped out from some children’s cartoon TV. I guess the friendlier ones tend to look like this compared to the ones with malice will lean towards more horror-like. This anime is done by Brain’s Base who did a few supernatural themed animes like Natsume Yuujinchou, Durarara, Amnesia, Servamp and Kamigami No Asobi.

Mamoru Miyano as Kurou feels completely docile here. Perhaps I was expecting something like his Koutarou from Zombie Land Saga, that flamboyant trademark voice that I would love to hear again or even at least those kind of characters. But then as Kurou, this isn’t the first time voiced such characters with no emotion. Remember Fushimi from K? Yup. It won’t be accurate for me to say that his talents are wasted on this monotonous main character but I thought this role could be helmed by just about any other seiyuu in the market. It’s just too easy for him. The other casts are Akari Kitou as Kotoko (Kaho in Blend S), Misato Fukuen as Saki (Yami in To Love-Ru), Mayumi Sako as Rikka (Kai in Dragon Crisis), Kenji Hamada as Terada (Jouji in Paradise Kiss) and Sumire Uesaka as Nanase (Sanae in Chuunibyou Demo Koi Ga Shitai).

Mononoke In The Fiction by Uso To Chameleon as the opening theme feels weird. Considering the pacing of the series, the hard rock outfit just doesn’t seem suitable at all. It sounds very chaotic and I don’t think I ever got used to hearing it ever. Although the ending theme still feels as out of place as the opener, at least this one sounds more palatable to hear. Last Dance by Mamoru Miyano is quite the catchy jazzy ballroom music it is. After the brain wrecking episode, hearing this song helps me wind down. Ironic to say that Mamoru Miyano does a better job singing than voice acting as his character. Yeah, he put more soul and feeling in this piece. And yeah, Kurou and Kotoko all sharply dressed up and doing their ballroom dance with each other till they tire out. Did they get possessed by some dancing youkai or ayakashi or something? Amusing.

Overall, if you aren’t into supernatural or detective mystery genres, this series may be a big bore and confusing. Remember, this isn’t exactly a horror series so the youkai and even the faceless Nanase isn’t meant to scare you in the first place. Aside all the talking and deduction, it does have its cute moments to break the monotony. Kotoko x Kurou interaction is amusing but they don’t want this to take away the limelight from the detective mystery element in focus. But that’s about it for me. Sadly, there weren’t enough posts in the forums to convince me and change my mind to like this kind of genre so I’ll still be having second thoughts of animes falling under this category in the future. This isn’t a bad anime at all but it failed to captivate me or give me a reason to like it further. Maybe they should write better fiction to change my mind. Hard, right? Yeah, that’s because unlike reality or the stranger truth, fiction has to actually make sense!

Fairy Gone

May 2, 2020

We often think of fairies as those little mythical creatures with some supernatural powers. We also think they are mostly harmless and at most just playful and prankish. But time to shatter all that pleasant stereotypes you have on fairies. Because what if fairies were tools used for war! Ah yes. Damn humans trying to harness the power of others just to kill each other for supremacy and in the name of justice whatever. So if you’re not prepared to have your childhood memories of good little fairies being destroyed, do not watch Fairy Gone at any cost. Well, I don’t think anybody’s general and overall perception of fairies will change. But you’ll never know. See what The Fairly OddParents did?!

Episode 1
As narrated, the Unification War lasted so long. Lots of casualties, lots of damage until the war ended when Eastald was unified under the emperor of Zesskia. Fairy Soldiers who were employed from all sides of the war suddenly find themselves with no place to go. In current year, Marlya Noel is hired as a guard for some auction but she keeps getting awed by the items in the backstage. Hence, Free Underbar who is the head of security for this mafia group, Gui Carlin has to remind her many times to get back to work. I guess it’s cue to introduce some of the basics like fairies and how some special bottle that imprisons them is the only reason why they are able to see them. When the Black Fairy Tome goes on auction, several staffs start to die horrifically. Veronica Thorne is a mercenary and she can summon fairies to do her bidding as she steals the tome. With the crowd panicking and trying to escape, Free and Marlya go suppress the panic but Marlya recognizes Veronica. Seems she is the person she has been looking for all this while. However Veronica claims she isn’t the person she knows. Free who is a Fairy Soldier, uses his fairy to fight with Veronica. When a stray shot breaks a fairy bottle, Marlya grabs it and what do you know? Flashbacks of her younger days. I believe there is more to it. Waking up, she goes to stop Free and Veronica’s fight. Marlya claims she joined Gui Carlin as the quickest way to find her and she has searched her for so long because they are the only survivors of the town they came from, Suna. With Veronica not interested to go back with her, she continues her fight with Free. And Marlya stops it once more, this time summoning her own fairy. While Marlya is in shock, Veronica manages to get away. Free discloses that he is actually from the special illegal fairy regulatory force known as Dorothea. He was doing undercover infiltration mission in Gui Carlin. Under the law, because Marlya has now illegally possessed a fairy, she would be arrested. But to ‘circumvent’ this, I guess now Marlya has to join Dorothea if she wants to continue looking for Veronica. Veronica hands over the tome to Damien Carme but he could immediately recognize this tome is a fake.

Episode 2
Marlya narrates she is an unlucky person because those involved with her get bad luck. In contrast, Free narrates he is a lucky guy. We see him go through some surgery to become a Fairy Soldier. Then in the war, his friends protected and died for him. Yup, that is lucky in the worst sense for him. Free reports to his superior, Nein Auler. Though his infiltration mission failed, she wants him to rewrite his report as she wants to keep Marlya’s mysterious fairy possession to herself. Free and Marlya then go rendezvous with Serge Tova and Klara Kysenaria to expose some illegal artificial fairies by the Arcame mafia group. An illegal transaction is going to happen as they stake out and wait for the relevant parties to arrive. Klara detects one of them as a Fairy Soldier and it looks like he might be on to them. Free and Marlya then head down to take action but it seems the carriages are all gone. Free then clashes swords with Wolfran Row who is a Fairy Soldier he once fought alongside with during the war but is now a member of Arcame. Marlya’s fairy helped save her from a certain fate as Wolfran gets away. Free and Marlya go after him. Wolfran tells his guys to use the artificial fairies to fight. After dispatching them, some of the men try to fight back and one of them got injured. Wolfran silences him. Free and Marlya go after the other carriages but eventually the driver also ends up dead. Wolfran again. Heck, he killed all his men and left no witnesses!

Episode 3
As narrated, during the war, fairies were hunted till near extinction so as to become tools for Fairy Soldiers. It is said there were about 300 Fairy Soldiers and when the war ended, only 17 of them survived. Wolfran being one of the survivors returned home only to find his wife and daughter dead. Wolfran sees Beevee Liscar who is a mercenary leader to sell him some artificial fairies. Because the artificial fairy plant that Free raided is empty (Wolfran cleverly clearing his tracks again), he goes to see Axel Laboo who is an informant to look into Wolfran. Free and Marlya see Marco Bellwood who is the ministry of fairies vice minister. He talks about the history of different coloured fairy tomes as well as the stolen tome was reported to be in possession of a fairy scholar. Hence he wants them to go to Isharat and see Cain Distarol. Arriving there, Free is not happy to see Bitter “Sweetie” Sweet, an associate member of Gui Carlin. With that kind of name… Free knows the kind of troubles this woman brings, the way she shamelessly flirts with him. Apparently she is also here to see Cain. What a coincidence, Axel is also here but he is observing from a far. Cain shows them his fairy imaginals when a fairy sneaks in and wreaks havoc. This has Damien to go check on the safety of the tome. However it is a ploy by Axel to reveal its hiding and then steal it. Axel runs throughout town while Sweetie tenaciously runs after him. Eventually she corners him. The tome or his life. With Free here, she calls him the government’s dog and the likes. When Axel tries to escape, she shoots him. He gives up on the tome and escapes. Think it’s a little too late? Now Free and Sweetie fight over it. Marlya fires a warning shot but Sweetie summons a fairy to restrain her.

Episode 4
Free and his Fairy can’t match Sweetie but Marlya and hers can outlast her? Sweetie retreats and after Marlya retrieves the tome, she passes out. She dreams of her past in Suna with Veronica. That fateful day when soldiers came burning down her village. Veronica left her so she could be a decoy to the soldiers. After nearly a day, Marlya wakes up. Talking to Free about mafia auctions becoming common showpieces today, because Veronica crashed into the Gui Carlin auction to steal a tome, they ask Cain and Damien how they got their hands on the tome. Because this isn’t an official inquiry from Dorothea, they are not telling. Marlya asks if they know of Veronica but apparently they don’t. Later outside, Marlya thinks they are liars but Free reasons they can’t join the ministry of fairies and continued to be private fairy scholars is because they don’t want to be shackled by the government. A strange couple sits next to them, Patricia Pearl and Jonathan Passpiere. They order something but leave before their order arrives. It is then Free realizes the tome has been stolen by those Gui Carlin members. The duo give chase and end up in the underground catacombs of a chapel. With the enemy blindly sniping at them, Free tells Marlya to hide as he moves forward for the hunt. He is puzzled if their goal is the tome, wouldn’t they be better off just escaping? Unless the target is him! Realized a bit too late, here’s Patricia coming to get you! Meanwhile Marlya has to face off with creepy Jonathan who thinks he is some sort of artist. Yeah, this guy can somehow close up on you and loves to give you pain! Pain is a blessing! WTF. Since Marlya can’t use her fairy, she is reduced to running away. When cornered, who is going to save her? Don’t hold your breath. It’s Veronica!

Episode 5
We have some flashback on Veronica’s uber tragic life as a kid. She tried to assassinate the new king of Tsubal, Ray Dawn whom we all know from the looks of it as the guy responsible for destroying Suna (or at least seen from that perspective) but she hesitates after pulling out her gun in public and he owns her with his fairy. Now Veronica jumps in to fight Jonathan. This ‘mad artist’ is no pushover since he can do all sorts of parlour tricks in the name of art. Especially with his fairy as an exploding chicken lizard whatever. Marlya can’t stand being useless and just watch so she manages to finally summon her fairy to distract. Enough for Veronica to take her to safety outside. Meanwhile Free has a hard time with Patricia. But once he got his groove back, Patricia realizes she can’t win so she escapes and leaves behind the tome. What looked like Veronica rekindling with Marlya, mad Jonathan returns so Veronica kills him with her fairy. And then back to cold old Veronica. She doesn’t want Marlya to get involved in her assassination of Ray. Yeah, looks like she still hasn’t given up. So forget about the old Veronica. That Veronica you know is dead. Bye. In the aftermath, Free and Marlya join other Dorothea members in the pub they frequent. I guess Marlya’s welcome party is guised as an excuse to introduce a few more Dorothea members as well as some old farts who were heroes in the last war.

Episode 6
As narrated, after the war ended, Golbarn Helwise surrendered his status as emperor and became a Prime Minister. 5 people who played an important role in the war were granted special positions and were known as the Five Dukes. However they died or were killed in extraordinary fashion. The only ones remain are Schwarz Diese and Ray. In town, an artificial fairy model malfunctions and almost harms a civilian. Free’s fast thinking has the model subdued. The model is then taken to Griff Mercer, the assistant vice minister for the ministry of fairies. He checks and there is nothing wrong with it. Nein then calls up Free and Marlya. Apparently there is news about the real Black Fairy Tome. She sends Marlya and Klara to see the informant, Buz Sebastian but this fatty thinks he can have his way with the ladies. Until all his men get their ass kicked and they pointing their daggers at his throat, now he becomes their b*tches. So he mentions about a recent auction where this tome was put up for sale. The winning bidder is an agent for a well-known circle called Black Four. Marlya and Klara tail that agent, Dice as he boards a train. It seems Sweetie has also caught news of this but she is a second too late and missed the train. Marlya and Klara search the train but they can’t find him. Thinking he might be in the compartment, they will search when the train is at the next stop. In the meantime, cue for Marlya to ask Klara how she joined Dorothea. She lost all her family during the war and after Nein saved her from those rape face bastards. At the next stop, they search the compartment but he is not there. Then they spot him getting off and chase after him. I don’t know where he was hiding that the girls couldn’t find him. Is he a master of disguise or something? Eventually they catch him but he remains tight lipped during interrogation. When Axel pops up before Free just to remind him he still can be useful, Free asks about Dice. Rumours say that this guy works for Gilbert Warlock, a high ranking member of Gui Carlin.

Episode 7
Sweetie is at Gilbert’s place in hopes he could just show her what Dice gave him. However he refuses and shows her the way out. Meanwhile more artificial fairy models go haywire. Nein is supposed to moderate between the meeting of the ministry of fairies and minister of the military who are at each other’s throat, passing the blame for the malfunction and jurisdiction of power. Dorothea is supposed to be neutral but is requested by Schwarz to just side the military. Both the ministry of fairies and the military send their men to the workshop of mechanic Hanns Efmed to find any abnormalities in the model. Free thought he spot Wolfran but could he be just seeing things? No Wolfran but Axel. Seems somebody wants to see him. Nope, not Wolfran but Sweetie. It seems she is offering Dorothea to work together to get into Gilbert’s place again. So Marlya and Klara have to doll up again to please that old guy? Robert Chase exchanges notes with Free about Wolfran manufacturing illegal models for Arcame. He may be here to disrupt the anniversary of the end of the war taking place in a few days. Later Robert remembers about Hanns because he had a man named Eddy Lloyd working under him. However he quit many years ago and hasn’t been heard since. Eddy was the designer of the old Psyden VII artificial fairy model. Though he was put in charge of the fairy maintenance division, he wasn’t pleased with this demotion. After he voluntarily resigned, he went missing. Rumour has it he joined Arcame. Gilbert won’t let young ladies change his decision. He is very well aware of Sweetie’s abilities to memorize everything at first glance. Sweetie continues to talk and ask in a way that has Gilbert admitting he has that stuff, the proof that Dorothea needs. Sweetie then exposes these young ladies are from Dorothea.

Episode 8
Using their fairies to pin down Gilbert, Klara also sends the signal for the rest of Dorothea to storm in. Sweetie then forces Gilbert to lead them to some secret underground room. Cunning Sweetie ditches them after the secret door opens. You mean they can’t open it again? Shouldn’t they just break it down using a fairy? Like how Free did? Yeah, but he broke down some other wall. Did he have the blueprints to the place? Anyway, in this secret room, there lies the Black Fairy Tome. Sweetie has escaped but didn’t take it. Meanwhile Daniel Keys from Security Bureau suspects Hanns tampering with the new models and arrests him. Because of that compromise, the new models that were supposed to be the symbol of unification will not be used for the ceremony. Robert gets permission to investigate more about Eddy. To his surprise that is not stated in the records, he was a workaholic and had a son, Ted Livingstone who is Hanns’ assistant. Talking with Hanns, he admits of not noticing Ted’s feelings that he may want to avenge his father. Oh, what’s this? The old models have this override function?! Hanns pleads for Robert to save Ted whom he has also treated like his own son. During the ceremony, Ted is making preparations to cause havoc. He notes the unification is a farce and Golbarn got rid of those who didn’t obey him. Just like how they did to his father. Using a special whistle to make the old models attack Golbarn, luckily Dorothea manage to stop him in time before any tragedy happens. It is noted that only Schwarz jumped to protect Golbarn but Ray just stood there minding his own business. When Ted is arrested, he is still crying foul about everything. Free tells him that it is okay to not forgive but they have to accept the war is over. It is an era where murderers are judged fairly. This means Golbarn is just a man like all of them. That’s why you don’t kill him.

Episode 9
Thanks to Schwarz’s heroics, he is rewarded with anything he wants. In that case, he wants a fairy weapon. Although he says this is to protect the emperor in case of emergency, some are sceptical. Fairy weapons are those weapons wielded by the Seven Knight and have killed many Fairy Soldiers. As Ray was part of the Seven Knights and of course in possession of one, it is only right Schwarz has one to balance it up. Hence he chooses Fratanil, the fairy weapon that belonged to the late Garlan Battle who was the chief of the Seven Knights. Hence Dorothea will escort it to deliver to Schwarz’s residence. Wolfran passes a message to Liscar. But he won’t join in the fun. That night as the train passes, it comes under heavy attack by Liscar’s mercenary group. Liscar uses his fairy to knock the train off its rails. Thus we get to see Marlya’s flashback of how some lone grandpa took her in, taught her hunting until the day he died. Poor girl buried him and started believing she is a cursed child. Marlya wakes up and Dorothea is engaging in battle with the mercenaries. When Free sees Liscar, he realizes the odds that are against them. Liscar was one of the Seven Knights and you bet he has his fairy weapon with him. Free decides to use Fratanil so Oz Mare goes to cover him by engaging with Liscar. Not good enough to match Liscar. Then Free fights him using Fratanil but he isn’t good at using the fairy weapon. Marlya tries to snipe the mercenaries but Liscar’s assistant, Sophie keeps closing the distance to take her out. Marlya could have died many times had not Oz come to her rescue. Oz takes in a lot of damage from enemy’s fire while protecting Marlya. When he could no longer move, Liscar finds it is a pity that he can’t fight him again and to put him out of his misery, kills him.

Episode 10
Everyone mourns over the death of Oz and other dead Dorothea members. Oh, Fratanil got stolen too. Free feels responsible? Marlya feels responsible? Can we just move on? Marlya is most effected since this plays up her devil being the cursed child. But she still has a job to do. This time, Free leads his team to Kal-O where Ray rules. Their job is to check if the fairy weapon and artificial fairies are within their stipulated parameters. Ray can tell Marlya harbours hatred towards him. He has seen a lot of people with that looks on his face. With an extra day, Marlya goes to see Jingle who is the boss of the mafia group, Biaklay. Unlike Gui Carlin and Arcame, they follow the law? Uhm? What?! Before she came to Dorothea, she was working as him as his bodyguard. He asks her to come back since he considers her as his family. As she is still thinking that she is a cursed person, look on the bright side, nothing happened to him when she was under him, right? Meanwhile we see Fratanil in the hands of Schwarz and he has that smug look on his face. Robert reports to Nein that Ted has been in contact with Wolfran who provided him devices that interrupt the models. Free then comes in to see Jingle. Can’t be here just to say hi, no? Free claims responsibility as the one who convinced Marlya to join Dorothea. This doesn’t impress Jingle because he might took responsibility but doesn’t have the determination to see it through. He won’t accept entrusting Marlya onto his hands. Free claims he has the determination. When it comes down to it, he will risk his life for Marlya. They may not be family but they are comrades. Marlya breaks down as she doesn’t want to be responsible for the death of others. It always comes down to her being protected. Free tells her not to run away. Did she not come to Dorothea to accomplish something? I guess she cries harder this time but it’s a sign that she’s freed from her doubts and ready to move on. Before they depart at the train station, Ray sees them. He wants them to deliver a letter to Golbarn. When he does, appropriate measures will be taken.

Episode 11
An ambassador in Hybranz is rudely awakened as the army storms in to kick him out. It seems Hybranz is declaring sovereignty and will no longer be part of Zesskia. Golbarn receives the news and felt betrayed by Schwarz. Everything has gone according to his plan. Because he has Nein and Dorothea to support the suppressive force, she is given permission to use her fairy weapon. Golbarn then reports to the emperor who himself strips Schwarz’s title and orders him to be defeated. By the time Free and his team return to HQ, they realize that Nein and others have left for war. Only the supporting staffs are left behind. This means Free has to deliver the letter to Golbarn himself. He does so and it seems Ray has got wind about Schwarz’s rebellion. Uhm, a bit too late this warning? But that is not all. The letter also states the war at Hybranz is just a diversion. No wonder Nein is puzzled why those soldiers aren’t putting up any fight and easily surrender. But it’s too late as the enemy is attacking the main palace. Damn, Liscar and his mercenaries just slowly waltzing towards the palace and shoot any dumb soldiers who can’t even shoot straight at them?! WTF?! Schwarz is seen with Wolfran. His plan isn’t to monopolize the fairies and having a free competition, this will give rise to new development and reforms, opening up a new world. Free and his men are the only ones in Dorothea who can counter the enemies attacking the palace. Free has a fairy weapon himself. It belonged to his late friend. He’s good in handling the sword. Did he have practice with it away from our eyes? I thought fairy weapons are sealed? Free finds it odd that the enemies are using attacks as decoys as he tries to figure out their true motive. Liscar and his mercenaries have finally reached the main palace. Even so, those damn soldiers still can’t hit him with their shots as he slowly walks in! They really have Stormtrooper aim!!! No wonder Liscar can whistle all the way while challenging them to shoot him right in the forehead! But playtime is over. Time to get serious in rewriting history.

Episode 12
Liscar and his men waltz in and just massacred all the soldiers. Either they are too good or the soldiers are just bad. Schwarz talks to Wolfran about history. Golbarn was the king of Cidal and launched an invasion of neighbouring Timoon. Garlan took Emperor Castal Harol from the imperial capital of Mazria which was under Ledrad’s control. Order was maintained by Ledrad’s manipulation of the emperor in which Schwarz’s team them was acting as accomplice. When the war was over, Schwarz thought Golbarn would become the emperor but he instead remained loyal. Perhaps the fear of the stigma of being the usurper. Once all this is over and Schwarz has the emperor in his hands, those pretending to be Golbarn’s ally will defect and leave Zesskia en masse. Free finally finds Liscar and they fight. But Free doesn’t intend to defeat Liscar himself. With the help of Marlya and Serge, they push Liscar into a corner. It’s time so Liscar gives the signal for his men to withdraw. Schwarz now storms his way to the emperor’s room. So his excuse is to protect him? After killing all the soldiers? Noticing that Wolfran is missing, he sees Ray. Schwarz thinks Wolfran is also working under him but Ray easily kills him. That was fast. Schwarz is stunned that he is so powerful but still kissed up to Golbarn. Well, Ray never liked Schwarz in the first place. Marlya wants to go after Liscar for revenge but is stopped by Free. He reminds her that they have done their duty as Dorothea. The enemy has retreated from the palace and that they have won.

Episode 13
As the palace undergoes repairs, this episode fleshes out the past of Suna that was peppered throughout the first half. Ray and his brother, Jurgen often visited the forest where the fairies reside. Suna was a place blessed with fairy primordials that it is a fairy village. But fairy villages over the world dwindled due to excessive fairy hunting. Then there are those who worship fairies and consider them as pure and innocent. If that is the case, does it justifies anything they do? It is that pureness that makes them a threat. Ray’s father, Thori was one of the many guardians who protected the fairy forest along with Ivan and Olek. When an Esteemed One was spotted, Ivan tried to distract it but ended up sacrificing himself to appease it. One tragedy after another because it was the same day his daughter, Marlya was born. And that same day, her mom, Tereza who gave birth to her, died soon after. Deira, Suna’s fortune teller wants the ritual conducted to appease the Esteemed One by finding the blessed child. After all, the stars already pointed out the cursed child. Thori was against this ritual because the last time, it sacrificed 4 blessed children and 1 of them was his sister. Hence Thori sacrificed himself by leading the Esteemed One deep into the forest. As Marlya grew up as a cursed child, she was raised by Jurgen and his wife. She became friends with Veronica who was the blessed child as she didn’t care about Marlya being a cursed child. Then one day, Ray marched into Suna with his army. Disregarding Jurgen’s advice, he has his men burn down the place and kill everybody. Because he views fairies having no will of their own, it is foolish to let them run loose. Also, to end this war, he decided to eliminate the fairy village just to control the excessive power that would otherwise make people go astray. Of course Ray killed his own brother as the other villagers get mercilessly slaughtered. Veronica as we have seen vowed revenge and she became the bait to let Marlya get away. Now, Ray is being celebrated as a hero as he returns. Marlya knows revenge won’t change the past but Veronica thinks differently. He’ll get what he deserves.

Episode 14
Dorothea is escorting Ray back to Tsubal. So can Veronica ride her bike and catch up with the train? But wait. The bridge explodes. Gauging from Veronica’s reaction, she isn’t the one who set up the bomb. With Ray saved, they spend the night in a nearby abandoned castle. In a room, he is visited by Wolfran and Michel Conner, a descendent of the Red Fairy Tome. Ray believes those out to kill him are Schwartz sect of the Arcame remnants. Of course the latter’s target is also Wolfran for turning traitor. Deep in the knight, truckloads of artificial fairies are spotted. I bet those pea shooters can’t stop the rampaging trucks. Dorothea goes into formation to maintain order. Wolfran suggests Michel take Ray and escape. Veronica sneaks in hoping to ambush Ray but is met with Wolfran. They both fight and when they draw out their fairies, Wolfran understands Veronica’s situation after knowing she is a Suna survivor. And then Free and Marlya come into the picture. Guys fight with each other but Veronica calls it quits and escape? Marlya follows her. So we get a glimpse of how Veronica was saved by Damien who is a descendent of the author of the Black Fairy Tome. Damien observes Veronica interacting with a fairy in his home and then absorbing it into her heart. Now the girls sit and talk nicely about their past. Until their ideals start to diverge. As you know, Veronica wants to kill Ray and isn’t amused that Marlya is now protecting him. Marlya understands how she feels and even though killing Ray won’t bring back Suna, they both have each other. Sorry folks, no yuri time here but eventually Veronica remains steadfast to her believes and leaves. Marlya vows to always find her even when she gets lost. Meanwhile the guys continue to duke it out. How can Free understand if Wolfran don’t explain anything? Ah well. Both sides taken enough damage. Time to call it a night. Before Wolfran escapes, he asks what Free is fighting for. What is he protecting. What will he have left.

Episode 15
In the final day of the war when Olbany the Ledrad king announced an official surrender, he also took his own life when many of his soldiers were still fighting to protect him in the battlefield. Free failed to stop Wolfran from leaving after the war ended. He realized he didn’t understand a lot about him. Free reports to Nein about the recent incident. It is believed that Wolfran has betrayed Arcame because it left Schwarz dead and Arcame on the verge of being wiped out. This info came from Robert who interrogated an Arcame member, Gail Dope. Dorothea turn their attention to eliminating Arcame. It is not easy task as Arcame doesn’t have a chain of command. So they have to individually wipe out each hideout. Free then ropes in Axel in hopes he could get more info out of Gail. It leads to Dorothea storming into the residence of Christoph Rahn. He is the last son of Olbany but not the son of the queen. They search his place for evidence but nothing so far. It is believed he supported the rebels by disclosing a secret underground pathway into the palace. As a royalty, he knows such route unlike the unified government and hence told it to Schwarz and Arcame. Now that Christoph is not home, they believe he has fled and in hiding. We take a short detour seeing Marlya still having low self-confidence. Still not over Oz’s death? Still consider yourself a cursed child? Leave it to Serge to say how everyone in Dorothea will gladly lay down their life to protect others. So believe in us. Marlya crying like that, I assume she’s over it? News of Christoph has been found in the slums. His body. While it looked like he killed himself, another quick take shows that somebody killed him. As Axel discovered his body first, he is suspected and arrested despite he denied doing anything. But we see a flashback that Axel met Christoph and talked. Seems Christoph wanted to meet Liscar and get his support but Axel disagreed seeing he knows a lot and this would put him in danger. Axel then swiftly killed him.

Episode 16
Griff realizes that part of the many confiscated items from the cargo ship of an island port town is the real Black Fairy Tome. Since this is too much for him to handle, he reports to Bellwood who in turn reports to Golbarn. Hence the sending of Dorothea there to investigate. Damien and Veronica are sneaking into the admin office where the tome is kept but looks like somebody has beaten them to it and left trails of dead guards. That guy is Eajay Daven Thor who is one of the top executives of Gui Carlin. Veronica fights him but is no match for his fairy. Plus, he has a fairy weapon. Damien tells her to escape. We hear Eajay talk about Crucia Albastora who wrote the Black Fairy Tome and believes Damien is his descendant. Eajay’s ancestor, Colen Thor wrote the White Fairy Tome and did a lot of extensive research. He believes that as Albastora was a student of Colen and hence stole many of his teacher’s works, took credit for it to write the Black Fairy Tome. Sweetie and Patricia are also here to steal the tome but seeing Eajay around, this guy is bad news. Hence they go meet Damien and Veronica in hopes of teaming up against Eajay. Thanks to the fire on the admin office, the island is cordoned off and nobody leaves. Damien spots Free and Marlya. He goes talk to them in hopes of extracting some info. Meanwhile the ladies talk about Eajay and here comes this guy looking to pick a fight with them. Sweetie takes Veronica hostage in hopes to strike a deal with him. When that fails, Patricia attacks with her fairy. Too much to handle? Run! Sweetie’s turn. Too hard for her too. Escape! Veronica, your turn. Come on, ladies! This guy too tough for you to beat?! She too flees. It gets complicated when Veronica flees into Marlya. Free takes on Eajay but his sword breaks. Eajay has changed his mind and challenges anybody who can get the tome from him. Of course he isn’t going to play fair and uses a hostage to allow himself to escape. Marlya questions who Damien is because he seems to know Veronica.

Episode 17
Damien is also arrested and brought back to HQ for interrogation. But he will alone speak to Nein alone. Damien reveals he is a descendent of Albastora instead of Carme (the family who created artificial fairy models). Having said so, he knows all the contents written in the Black Fairy Tome. Meanwhile Free and Marlya wait outside as they talk about the fairy tomes divided into 5 pieces: Original, red, blue, white and black. Among them, only black doesn’t exist but 200 years ago, Alan Bach tried to compile all of them but only the black part was removed. It is believed he deliberately split it into 9 parts and encoded them. It could be worth a lot, that’s why many are after it. Damien continues his revelation to Nein that the Albastora clan wanted to deleted the Black Fairy Tome before it got released because those who read it might crave for it even more. Of course Bach secretly retained a copy and now there are some trying to assemble it. Not just Gui Carlin but other groups that are far more dangerous. Nein then sees Bellwood to confirm that Gui Carlin stole that Black Fairy Tome and wants to use this chance to eradicate that mafia group. He gives his permission. Free sees Sweetie and knows she is hiding here as this is the safest from Gui Carlin who is also out for her blood. He wants her to spill everything about Gui Carlin and in exchange, Dorothea will not chase her anymore. Nein then presents a list of those closely connected with Gui Carlin to Golbarn. Some are high ranking ministers and rich businessmen. Even some helping in the unification after the war. Golbarn gives his permission for this operation. But if this sting turns out wrongly identifying the culprits, Nein will take responsibility and resign. Hence we see Dorothea going into full swing to arrest all those people. One night, Free and Marlya secretly take Damien away on Nein’s orders. The manhunt for Eajay is turning out to be the biggest manhunt ever so if some find out Damien is here, they might target and kill him. Marlya wants Damien to stop ordering Veronica to do things. He denies and that she has her own reasons for doing so. Whether or not she wants to go ahead with the revenge, it is up to Veronica herself to decide. Damien thinks everyone is alone and Veronica won’t come back to him now. Marlya disagrees. Veronica still has her.

Episode 18
Nein reports to Bellwood the several high profile arrests including some traitors within the government. Because she also suspects some corruption within the ministry of fairies, Bellwood will thoroughly investigate his staff. Later Nein talks to Damien about Bellwood who is a descendent of Hel S. Bellwood, the first fairy scholar and creator of the Fairy Tome. And also something about an old religious sect called Eins Order. Sweetie and Patricia are in Mazria where Eajay is holing up. Knowing that Dorothea will also be here to take action, they will use this commotion to steal the tome. As Dorothea infiltrates via the secret underground passageways, they stumble into a section where lots of corpses are dumped. They are failed surgical experiments of fairy soldiers that Eajay is trying to do. Eajay talks to his right hand man, Quatoe about the chicken and egg problem: Did God or fairies come first? For fairy scholars, the fairies did as this follows the teachings of the Eins. Eajay doesn’t care as he will use them as he sees fit. Eajay gets word that several men from the lookout posts are dead. Get ready for action. Dorothea has their hands full in dealing with the Gui Carlin mafia but also Quatoe who can summon several fairies. He is one of the few successful cultivated Fairy Soldiers. Nothing like a few trust in your comrades to have Dorothea beat the whole lot of them. Eventually Free sees off Quatoe to have a final showdown with Eajay. Oddly, they fight on a flimsy wooden scaffold. I can see how this is going to end. Eajay getting desperate as he rants about fairies should be set free and not used by anyone. Humans and fairies will live together in harmony. Eh? Wasn’t he trying to take advantage of the fairies? Somehow conveniently, Free makes a nasty slash across Eajay. Eajay wants to take him down with him as he cuts the ropes. Only Eajay falls to his death because Marlya jumps to grab him to safety. Wow. Can she even do that? Is this the power of trusting your comrades? I thought summoning a fairy would be easier, though… Eajay’s death means the end of Gui Carlin. But Veronica is seen taking his fairy weapon. As Dorothea retrieves the Black Fairy Tome and prepare to return to HQ, they are ambushed by Wolfran. Even more shocking, Michel is using the same fairy as Oz.

Episode 19
But the fairy goes berserk and doesn’t listen to his command. Marlya could ‘hear’ the fairy’s voice claiming it doesn’t want to fight. In the end, the fairy leaves Michel’s body and vanishes. When Marlya tries to interrogate him, he claims that the Black Fairy Tome is now complete and their ideal world will begin. No longer will it be ruled by man. Marlya reports this to Nein. From what Michel says, it could mean that the ministry of fairies could be behind this as they have the remaining volumes. So having this last volume means they have the complete set. They realize the twisted system when a Fairy Soldier dies, their fairy organs become the properties of the ministry of fairies so as they could use them again. Marlya then tells of the fairy’s voice she heard. She feels weird about this because she didn’t undergo a fairy organ transplant like Fairy Soldiers. Nein reveals she could be fairy possessed. It is a rare occurrence whereby a fairy possesses a human directly. This is the same for Veronica and Ray. Could it just be a coincidence that they come from Suna? Marlya was never told about the details about this since they were forbidden to enter the fairy forest. Nein thinks Damien can enlighten them about fairy possessed. Meanwhile Wolfran gives the final volume of the tome to Bellwood and he is very pleased. Damien deduces that Bellwood’s goal is to resurrect the Divine Beast said to be equal to God. In the past, it happened before and turned the prosperous ancient kingdom of Tupal into a desert of death. This means Bellwood’s next step is to secure a fusion, a fairy possessed organ. Damien requests to see Golbarn and he will explain everything from the past to what he has done. Golbarn is disappointed that yet again another trusted comrade is a traitor. He asks Free that they were enemies during the war. But why is he now working with the enemy he once fought? Because he doesn’t want to see another war like that ever again. Golbarn gives the directive to arrest Bellwood and all his accomplices and leaves this entirely to Dorothea. That night, all the units surround the building of the ministry of fairies.

Episode 20
As they barge in, they realize the fairy weapons have been taken away. Entering Bellwood’s office, he isn’t here but a suicide bomber! Had Free not acted promptly by using his fairy to throw away the bomb, they could’ve been goners. It is believed that Bellwood is the leader of Eins while Griff and Wolfram are his lieutenants. Knowing their next step is to get a fairy possessed, Marlya informs the rest about her fairy possessed condition. They are surprised at first but make no big deal of it. Marlya is still Marlya. Another one of those unfounded worries blown away. Dorothea spend their time trying to look for Eins. They have no leads until they look at the confiscated records of Bellwood and Griff’s unusual long leave during office. They visited odd places and one of them being Wolfran’s hometown. Free and Marlya go there to ask the locals. An old man reveals Wolfran was devastated to learn his wife and daughter died. He became disillusioned he fought the war for nothing. Though there is a grave for them, it does not contain their bodies. Wolfran was then approached by Bellwood and they talked for a long time. Meanwhile Wolfran visits Michel in prison. The latter telling him someone in Dorothea is fairy possessed. Wolfran gives him a lethal potion to make it look like natural death. Free and Marlya are in the next town to find Olek, someone who is associated with Bellwood. But when that name rings a bell, Marlya returns to Suna to find Olek living as a recluse. He didn’t die then when Ray’s soldiers attack. He talks to them about the balance and bridge between the worlds that the fairies play an important role. Also a brief history of Tupal how man wanted to be superior to fairies and instead of summoning God, the Divine Beast is actually a demon. So those who were going to be used by Tupal as sacrificed, ran away to Suna and hence it is the origins of this land. Marlya is shocked to learn that Veronica was supposed to be the one offered as a sacrifice. Because when you’re giving a gift, you want it to be the best, right? A few years ago, Bellwood did come here. Because Olek was poor, he revealed all the fairy secrets for money. In the end, Bellwood and is men captured the Esteemed One. Free and Marlya hurry back but as they stop for the night, Marlya is out by herself and thinking about things when she is approached by Wolfran. Griff enters Golbarn’s office and kills him with his fairy. So this is how saving the world looks like?

Episode 21
Since Marlya won’t go with Wolfran, time to summon those fairies and fight. Marlya can hear his fairy saying it doesn’t want to fight. She thinks she can save him but he laughs at that idea. It’s not like she knows everything about him. Wolfran flees when Free comes to her aid. When they return to HQ, they hear about Golbarn’s assassination. With Eins knowing Marlya is fairy possessed, Nein wants Marlya off the case. On the contrary, Marlya wants to become the bait to lure Eins out. It is dangerous but her comrades promise to protect her. Ray comes to town to seek an audience with Harol. As he wants to help Zesskia in these trying times, he will relinquish his current position and take Golbarn’s post as Prime Minister. Harol agrees and appoints him. Wolfran reports his failure to capture Marlya. But with Golbarn’s assassination, this has brought all the fairy possessed into the same area. Because where Ray goes, Veronica will be waiting to kill him. Then there is a riot in the prisons. As some prisoners run free, Axel is confronted by Wolfran who wants him to deliver a message. Ray learns that Marlya is a survivor of Suna. So he summons her to talk privately and the moment he does, he calls out his fairy to attack hers. This is to test her ability to hear what the fairy is saying. As he too could hear the fairy’s voice, he tells her not to listen to the fairies. It is the voice of the people that they must listen. This is a world that humans built and the balance the fairies are trying to maintain no longer exists. He reveals the reason he burnt down Suna because he once thought he should be the only person to be fairy possessed. Knowing that Veronica is fairy possessed and wants him dead, they need to find her quickly to keep Eins from using her. Don’t have to tell that to Marlya. And then it’s like Marlya just realized her fairy pet, Chima could be useful after all. Remembering it can probably smell others with fairies, she has it sniff out Veronica’s whereabouts. Gee, never thought of this before, huh? What convenience. And when it sniffs Veronica hiding behind some door, Marlya tries to convince her to come under Dorothea’s protection since Eins is after her. As we expect, Veronica isn’t buying into that and still wants revenge. Veronica is still reeling from the suffering of the fairies and believes humans are to blame. And then Veronica just ‘vanishes’ once more, leaving Marlya behind. Her voice didn’t reach her… Axel sees Liscar and delivers the message that he is needed for the ‘final stage’.

Episode 22
A state funeral is held for Golbarn. Dorothea escorts Ray to the place but of course, enemies attack. With artificial fairy soldiers blocking their paths, Dorothea has got to find alternatives to get Ray to safety. Free once more clashes with Wolfran but this time the latter is using Fratanil. Eventually Ray’s escort comes under attack. He is forced to fight Liscar and Ray is no pushover. Until Ray gets injured, Nein switches with him to fight the war crazy mercenary. He even gives her fairy weapon so as to fight on equal terms. Marlya and Robert reach a secret safe house. After Robert leaves to find medical help, Veronica pops up. I guess now is the time for revenge. Since Marlya can’t shoot her, Veronica goes all out to fight Ray who can only defend himself. The fight takes a breather, allowing Ray to explain what he did was unforgiveable and that he isn’t seeking forgiveness. He believes people like them (the fairy possessed) shouldn’t exist in this world. Also, ancient beings have been misleading people and should be destroyed, thus his destruction of Suna. If man wants to kill, he should do it with his own hands. Marlya thinks he is lying when he says he has no regrets. Because this is not the first time Veronica tried to kill him. She did so before and was arrested but each time he released her. He did so because he regretted his actions. But because of this, she gets to see Veronica. For that she is grateful for him. Ray doesn’t deserve to be thanked. Only hated. Marlya doesn’t intend to forgive him either but hating or killing him won’t make things better. Yeah, Veronica so confused no wonder she’s getting so emotional. Even more so when Ray apologizes from the bottom from his heart. Cue for Marlya and Veronica to get back close together again and give each other some hope. Sorry to ruin this (yuri?) moment because Griff is here to take one of them and kill the rest. Ray protects the ladies with his fairies to let them escape. So he pays the price as Griff drags him back to his base, puts his fairy organ into the Esteemed One. Or is it the Divine Beast? It roars back to life. Beginning of the end.

Episode 23
With the Divine Beast turning everything into sand, Bellwood and his Eins fellow gladly embrace the new era. Yeah, I guess they found their salvation. RIP. Do Marlya and Veronica have enough time talking about escaping and surviving? I mean, Marlya just reunited with Veronica and now she wants her to leave to be safe? Didn’t you promise from now on you’ll be together? We get it. You’re family. No time for such talk. The Divine Beast is rampaging. Nein finally kills Liscar. But he dies a happy man. Nein also took on a near fatal damage from him. Sophie is about to kill her but Dorothea reinforcements are here. It’s like once Liscar is dead, all his men lost their vitality. Yeah, Dorothea so sharp shooting and killing all of them off! Even Sophie! Can’t believe she easily died like that. Back to Free and Wolfran’s fight. We know Wolfran isn’t going to listen to his words about being free and moving forward. He just wants to destroy everything after his family’s supposed death. But Free has the better will. After cutting through Fratanil, he won’t kill Wolfran. He knows nothing will be solved. What good will it do if they kill each other? Only survivors pass on their knowledge and that’s how they get better. And yeah, Free isn’t such a kind person to kill him. Free notices the Divine Beast came out from some cave. He thinks this is where Eins’ base is and heads there to find some answers on how to stop it. However only Griff is there. Looks like he wasn’t stupid enough to sacrifice himself. So he intends to be the one who will create a new world order? Typical megalomaniac but at least he was sneaky enough to use others for his goal. Free fights him and is surprised that he has a fairy weapon too. But Free won’t have to fight him alone. Wolfran joins him. So now Wolfran is also a changed man? Don’t want to die now, huh? As Marlya gets closer to the Divine Beast, she can hear its voice. Seems it doesn’t want to destroy humans but has no other choice, Time for Marlya to be a heroine. She’s going to save and free the Divine Beast.

Episode 24
Eins’ goal was to let the Divine Beast wipe out civilization and let the fairies rebuild the world as they see fit. However Griff knows very well the Divine Beast will not entirely wipe out humanity due to some limitation. I mean, isn’t that why humanity still survived after Tupal’s downfall? Hence Griff’s plan is to become the new leader of the survivors. Yeah, great goal. Only if Wolfran didn’t kill him! Good grief for Griff. Haha! Whoops. Meanwhile Marlya and Veronica realize that their fairy weapons keep them safe from being turned to dust. The plan now is to cut open a hole in it, then summon a fairy to go inside and destroy its fairy organ. So this is how to set free the Divine Beast? Okay. Never try, never know. Of course it is harder than it looks and Veronica gets impaled! Oh no! So kind of the Divine Beast to give the ladies some time to talk it over because you know somebody’s death flag is coming up. So after Veronica telling Marlya to live her part, she pushes her into the hole while she herself gets turned into sand. No time to cry over sand. Veronica’s fairy joins with Marlya’s and now she has a fusion of a badass fairy. At least Veronica now lives inside her, no? With Free coming by, convenient transport to get up close to the Divine Beast. Enough for Free to slash it open and Marlya using her new hybrid fairy to fly inside and destroy the Divine Beast once and for all! Just endure the big sandstorm finale. And then we have Marlya talking about the fairies will be gone with everything else because humans has lost too much. But Free remains optimistic as long as somebody remembers, what they’ve protected will still be there. And so he wants to remember and know more about Veronica? Indeed. Marlya has lots to tell him but first she has to stop her crying. In the aftermath, humans continue to live and rebuild their lives. We see snippets of what happened to other characters like Axel being arrested again, Damien joining the ministry of fairies, Nein still heading Dorothea instead of contemplating Prime Minister post, Wolfran back in his hometown and Sweetie and Patricia travelling the world! You go travel, girls! You’re free! Free and Marlya continue to work hard at Dorothea since there is still the possibility of using fairies as weapons. Well, as long as humans are still around…

Fairly Gone To The Dogs
Oh well, at least the good news now is that Marlya doesn’t have to further chase after Veronica as she can now be easily found at one resting place. HAHAHA!!! Oops, sorry. But you get what I mean. Too bad no potential future yuri. And with quite a few characters dead, it doesn’t seem likely that anybody is going to pose a new threat and become the next megalomaniac to take over the world or repeat the disaster of destroying it. I mean, all those really suspicious guys whom you will suspect to be evil underneath their skin or the potential individuals or organizations to misuse the fairy power have all met their demise. Maybe the king. Maybe the military minister. But they look more like wuss who could get their asses kicked without Dorothea’s protection. Just exaggerating but I can’t dismiss that feeling. So the world is safe for now to give fairies some breathing space to live until mankind rebuilds itself. Well, if history has ever showed us, it has clearly repeated itself here.

Sad to say that the story is all over the place and it is really hard to pinpoint what is actually going on. Firstly, it would be wrong to just blame it all on the producers of this series, P.A. Works. You see, unlike many other studios who adapted stories from sources like manga, light novels or even video games, P.A. Works have been trying to produce original anime series over the years. From the recent (and I mean that by a few years ago) Irozuku Sekai No Ashita Kara and Tenrou: Sirius The Jaeger right back up to their early days producing Angel Beats, Hanasaku Iroha and Tari Tari, Fairy Gone is yet another one of those original works. I agree that creating something new is quite hard and a herculean feat but given their years of experience, I thought they would have improved. Maybe they need more time? I don’t know. Not my place to say. But Fairy Gone isn’t one of their greatest original works if I should say the least.

It’s nice to see them trying to break away from the high school teen drama that I often saw such as Hanasaku Iroha, Irozuku Sekai No Ashita Kara Tari Tari, Nagi No Asakura, Glasslip and Haruchika. But Fairy Gone isn’t their first supernatural series. RDG: Red Data Girl, Another and even Uchouten Kazoku are considered supernatural themed animes they have produced before. With Fairy Gone, they’re trying to incorporate some dark themes and elements into the series and with some action too. Something like Tenrou: Sirius The Jaeger but replacing the vampires with fairies.

It is very unfortunate that instead of learning the lore and setting of the fairies (which I believed at first was going to be the core of the series), instead it dabbled more into human politics. With that kind of title, naturally anyone will be inclined to think that fairies would be the main star and focus of this show. But instead we got politics especially for the first half AKA first season of the series. What’s this about some hidden agenda to disunite a united Zesskia? Bits and pieces of information about the fairies are made known to light later on but considering where we have gone and arrived at, it felt too late. Even so, the fairies still do not amount to anything much. And those fairy scholars, I thought they would be something big but I guess they needed to cook up something for history lessons of fairies. Because it didn’t really matter what colour the tome was and who the original fairy author was, it was just that black one some cult order needed to bring Armageddon. The rest didn’t matter anyway but it needed to be mentioned so as if to make it look ‘meatier’. Hey, at least that’s how I felt.

So aside the human politics, they try to put in several other mini plots in hopes of making it all interesting and then everything just comes together and culminates towards the end. Well, I don’t think went smoothly for me. Because most of the time I felt confused and everything was one big wild goose chase. For instance, Dorothea keep trying to track down and chase that Black Fairy Tome. The contents and whoever wants it are unknown until plot convenience says so. So in the meantime, we have Dorothea chasing down mafia clans like Arcame and Gui Carlin in which both organized crime syndicates got conveniently wiped out as the story progresses. Then there was that assassination attempt on Golbarn and Schwarz obviously having ulterior motives. And oh yes, I almost forgot. Veronica still trying to assassinate Ray. That felt like one of the longest side plots ever. Veronica biding her time and waiting for the right moment to just kill that old dude while every other plots happen in between. It just feels odd. And in the end, Veronica didn’t sully her hands taking that guy’s life and Ray somewhat repented but sometimes when I think about it, the long wait for revenge felt wasted. Ah, a true friend who persistently spams and virtue signals you why you mustn’t kill. Good thing, right?

Another reason why I find this series hard to follow is because of the locations. I know, this is a fantasy world and there are really made up countries and kingdoms. So in the initial episodes where the story is starting to roll and all, I got really confused when they were talking about this certain country to that certain country. Like, where the hell is that? I mean, where the heck is Rondacia?! Kal-O? Where’s that? Which country borders it? Hybranz? Sighs… It gets worse when they start stating places but also state in parenthesis that it was the former region of a former country. So much more confused!!! And they also put the year or something but my brains are too lazy to think if this was 5 years ago or 10 years ago or 50 years ago… You get the idea. I believe there was a map shown of the continent this world is set on but it is very brief and unless you pause and study it, normal lazy viewers like me aren’t going to remember the geography of this world. Making it worse, the newly unified countries of Zesskia all look the same. You know those same boring brick buildings you see here, they’re abundance too in other countries. It’s like they don’t have any landmarks of their own to distinguish one country from another. No wonder I’m so confused.

Incorporating fairies into soldiers means that you’re going to expect some sort of fairy fighting, right? Well, it might look novel at first that humans who are implanted with fairies get to summon them to aid them in battle. However this novelty wears off very fast. Because you realize the fairies don’t actually don’t do much sh*t except rumbling with each other in the background while the humans duke it out with each other (in which this is what the action scenes mostly focus on). Hence summoning fairies to fight sometimes feels redundant and just a mere sideshow to fulfil the criteria of using fairies in a fight. Come to think of it, summoning fairies to fight feels like a creepier and twisted version of Pokemon battles! It is with great misfortune that this is the ‘biggest’ roles the fairies will ever get to play since they won’t usually last long and will be re-summoned back into the human owner after a while. Yeah, didn’t make any headway. So why continue the fight? Besides, it saddens me that the fairies fighting each other are more boring than the humans fighting! Some fairies have their own special abilities but they are hardly used and what we usually see are just fairies roaring, charging and ‘wrestling’ with each other. That’s about it. Though, my favourite fairy still goes to Serge because it is like an arm blaster! Best fairy in terms of firepower.

It feels weird that a Fairy Soldier whenever he/she wants to summon his fairy, he/she has to put his hand over his heart to activate it. Strange, why? Because it feels like they are about to get a heart attack! No, seriously. When they first did this pose, that actually crossed my mind. What the heck is this cardiac arrest pose just to summon their fairy?! So I suppose there could be that one time when Dorothea got trolled because some old guy just got a heart attack and they thought he was summoning his fairy. Psyche! No fairy. Just a normal heart attack. And it must be a safety mechanism that when the fairy owner takes enough damage, the fairy disappears back inside. Because I don’t remember seeing anybody dying with their fairies summoned out so I can’t say that when the fairy dies, the owner also dies.

As for the human characters, well, I already said the story is in a mess. Hence the characters didn’t do any good to make the story interesting. And because of all the human politics, it got messier. Some minor characters just live up to their role sufficient for plot convenience like those mafia guys. For instance, why the heck do we need that Eajay character for? Like as though they needed some final boss fight to truly bring the demise of Gui Carlin. Yup, that mafia clan is done. Can get them out of the way now and let the other real plot surface. And why do we need Liscar in the first place? Some war crazy person who was once part of the Seven Knights just to add to the action sequence? You betcha. Because it was really a no brainer that he and his mercenaries waltz right into the palace while killing all the inept guards. Like, WTF was that all about?! Oh, they also kill him and the rest of his troops so as not to worry about this faction. How convenient.

As for the main characters, they try to flesh out Free and Marlya but with all the convoluted plot in between, sometimes the drama and their character back story feel forced. Like how Marlya at first keeps feeling guilty because of her cursed status and it took quite a while before she accepts her comrade’s trust. Good, because now she gets to go save Veronica. Yeah, spamming that Suna flashback from time to time. Like as though plot convenience once again rearing its ugly head so that Marlya could finally change Veronica’s mind about revenge or something. Speaking of her, being an assassin and biding her time just to get that single revenge, I don’t know if she is serious or not. I mean, how long has she waited for this moment? Perhaps she doesn’t really want to kill Ray as much as she wants to make us think we do. She just needed somebody to convince her to stop. After all, aside plot convenience, isn’t it more than just coincidence that Marlya stumbles into Veronica in so many occasions? Could it be today that Veronica changes over a new leaf? Not yet. Still got a lot more episodes to go. Heh. And Free… Shucks, don’t remember too much about him except his best friend got killed during his soldier days so he’s just trying to move forward and continuing living. To say he is Marlya’s pillar of strength isn’t accurate either. But without him, she might have followed Veronica’s footsteps albeit in a different fashion.

And this Wolfran… You think he is the real baddie but a veteran like me has the guts saying that good looking guys like him aren’t as bad as you think. Sure, the cliché revenge guy who wants to kill everything because his wife and daughter were taken away and he had no more reason to live. Maybe this guy is like Veronica too. He just needs somebody to stop him and he doesn’t want to really destroy everything. Yeah, because letting some monster killing innocent children all over the world who is unrelated to his revenge seems like a big dick move. And so they try to keep you guessing about Wolfran. Once a Fairy Soldier, he is now with Arcame? Nope. Working for Ray. Somewhat. But gotcha! He is really in cohorts with Eins. Haha! Man of no principle he is right. Now he is back fighting alongside Free. Okay. I guess that’s for the best. It is ironic that Veronica and Wolfran atoned their ways one by dying and the other by living. Is it me or am I starting to notice that blonde heads mostly are the troublemakers here?! From Veronica to Wolfran, we also have Griff and Patricia too. Sophie is a minor blonde too. Sweetie and Liscar aren’t but it would be really damning and suspicious if they were blondes…

Art and animation quality, I guess they are pretty okay. Considering this is done by P.A. Works, there are lots of good looking people here. Like I’ve pointed out before, this isn’t their usual high school teen drama so lots of very mature woman here if you’re not into those younger teen type. The fairy designs are, uhm, hideous! Worse, they are made from CGI so their movements are really one kind. I think they want to make fairies look not like your typical Tinkerbell and hence all the vicious monstrous looks. But sometimes it feels like they are Halloween rejects. Really. Like, Marlya’s fairy comes off more than creepy than scary. I mean, what the heck is that maiden supposed to be?! At first I thought this world was going to be steampunk but it is more like some European dystopia. As said, the gloomy atmosphere and architecture is one of the reasons I couldn’t tell apart the countries. I said steampunk because earlier on there was this bizarre vehicle that moves around not on wheels but via artificial legs! It seems so creepy for a vehicle to move like a scurrying spider or something! I really want to know the mechanics of how this actually works and how it gives the passengers a smooth ride. But subsequently this contraption is slowly forgotten because it’s more convenient to just use your ordinary wheels, right? Yeah. Doesn’t take up space and it’s just so much simpler. And some of the character designs, well, I thought Serge looked like a descendent of Beethoven. Really. And Damien… This guy should enter the Jesus Christ look-a-like contest!

Voice acting is rather okay, recognizing a few veteran seiyuus such as Takehito Koyasu as Damein, Kenji Tsuda as Griff, Hochu Ohtsuka as Bellwood, Yuka Iguchi as Patricia and Shizuka Itou as Sophie, Hiroki Yasumoto as Eajay. The other casts are Tomoaki Maeno as Free (Mika in Kuutei Dragons), Kana Ichinose as Marlya (Asagi in Irozuku Sekai No Ashita Kara), Ayaka Fukuhara as Veronica (Lugh in Trinity Seven), Yoshimasa Hosoya as Wolfran (Reiner in Shingeki No Kyojin), Minako Kotobuki as Sweetie (Tsumugi in K-ON!), Eizou Tsuda as Ray (Heinemann in Muv-Luve Alternative: Total Eclipse), Ayaka Suwa as Klara (Chris in KonoSuba), Yoshiki Nakajima as Serge (Nitta in Hinamatsuri), Mie Sonozaki as Nein (Hazuki in Happy Lesson), Kouji Okino as Robert (Tetsutetsu in Boku No Hero Academia), Hisao Egawa as Liscar (Shiranui in Nabari No Ou), Takaya Hashi as Schwarz (Inuarashi in One Piece), Shouto Kashii as Golbarn (Deadwing in The Reflection) and Shinji Kawada as Axel (Shino in Naruto).

All the opening and ending themes are sung by [K]now_Name. I read many viewed the first opening theme, Knock On The Core to be an epic piece. But personally, I think it’s just another rock music. Not the kind to my liking but it does fit the pace and tone of this series. It’s the same for the second opener, Still Standing but adding more dramatic tone to the rock song. Hence I prefer the ending themes like Ash-like Snow (first ending theme) especially the heavily pounded piano accompaniment with the rock music as well as Stay Gold (second ending theme) which is more of a slow rock (I don’t know why, some parts of the song like the electric guitar solo remind me of Joan Osborne’s What If God Was One Of Us).

Overall, I guess it is somewhat true and now that I myself have confirmed it, this series is not as good as Katsute Kami Datta Kemono-tachi E (though this one isn’t all that good either but at least they could transform into their beast mode and fight!). Messy and confusing story plots and less than interesting characters as well as the atrocity of turning fairies into secondary features of the show are the main factors putting many off. Especially the typical human politics of typical evil human nature. Some things never changed. It does have some decent fight scenes but not enough to reverse the train wreck it has become at this point. It really had lots of potential but didn’t quite develop well enough to make things interesting (especially the history and lore of things pertaining to fairies). Maybe it didn’t have enough episodes to flesh things out properly but if it is not well thought out in the first place, no number of episodes is going to do any justice. Just like how no number of fairies killed is going to bring any form of balance or justice. Man can burn down and kill every fairy and the Divine Beast can turn everything into sand in its wake. But nothing can still stop bad animes marching away into our lives! Poor fairies. I think The Fairly OddParents have better treatment of fairies than this!

I was sceptical in watching Tenka Hyakken Meiji-kan E Youkoso at first. I didn’t think it would be my cup of tea despite the intriguing premise of hot babes maidens who are physical incarnations of ancient swords. They were living the peaceful life after the end of the war but a new battle will soon take place with the appearance of a new enemy from an alternative timeline. Looks okay at first. Until I read another synopsis that says that due to the recent events and hard training, they decide to accomplish a large change. Change into maid outfits! Oh wow! That’s it! I gotta see what this is all about.

Episode 1
We see the Masamune sisters of Houchou, Horinuki and Sukashi sneezing. Each time they do so, the plates break! They start blaming each other but more importantly… They need to hide! Seriously, they think this would work? So when Kuwana Gou and Goou Yoshimitsu try to find the cause of it, you’d think the sisters hiding under the bed would mean the storm would pass over. Until they sneeze… Dead giveaway… They get lectured by their big sister, Jouizumi. The little ones insist they don’t know anything about it. Yeah, but they’re the ones who started it, right? It is revealed that Goou might be the culprit as she released some pollen chemical in the air. Yeah, they’re allergic to pollen so what? Swords can’t beat pollen? But this means this round of sneeze has all the windows broken! I guess the business for today will be closed…

Episode 2
Sukashi admires Jouizumi and envisions her as the perfect flower. Her other sisters catch her in the act of peeping. During lunchbreak, Sukashi thinks how cool it would be if she could be like Jouizumi. Hence the rest has this devilish idea to let her imitate her. First, the looks. Yup, those heavy makeup makes her look more like a clown. Next, her coolness has Sukashi being turned her taller with boobs. Yeah, they can’t stop laughing. But it’s no laughing matter when Jouizumi finds out what they’re doing. Later, Jouizumi is concerned because is that what Sukashi’s vision of her looks like? Of course not! Sukashi feels down that she is beyond her reach. So Jouizumi that even if she is imitating her, she will soon find her own new self. If she ever loses herself, big sister will be glad to help. Now Jouizumi has ascended to an angelic status in Sukashi’s eyes.

Episode 3
Yayoi hosts a contest to see who can brag how cute Tsuda Echizen No Kami Sukehiro is. So the only contestants are her doting mom, Soboro and the Masamune sisters? And the prize is of course Tsuda herself. Mom would sure love to brag about her daughter’s cuteness but that will take about 3 days… So we get this short Q&A with Soboro why she’s so cute. And then we have the Masamune trio relating their memories with her. Who the f*ck is this robot loli?! Yayoi then mentions about producing dolls and many people have already pre-ordered them. Because Tsuda wants them cancelled, it seems this is predicted by the rest. Hence broken-hearted mama cries because she ordered them and the rest wants Tsuda to say something. All going as planned… Yeah, the whole tournament is just to setup Tsuda to say something thoughtful. Like, mom, you already have me, don’t you? Mommy so happy.

Episode 4
The Masamune sisters are soaking in the hotspring. When Kuwana joins in, Horinuki feels intimidated. With those huge jugs, I can see why. But Houchou then sleeps in her boobs and asks how they can grow big like her. I believe she’s talking about her boobs rather than overall growth, right? She assures them there is no rush as they will all eventually grow up just like them when they were their age. Then this is like the signal. Kuwana complaining her shoulders are stiff because of her heavy boobs. The trio decide to help give her a massage. She can’t say no, right? My, those hands are massaging at illicit places… And you thought hotsprings are supposed to be a place for relaxation and healing…

Episode 5
It’s Halloween. So Gokotai Yoshimitsu, and the Toushirou sisters, Midare, Gotou and Namazuo think they can get free sweets by doing trick or treat. However this concept is very alien to the Masamune sisters so they don’t understand what is happening. The quartet are also confused. Thinking they should put on a cute show, after Gokotai does so, the Masamune sisters think the mask on their head is controlling them. Hence they destroy the carved pumpkin decoration whom they believe is the main culprit. Nothing happens. More confusion. Then they show the Halloween flyer. Relieved that they are not being controlled, but they destroyed the store decoration. Jouizumi in depression because she worked hard to make that…

Episode 6
Horinuki and Sukashi fall sick. With everyone out for errands, Houchou is left to nurse them. It is hard for her to do some of the stuffs but she tries her best and doesn’t give up. When night falls, the duo are feeling much better. Goou is watching them and notes that it is thanks to Houchou that they got better. Houchou remains sceptical that she did anything big but Goou points out because she did it with her heart, that is the best treatment and medicine that anyone can get. Goou is proud of Houchou for doing a fine job and can count on her to do things when she is away.

Episode 7
When Kogarasumaru receives a letter, Nukemaru teases it is a love letter and gets scolded. She isn’t fazed since she has gotten used to her scolding. She is proud of that? The Masamune sisters think Nukemaru is a ninja and hopes she could show them a trick. After putting up a cheap disappearing trick, the sisters go in search for her. Of course they easily find her since stupid Nukemaru thinks she really blended in with the wall. Nukemaru then escapes with the sisters hot on her tail. Thing is, Nukemaru barges through the walls and leaves behind holes in it. Until they reach Kogarasumaru’s room. She gets angry and so the usual technique of running away from it. Retreat! No what are they going to do with all the holes all over the place?

Episode 8
Goou, Kuwana and Jouizumi are having tea together and talking about stuffs. Yup, just that. From hair split ends to a new tea sample they will receive soon and more hair care. YAWN!!!!!

Episode 9
It seems the girls are in trouble. Goou is manning mission control over this emergency threat. However it is too late as Momijigari Kanemitsu and Inaba Gou have already infiltrated the place. It all began because Momijigari ate Inaba’s rice without permission. So they launch a few bread missiles towards Inaba but she will not be defeated until she eats rice! Hence Momijigari goes to tickle Inaba as part of her self-sacrifice so that they could launch all the bread missiles at them. They get a direct hit and some weird reconciliation that they want to really eat rice together. Turns out to be a dream from Houchou. WTF. Trolled us. And both those girls are indeed enjoying their rice together.

Episode 10
It’s a BBQ party. Of course when meat is involved, it is not going to be civil. So we see all the girls using their special skills to try and take the meat. Hope they don’t destroy the place. But Kuwana may have gone overboard as she summons rain. The fire’s put out… When BBQ resumes, so does the war. Not sure what the Masamune sisters Trick Or Meat totem pole ability is supposed to do but they lost anyway. More stealing and eating and as the BBQ reaches its climax, Jouizumi realizes she hasn’t eaten much. So she decides to eat the final cut slices in one strike. She burns everything. Though the meat is nicely grilled, everyone else is burnt to a crisp. Toasty!

Episode 11
We have a weird adaptation of that Kaguya-hime folklore but with the Masamune sisters as the titular character. So born out of bamboo, they aimed for the moon, flew there in their rocket but upon reaching it, the dazzling moonlight has them recall some flashback. Something about their low self-esteem and thus the reason they couldn’t reach the moon previously. And some weird fight with their other selves (pie in face?) until they realize they can do it. And once they accepted each other, they decided to head for the moon. Upon arriving on the moon, there is nothing. The end.

Episode 12
It’s Christmas. The Masamune sisters have got presents for Jouizumi and co. Houchou gives Goou a doll. Uhm, it looks ugly… But if Goou finds it cute, so be it. Horinuki gives Kuwana a book. Lastly, Houchou gives Jouizumi and apple perfume. Of course they love their presents and they too got a surprise in store for the sisters. They also have presents for them and it is matching ribbons. Looking great, girls. Merry Christmas, everybody!

Dull Broken Blades
WTF did I just watch? WTF is the meaning of this entire series anyway?! Thankfully the shorts are only 3 minutes long but it still pains me that it achieved really nothing. All I have seen are just random standalone fillers that are supposed to be funny but failed to even make me chuckle. Instead, most of my face was like in WTF mode written all over. To be fair, I am guessing that this series is adapted from a popular mobile game and perhaps only diehard fans can appreciate what all those random skits are. They might pick up some references from the game too. But even so, I don’t think all that I have seen here has anything close to the premise that I said in my opening paragraph. It was probably the premise for the game but not the anime. Hey, when they animated this series, nobody knew what it was going to be about or at least which story or route it was adapting. But now we know.

In short, this series failed to make any impact on me who has never heard of the game before and after the season ended, I am sure not having the slightest interest to go check out it even though I have no intention to even play it if I have a sliver of interest. Okay, it did expose to others that there is such a series but if it was going to attract newer players to the game to then further increase the popularity of the game, I don’t think this anime did a good job. Thus, definitely you have not played the game and now nothing about the series, you will for sure be lost while watching this. I know, I was. You thought being short, random and funny would do the trick but apparently sad to say it did not. So basically from what I can see, it’s just girls just wanna have fun. Make that, sword girls just wanna have fun.

Worse still, the characters whom you just can’t relate to anything and don’t even make any significant impact. As said, only players who are familiar with the game might feel some sort of relevance and connection but to others outside this game, we are totally alien to everything. We can’t find any reason to support or even hate any of the characters. We just don’t care. And for a short series, they really introduced a lot of these characters. Some making their appearance once or twice while some like the Masamune sisters make more appearances because I have a feeling they are the main characters of the series. Oh right. That promotional poster must be the dead giveaway.

Anyhow, the series doesn’t try hard enough to even want to make you care for them. Because their names themselves are already hard to remember if you’re not into the Meiji era Japanese-like names and terms. So it was hard for me to remember who is who and especially with that kind of unique names, I keep forgetting them and had to multiple times check back again their name. I know their names are not as bad as certain names that sound like tongue twisters, but like I have said, the problem is that they did not give us any sort of motivation to care and hence there is no reason why we would even remember their names. That is why like yours truly found it so hard just to remember which one is Jouizumi, which one is Goou, which one is Kuwana. By the time I think I finally know who they are, the series is over. Phew. Thank goodness. And for those that appear only once, I guess they’re all forgotten once the episode ends. Hence I feel that other real swords like those in Sword Art Online, Fate/Stay Night, Bleach, Rurouni Kenshin and Inu Yasha have better personalities then them!

The art and animation are just rather mediocre. Nothing that I would really want to complain or nit-pick but nothing that I would also call good and decent. Overall it feels that most of the visuals are like sketches. I don’t know if it is a good idea because sometimes I think because of the sketchy art, it is an excuse to hide mediocre animation and its quality. Just saying. There was one part they used CGI on the characters and visually they look okay, the animation part felt weird. Do they even need to do this gimmick? Worse, the maid outfits aren’t the kind that I favour. Well, got to be fair, this is the Meiji era so in that era we have those kind of Meiji-like outfits even for maids. This show is animated by Lidenfilms who did Yamada And The Seven Witches, Koi To Uso, Tejina-senpai, Kishuku Gakkou No Juliet and Killing Bites.

There is only the opening theme for this series, Aka Hana Wo Sakasete by Ohanamishuu Tsubaki-gumi. While this rock piece sounds rather okay, my only gripe with it is how the series loves to cut off the song before it is finished. I guess that’s the only ‘unique’ thing this anime has that stands out from the others. I believe that this is done so to fit in the skits. Some are (slightly) longer than others so in order to fit it exactly 3.5 minutes for each episode, hence the sudden abruption and ending of the song so that we could get on with the story without further delay. Yeah, I think the characters who interrupted the song also made jokes about it eventually (which I sometimes too don’t get it). Uh huh. Time’s up. Time means money and we don’t have the budget to go more than 3.5 minutes per episode. However they played what I think is the full song for the final episode that lasts 1.5 minutes and taking up half of the final episode’s running time. I don’t think it’s their way of making it up for those abrupt cuts but rather the final episode has nothing much to tell so they inserted this to make up for the remainder of time.

Overall, this is one of the worst and boring animes of the season and possibly the year. Sometimes I want to complain that they clickbaited me with hot chicks in maid outfits and a deceiving plot summary but thinking in retrospect, I only have myself to blame for being such a gullible idiot who didn’t put much thought into deliberation. Oh yeah. How bad can 3 minutes per episode be? Yeah… Oh well, we deserve each other. I don’t know now if fans of the mobile game would actually appreciate this monstrosity but I certainly know that with this kind of blades, I think the enemy would not need to put in any effort to wipe them all out in one fell swoop. Yup, pretty disappointing. After all, swords are not meant to serve others in a maid café in the first place.

Senpai, our fight for the fourth season hasn’t begun yet. So before the next season begins, let’s take a look at Strike The Blood: Kieta Seisou-hen OVA first. I’m sure this will be the appetizer before more sci-fi crap sh*t hits the fan in the fourth season. Remember, this is not your fight alone. This is our fight!

Who Moved My Lance?
Kojou and Yukina wake up in a classroom together. Oh gosh. Did they finally do it? And Yukina in an old fashioned bloomers. Of course they have no memories what happened last night. But Yukina thinks something precious to her is missing. Oh Kojou, it’s not her virginity! It’s Sekkarou! What were you thinking?! As they leave the classroom, they see a bloodied bat on the floor and what’s inside Kojou’s pocket? A bra?! Definitely too big to be Yukina’s! Could be Sayaka’s. Oh sh*t! Worse, he sniffs it to make out its scent but Yukina misinterprets this scene… They move on the rooftop as Kojou thought he saw someone moving there. Lots of sheets being hung out to dry. Also there is Asagi’s swimsuit. That is when they remember they were here yesterday for supplementary swimming lessons. But before they could start, it rained. Astarte then came to inform them that swimming lessons are cancelled since a storm is brewing. Hence they got permission to take shelter in the school. When they see Asagi, it seems she is flushed with embarrassment. But she is relieved that Kojou doesn’t remember what happened last night. She hopes it will stay that way. Meanwhile, Motoki, Kiriha, Yuiri and Shio are investigating Vatler’s abandoned cruiser. Looks like some monster broke out of its cage and there is a magical artefact shield in another container. Investigating further, they are then assaulted by an army of mermen and a huge Kraken. Wanna bet this squid was the one who escaped its cage?

Meanwhile, heading into the home economics room, they find Nagisa dead! Don’t worry. She’s not. That’s just ketchup. They further remember what happened last night. She also stopped by the school since the trains had stopped running due to the storm. Asagi then pointed out the big problem: What’s for dinner? After getting permission from the gardening club to use the produce in their garden (it will be wasted from the storm anyway) and make nabe, Kojou and Yukina drew the raw end of the stick as they had to go pick the produce. Yukina slipped and her clothes so Astarte gave her Natsuki’s bloomers to wear. After hearing screams from the next room, rushing over we see Sayaka trying to kill herself and La Folia assisting her?! Seems Sayaka lost some important magical ingredient. To put it shortly, some mushrooms that make you go high and hallucinate. Heh. You bet they remember that they ate some of that last night’s nabe. After dinner, Nagisa created a rice omelette with ketchup and tries to serve Kojou. Of course you bet the other girls were also flirty. Yukina complaining he looks at other girls and should have just done it with her if he wanted to. Sayaka stripping naked and crying foul Kojou doesn’t like her big boobs. La Folia trying to convince him to sign their marriage papers. Wow. It was literally hell. Somehow he got out of that and was taking a breather outside. Asagi came to talk to him but the wind was naughty and blew harder. Her skirt went up and she wasn’t wearing any pantsu. Kojou saw it of course. And you’ve guessed it, Asagi thought human brains are like the same as computers. Beat it hard enough and they’ll forget! And now we know where the bloody bat came from. Sayaka still sad and wants to kill herself. Don’t worry. Astarte says Natsuki has some of those ingredients and will share. Phew. No need for the harem to lose a girl.

Kojou gets a call from Motoki. Mermen and Kraken are too much to handle. Can come help? Sure. After they settle looking for Sekkarou. When Astarte returns Yukina’s dried clothes, she also claims the pole is no longer required and will return it to her. Eh? It seems that Yukina gave her permission to use Sekkarou as a laundry pole to dry her clothes! Yeah, blame those mushrooms! So embarrassing… With the final mystery solved, Kojou has Natsuki do them a favour and teleport to Motoki’s whereabouts. And hence your action sequence in seeing them take down the monsters. But before Kojou could do the finishing move, Yuiri realizes that this shrunken Kraken is just protecting the shield. Since it is just a young offspring, she hopes Kojou can let this one go. Kojou the merciful does so. So they just let the squid swim away into the sea? Hopefully this doesn’t come biting back in the future. While they’re happy for Kraken, they wonder about the mermen. Of course we see some shady baddie, Lei. He is being told the mermen were defeated and failed to retrieve the shield. A shame because it would really have been useful for their future plans.

Strike The Flashback
As cheesy as this OVA seems, I have to admit that in some ways that it was also fun. Oh well. Some fanservice and the usual Kojou harem problems are the things that I understood (I suppose they somewhat included Kiriha here because she was sorely missing in the third season). And hence this OVA is nothing much and feels more like a filler as our gang tries to piece back their missing memories of a night’s mishap. Blame those mushrooms! I bet it is one of those nights that they would want to totally forget. Especially Asagi. Even more forgettable-cum-laughable the officially cheesy named English title of “Who Moved My Lance?”. I thought “The Disappearance of Sekkarou” or “The Missing Sekkarou” would sound better and more accurate than this pseudo-detective-mystery-like title. Oh well. Must be those darn mushrooms making whoever thought that this title sounded like a good one. Yeah, I really want to forget about this title. I hope so when the next season comes around when we are then spammed with more action scenes, fanservice scenes, complicating supernatural sci-fi plots and more cheesy harem narratives. Oh yeah. Just another usual day in Itogami for Kojou and the gang. So senpai, are we ready to take this fight together for the fourth season?!

I guess we’re going to have another season. Perhaps it is the trend in today’s era. Because Tsugumomo is going to get another season and hence the crowdfunded started back in 2019 and achieved its goal. But before we bring you the next season, here is a thanks to all the contributors with Tsugumomo Chotto H Na OVA. You’ve been wanting to see the tits of all the girls in the series without resorting to some underground porn, right? That’s right. Your wish has been granted. This OVA is the perfect appetizer for you perverts out there before we get started with the sequel.

Part 1: The Slave Master
You know how strong Kazuya’s morning wood is, right? He has to put up with Kiriha sleeping naked. Because she’s like the queen, he is forced to wear clothes for her and hence touching those delicious parts. He feels bad about it but sometimes he likes it too. In school, she falls asleep and doesn’t pay attention. On the way home, she forces him to spend his limited allowance on her whims and fancies. Like on this dessert. But to show she is not all that bad, she shares it with him. Heh. It’s his allowance after all. Back home, Kiriha’s choice of dressing continues to distract him from his studies. The real test begins when she has him bathe with her. And because the sponge is missing, he has to rub her body parts with his hand. Yeah, this might not be so bad. Not only her tits, but her pussy too! THIS ISN’T SO BAD AFTER ALL!!!!!! Kazuya thought he won since she gave out a little embarrassing eek. But after she is done cleaning her, she grabs his balls to destroy his dignity and bring him back down to earth. Who’s the real master here???!!! In bed, she sleeps all over him. Even though he has endured a lot of suffering from her, he doesn’t want this relationship to change. If he could, he wants this to continue every day. You mean he likes her busting his balls?! Oh God, I hope he didn’t turn into some masochist…

Part 2: Sentou Ga!
The gang visit the public bathhouse. As you can see, Kiriha and Kukuri try to outdo each other at every single chance they get. To a point where they did kanchou on each other’s butthole!!!! I suppose Chisato has more problems than worrying about Kokuyou’s humongous tits so she has to discipline the loli duo and smack their butts till they’re red. Behave!

Part 3: The Dominator
We see Sunao dominating over Kotetsu since young. Including that one time he complained boys and girls shouldn’t be bathing together so she shut him up by grabbing his balls! Kotetsu’s suffering since then. Then this moment where Sunao came home tired and just dropped asleep. Kotetsu had to take off her clothes and change for her. Yeah, undressing fanservice. Why not just let her be? Scared he’ll get some punishment next morning? Then seeing the tears in her eyes, I guess it’s goodnight. Huh?

Part 4: Boob Job
Kokuyou wants to give Kazuya a boob job to thank him for all that he’s done!!! Since when did this turn into a porn shoot?! Claiming her tits are ugly, Kazuya dismisses all that and mentions all her good points. Including her boobs. Having said that, she insists in giving him a boob job. Got caught with his pants down when Kiriha and Kukuri return. Kukuri can’t stop shrieking. Worse, Kokuyou wants her to join in! Can she, with those non-existent tits? Kiriha can’t stop laughing…

Part 5: Incontinence Inconvenience
For some reason, Kazuya can’t move. But he needs to go to the toilet. Hence Kiriha and Kukuri try to help him pee! This is so embarrassing. I don’t know how they did it but it went okay. More embarrassment for Kazuya when they put diapers on him. So he prefers to let girls help him pee all the time?

Part 6: Erection Test
Kazuya reads a manga story to Kiriha. Turns out to be an erotic one. Kiriha is curious to know which his favourite is and since he won’t tell, she crucifies him and will test him. Does she need to call the other girls too? Oh well, I guess everybody wants to know. So as she reads several erotic settings, the gauge is of course Kazuya’s little brother getting it up each time the erotic scene is read. Safe to say, he reacts to all of them. But then there is one yaoi scenario. The other girls are interested in this one? But it seems this doesn’t belong to Kazuya. Whose? Kasumi of course.

Dakara Boku Wa H Ga Dekinai!
Poor Kazuya. He’s a sexual assault victim!!! He has got his modesty outraged almost every day especially by this tsukumogami and if luck has further abandoned him for the day, he gets his balls grabbed. Because he is a guy, nobody is calling the cops. Plus, we all otakus love seeing this guy in pain, right? Double the fun when we also get to see sexy fanservice of the girls. So who’s complaining? It’s amazing he still has maintained his sanity (and chastity) after all the sexual abuses. In that sense, he is the strongest character, no?! I suppose after achieving almost 7 million yen in crowdfunding, adapting just 6 shorts from the extra chapters of the manga volumes seemed like a rip-off. Hey, who am I to complain? I didn’t contribute a single yen! And hey, I actually didn’t know this came out (nor the second season) just only a few weeks ago! The other thing I like is the ending song which is a full on devilish hard rock piece. Yeah, so epic and badass it feels like a waste for this ecchi OVA. So thanks for the fanservice and the not so friendly memories of a girl grabbing a guy by his balls as punishment. Yikes. Now I’ll be waiting to watch the next season with my legs clutched tightly together.

Hey wait a minute! I thought Saiki Kusuo No Psi-nan should have ended with that final arc. You know, that tell-tale sign in its title? Kanketsu-hen? Final arc?! Which part of that word do you not understand?! There should be no more episodes or seasons after the finale! So why the heck do we have another season, Saiki Kusuo No Psi-nan: Shidou-hen AKA Restarting arc? Well, you see, this is supposed to be the prequel to the Kanketsu-hen so technically, chronological wise, it isn’t the final arc. However, it is said that this is the continuation of the Kanketsu-hen so technically it is also the final season? Argh! I’m so confused right now! And it is so like Saiki to surprise and troll us when they release all 6 episodes in this season on the final day of 2019. Last day of the decade before we’re going back to the roaring 20’s! Anyhow, I still got my wish to get another season of Saiki! Yeah!

Episode 1A
Saiki and his friends stumble into a little crying. Apparently she lost her dog. Before you know it, Saiki is dragged into help looking for it. Hence Saiki uses some telekinetic thought process to burn images onto the paper. Of course a few weird images pop up before he finally locates the dog. He returns it to the little girl who is now very happy. But Nendou brought back somebody else’s dog and gets beaten up for theft.

Episode 1B
Saiki’s dad is playing an online game. Because he has to leave for work, he has his son takeover so as to get some rare item. Normally Saiki isn’t interested but since dad will buy him his favourite jello, this should be easy. Saiki logs online but soon his comrades leave after realizing he is male (dad purposely selected a female avatar just to get pandering). Needing to form a group to take on the quest, he soon gathers a bunch of weirdoes. But before they could start, they got kicked out or got banned. And you could have guessed those other guys playing at the other end are Kaidou, Toritsuka and Saiko. When dad plays again, he doesn’t know why his friends have banned him.

Episode 1C
Because dad is sick, Saiki is forced to swap with his body and go to work or risked being fired. His demon boss has him to go pick up the manuscript of some mangaka since today is the deadline. With dad working for him for many years, apparently he knows all his quirky habits. The mangaka seems to be tired and not interested to finish 5 pages of it so Saiki uses his healing ability to make him feel much better and work. Better, Saiki using his telekinetic thingy to quickly burn his thoughts onto the paper. Then he teleports back to the office to submit the work. The mangaka is shocked to realize it is already delivered.

Episode 1D
Saiki hangs out at the café but apparently the moms of Nendou, Kaidou and his own are also there. He eavesdrop on them talking about their sons among other things. Saiki thought everything is safe until mom accidentally blurts out about Saiki’s psychic abilities. Of course she can cover it up as a joke but the way she panics proves that it could be for real. But she manages to deflect this to her other son, Kuusuke that he is some genius. The crisis is averted and although mom feels sorry about not being able to keep secrets, it is Saiki who feels grateful that his secret is safe.

Episode 1E
Everyone makes some model out of clay and answers ‘questions’ on why they make so. So we have Kaidou making his fallen angel (literally he dropped it), Kuboyasu some big bike, Nendou some demon, Hairo some fearsome deity, Aiura decorating hers with ornaments and Teruhashi a simple model of her and Saiki. Everybody wants to see it and accidentally breaks it that it looks like the clay Teruhashi hugging Saiki! And the rest of the guys try to make some angelic Teruhashi model but they are disgusted by their failure that it isn’t anywhere close. And lastly, Saiki. Oh damn, he created this magnificent gigantic architectural cathedral masterpiece???!!! Isn’t this the one in Spain…

Episode 2A
Saiki’s limiter breaks but not completely. This has him do weird useless random abilities beyond his control like forming a barrier around himself, making others laugh, shoot lasers from his eyes and producing Matryoshka dolls. Not wanting to owe Kuusuke, he decides to fix himself but ends up doing more weird abilities. So much so it is also affecting others. Finally, the useless ability of creating something out of nothing has his limiter restored. Not so useless that ability, huh?

Episode 2B
All the kids are gathered around Kaidou. Seems they view him as some master of Valkyrie Breaker. It’s some card game. Nendou and Saiki are somehow roped into play the game. Nendou goes to get his own pack of cards and wow! He got lots of rare and powerful cards! The kids are so awed he is this lucky at first go. Unlike a certain master who had to spend thousands to get them. Apparently this is all a setup by Saiki so that they both can be playing partners and will leave him out of it. However, things might have gone too far as the kids are now praising Nendou and this is decimating Kaidou’s pride. So I guess there’s gonna be a card battle, huh?

Episode 2C
Kaidou tries to explain the rules of Valkyrie Breaker but obviously Nendou isn’t listening. This makes Kaidou snaps but before he could get violent, the kids protect him. Remember what you taught them on not getting violent? Better eat your words now. The card game begins and it could only be Saiki seeing weird violent and gory images of the deck monsters killing each other. Eventually, Saiki uses his power to reorganize the deck to make Nendou win and crush Kaidou.

Episode 2D
During PE, the guys are split into teams. Hairo being the passionate guy, pleads to the teacher for a more balanced team but it fell on deaf ears. When Saiki’s team is short a person, it is because Saiko sits out and doesn’t want to join the peasants in this lowly game. Until the teacher decides to take out Takahashi to even the odds, Saiko feels insulted as this means Takahashi is the same rank as him! WTF?! The game starts but Hairo’s team is losing because Kuboyasu got disqualified for committing fouls, Nendou is too stupid and Takahashi got bribed by Saiko. This is the last straw so Saiki uses his power to prevent Saiko from being awesome. In the end, Hairo’s team wins but he doesn’t feel like he actually won it. Now Saiko has a sudden change as he tries to practice hard on his own to regain his awesomeness. Rich guys can’t lose!

Episode 2E
Wow. Saiki celebrating its 5th serialization anniversary? Okay. However they are being upstaged by these characters from Heroes Studies who were in serialization for 10 years. Though, they already ended. Kaidou then recognizes the hero as some super famous teacher, Ken Haganeno. Apparently he is here to give the class a special lecture. But he ends up badmouthing the students and what they are lacking. Saiki realizes they are trying to take over this anime! It’s not funny! So when Haganeno throws Saiki a question, he teleports him to a fantasy world and throws back the same question to him. Guess what? Haganeno chickens out to let his comrade devoured while he escapes! Because of that, Saiki leaves him stranded in this world to level up. That’s for ruining our 5th anniversary. And thanks to that, peace is restored to the world!

Episode 3A
Takumi Iguchi is the new homeroom teacher. Although he is a very nice and caring teacher, the problem is that he has a perverted face! You bet everybody is going to judge him by his looks. Like Yumehara. First he tries to calm her down by showing he cares. Like how he knows her name. And then her address and other details! Creepy! Pervert! When Saiko is 20 minutes late for class, Iguchi admonishes him so Saiko bribes him. At first everyone thought he took the money but then Iguchi rejects it and warns him about trying to buy him off. Everybody feels bad about judging him. Time for a group hug? Uhm… I think it’s going to take a while to get used to that pervy face.

Episode 3B
Everyone takes their physical measurements and many realize they have no growth. As Saiki explains, due to the time loop thingy, everything is repeating as it was the same year ago. When there are screams heard coming from the female’s side, everyone is trying to figure out who the perpetrator. Kaidou thought he saw Iguchi heading there but only Saiki knows he was heading towards the toilet. It gets worse when Iguchi has this panicky face. Because he needs to go to the toilet! To save his reputation, Saiki realizes there is proof. Toritsuka was trying to film the female side but Iguchi is seen walking though and hence blocking his perfect view. Though Iguchi’s name is cleared, Toritsuka is now a dead man…

Episode 3C
When Nendou says he lent some yakuza dude some money, the rest don’t believe him. Kuboyasu brings his friends to his house. Looks like a rundown yakuza hut. Nendou and Kaidou look at his photo albums to see when he turned into a delinquent. My, at such a young age? Kuboyasu then explains how both his parents were from gangs but they are very different people today. So when his dad returns, Nendou recognizes him as that yakuza dude he helped earlier in the day. Yup, he and Nendou have a really friendly conversation, leaving the rest surprised.

Episode 3D
The friends gather at Kaidou’s house to do homework. Instead, Kaidou wants to show his manga he has been writing (for 3 years?!) in hopes he can be serialized. Of course they are not impressed. Even more so they could guess the surprise ending of his story. Heck, Kaidou had to lie and go with their own speculation of the ending which is somewhat even more interesting! Now that their delusions are all time high and want to spend more time on this than their homework, here comes Sora to bring them down to reality. She chides them for being noisy. And when she realizes the lousy manga work Kaidou is doing, she chides them even more they want to do manga but can’t even finish their damn homework? Give me a break. And with that, the guys quietly return to completing their homework. Ah… Reality…

Episode 3E
Saiki is looking forward to his favourite sweets programme. Too bad it is ruined with today’s guest: Mugami. Yup, this guy is ranting about his love for his sister than the sweet of the day. What do you mean his sister is not the sweetest sweet???!!! Normally Saiki won’t want to watch anymore but realizing the sweet of the day is his favourite jello, he keeps on watching. Too bad Mugami had to ruin it by half-heartedly tasting it (he doesn’t like sweets anyway) and giving boring simple comments. Saiki wants to know where this shop is but as the details are revealed, Mugami just couldn’t shut up and hence Saiki couldn’t hear the details. As he turns off the TV, he is shocked to see Mugami at his doorstep. Apparently he got into an argument with Teruhashi for talking too much about her on TV and got kicked out. So why should Saiki help him? Also, Mugami got lots of jello as compliments for being the TV guest. He is supposed to give them to Teruhashi but what now? Suddenly Saiki loves Mugami!

Episode 4A
Toritsuka’s class has a new transfer student: Hii Suzumiya. However bad luck is always following her. Hence a series of flashbacks as Toritsuka explains to Saiki all the bad luck the class has seen befall on her. From entering the class after being hit by a hearse to writing her name on the board with blood. Because he was trying to be considerate to her, the teacher put him in charge of showing her around school. Yup, her bad luck is also affecting him. Now she wants him to help her point the direction to the lab. Toritsuka thinks Saiki will help him but he went off to enjoy his jello. Traitor!

Episode 4B
Hii believes she is clumsy rather than bad luck. It’s pitiful seeing her blame herself and the troubles she will cause others. At the lab, she is supposed to get dangerous chemical as requested by the teacher! Luckily Saiki and Aiura are here to help. Worse, Aiura sees death in all of their faces. We’re all trying to stay positive until Hii holds bottles of nitroglycerin! Although she manages to put it all down safely, suddenly she sneezes! Luckily Saiki catches the dropped bottles. Phew.

Episode 4C
Hii hopes to be friends with Saiki and Aiura. Because the mark of death is still on her face, we see her experience close shaves with deaths only to cheat it thanks to Saiki’s quick thinking. Is this Final Destination?! Hii explains how she likes to carry a lot of things because she is clumsy and might forget. So why is she still carrying the nitroglycerin?! Too late! Explosion! Again, thanks to Saiki’s quick reflexes in putting up a smoke bomb and reversing time, everyone could have been dead. Hii thinks Toritsuka saved her and now she has fallen for him. Oh dear. Looks like she has bad luck with men too.

Episode 4D
Aiura’s fortune telling is getting more popular because of its accuracy, something Saiki doesn’t like because it might connect to and reveal his own abilities. When he tries to tell Aiura to do less of it, she scoffs that she is trying to help others unlike him being selfish. Of course Saiki isn’t going to let this go. He goes to spy her at work. This fortune telling place looks like some shady red light district… Then we see a customer who wants to commit suicide because he lost documents that are worth billions for the company. Aiura easily manages to locate it. She does her fortune telling to many other weirdoes. Suddenly, a group of mafia barges in and threaten her to reveal some treasure location or they’ll kill her. Luckily Saiki beats them all up. He hopes she would learn her lesson now. Though she’ll be careful now, but what about those clients she helped? They’ll surely spread the word. Don’t worry. Saiki has made sure her predictions won’t come true by messing with it. I guess all of them are going to have a bad ending…

Episode 4E
Saiki is admiring normal boy Satou as usual. However he notices his normalcy is off a little. Because he is sitting next to Hii! He is observing if Hii’s bad luck will affect him. For example, when somebody accidentally splashes water all over Hii, Satou gets wet a little. However he gets to see through her soaked shirt. Hence Saiki summarizes although Satou temporarily gets bad luck, soon his good luck of normalcy will offset his bad luck. More explanations how his normalcy can defeat her bad luck but I’m so lost. Anyway, that normalcy can only negate her bad luck as long Satou is with her. The problem now is that Hii likes Toritsuka but after the ceiling crashed on her and Satou somewhat saved her, this is going to be a problem since Satou is starting to like her. So you bet Saiki is going to hatch a plan for Hii to hate Toritsuka!

Episode 5A
Iguchi thinks Nendou is being bullied! He observes how others don’t talk to him and probably Kaidou and Kuboyasu are his tormentors! Yup, Kaidou may be practising his uppercuts on his chin that’s why it is ‘swollen’! He observes them to get further details. But don’t make it look like you’re stalking… He thinks the guys want to beat him up at the gym when they’re just going to play basketball. Hence he mistakes the bouncing ball as Nendou being beaten up. Then an accident as the ball hits Nendou’s groin. When Iguchi opens the door, the thought everybody ganged up on him. Of course the misunderstanding will soon clear up.

Episode 5B
Kaidou wants to invite his friends to play a real escape game. Hairo and Kuboyasu are in but they don’t want Nendou. They want to draft Saiki but he manages to escape this escape groupie. Hence no choice, Nendou joins in. Saiki is at him as he uses his telepathy to peek on how they’re doing. Looks like they’re stuck in an elevator. Oh wait. Is this supposed to be a real escape game in the first place? Could it be they lost their way in some abandoned building?! Ironically, Nendou is the calm one and the rest panicking. Because he wants to take a dump now! Panic intensifies! Of course Saiki uses his powers to subtly help them until they get out. Once they do, they’re still up for another escape game! I guess dumb people don’t learn…

Episode 5C
Akechi is here to visit, much to Saiki’s dismay. Since mom takes a liking for him, I guess he can’t shoo him away. He hangs out in his room and Akechi suggests if he can guess the winner of the horse race, Saiki will offer him cake. Surprisingly, Akechi guesses right. Sore loser Saiki offers him a thin slice. They challenge each other to guess the next horse race winner. Saiki is using all his powers to determine who has the best chance to win. Unfortunately, Akechi wins again. Akechi hopes to be his friend and wants to visit him again. Of course Saiki rejects. But you bet Akechi will return.

Episode 5D
Once more, bad luck for Hii. But with Satou helping her out, it’s not so bad. Of course Saiki is deliberately showing this to Toritsuka to make him mad. Trying to claim Hii as his, he tries to show off but takes in damage that decreases his luck meter to negative! He gets desperate to ask Hii to go out on a date but she rejects him as she has to go to the stationery shop with Satou. Toritsuka is beyond recovery. But he still follows them. Although Satou’s luck increases, his normalcy means bringing it back down to normal level. At the shop, Hii’s bad luck almost injures Toritsuka. He gets scared and decides to give up on her and leave her in the hands of Satou. He’ll make her happy, right? Yeah, he makes it sound so sentimental and mature. BS! He just chickened out! Of course they realize this unkempt drunk hobo spirit guide who is giving Hii all the bad luck. So only now they noticed?

Episode 5E
Toritsuka has this idea to regain Hii’s love and needs Saiki’s help. Saiki will only do so if he gives up on Hii. What?! Oh well… With Akechi here, Saiki channels Toritsuka’s powers to him to figure out his origins. After that, Nendou’s dad decides to help this hobo guy and help him cleanse himself a bit. New loincloth? Still looking like an idiot but way better than before. His character also changed as he will now be a good spirit guide. Aiura then checks Hii’s aura and it seems there is no more death mark and she is teeming with brilliance. Toritsuka regrets that Hii could have been his had he knew the solution was this easy. Saiki adds to the sarcasm that it won’t be the case. Because Hii would’ve rejected him anyway. Jerk losers will always be jerk losers…

Episode 6A
Saiki narrates he is now an ordinary person after sealing his psychic abilities. Because he doesn’t rely on them anymore, he is somewhat easily spooked when people talk to him. Yup, can’t predict that they’ll come up close to him or something. Even so, he still dismisses that there is no more use for his psychic abilities. For the class project, they are supposed to do research on one of the G7 countries. He hopes not to get paired with Teruhashi as she will get all the attention in class. Had only he had his telepathy to see through the future. Because I don’t think that even using maths and probability can beat fate as he eventually ends up with her!

Episode 6B
You bet a lot of people are jealous of them being paired. At the library, Saiki feels inconvenienced without his abilities but still thinks this is better than before. He is confronted by a couple of punks who warn him not to get too close to Teruhashi. Had he had his powers, he would have easily wiggled his way out. But now, he has to wait for fate. That is, Teruhashi coming by so the punks back down and pretend to be his good friend. Teruhashi is about to get cosy being alone with him but that Nendou jerk came to interrupt and show off his finished work. You call this finished?! Meanwhile those punks decide to get back at Saiki and push the shelf over him.

Episode 6C
Because he didn’t see this coming, Saiki couldn’t escape. But wait. He is safe. Why? Because Nendou covers for him! Of course the punks meet their fate when Kuboyasu beats them up. Saiki feels odd and especially useless because without his abilities, now he needs to be protected. But Nendou doesn’t think like that. We protect each other. That’s what friends are for! OMG. Nendou, you da man! Back home, Saiki confronts Kuusuke because it seems that he is experiencing a few psychic abilities and fears it might be coming back. So it wasn’t 100% sealed? Kuusuke explains how he might not be a psychic, just that his body might have evolved and adapted into another kind of human. He shouldn’t be worrying so much as his body is in the process of becoming normal.

Episode 6D
Of course Saiki feels sceptical. He thought he could hear thoughts of other people and even see some ‘illusions’. The missing books from the library is somehow found in the classroom’s closet as he envisioned and Kuboyasu’s lost keys somehow popped up in his mouth. All in all, he tries to psycho himself these are just pranks. Even more so when Toritsuka thinks Saiki’s psychic powers are back when he seems to be talking in his usual telepathic way.

Episode 6E
Saiki thought it was all a dream when he finds himself back home. However Kuusuke points out he teleported here. So his abilities are coming back? Saiki continues to refute all that and he is just an ordinary human being. In that case, Kuusuke will have to handle this upcoming case by himself. What does he mean? You see, a meteor is going to crash into Earth in 2 hours! Is humanity going to be extinct?! So part of Kuusuke’s plan is to sacrifice is oblivious dad into space? Well, this is no Armageddon… It is then Saiki hears all the thoughts of his friends. Some panicking, some making useless comments, some surprisingly caring (Saiko wants to take his friends to his shelter?!). The clincher is when Teruhashi refuses to believe she will die because God loves her so much that she won’t be killed by this. So do something, God! Goddamn! With that, Saiki accepts the return of his full psychic powers. He also admits he prefers this kind of hassle to the mundane ordinary life of an ordinary person. What was the title of this anime again?

Yare, Yare, Yarinaosu. Saiki-sama, Retry!
Oh well. If this is how it all ends, honesty I am a bit disappointed. No, seriously. I am not saying that this final season (if it really remains to be the final one) is bad but it lacks all that oomph, especially all that had happened in Kanketsu-hen. Overall, this series has been one really crazy and nonsensical ride and although this final season still has not lost its touch on that, the final episode of portraying Saiki as a normal human being somewhat diminishes all that. I mean the last time we had Saiki trying to save the world from some terrible volcano eruption and hence using his powers to restore and restart time to a year. Then we had him somewhat trying to tell all his buddies about his psychic powers and also the possibility of some love triangle, the ‘fight’ between Teruhashi and Aiura (this is just my wishful thinking). What happened to all that?

So this final season compared to all that feels like a downer. Like as though it is trying to come to terms that Saiki is and will forever be one who will be using and relying on his psychic abilities. Which is of course that something that all of us would prefer to see Saiki as. After all, we have seen him the way he uses his psychic abilities to TRY and lead a normal life and with both much success and failure. Whether he likes it or not, he still uses his power. This is the Saiki we all know. This is the Saiki we all want. Otherwise we’d just be rooting for Satou. Haha! Therefore I think that is what this Shidou-hen really means. Saiki ‘reborn’ or ‘restarting’ himself to become a psychic once more. Only with that can Saiki along with everyone else could live their normal lives. Until the next volcano eruption or meteor from space.

Having reached this far and already towards the end, this series as usual pulls off yet another crazy feat by introducing to us a couple of new characters. Of course like many other characters, their personality becomes the running joke and you’d expect nothing more from that as it will be played out as gags. This means with the expansion of the character roster, there is bound to be characters who will have very limited appearances. Even those regulars like Nendou, Kaidou, Kuboyasu and Hairo are already having limited screen time. What more like others such as Akechi and Mugami who appear even less. Like as though they appear just to remind us that these characters are still around. I would have even forget about that Rifuta girl had not she made that 1 second cameo during the final hectic meteor scene. Not enough episodes to play out her running joke as an obsessed Mugami fan.

Although Mera also makes very minor appearances, she is only confined in the background and hence her running joke of trying to do anything for money is not even featured. I guess that cat Amp died, huh? Didn’t even see him once… Yeah, many other characters are not seen (Chouno, Shiragami, Jouten, etc) but they’re so minor I guess we can’t really care for them all. I mean, I’m not saying that I’m disappointed that these characters have lesser screen time. It’s not like we’d expect some character development anyway. But just that since this is the final episode, I thought it would make us feel that all these characters are like one big family. Yeah, family. Oh heck. Who am I kidding. Saiki accepting and coming to terms with reality that he is a psychic is what is more important, right?

When I heard the instrumental ending theme for this season, I find it really epic. Why? Because it somewhat sounds like a spoof of Europe’s Final Countdown!!! It is so freaking catchy especially with that funky bass line and electric guitar to go with the special effects. OMG!!! This is so epic!!! I believe I’m addicted to it because I can’t stop listening to it. Unfortunately I can’t find the name of this song as it is not listed anywhere in the credits (maybe I didn’t look hard enough) because I am sure I would love to hear the entire full song. Or maybe this is the full song itself. Ah heck, I’ll just make do with this one. Take it from the top again!

Overall, it has been one really long and crazy ride. This season feels a bit less great than its predecessors but it is still a good watch. The same ol’ crazy wacky formula is why old fans and viewers flock to see this. If it’s not broken, don’t fix it. An advice we all want to tell Saiki too! Don’t be a normal high school guy when you can be a powerful cynical psychic! I’m not sure if they are going to troll us again and put out a few more episodes in the future. After all, Shidou-hen might be the extended chapters for the Kanketsu-hen but name wise it isn’t technically the end. Until we have the final of the most final of final Kanketsu-hen. Well, I have come to terms that this is the end of the series and I am happy to leave this series with happy and wonderful thoughts. Because I certainly don’t want to see another reboot of this series in the near future. Not the kind of Shidou-hen that I would really want! Please, you people out there. Please don’t you ever think of restarting Saiki like that.

Kimetsu No Yaiba

January 12, 2020

Time for another anime series about slaying demons. Kimetsu No Yaiba might start off having all the cliché ingredients. Normal boy from seemingly normal family has got his family massacred by demons. Trains up to become the best demon slayer to avenge his family and also find a cure to return his sister who is now a demon, back into human. Along the way, meets powerful allies as well as equally powerful (perhaps even more so) enemies while powering up himself with more powerful techniques. Well, if you judge a book by its cover and give a general opinion that if you have seen genres like this, you’ve seen them all, well, you’re wrong. Instead of explaining it all in this opening paragraph, might as well go watch it and see for yourself that this is not just another ordinary demon slaying anime.

Episode 1
Tanjirou Kamado is trying to be a good son. Yeah, with a single mom and like 5 other siblings, he needs to sell those coals so he can buy more goodies for them. He treks down the snowy mountains to town whereby we see him as a handyman too. Everybody needs him for something! He sells all his coal but as night falls, an old man Saburo tells him not to trek at night because of man eating demons. He forces Tanjirou to stay at his place. Tanjirou takes up his offer and the first light next morning, he returns home. To his horror, his entire family massacred by demons! Because his sister, Nezuko is the only one showing signs of life (albeit fading), he carries her down in hopes of saving her. However she awakens as a demon and tries to eat him! As Tanjirou has a great sense of smell, he believes she cannot be a demon who killed the rest as there was a different scent at home. Tanjirou tries to fend her off while trying to use words in hopes she’ll regain her humanity. Hah. Like that will work. Will it?! Then here comes Giyuu Tomioka, a demon hunter to cut her down. But Tanjirou protects her. She’s his sister for Christ’s sake! Tanjirou may sound naïve that he promises to find a way to turn Nezuko back but each time Giyuu counters it with grim reality. You can’t. Tanjirou gets desperate enough to beg but is told off by Giyuu for being weak. As Giyuu is about to kill Nezuko, Tanjirou moves in desperation to save her. Although he loses against Giyuu, the demon hunter realizes he was pretty innovative and creative in trying to attack him with his hatchet. Nezuko seems like she wants to devour Tanjirou to but to Giyuu’s shock, she protects him! This is unprecedented as no demons have ever done this as they devour humans for energy. When Tanjirou wakes up, Nezuko is already gagged. Giyuu wants him to see Sakonji Urokodaki who lives at the foot of Mt Sagiri. He also warns him of not exposing Nezuko to sunlight as that is demons’ weakness. After Tanjirou buries and prays for his departed family, they begin their journey.

Episode 2
Tanjirou makes a basket big enough for Nezuko to hide in so he can continue travelling during daytime. When he reaches a house, he smells blood. A demon is feeding on its victims. Tanjirou tries to fight it and could have lost had not Nezuko smacked him away! The demon despite being decapitated by Nezuko’s slap, he still lives and both parts move independently. The head tackles Tanjirou while the body goes after Nezuko. Tanjirou manages to make the head tangled with his dagger before going off to find Nezuko and pushes that body off the cliff. As Tanjirou is in a dilemma to destroy the head, Urokodaki tells him to finish him off. How? You figure it out yourself. Urokodaki fears his kindness even in killing the demon could be his downfall. In the end, it is the sunlight that burns up the demon. Urokodaki poses some hard questions for him and then slaps him for being too hesitant to answer. He believes his resolve is too weak and the moment Nezuko devours a human, he must kill her and then himself for allowing it to happen. Knowing that Giyuu sent him, Urokodaki is a trainer and will train him to see if he is fit to join the Demon Slayer Corps. So the first task is to have him climb the mountain. Then he must descend it and reach the foot by daybreak. Think it’s easy? Despite his great smell, the place is filled with traps. He gets owned by some of them but he mustn’t give up or at this rate he will not make it. And make it in time Tanjirou does. Urokodaki agrees to take him in as his disciple as he narrates Giyuu’s letter about something different in Tanjirou and Nezuko. He believes Tanjirou can become his heir since Urokodaki also possesses the same keen sense of smell.

Episode 3
With Urokodaki training Tanjirou, he also writes a diary for Nezuko. A convenient way to narrate and explain to us his exploits for the episode. Like how he has gotten better in avoiding the traps but Urokodaki has also ramped up the difficulty like as though he wants to kill him. He is also trained how to use a sword and different water breathing forms. Strangely, Nezuko has never awakened since his training started and he fears she would die in her sleep. After a year, one day suddenly Urokodaki tells him he can teach him no more. His final test is to cut this boulder. Do it and he will consider him qualify to take the final selection test to enter Demon Slayer Corps. Tanjirou continues his training and sometimes tries to cut the boulder. But nothing changes for another 6 months. Slowly, he grows frustrated since he trained so hard to breaking point and it yielded no results. Until one day this guy in a fox mask, Sabito fights him since he can’t stop complaining. Suck it up and be a man! Because Tanjirou is worried that he might hurt him with his real sword, Sabito finds this insulting because he thinks he can hurt this guy?! Let alone touch him?! After Tanjirou loses, Makomo takes over. This little girl with a fox mask is gentler as she corrects and guides the err of his ways. The duo aren’t siblings but are deeply grateful to Urokodaki. They claim they have been watching him all the while. Another 6 months passed. This time Tanjirou reeks of manliness to face Sabito in a showdown. For the first time, Tanjirou’s blade reaches Sabito first. He cuts off his mask. He sees his smile but a sad one. With Makomo reminding him never to forget this, the duo then disappear. Creepy? But not as creepy and astonishing when Tanjirou realizes he has cut the boulder in half!

Episode 4
Urokodaki didn’t want to send Tanjirou to the final selection because he doesn’t want more children dying. But because he sliced the boulder, he believes he is an amazing person. Tanjirou is given a mask as a protective charm. He is also told about demons grow stronger the more humans they eat. Once Tanjirou’s smell sense grows stronger, he will be able to tell how strong. Tanjirou leaves for the final selection. There are many other potential candidates. In this wisteria prison, they must survive for a week fending off demons inside. Tanjirou faces off with a couple of bickering demons. Remembering his training, he manages to kill them. It is also thanks to the special steel that demon hunters used and the sword Urokodaki gave him made out of Nichirin. Tanjirou stumbles upon the worst demon ever. This grotesque one has killed a few candidates. Tanjirou jumps in to save a fellow candidate. This demon thinks he is Urokodaki’s student because of the mask. He has a grudge against him because he was the one who caught and imprisoned him here so he makes it a point to kill all his students. The way he describes the best students he killed definitely he is referring to Sabito and Makomo. He further taunts them and how he ate them. But Tanjirou getting mad can only get him so far. He needs to think how to cut down this demon. His hands regenerate quickly and he has a very thick neck (every demon’s weakness is the neck and that’s the part you need to cut off). When Tanjirou is down for the count, it is thanks to his dead sibling’s voice that woke him up before he could be the demon’s next victim. Tanjirou then charges in, slicing everything in his way. The demon is confident the moment he fails to slice his neck, he will crush his head. That’s where he failed. Giving Tanjirou that one chance is more than enough as his entire head is suddenly decapitated!

Episode 5
Even when the demon disintegrates, Tanjirou feels sad for him and prays to God he won’t reincarnate as a demon. Tanjirou tries asking other demons for a way to turn back to human but they just attack and he is forced to kill them. In the end, it seems there are only 4 survivors. The invigilators talk about the uniforms and swords they are given as well as each getting a Kasugai Crow for communication. But one of them, Genya Shinazugawa calls out to all this BS and wants his sword now. He gets pretty rough so Tanjirou warns him to back down or he’ll break his arm. Next, they are to choose an ore in which their Nichirin sword will be forged. Weary Tanjirou makes his way home. He is overcome with delight and emotion when he sees Nezuko finally awakened. Even more surprise and tears for Urokodaki to see his student come back alive. He is told of that demon he slain and his dead students can now rest in peace. Tanjirou is also warned about higher demons who can use different types of arts. They will be very difficult to deal with. A few days later, a weird dude, Haganezuka comes by to give Tanjirou his forged Nichirin. Its blade changes colour depending on its wielder. Tanjirou’s Nichirin turns out pitch black. This frustrates Haganezuka because he was really confident it would become red. Then a Kasugai Crow flies in to give Tanjirou his first mission as a demon hunter. Go to a nearby village and slay the demon responsible for making young girls vanish.

Episode 6
Looking pretty dashing in a Demon Slayer Corps uniform, Tanjirou. Urokodaki has also made a lighter and more durable box for him to carry Nezuko about. Urokodaki theorizes that Nezuko’s long hibernation is because she might be replenishing her strength than eating human flesh. Arriving in town, Tanjirou hears rumours about Kazumi whose fiancée, Satoko was abducted by a demon. Immediately Tanjirou goes to hear him out. Using his keen sense of smell, he could sense the faint and strange demon scent. That night, the demon strikes again. With the surfacing of a stronger scent, Tanjirou manages to sniff the demon out and pull out the girl. He leaves her with Kazumi so as to fight the demon who can split himself into several clones and can hide in grounds and walls. Tanjirou despite managing to slice the demon, they are all shallow cuts and all vitals are missed. The demon can swiftly regenerate. Tanjirou cannot stray far from Kazumi and the girl if he is going to protect them. While trying to stave off this tricky demon’s attacks, he remembers Tanjirou’s talk about the only demon who could turn humans into one. He is no other than the first human who turned into a demon more than a thousand years ago, Muzan Kibutsuji. He might hold the answer to revert Nezuko back to a human. With Tanjirou managing to hold his ground, the demon gets annoyed that he must devour girls before reaching the age of 16 or they lose their taste quickly. Kazumi pleads to give back Satoko but apparently the demon keeps hairpins of those he devours as collectibles. Yeah, Satoko’s ribbon is there… When an attack is too close for Tanjirou to dodge, Nezuko pops out of her box to kick him away. Then she goes on the offensive to attack him while leaving him confused with this human-demon combo. Flashback shows Urokodaki doing some hypnotic suggestion on her during her sleep. All humans are her family and demons are her enemy. Never forgive those who brings harm onto humans.

Episode 7
Tanjirou wants Nezuko to protect Kazumi while he dives into the swamp to fight the demon. Thanks to his harsh training, he is able to withstand the murky swamp conditions and kill 2 of them. Then out back in time to defeat the last demon that is keeping Nezuko at bay. When Tanjirou asks about Kibutsuji, he suddenly becomes scared. He cannot tell him anything. Snippets show Kibutsuji warned him to keep his identity a secret. Or else. The demon becomes so scared that he starts going berserk and that is when Tanjirou is forced to kill him. He tends to Nezuko but realizes she is asleep to heal her wounds. Tanjirou knows Kazumi is sad but can only tell him to live on. This makes Kazumi mad at first but after seeing Tanjirou’s smile and noticing his rough hands, he realizes he went through the same thing. Tanjirou has no time to rest or start up his hatred for Kibutsuji because the Kasugai Crow tells him his next mission at Asuka. Get a move on now! Culture shock for Tanjirou. Big city with lights, people and tall buildings! Wow. While he takes a breather, a familiar scent that sends shivers down his spine. He follows this scent that was present at his home. It leads him to Kibutsuji but to his shock, Kibutsuji is with a human wife and daughter?! As Tanjirou continues to be paralyzed in shock, Kibutsuji quickly scratches a passer-by. He then turns into a demon and bites his lover in full view of the shocked crowd. What you gonna do now, Tanjirou?

Episode 8
While Tanjirou restrains the man, Kibutsuji escapes. Frustrated Tanjirou screams a warning to him that he’ll follow him to hell if he has to. The authorities think Tanjirou is restraining some drunkard. Tanjirou refuses to let go or else the man will kill. Before the authorities get violent, a strange scent saves Tanjirou. Tamayo and her assistant, Yushiro are doctors but also demons. They have a grudge against Kibutsuji. After Kibutsuji sees off his family, he tries to return to the scene but a few unfortunate drunkards bump into him. They pick the wrong time to fight with him because he easily kills them. For the last one, Kibutsuji injects his blood into her and causes her to melt since human cells cannot handle his perfect blood and transformation speed. Kibutsuji orders his subordinates to kill Tanjirou. It seems he has a grudge. At least towards a person who wears that same hanafuda earring pattern. Tanjirou is brought to Tamayo’s secret hideout. Note, because Yushiro is such a rabid fan boy of Tamayo, he has bad blood with Tanjirou and anything slightly crossed the line, this guy won’t hesitate to beat him up! Anyway, Tamayo explains as demons, they still need human blood. Although in small amounts, they manage to buy them under the guise for transfusion. She also explains although she was turned into a demon by Kibutsuji, Yushiro is one whom she turned into a demon after 200 years! Tamayo isn’t trying to create more demons but as a doctor, her job is to tend to those at the end stage of their life. She would then ask them if they would like to live on as demons. As for whether a demon can be turned back into a human, the answer is yes! But that’s just trolling because from a medical perspective, there is a cure for everything! Just that they haven’t found one for this! Sorry to get your hopes up, boy. Hence she has a favour of him. In order to create that elixir, she needs to study Nezuko’s blood as she has not been taking humans’ blood for years. Secondly, Tanjirou needs to gather blood samples from demons closely related to Kibutsuji. In other words, those who are as powerful as him. If that’s what needs to be done, he’ll do it. Just then, the place is ambushed by Kibutsuji’s underlings, Yahaba and Susamaru.

Episode 9
Susamaru has got homing balls that seem like they can move on its own. When Yushiro tries to dodge, it changes trajectory and explodes his head! Of course Yushiro is a demon so he can regenerate fast. Now he’s mad. Anybody who interrupts his Tamayo time will pay! Susamaru grows more arms so she can throw more balls. Yushiro gives Tanjirou a talisman so he can see the arrows guiding the balls. Now he can easily dodge without making any careless moves. When Nezuko is able to distract Yahaba and hinder the balls’ movements, Tanjirou cuts up Susamaru. Of course as a high ranking demon and part of the Twelve Kizuki (Demon Moons) who serve directly under Kibutsuji, she heals fast. She even dares Tanjirou to try and extract their blood. Yushiro tells Tanjirou to take care of Yahaba and his arrows first while the rest keep Susamaru at bay. Nezuko got careless and got her feet severed by a ball. As she is no full-fledged demon, her healing is slow so Tamayo has to administer some medicine. Tanjirou has a hard time keeping up with Yahaba’s arrows. He can’t even get near him as the arrows are hard to deflect and only vanish when they hit him. And it’s very painful when he takes a direct hit. So he can’t afford to take any more hits and need to change the arrows’ direction without touching it, Tanjirou comes up with a strategy that has the arrows flow along with his water based sword attacks. Along with other combos of his techniques, he is able to turn the arrows back and decapitate Yahaba with them.

Episode 10
Dying Yahaba tries to take Tanjirou down with him. His arrows constantly throw him about and Tanjirou has to do quick succession of moves to cushion the impact. It is only over when Yahaba disintegrates fully. So after all the tossing about, he only suffers a broken rib and leg? I guess that’s not bad. Even if he has no strength, he must go assist the rest. Speaking of which, Nezuko returns to help Yushiro. I’m pretty sure Tamayo’s medicine was just normal but Nezuko is now stronger than ever. Heck, she even plays kick ball with Susamaru. The strongest kick wins! Looks like Nezuko wins but before Susamaru could get serious, Tamayo mentions about Kibutsuji being a coward. Noticing he is always fearful of something, that is why he manipulates demons to fight among themselves so they cannot band together and attack him. With Susamaru denying all that, she carelessly mentions Kibutsuji’s name and this allows Tamayo’s spell to take effect. In this horror scene, arms start bursting through her body and they crush what’s left of Susamaru. It is believed to be Kibutsuji’s cells and they will slowly destroy her until she dies. After taking the blood sample, Tamayo believes both demons aren’t from Twelve Kizuki because their eyeballs have no numbers engraved on them. Also, they were far too weak. Tanjirou almost died and they’re like the weakest? Man, real serious sh*t is waiting for him. As the sun rises, Susamaru’s corpse disintegrates and Tanjirou even feels sad for the kind of life she has lived, especially how Kibutsuji treats all his demons even those who revered him. But good news for Tanjirou as Nezuko has healed up. She gives Tamayo a big hug and a pat on the head for Yushiro. Tanjirou believes Nezuko perceives them as humans instead of demons, the reason she protected them. Tamayo cries being considered their family. Yushiro remembers Tamayo giving him an option to live as a demon or die after he was at the end stage of a terminal illness. Tamayo and Yushiro will be moving away from this area since they are too close to Kibutsuji. She offers to take Nezuko with them but seeing that Nezuko is holding Tanjirou’s hand, safe to say that the siblings will be together. Good for you Yushiro, eh? With the Kasugai Crow bugging Tanjirou to go to his next mission, he sees a desperate guy bugging a girl to marry him.

Episode 11
Tanjirou pulls Zenitsu Agatsuma from the girl. Still persistent? She slaps him and tells him off she just took him in after seeing his pitiful state. Oh, she already has a fiancé. Now Zenitsu blames Tanjirou for getting in the way of his marriage and wants him to take responsibility. This coward goes on to rant he was supposed to die at the final selection test but was somehow lucky to survive (something about being swindled into debt that got him into all this). Now he is living in hell and wants to marry before he dies in the next mission. After calming down, they head their way to a house. They spot a pair of young siblings, Shoichi and Teruko cowering in fear. They claim a demon snatched their big brother, Kiyoshi into that house. Only Zenitsu seems to be able to hear weird sounds from the house. Suddenly a guy drops out from the house. He is sad that he finally managed to escape but succumbs to his wounds. Luckily though, he is not the siblings’ brother. Zenitsu initially doesn’t want to head in to rescue but with Tanjirou giving him that evil look, I guess he is coming. Unfortunately the siblings also follow them. Because Tanjirou left his Nezuko box with them, they got scared hearing something inside. Zenitsu’s panic mode has him blunder as they get separated. Tanjirou and Teruko realize the rooms change at the beat of the drum. They see this frustrated demon cursing he would have gotten that rare blood hadn’t that somebody interfered. Meanwhile Zenitsu is stuck with Shoichi and the young lad is disgusted with his cowardice. Yeah, his sharp words might have ‘killed’ the guy. Trying to find a way out, they stumble into a guy with a boar mask, Inosuke Hashibira. Run wild! Tanjirou tries to attack the demon but the room changes and throws him off balance. However Inosuke comes barging in. He is eager to kill this demon who will serve as his springboard to greater heights.

Episode 12
Inosuke is reckless and selfish, using anything just to get to the demon. This irks Tanjirou because he doesn’t care of Teruko’s safety. This sets Inosuke to attack him but with the demon attacking and the rooms changing, they are separated. Meanwhile Zenitsu has been yelling to keep quiet so as not to attract demons but the irony one pops up! Run! So scared this dude that he falls asleep! WTF?! But wait! As though he has a change in personality, suddenly he cuts the demon up in lightning speed! He returns to his cowardly demeanour once he wakes up. No sir, it’s not Shoichi who killed the demon! Inosuke kills another demon in his rage to find the drum demon. Speaking of which, flashback shows Kyogai was a former Twelve Kizuki. But Kibutsuji got disappointed with his limit and cast him away. Hence he believes in eating more humans to become powerful and regain his seat. Tanjirou and Teruko stumble into Kiyoshi. He explains what happened. After he was snatched, the 3 demons argued who should devour him. They started fighting among each other and when Kyogai got a drum ripped, Kiyoshi used it to change to change the room arrangements. That’s how he has stayed safe. Kyogai has been calling him Marechi so the Kasugai Crow explains it is humans with very rare blood. Feasting on one is equivalent to feasting 100 humans. Tanjirou goes off to face Kyogai. He has learnt the patterns of which drum rotates the house or attacks. However due to his nagging injuries that never fully healed ever since and that he has been holding it in silence, it is giving Tanjirou negative thoughts. He is pessimistic of his chances. Then he remembers Urokodaki’s teachings to adapt like water. Not going to give up now.

Episode 13
Kyogai rapidly rotates the house. Luckily for Zenitsu and Shoichi, the rotation has them thrown out of the house. When Tanjirou mocks Kyogai he won’t give up, this makes the demon mad. Flashback reveals he was a writer but his editor called his work trashed. The last straw came when he stepped on his manuscripts and was promptly killed. Kyogai now rotates the house even more rapidly. But with Tanjirou getting used to all the patterns, he finally unleashes his form and attack to decapitate him. As Kyogai vanishes, Tanjirou takes his blood sample as well as praises his great demon art. This brings Kyogai to tears as he realizes his writing was not trashed since he noticed took great effort to avoid stepping on them during their fight. He is now at ease that his work has finally been recognized. Tanjirou collects Kiyoshi and Teruko to bring them out. However he sees Inosuke beating up Zenitsu who is protecting Tanjirou’s box with his life. Flashback shows shortly after being thrown out of the house, Zenitsu tells us how he was born with very good hearing. Every living thing seeps off some sort of sound. So good his hearing that he can also hear other people’s thoughts. So he knew Tanjirou was carrying a demon with him the first time they met. He also knew Inosuke was the fifth survivor at the final selection test. But he came and went faster than anyone else. So when Inosuke came out of the house and wanted to kill the demon inside the box, Zenitsu went to great lengths to protect it. I know Tanjirou is having trauma seeing this scene like as though he is seeing his family killed again. But you’re just going to stand there and let Zenitsu get beaten up by this boar kid? Until Inosuke has had enough and threatens to skewer through him that Tanjirou finally intervenes.

Episode 14
OMG. Tanjirou’s Falcon Punch broke Inosuke’s ribs but that boar guy can still move like the wind! Because Inosuke thinks if fighting with swords is forbidden, then he’ll just go with his fists! Yeah, he even shows off how flexible he is. Finally Tanjirou head butts him. Fracture skull now, huh? His boar mask comes off. Everyone is shocked he has a girly face! Being illiterate, Inosuke’s goal is to fight the strongest. But the head butt is too strong and he passes out for real. When he wakes up, he is baffled to see Tanjirou and the rest burying the dead. Fight me! No way! Tanjirou thinks he is too injured to help with the burying. Everyone else better not retort… A Kasugai Crow tells them to head down the mountain. The siblings part ways and WTF Zenitsu doesn’t want Shoichi to go because who’ll protect him?! WTF?! Kiyoshi is given a charm made out of wisteria to help ward off demons. The Demon Slayer trio descend the mountain and looks like Tanjirou has a new role to play as the straight man. Zenitsu is being an absolute chicken while Inosuke is just barbaric and rude. At the bottom of the mountain, the Kasugai Crow wants them to rest and heal all wounds before their next mission. No, this lady is not a monster, Zenitsu! And please be polite, Inosuke. She’s not a weakling! They are treated and given food. Inosuke trying to piss off Tanjirou by stealing his food or get ahead of him but obviously that didn’t work. They learn Inosuke joined the Demon Slayer Corps because he stumbled into one, defeated him and stole his sword. Yeah… Then he heard about the final selection and the rest is history. When Nezuko is coming out of her box, Zenitsu panics big time. And then when he sees this cutie, he gets Super Saiyan mad. He gets the wrong idea that Tanjirou carries her around just to fool around. Zenitsu is so going to kill him…

Episode 15
So basically Zenitsu is in love with Nezuko? And he’s chasing her?! Everybody’s chasing everybody? Once their wounds are healed, they are told to head to Natagumo Mountain. Nearing it, Zenitsu once again chickens out. Even more so when they see a Demon Slayer Corps member suddenly being pulled back into the forest. Tanjirou and Inosuke head in and find a lone Demon Slayer Corps member, Murata. He explains there were 10 of them being called here but the moment they arrive, it’s like they’ve been controlled and started killing each other. Meanwhile Zenitsu is contemplating about things. Then he realizes Tanjirou went in with Nezuko! Oh no! Nothing makes you braver than the power of boners. Yup, Zenitsu’s turn to rush in to rescue his cutie pie. When controlled Demon Slayer Corps members appear to fight the trio, they can’t slash them because they are still alive. Tanjirou then realizes they are being controlled by spider webs. However even though he cuts them, those tiny spiders will repair the threads. The only way is to find the demon who is controlling them all. As the foul smell is preventing Tanjirou from detecting that demon’s position, he hopes Inosuke could do something about it. And we see Inosuke using his spatial awareness ability to track down that demon’s exact position.

Episode 16
Murata will hold back his comrades while the rest go ahead to find that demon. But the nearer they get, the threads get thicker and there are more Demon Slayer Corps to deal with. They are in a pitiful state and some of them have all their limbs broken and want to be given a quick death from the pain that their bones are piercing their organs. That’s because mama demon is getting desperate to kill them so she doesn’t hesitate to bend their bones in her haste to take them down. This is because her son, Rui is telling her to finish up quickly or he’ll tell daddy. Yeah, this sure makes mama demon shiver in fear. Tanjirou will still not kill so he comes up with this brilliant idea to toss his comrades and leave them hanging up the tree branch! Inosuke won’t be outsmarted and does the same thing. Was there a competition to see who can toss the most? This frustrates mama demon so she snaps all her doll’s neck! Tanjirou is sad but they have to move on. Now mama demon unleashes a huge headless demon corpse to fight them. Inosuke rushes in and almost gets killed had not Tanjirou quickly came to his rescue. Tanjirou calls the shots as he wants them to work together to take this enemy. After Inosuke cuts off the arms, Tanjirou cuts off the legs before Inosuke finishing off with a diagonal slash over its body. Inosuke then tosses Tanjirou up in the air. Now he can smell better and pinpoint the demon’s exact location. He drops in to slice her as mama demon fears she will die. However when she realizes she will be free, she ‘welcomes’ him with open arms. Tanjirou sees this and immediately changes his decapitation technique. Mama demon doesn’t feel pain but warmth. Flashback shows papa demon was always abusive of her. As she lies dying, she tells Tanjirou that a member of Twelve Kizuki is here.

Episode 17
Well Zenitsu, keep on b*tching. Until you stumble upon a spider with a human head!!! Freak out! More horror from him as he stumbles into spider boy’s lair. Yup, everything is hanging from a thread and spider boy has a head of a human and body of a spider. Freaking out yet? Yup. As expected. And even more when spider boy tells him he has been bitten by spider poison. In no time, he will turn into a spider and his slave. Zenitsu is cowering in fear that we get to see his flashback. As a coward, grandpa forcefully trained him hard. Then one day lightning struck him! Is that how his black hair turned blonde?! So scared at this point that he passes out. But as we know, this is when his secret ability activates. In his sleeping form, he is able to dodge anything in mid-air and anything else as fast as lightning. More flashback telling us that he could only master 1 single form of this lightning technique. But grandpa was okay with that. Hone it until perfection. It’s okay to run. It’s okay to cry. But just don’t give up. As an orphan, Zenitsu was a disappointment to many so they never had expectations of him. Except for grandpa who steadfastly reprimanded and trained him. Because no matter how hard Zenitsu tried to run away, grandpa always brought him back. He never abandoned him. Now Zenitsu is at his peak as his lightning technique decapitates spider boy. So fast that he couldn’t even see it coming! Zenitsu lies injured, lamenting his fate. However he remembers he can’t give up or take the easy way out or else grandpa will give an earful to him. When Tanjirou and Inosuke stumble into a demon child, she calls for his father. Immediately this big guy with a spider face comes jumping down to Hulk smash them. Stay away from his family!

Episode 18
Higher officers of the Demon Slayer Corps, Giyuu and Shinobu Kochou now enter the forest. Inosuke has injuries and can’t fight at his best. Tanjirou tries his best to fight off spider papa but is flung away! Shinobu stumbles upon Zenitsu and he is moments away from going numb. Tanjirou stumbles into Rui tormenting his demon sister. Rui tells him to stay out so Tanjirou calls their so called bond as fake. Just as to show us what Rui is capable of, a cocky Demon Slayer corps newbie who is definitely a jerk comes into the picture. Even spouting he will kill this demon and climb the ranks for money. Rui quickly slices him apart with his web! Inosuke is running away and hiding? Once he realizes he shouldn’t be influenced by Tanjirou, he stops using his head and goes on the attack. Using his sword as a hammer to pound it in till he cuts off an arm. Now it is spider papa’s turn to run? So he might look like cowering atop the tree but he is shedding his skin to become bigger, stronger, faster and scarier! Damn, now Inosuke’s turn to be scared? His sword breaks after trying to take him down. Oh dear. Inosuke really believing of succumbing to his fate and die?! Spider papa then starts crushing Inosuke’s head. Nothing much he can do about it. Just some weird flashbacks he himself can’t remember. But suddenly spider papa’s arm is cut off. It’s Giyuu. He is faster, swifter, stronger and more skilful as he cuts up the monster. Inosuke so impressed. Back to Tanjirou’s fight with Rui, the latter wants him to take back what he said but obviously Tanjirou won’t. Tanjirou has been waiting for a chance where the sharp smell has dissipate so he can predict his web move. But as he goes in for the strike, his sword breaks as he strikes the web!

Episode 19
Tanjirou dodges in time. Couldn’t have our young dying now, can we?! Inosuke wants to fight Giyuu and be the strongest but Giyuu tells him to go back to training. Since he won’t shut up, he ties up the boar kid. Shinobu administers her antidote into Zenitsu. As Tanjirou finds it harder to fight Rui, Nezuko pops out and protects him. This moved Rui. A sister who is a demon protects his brother nonetheless. This is the bond he wants. When demon sister tells him not to abandon her, he slices her up! If she wants to be his sister, then go kill other Demon Slayer Corps. Rui talks to Tanjirou on how moved he was. He wants him to hand over Nezuko and he will spare his life. As her new brother, he will create a new bond via fear. Of course Tanjirou will never hand over Nezuko. She’s not an object. He’ll kill him first. Rui dares him because he reveals himself to be a Twelve Kizuki. Rui somehow kidnaps Nezuko and when she struggles, he binds her in his web to teach her obedience. If she is still stubborn, he will leave her like that till day break. Tanjirou is mad and scared but he can’t let his emotions get the better of him. Rui mocks him and even lets him cut of his head. See? Not even a scratch! Rui beats up Tanjirou with ease but Tanjirou can’t give up now. Using his water technique, he manages to create force from his rolling momentum to cut the threads. Rui still has a trick up his sleeve, though. Using his blood to harden his threads, there is now way Tanjirou can escape this one alive. Is this it? Is Tanjirou finally done for? Ah, life flashback… He remembers Tanjurou, his father despite having a weak body, managed to dance about during the Hinokami Kagura dance in the snow. It’s all in the breathing. With that, Tanjirou turns his water dragon into a fire dragon! That’s not all. The spirit of mom wakes up Nezuko so she could go help her brother. She uses her blood to make the threads scorch and burn. And together with Tanjirou’s fiery power and force, Rui’s head is lopped off!

Episode 20
Tanjirou is feeling pain all over. But bad news. Rui still lives! Before his sword decapitated his head, Rui cut off his own head with his web. Now mad Rui is going to kill the siblings for good. Tanjirou done for? Not if Giyuu can drop in to save the day. He is on a whole different level. The toughest of Rui’s thread cannot even touch him and before Rui knows it, in a blink of an eye his head got decapitated! Didn’t see that coming. Meanwhile sister demon is running away and notes this is the first time she screwed up. Flashback shows she was hunted but Demon Slayer Corps. She stumbled into Rui. In exchange in saving her, she will be part of his family. She agreed and instantly her pursuers are cut up. She entered a ritual to become part of his family, which then included a lot more siblings. One day, another sister talked to her that she is through playing this pretend family. They should run away together. On the day Rui was supposedly away, they escape the mountains but waiting for them is Rui. It seems sister demon betrayed her by ratting her out. She was left to be burnt by the sun. Murata had the misfortune of stumbling into her and gets wrapped up in her ball yarn. The acid will soon dissolve him. She is pleased with this until Shinobu corners her. She pleads for her life but Shinobu doesn’t think they can be friends. Okay. Maybe there is a way. She asks how many people she has killed. Obviously she is lying when she said 5 because Shinobu stumbled loads of those ball yarns in a certain area. So the only way to be friends is that she will torture her for all the lives she has taken and then she can reborn again to be her friend. What do you say? Sister demon attacks her but this is all expected by Shinobu. She got slashed but felt her head still intact. Is she alright? Then she starts to choke and die from the poison within. Shinobu reveals that she is the only Demon Slayer Corps’ member who cannot decapitated demons. Because of that, she develops poison as she is a pharmaceutical expert and her sword was laced with wisteria poison. Bye. We go back to Rui, he narrates his intentions in starting a family is because he had no memories of his human form. By having a family bond, he hopes his memories would come back.

Episode 21
Rui was born with a weak body. All that changed when Kibutsuji met him. As a demon, he had to kill humans for their blood. His parents disapprove of it. Rui’s ideal parents are those who protect their child. However they tried to kill him so he killed them. Then he remembers. Mother’s last words were apologizing for not giving him a strong body. Dad not only wanted to kill him but the entire family too to take responsibility and atone the sins of his son a as a murderer. Rui realized that he broke that bond that night. He believed in Kibutsuji words that his parents were at fault just because he couldn’t bear the weight of what he had done. Ironically, even after creating a fake family, he felt empty. He was the strongest, nobody protected him. What he wanted to do was to apologize to his parents. He thought he won’t even see them in the afterlife since he is going to hell. But his parents show up and assure they will even follow him there. Rui apologizes in the warm arms of his parents. It’s over. Tanjirou could feel an immense regret from Rui’s body. Even though he cannot forgive all the innocent lives he killed, Rui was human. There are demons who regretted and lived in despair for what they have done. Shinobu tries to kill Nezuko but is blocked by Giyuu. Of course she is unaware of the circumstances so Giyuu tells Tanjirou to take her and run while he stalls her. Confused Shinobu thought he is just mad at her for quipping people dislike him. Tanjirou is ambushed and knocked out by Kanao Tsuyuri. Nezuko runs and can shrink herself! Kawaii! Giyuu doesn’t talk much or explain to Shinobu. How long more can she maintain her politeness? Kasugai Crows then relay a message that Tanjirou and Nezuko are to be taken custody back to HQ. Phew. Zenitsu has healed but is wrapped up like a mummy. He sees Kanao and recognizes her as one of the survivors of the final selection. He also notice the Kakushi crew cleaning up the place. They specialize in doing so after Demon Slayer Corps fight demons. Inosuke is also taken in. He is in shock that he isn’t strong enough to bring down a single demon. Tanjirou wakes up at the HQ before the presence of the Hashira level Demon Slayer Corps members.

Episode 22
Folks, meet the weirdo Demon Slayer Corps Hashira members: Apart from Giyuu and Shinobu, we have Kyojuro Rengoku (sunny passionate guy), Tengen Uzui (flamboyant guy), Mitsuri Kanroji (lover girl loves everything?), Gyomei Himejima (big stone guy always praying and crying?), Muichiro Tokito (daydreaming kid) and Iguro Obanai (snake guy). Most want to execute Tanjirou for merely having a demon by his side. They also want to punish Giyuu too for assisting Tanjirou but that can wait. Tanjirou explains about Nezuko but it is too far-fetched a story for them to believe. After all, that never happened in history, right? Plus, Nezuko is his family so all the more reason they can’t trust what he says. Sanemi Shinazugawa (crazy killer guy) provokes Tanjirou as he stabs the box with Nezuko inside. Tanjirou obviously gets mad and attacks him and then tells him off if he can’t tell the difference between a good and bad demon, he is better off resigning as a Hashira. The fight is stopped when the master of the Demon Slayer Corps pops up, Kagaya Ubuyashiki. He explains about Tanjirou’s situation and hopes they would agree to accept him as he has sanctioned their position. However some of the Hashira cannot accept it because it goes against their core beliefs. Ubuyashiki then reads a letter from Urokodaki that vouches for Nezuko’s circumstances that she has never devoured any humans even for the past 2 years. When that happens, not only she will die but Tanjirou, Giyuu and Urokodaki will commit seppuku. Still, this isn’t enough to convince the sceptical Hashira. Ubuyashiki accepts that there is no proof Nezuko will attack others. However the fact Nezuko refrained from devouring humans for 2 years and has 3 people putting their lives on it, for those who still reject must offer an even more convincing argument. He also tells them that Tanjirou has met Kibutsuji. This shocks the Hashira because none of them have met him. As they pound him for answers, Ubuyashiki continues as Kibutsuji has sent pursuers to kill Tanjirou, it may be because something happened to Nezuko that Kibutsuji never saw coming. Drawing Kibutsuji out is already hard so do they get what he is trying to say? Sanemi is okay with letting Tanjirou live but not the demon. He tries to provoke Nezuko as he cuts himself and drips his blood all over her.

Episode 23
Luckily for Nezuko, she remembers her family and Urokodaki’s words. She is able to resist the blood. Can this be proof that Nezuko will not attack humans? Ubuyashiki notes that even after this, not all can accept Nezuko. He hopes Tanjirou can work hard and further prove that they will be useful to the Demon Slayer Corps. Tanjirou finds his words soothing and promises to bring down Kibutsuji. Did Ubuyashiki just joke and say to start small by defeating the Twelve Kizuki first? Shinobu suggests to let Tanjirou and Nezuko stay at her place. As the Kakushi bring them away, Ubuyashiki tells Tanjirou and hopes to relay his regards to Tamayo. Arriving at Shinobu’s ward, oh damn Zenitsu just can’t stop complaining about his medicine intakes! Can this whiny guy just shut up???!!! Oh, there is Inosuke too. Lying there quietly. Lost his voice, huh? Uhm, Inosuke depressed and apologizing for being weak?! Man, this isn’t funny… Tanjirou is just glad they are alive. Ubuyashiki and his Hashira have a meeting. With the increase in demon attacks on humans, he is seeking their opinions in bolstering the ranks of Demon Slayers. Some find the quality of newbies have tremendously dropped. Ubuyashiki notes that with Rui popping up at Natagumo, it only means Kibutsuji wasn’t anywhere there. In addition, whenever he wants to hide something, he always creates a clever diversion to throw them off. The only way is to keep doing what they’re doing. Defeating Kibutsuji is the last thing Ubuyashiki swears he will do.

Episode 24
OMG… Zenitsu still complaining… Will this kid ever shut up?! Inosuke still lying there… Better leave him be. Murata visits Tanjirou. He looks fine but is depressed that after he gave his report, the Hashira complained about the deteriorating quality of Demon Slayer Corp newbies. Shinobu has Tanjirou and Inosuke undergo some rehabilitation training. But each time they return, they are more deflated than ever. This scares Zenitsu since he will be joining them soon. And then he finds out the kind of rehabilitation they undergo everyday seems to be body stretching, cup taking reflex and tag? Zenitsu then blows his top and gets mad at them. They returned from hell and got the chance to be with girls and they’re not happy? WHAT’S WRONG WITH YOU GUYS???!!! And so Zenitsu happily joins in. He loves being ‘touched’ by the girls and is even fast in grabbing the girls! Yeah, he got slapped. Won the battle but lost the war? Even motivated Inosuke got his groove back. Temporarily. Because when Kanao is involved, nobody could best her. So much so Zenitsu and Inosuke eventually give up. Only Tanjirou is left to continue the training. He still couldn’t beat her, though. Then he is given some advice by the loli triplets to concentrate on his breathing. He makes the effort to regain his stamina. One night as he is concentrating on his breathing, Shinobu comes to talk to him. He asks why she brought them in. Well, they were so banged up. She would also like to entrust her dreams to him. It is them Tanjirou could smell anger from her. Despite always smiling, he noticed she is always angry inside. She reveals her older sister, Kanae was killed by a demon. She too was a kind soul like Tanjirou and sympathized with demons even till her last breath. Ever since, that anger has been built up inside her. But she has to continue her sister’s legacy by always smiling. Seeing Nezuko defying the norm was shocking. She still believes demons only lie and murder humans indiscriminately. She hopes Tanjirou can find a way to cure Nezuko. Knowing he is working hard in her place reassures her to no end. You bet that will motivate him even more.

Episode 25
Tanjirou’s training is progressing well. Even asking the loli triplets to beat him up if he falls sound asleep! This has Zenitsu and Inosuke finally start thinking that they too need to get back to training. But trying out this total concentration breathing isn’t as easy as it looks. But with some ‘motivation’ from Shinobu, you bet they get their asses moving. Shinobu wonders if Kanao would like to join them since they were from the same class. She declines. Flashback shows she was from a poor and abusive family. To a point she just became unresponsive. One day when her family was about to sell her, Shinobu and Kanae stumbled into her. They ‘bought’ her as Shinobu scatters money into the air to her seller, enough a distraction for them to ‘steal’ Kanao. They clean her up and provide for her but because she is still unresponsive (only taking action when specifically told to), Kanae gives her a coin in which she could flip and decide. Tanjirou and Inosuke are visited by their sword makers. New Nichirin swords. Yay! Unfortunately mad Haganezuka blames Tanjirou for breaking his sword and tries to kill him?! Kanamori (Inosuke’s sword forger), is all zen and calm. Until Inosuke purposely makes holes in his swords like his last one. Kanamori now loses his cool and wants to kill him! Tanjirou has progressed so well in his training that he is able to best Kanao! Bad news for Zenitsu and Inosuke. Better ramp up their training. Shinobu gives Tanjirou the greenlight that he is completely healed and fit for real combat. When he asks about the Hinokami Kagura dance, she is unsure of it. Apparently there IS A DIFFERENCE between fire breathing and flame breathing. Kyojuro’s breathing is based on the latter and Tanjirou should consult him but he is out on a mission. It’s that time where Tanjirou speaks to sleeping Nezuko to give some sort of assurance. Maybe he is hearing things because it’s like Nezuko speaks to give him encouragement. Even if it’s all in his head, he is still happy to hear it.

Episode 26
The lower half of Twelve Kizuki is summoned. Before them is a woman. However it is Kibutsuji taking a new form. He tells them Rui has been killed and laments the lower half is useless. Throughout the century, it is the upper half that has managed to kill Hashira and even remain unchanged. But the lower half has always been changing. Maybe Twelve Kizuki should just be the upper half. Kibutsuji shows how fearsome he is as he kills off those who even tries to speak their mind, agree or disagree. If you even run, you’re dead. The last one is left. Any last words? He loves the despair and prepares himself to be killed by him. Kibutsuji likes his answer and injects him with his blood. If he survives this transfusion, he might gain more powers. Then be useful to him and kill more Hashira. And if he kills the one with hanafuda earrings, he will give him more of his blood. Back to the Demon Slayer Corps, a Kasugai Crow tells our young trio to assist Kyojuro in the Infinite Train incident where many people are going missing. Kanao finally talks to Tanjirou. It is only because her coin flipping finally allows her to. As Tanjirou finds it odd a coin decides for her, he borrows it to toss it so if it lands heads, she will decide with her own heart. And heads it is. He hopes her heart can grow as strong as she wants it. Tanjirou also thanks Giyuu for putting his life on the line for Nezuko. You can repay him by doing a good job. At the train station, apparently Inosuke has never seen a train before and thinks it’s some monster! Tanjirou thinks it is some spirit guardian… Tell it to them, Zenitsu… Because Inosuke attacks it, the police almost arrest them. Apparently Demon Slayer Corps isn’t officially recognized by the government so they can’t flash their swords in public. Really? No wonder demon attacks are so rampant… Stupid corrupted politicians… Don’t loiter around, guys. Don’t wanna miss the train… All aboard now.

The Shape Of Water; Every (Total Concentration) Breath You Take
Well, if you think all that wasn’t enough and also because there are still too much at stake to just ‘end’ there, be glad that there will be a ‘sequel’. At least the Infinite Train arc, the next sequel is in the form of a movie scheduled to be released some time in 2020. Though, I am not really sure if this movie would have Tanjirou as the main character because of its initial promotional poster that has only Kyojuro taking up every inch of the picture. Like Shinobu pointed out, he could be the guy who could help Tanjirou master his flame breathing or something. But we’ll have to wait and see.

I can easily see why many considered this to be one of the best anime for 2019. I feel the same way too. But too bad not the top because the third season of Shingeki No Kyojin was still better. Heh. But anyway, the story of this series is quite intriguing to watch and despite there are slow and draggy moments, it doesn’t totally feel boring to watch at all. This season has its plot divided into a few story arcs and sometimes some of the episodes might get a bit slow as they drag out a little the drama. But thankfully because of how intriguing the story and the characters were masterfully depicted, it doesn’t feel like a chore at all to sit through all the 26 episodes of this series. Looking back at all the things that Tanjirou has gone through, it is definitely all just scratching the surface and we have not even begun to dig an inch deeper into the lore and setting of this series. That’s why I believe this should get another season in the form of a TV series. It would be a shame to just leave it all hanging ‘forever’.

Besides the story, the other exciting factor that is the series’ strong point is its action and combat scenes. Can’ have a demon slaying anime without any demon slaying, right? In short, the fight sequences with the demons are quite exhilarating to watch. Although the fights with more ‘important’ demons are dragged out to several episodes, it doesn’t get boring or repetitive since Tanjirou is ever growing and improving himself. It is with great excitement to see him pull off different versions of his water breathing techniques and slowly mastering its various forms. So if you’re not into the blood and gore that are abundant in this anime, looks like you’re not fit and ready to watch this. Barney the purple dinosaur may be a better option for you.

Character wise, Tanjirou as the main character may feel like he is a typical main character for a shonen genre. Guy driven by a tragic past and with a great sense of justice and determination, he overcomes his obstacles. That is generally putting it and it wouldn’t be fair to just generalize and pigeonhole Tanjirou into that sort of generic main character although it is technically not wrong to say that he also fits that. Because we get to see up close and personal at how Tanjirou struggles with each obstacle and foe he comes across, this gives his character more credibility and hence why we also form a ‘bond’ with his character. For many instances when he fights with the demons, you just feel that you want to support and cheer on for him to win his battle. He has grown so much in such a short time and has a lot more room for improvement. And since we have been following his development, it is no surprise that we want to see him achieve greater heights and of course his end goal.

But the only ‘annoying’ thing that makes it all seem a bit absurd is that Tanjirou sometimes feel like Superman, especially in his desperation fights with a demon he is facing. What do I mean Superman? You see, Tanjirou is still human and since he is still considered a rookie Demon Slayer Corps member, obviously he takes a beating as the enemy shelves their techniques, trump cards and other moves on him. This means Tanjirou will have broken bones here, there and everywhere in his body. The ‘Superman’ part is how he is still able to continue fighting like as though he is no pain of those broken bones! I know. It is the cliché part of him having a much stronger will and determination that the pain is nothing. Or at least he must tolerate the pain for the sake of his Nezuko and defeat the demon before resting. Even with fractured bones and cracked rib cages, Tanjirou still looks pretty normal! I mean, he still looks good! No broken bones protruding his flesh whatsoever or blue black injury showing on his skin. It’s just unbelievable.

The other thing that makes the story and character development stand out unlike many of such anime of the same genre is that the demons (the important ones that Tanjirou fights) are given an equal back story to tell of their own. Generally, villains are not given much of the limelight and focus and even if they do, it is just a short one just to let us know why they are twisted and do what they do. But for this series, they take a step further by crafting the demons’ background. I’m not saying they too have a fair share of the limelight overall but with their stories fleshed out, it makes us understand and sympathize on why they become demons in the first place. Remember, demons are not born! They are made! So for Kyogai and Rui, they might not have a very elaborated back story but at least they have a background that ‘justifies’ why they become demons. Of course this doesn’t clear them of the guilt of killing innocent people but it shows us that these demons aren’t just one-dimensional villains who exist as a stepping stone for the hero to be defeated just because the story script says so.

As for the other characters, well, it’s too early to say or comment anything deep about them yet. We have a glimpse of Zenitsu’s background and why he is such a slacker and a very annoying whiner. Really. You want to hate this guy or feel annoyed but because he is such an excellent comical dude, I don’t know, I just forgave him and want to see him complain so more! It’s that conflicted state of mine that wants him to shut up but also don’t because a calm and cool Zenitsu who isn’t some flirt isn’t Zenitsu at all. I bet we were all shocked when he showed his real strength in his sleep mode, right? Nothing much on Inosuke yet at this point. Just some really hot headed kid who wants to be the strongest until he realizes that he wasn’t as strong as he thinks. It was really weird to see him come to terms with that after the Natagumo incident but at least with him acknowledging his weakness, this is nothing shameful but a step forward to becoming stronger. Perhaps it is Inosuke’s competitive nature that makes him so. Thus it is amusing to see him always trying to ‘compete’ with Tanjirou but the latter being so cool, Inosuke sometimes can’t help fall into his pace and starts feeling fluffy by his influence. Yeah, even the most badass of guys have their soft side! With these dorks by Tanjirou’s side, man he is going to have a hard time rounding in this circus.

With the introduction of the Hashira level Demon Slayer Corp members, it gives the series more colour and variation. Yes people, the most powerful group and team in the anime world is more than often made up of weirdoes. Powerful weirdoes. Each of them as briefly introduced have their own quirks and powers but at this point of the anime, they are not properly fleshed out yet and I think if we’re going to do justice to these characters, maybe a couple of more seasons will do the trick… I believe many of them have tragic encounters with demons so it is understandable why the hate demons so much and why they persevere to where they are now. Some showing their emotions outright and some hiding it with other weird personalities. Thus it is with irony that many of these Hashira members now have to live with the fact that they are sheltering a demon named Nezuko. It goes against the norm but sometimes like they say, you have to think outside the box. It’s not just always killing demons, more demons and demons dying. Because if Kibutsuji is already so cunning and sly, they need more than conventional methods if they are to really make humans win this war in the long run.

Speaking of Kibutsuji, this guy is really filled with enigma. At least for this season, they tease us enough to make us believe that he is the ultimate and true final boss that not only Tanjirou, but the Demon Slayer Corps will face. Kibutsuji showing up early (rather than in some animes where the real big bad guy shows up in the last few episodes or his shadowy presence only teased) and even before Tanjirou at least proves that his existence is real and not some fabled made up legend. After all, it is said that many Demon Slayer Corps and even the Hashira side have never seen how he looks like. Yeah, Tanjirou scoring at the lottery, no? Not the big jackpot but at least the lowest winning denomination. And before that, they’ve got the Twelve Kizuki to deal with (or is it Six Kizuki now that Kibutsuji decided to trim it down?). And since we don’t even know half of who they are (the upper ones), the suspense remains. Serves as a future plot for great and epic group battles, if you know what I mean?

Kibutsuji is also truly fearsome as seen in the final episode. It really gives weight as to why every demon who serves under him fears him like instinct. He is truly the essence of a demon. More than a dictator, his words are absolute and believes whatever he says is the truth. You cannot suggest, deny or even speak anything. You only exist to serve him and be useful to his needs. Otherwise, death awaits. He is brutally honest with all that and doesn’t need to raise his voice because he himself already gives off that aura of fear. I mean, who is going to really oppose him, right? So yeah, now you see why even thinking of his name sends shivers down their spine? I think even Satan himself fears this dude!

Then there is Nezuko who has become another bag of mystery ever since she became a demon. I believe it is the cliché factor that the strong sibling bond is stopping her from fully becoming a demon. Even all that has been explained about Nezuko’s uncanny demonic behaviour (especially from what Urokodaki said), it may all just be speculation. Nezuko sometimes feel like the ‘backup weapon’ for Tanjirou because if that guy is in a pinch and has exhausted his options, don’t worry, here comes Nezuko to help turn this into a tag team match! Yeah, you thought you’ve seen everything that there is for her to show us but now she can turn into a chibi version?! Like, WTF?! So kawaii!!! Makes you want to go own a chibi Nezuko keychain or nendoroid, eh? Are those on sale right now?!

All in all, there are too many ongoing development and with more new added characters to the fray, it is going to take some time to really flesh them out. Especially Tanjirou’s dad who seems to be just more than a sickly man. Kanao has got her small past explained but I believe it is just abridged and more could come in the future. After all, Kanao is part of the same group of survivors with Tanjirou who passed the final selection test and with 4 out of 5 them coincidentally ‘gathered’, it is going to be the future generation of the Demon Slayer Corps and humanity. WTF are they very subtly hinting Tanjirou x Kanao romance… I don’t even… Don’t forget about Tamayo and Yushiro too. They might be on the run but that doesn’t mean that they are gone forever. Still need that ultimate cure. Last but not least the big man of Demon Corps Slayer himself, Ubuyashiki. We’d like to know how he ended up with a hideous upper part of his face. No manga spoilers please!

One of the light-hearted and amusing sections is the next episode preview. At first I thought this Taisho Secret that Tanjirou or some other random characters of the series whisper to us, they are trivia about the Taisho era that this series is set in. Yup, I thought they were real facts or trivia. But the more I hear them whisper these secrets, the more I realize that they are just the small comedic trivia of the lore of this series. Yeah well, I’m not really that huge of a fan of this series so I don’t really think I can remember them nor do I really, really, really, care. Inosuke can only call someone’s correct name on the 7th time? Tanjirou’s parents always cook toast rice crackers for him after every festival? Uhm… Okay. Thanks for that bit but whatever. Only that one time this segment is switched to some Demon Slayer Academy! Oh man, this series having its characters in a high school setting? What are the chances this would be some silly spinoff?!

The art and animation are quite good. The series does feel have its own unique art style. It has that edgy looks to it and sometimes the art is cell shaded. Especially when Tanjirou unleashes his water styled techniques, they have this really cool mix of traditional Japanese art and cell shaded art to it. Of course there are some scenes whereby it gets comical and you can see how the character turn into its chibi form. Especially Zenitsu. This guy has incredulous eyes popping out?! Funny… Unlike many other action oriented series whereby the quality drops during fast paced action scenes, there are none here. At least, not that I noticed. Maybe I was so engrossed that I didn’t notice but I am sure that the series was putting in the quality in all those action scenes because they are rather important, especially Tanjirou unleashing his move for the first time or the technique that gives him the edge over his opponents. Smooth and awesome. The art and animation is such good quality and it is no surprise that Ufotable is the studio that was behind its production. They still got it there after their superb consistent quality in the Fate/Zero series as well as both seasons of Tales of Zestiria The X.

As for some of the character designs, notwithstanding at how some weird some the characters look (especially those Hashira guys), I happen to notice that some of the characters have dead eyes. Uh huh. Dead fish eyes. Giyuu, Shinobu, Kanao and even Tamayo all have this lifelessness look in their eyes. I thought they are blind or something but it’s just how their eyes look. And here is another big shocker character design: If you are old enough like yours truly :’(, the moment you first laid eyes on Kibutsuji, you’d be screaming to yourself, “WHAT THE HECK IS MICHAEL JACKSON DOING HERE IN THIS SERIES???!!!” OMG! OMFG!!! MICHAEL JACKSON STILL LIVES!!! Aaow! Hehe! Smooth Criminal! Oh yeah. Even looking at his name, the more I look at it, the more I feel it looks closely resemble to Michael Jackson. Mu-chael Kibu-Jackson… Sorry, bad pun. So MJ fans, the king of pop isn’t that. He just lived on as a demon. Uh huh. That Time When I Reincarnated As A Demon… And when I first looked at Tanjurou, I thought he looked more like a drug addict. Seriously. On a trivial note, the coat the Demon Slayer Corp members wear, well, somehow it makes them look bloated. Thankfully it doesn’t hinder their ability to fight demons. I wonder how they choose the design because it’s good to have them wearing different patterns and colours as it makes it extra easy to identify them visually. Can’t have them all wearing the same taisho uniform now, can they?

This series has a many seiyuus lending their talents and many whom I recognized, namely Natsuki Hanae as Tanjirou, Saori Hayami as Shinobu, Takahiro Sakurai as Giyuu, Satoshi Hino as Kyojuro, Kana Hanazawa as Mitsuri, Tomokazu Sugita as Gyomei, Kenichi Suzumura as Iguro, Jun Fukuyama as Yahaba, Mikako Komatsu as Susamaru, Junichi Suwabe as Kyogai, Ami Koshimizu as spider mama, Showtarou Morikubo as spider boy, Ryoko Shiraishi as spider sister, Takehito Koyasu as that grotesque hands demon, Ai Kayano as Kanae, Nobuhiko Okamoto as Genya, Hochu Ohtsuka as Urokodaki, Shinichiro Miki as Tanjurou, Shigeru Chiba as Zenitsu’s grandpa and Yuuki Kaji as Sabito. Phew. That’s a lot. And don’t think I didn’t spot my favourite Mamiko Noto as Inosuke’s mom making a very brief cameo in his short flashback! Hooray! But the one taking the cake are Hiro Shimono as Zenitsu and Yoshitsugu Matsuoka as Inosuke. Hiro Shimono is just freaking hilarious and annoying as the whiner while Yoshitsugu Matsuoka shows us he can cast off his heroic stereotypic voice in Kirito, Souma and Bell by voicing a character always in eternal hog grunting mode! Not easy to speak like that! Kudos!

The rest of the casts are Akari Kitou as Nezuko (Karin in Nakanohito Genome [Jikkyouchuu]), Toshihiko Seki as Kibutsuji (Senketsu in Kill La Kill), Toshiyuki Morikawa as Ubuyashiki (Julius in Black Clover), Kouki Uchiyama as Rui (Raku in Nisekoi), Rena Ueda as Kanao (Ayado in 3D Kanojo Real Girl), Katsuyuki Konishi as Tengen (Oga in Beelzebub), Kengo Kawanishi Muichiro (Rei in 3-gatsu No Lion), Tomokazu Seki as Sanemi (Chiaki in Nodame Cantabile), Maaya Sakamoto as Tamayo (Ciel in Kuroshitsuji), Daiki Yamashita as Yushiro (Midoriya in Boku No Hero Academia), Daisuke Namikawa as Haganezuka (Waver in Fate series) and Ai Kakuma as Makomo (Rossweisse in High School DxD). For a series with double cours, it is one of the very rare ones whereby it only has a single opening and ending theme. I guess when you have such a great story and action, you don’t need the gimmick of retaining or attracting viewers’ attention with a new opening and ending come halfway. The opening theme is sung by Lisa and Gurenge might sound like a song fitting this series as well as Sword Art Online because I’m just fresh off watching that Alicization story. The same can be said for the ending theme, From The Edge also by Lisa but featuring Fiction Junction. Uh huh. Sometimes hearing this song I could mistake them to be songs from Sword Art Online. A special ending theme, Kamado Tanjirou No Uta by Go Shiina featuring Nami Nakagawa is a very beautiful but emotionally powerful and slow ballad to say the least.

To summarize it all, this is definitely a very good series. Excellent story, characters and action sequences make it really worthwhile the quality and what truly means for anime to be anime. Just wished that it had more episodes and hopefully there would be more sequels in the future. Don’t make me turn into Zenitsu and start screaming and b*tching for a need to have another one! Sure, I can live with this kid’s incessant ear piercing screeches so long as I can get another season of this epic anime. I don’t mind hearing Inosuke’s uncouth speaking manner as long as they put up another sequel. I also don’t mind if they ever have that cheesy Tanjirou x Kanao romance as long as this show is having another sequel. But don’t kill off Mamiko Noto’s character in the next… Oh wait… She’s already… ARGH!!!! Just bring me the next season, okay?!

Strike The Blood III

December 27, 2019

Oh dear. Looks like with Strike The Blood III, I guess this means I have to watch the third season altogether now, huh? My third season of the series, huh? No, senpai. This is our third season! I didn’t think this would get another season but I was wrong. I did. And again, following its previous season’s format, it is released via OVA format and this means taking almost the entire year just to come out all 10 episodes for this season. Oh God. I don’t know why I must watch this series. It’s not that I am a huge fan of it. It’s not like I remember every detail of what happened in the previous season. It’s not that the harem and tits are… Oh wait. Maybe it’s that. All the headache and incomprehensibility just for some cheap fanservice that don’t even matter? Ah well, looks like my fight has just begun. Again. No, senpai. This is our fight! Again.

Tartaros Roses Arc

Episode 1
Kojou and his harem problems. More like his girls got problems. Like Nagisa reprimanding him not to wake up naked in front of her when she herself is in her lingerie. Then when he has no reaction, she gets jealous. What you want, girl?! And then a conversation with Yukina. Don’t know what she got so upset about. Did he say the wrong thing? And then Asagi… Never mind. Noticing that today’s class has many people late, it seems as Motoki reports, there has been a series of ships being grounded the moment they enter Itogami waters or passengers being food poisoned. What are the chances they aren’t coincidences? More women woes. Yukina already irritated seeing Kojou with Asagi. Nagisa takes a step higher as she shed tears the moment she sees them! Something not right… Now down to business. Kojou is captured by Natsuki to explain today’s problem. There has been already 21 cases of ship accidents today. The only thing in common is that all of them are heading towards Itogami. Because of this, no new people or goods can reach the island and so Itogami is effectively isolated. Natsuki suspected Kojou because only someone with vampire powers can do this. She thought capturing him would end this trickery but alas it didn’t. Yeah, we know this guy, why would he even do that?! After asking Yukina’s opinion on magical terrorism, this reminds Natsuki of a similar case whereby a Demon District in Europe was destroyed. The official reports said it was due to flooding but it was a deliberate terrorist act by Tartaros Lapus, a terrorist organization who commits magical terrorism in exchange for money. And the person behind it who can perfectly use feng shui like this is Takehito Senga. Yup, they need to find him to break this whatever diagram thingy. Then a call comes in saying that a director from Artificial Island Management Corporation has been sniped. Natsuki now well knows that this is definitely terrorism as they’re trying to throw their chain of command into chaos.

Meanwhile Nagisa is so confused about her feelings on Kojou that she runs away to a park and hangs out by herself. She meets and befriends December who claims she is here to witness the beginning of the end of the Demon District. Nagisa is then made unconscious and this summons out Avrora’s soul inside her. December assures her not to worry for this is their war and to return to her slumber. Then an explosion occurs at the administration’s HQ. Motoki is worried since it was his father, Akishige who is the president who got caught up in that explosion and his big brother, Kazuma who is a head of the operations won’t let him help. After Asagi learns from Kojou what is going on, she uses her hacking skills to get some info. But immediately she has to destroy her laptop as she was hacked back. Yup, some military grade virus not only infected her laptop but the Island Guard’s network too. Looks like Senga and December are in cohorts. The former is doing this because he has something he cannot forgive and thus putting an end to it all by using Tartaros Rose. Once Nagisa wakes up, December sends her back to Kojou. But the moment Kojou looks at December, those familiar and painful flashbacks flood his head. He realizes she is Avrora.

Episode 2
Kojou pretends nothing happened so December leaves. This has him thinking about December’s word that food is peace. This could mean Tartaros Lapus’ next target could be Itogami’s food stockpile. As they patrol around the warehousing site, suddenly huge golems attack. Apparently Natsuki was confronting Senga and they had a past. Just when she had the authorities surround to arrest him, here comes the golems. Kojou summons his familiar but is stopped by December who proclaims she is the leader of Tartaros Lapus. It seems she has the ability to control Kojou’s mind and seal whatever familiars she summoned. Luckily Natsuki comes to his aid. Then she realizes Senga and December are only distractions as Rogi the pyrokinetic is burning down the warehouses. As she is about to restrain them, December orders Carly to snipe Natsuki. Man, she really took a direct hit. December wants Kojou to join them but after he’s seen, no thanks. While Natsuki is okay but in comatose state, because of the hit from the magic bullet, Nina diagnoses she will take time to regain her consciousness. So Kojou and Yukina have a short while to lament their shortcomings. Can’t mope around forever. Better do Natsuki’s request to get more info on Tartaros Lapus. Just in luck, Rogi is here to bring them to see Senga who wants to talk to them. They are forced too since Carly has them in sights. Don’t want unnecessary casualties…

Senga explains that their aim is to destroy the Demon Districts. All the members in Tartaros Lapus have some history of being illegally used by the military and then abandoned. With Kojou still refusing to help, Senga reveals the true purpose of Itogami is an altar to resurrect Cain. Kojou laughs at this pathetic action of theirs. Even if they did try to ask for help and was shut down, was it because they really lacked proof? That’s not true because they themselves don’t believe in anyone else! So the irony of instead of destroying the Demon District to stop Cain’s resurrection, they should be saving the people who will be sacrificed for it! Well, he’s got a point. Senga realizes that their paths are different and since Tartaros Lapus will not back down from their methods, I guess this is it. After all, they have already set in motion to kill the Priestess of Cain which of course is no other than Asagi. Speaking of her, she visits Motoki who is puzzled with all the events happening. No word that Akishige has been found yet. Because if they wanted to throw the island into chaos, they would have killed Kazuma who is the real person in charge. Besides, it would take more than explosions to kill that old fart. Motoki’s sharp hearing saves Asagi from Carly’s snipe. Run! Kojou uses his familiar powers to rush over but is stopped by December. Then it becomes a battle of summoning and sealing familiars. Kojou looks like he is winning but Avrora’s soul plays cheat by asking if he is going to kill her again. Of course that guy can’t take any more pain to the head so he passes out. Senga comes to collect December and then has Ran to activate the Roses.

Episode 3
Kojou remembers the day he met Avrora and also that fateful day he become the Fourth Progenitor and killed her. A day known as the Scorched Banquet. Motoki and Asagi see demons hovering over the skies and those wearing demon bracelets are all incapacitated. Asagi realizes the hacking wasn’t for Island Guard but this. Now that they have been cut off, the only way is for Asagi to break into Keystone Gate and connect them back to Island Guard so the vaccine will continue to flow. Kojou wakes up after an hour. Mogwai telling him what has happened and it seems a large magic circle AKA Rose is hovering over Itogami. It is gathering magical energy from those bracelets. He hopes Kojou can take care of this as Asagi gets herself into Keystone Gate. With so many demons, can Kojou and Yukina handle it? Not if Sayaka, Shio, Yuiri and Grenda drop in to help. Nice timing for Yukina to take Kojou to a secluded room. She wants him to suck her blood because increasing his vampire powers could be the only way to maintain dominance over his familiars and defeat December. So why does she have to get naked if he is biting only her neck? Need to arouse the blood to the other head below?! HAHA! Oops, sorry… Anyway after blindfolding him, he digs in. Yeah, now I know. Can’t let the blood stain her nice uniform. No wonder her lingerie is also red. Apparently Kojou stops because at this rate her body cannot take it. Coincidentally Yuiri is here to bring Grenda to rest and Yukina gives permission to Kojou to do her in because it’s one-off. Isn’t every emergency one-off? With Kojou powered up, yeah those demons don’t stand a chance. But wait. The Four Heavenly Beasts that represent the directions in feng shui pop up. Is this what Tartaros Lapus is after? Sayaka then detects the one who activated the Rose. The location is Itogami’s abandoned district and Kojou realizes this would be the ideal place if Avrora is going to pop up one last time.

In order for Asagi to break into Keystone Gate, Motoki eats some pills to power up into some wind wraith and take out Carly. Meanwhile Natsuki returns as she restrains Rogi to find Senga’s whereabouts. Asagi manages to do all the hacking and it looks like it is going to affect Ran. She doesn’t mind dying this way but December unplugs her before she gets roasted. December narrates Ran’s tragic story only because maybe Kojou can understand why they’re doing this. Sure, he understands they have a reason to be angry. But instead of taking lives, he is going to save them. That’s why he will stop Tartaros Lapus. It’s his fight! No senpai. It’s our fight! When December summons Dabih-Crystallus, one of the Fourth Progenitor’s familiars, Kojou realizes that she is the Tenth Kaleid Blood and just a seal for the Fourth Progenitor’s powers like Avrora. December explains she was a captive for the Third Progenitor then, Chaos Bride. She was only released because she wanted to go to Itogami. Now that December has unleashed the seal, at the expense of her vanishing, at least the Four Heavenly Beasts will remain even if the Rose is gone. Not if Kojou and his girls can defeat them. Wow, they make it look so easy. December admits her defeat and hopes Kojou can send her comrades to a better facility. She gives him the power of the tenth familiar before vanishing. A before kiss before she goes. I guess Yukina allows it. Since it’s a sad occasion. Meanwhile Senga tries to continue with his mission but is shocked with the appearance of Akishige. Yeah, that old fart is still alive. It seems Akishige is pleased that Tartaros Lapus has done everything as planned including the Priestess of Cain entering the Coffin. Senga realizes too late that Tartaros Lapus was just pawns from the start and is killed off. Asagi is shocked to find herself that the spot she is in is Cain’s Coffin and Mogwai sounds like he did have an ulterior motive to lead her here.

The Time Of My Life Arc

Episode 4
With the restoration in progress, Kojou and co do some charity work to distribute food. All over the news is Asagi who has become a star after her hacking heroics. Heck, she is now an idol singing for peace! Woah! But Kojou feels something is wrong… Asagi looks a bit different. Then he finds out from her friend that this idol is just CGI and was done because the restoration wasn’t making any progress so they thought of cheering up the people this way. With Kojou looking so blur and oblivious, she can’t fathom why Asagi likes this dude. Yeah, he hasn’t even got a clue… Kojou and Yukina then goes to visit Motoki at the hospital but it seems he has been transferred to another hospital. Of course it is Kazuma who had a hand in this as he feels a normal hospital cannot protect him. Also, Kazuma wants him to succeed as the family head now that Akishige is assassinated since he has the proper lineage and abilities. Of course Motoki is free to decline and he will stopped being targeted. However doing so means losing their chance to save Asagi. Of course Natsuki will help them out. Sayaka is happy to become roommates with Yukina. Since nobody is home, she looks around and what’s this test kit?! It’s positive?! Freak out! Since Kojou lives next door, she knocks but only Nagisa is in. Asking about Yukina’s state, Nagisa describes what it seems to be pregnancy sickness symptoms! OMG! Can it be true?! Time to look for that bastard! Now Kojou and Yukina try to visit Asagi’s residence but it is heavily guarded by armed soldiers and you need a special permit. Come back again next time. On their way back, they are attacked by a mage who turns out to be Shike, Yukina’s master and also Nyanko’s true form. She was just testing her and looks like Yukina only powered up when Kojou was injured. Even so, she lost stamina after it’s over. Shike wants to confiscate her spear but Yukina won’t allow it and runs away with Kojou.

Yukina can’t go home now since she has disobeyed Shike, there might be pursuers waiting at home. So that’s what she meant when she said she doesn’t want to go home. It’s not like she wants to flirt with you, Kojou! Can’t stay under this bridge forever so Kojou takes her to a ramen store. Surprisingly they see Lydianne and Ibliss there. Lydianne tells them that she was infiltrating Keystone Gate but stumbled into Island Guard’s SSG, an official strike force comprised of demons who work directly under the administration’s board of directors. Lydianne tried to escape but SSG cornered her all the way. Just when she thought she was done for, Ibliss happened to be passing by and saved her. Since she is under his protection now, that’s how they ended up together. As for why she snuck into such a dangerous place, it is to rescue Asagi. You see, she is being confined in the deepest level of Keystone Gate. In the centre of this impregnable floor lies Cain’s Coffin where Asagi is imprisoned. Somebody needs to decipher that fake idol video because there is a hidden message from Asagi pleading for Kojou to save her!

Episode 5
Kojou and Yukina head down to Floor Zero to save Asagi. Gee, no security? Even with these weak sentries, Kojou is enough to dispatch them. But Yukina mad because he used his magic recklessly? Hey, he saved your ass! Inside this floor, they are shocked to see Meiga. He is also here for Asagi but unfortunately she isn’t anywhere to be seen. Since the guys hate each other’s guts, they start fighting. Meiga shows his true form as a manmade jiangshi AKA Chinese vampire. So he’s an immortal too, huh? And when he stabs Kojou, this shocks Yukina that she turns into an angel?! Hey, she should know that Kojou is immortal, right? So he gets back up and fires back at Meiga with his familiar. Suddenly the scene is cut to Kojou in a lab. Kanon is by his side as she explains they were found by Shike. Yukina is unconscious in the next room. But WTF Sayaka tries to kill him for ruining Yukina’s future?! Kanon’s dad and Shike enter to explain about Yukina having the power of a false angel known as Angel Faux (just like Kanon before). They also explain Meiga was once hired by Lion King to create divine weapons but died during one of its trial runs. However he was brought back to life and Shike suspected his grandfather, Senra turning him into a jiangshi. Due to his talents, Lion King hired him back but with lots of conditions. Hence Touka Fujisaka who was a Sword Shaman and first wielder of Sekkarou was tasked to observe him. Of course she is no longer is this world. She never returned after a mission. Immediately after that, Meiga turned bad before Natsuki threw him into prison. Although officially it is said that Touka died after fighting a group of mages on her own, the real reason is that she did not die. She evolved. She turned into Angel Faux.

Meiga finds himself alive and it is thanks to Vatler who saved him by interrupting Kojou’s familiar. Vatler knows about Meiga’s true objective to recreate the Cleansing that will wipe out everything from the face of the Earth. I guess Vatler has lived so long that he got bored of living? Kojou further thinks back on what Kanon’s dad and Shike explained about Angel Faux. Yukina will have no trouble if she continues to live a normal life but if she continues to use Sekkarou, this will rapidly progress her angel transformation and in no time she will be erased from this world and shift into some higher dimension. Then that pregnancy kit was actually some spiritual kit. Sayaka was devastated because this means Yukina knew about her condition beforehand. And she didn’t say anything to Kojou because perhaps a happy and ordinary life to her means being with Kojou? Oh, don’t start overthinking things now… Hence with Yukina out of action, tsundere Yukina will only help him save Asagi to save Yukina. Lydianne calls Kojou and has found Asagi’s whereabouts. The Coffin is docked in a submarine 400m below sea level under Itogami. Asagi seems to be enjoying her virtual life and has decent control over it. She is approached by Popess to make a deal. That is, she wants an eternal curse brand upon those who wield the power of the Sinful God. No can do. Asagi thinks she doesn’t benefit from this and would make everyone unhappy. I don’t think Popess is going to accept that since she wants to make everybody unhappy anyway. Kojou gets Natsuki to help him teleport to the Coffin. No can do. Got some magic barrier. But she notes it will resurface soon as the ritual for the Cleansing is almost complete. Then Meiga pops up. He is not pleased that Yukina is not with them. He is going to force her out then. Wow. All their combined powers can’t even scratch this jiangshi.

Episode 6
Natsuki warns Meiga’s power is the real deal because he can rewrite the laws of the world. So, basically like God? I don’t know how they can win this but they keep running until the Coffin shows up. And then Yukina pops up! And she turns into an angel to fend off Natsuki’s attacks. Meiga has help from Popess but ultimately it is Paper Noise who intervened and let Kojou and co escape. Wow. This is getting messy. In order to know why Meiga is trying to resurrect Cain, Natsuki calls a specialist who is no other than Kojou’s father, Gajou. Cleansing is about humans massacring demons on a large scale. But back then, demons were known as Gods. Cain was one of them and was somewhat banished. He met humanity and in his bid for revenge against the Gods, provided humanity with knowledge and tools like magic and magical artefacts. Even so, can humans defeat Gods like that? That is why Cain sought to rewrite how everything works. So by just turning Gods into demons, that loophole was enough to massacre them? Okay whatever. Of course the effect that Cain was also killed by a sect of divinity called Devas, those created and bestowed immense powers just for killing Gods. The strongest vampire, in other words, the Fourth Progenitor. We take slight distraction to see Sayaka in her drunk start. Meiga’s poison had alcohol so… Anyway Natsuki wants Kojou and the rest to leave Itogami so that they have a chance to fight back. Natsuki and Lydianne will decentralize the super computer. More Sayaka tomfoolery as she wants Kojou to suck her blood. Sexy time? Fortunately she passes out. Hence an excuse for Yukina to do it on her behalf. Because she sounds like this is the last time she will give his blood, Kojou refuses. Everyone will be sad if you’re gone! I guess that’s the reason why Yukina insists. Oh well. If she says so. Sorry to interrupt your feeding (why does it sound like sex… “Go deeper…”) but Shike is here to give Kojou a ring that will somewhat suppress Yukina’s Angel Faux. Why does this scene look like he is proposing to her, putting the ring on her finger?

Natsuki confronts Akishige trying to condemn the Coffin to the bottom of the ocean. However she won’t need to do anything as Meiga is here. Meiga doesn’t care if Cleansing destroys the world. That’s his intention anyway. Meiga thinks Kojou showing up isn’t a threat but Kojou knows that Meiga and Popess are not in real control of the Cleansing. Otherwise they won’t be down here at the control room because it is Asagi who has been protecting the Coffin’s contents, Cain’s wisdom all this time. Meiga is confident he can deal with her after he takes care of them. He doesn’t think much of Kojou summoning multiple familiars and it still won’t be any match for him. That would be the case if he and Yukina were his opponents. Popess turns into Mogwai and Lydianne has just rescued Asagi from the Coffin. The fight with Kojou was just to buy time for Asagi to do her preparations. With that, Meiga is defeated. Yukina collapses but it is not because of Angel Faux. She’s hungry?! Oh well, better than turning into an angel. Shike is glad it worked out because the ring links Kojou’s spiritual passes to her. So now she is his servant. Technically not yet his bride but his fiancée. Now I see… Meanwhile Paper Noise and Kazuma arrest Akishige. Old geezer thinks he can get away. True, if only he is the head. Too bad a new resolution has been passed to make Motoki the new head (since Akishige is thought to be dead, right?). With Asagi so famous, she has to wear disguise while walking in public. Nagisa then rushes to Yukina and hopes for the best, even taking things a bit far by talking about the name of her future baby! So will Nagisa be an aunt now? They didn’t explain it properly so I suppose that’s why Asagi also gets the wrong idea Kojou knocked Yukina up. Kojou’s battle has not ended yet… We see Meiga is still alive but Vatler kills him off and takes his Cleansing power. All as planned…

The War Of Original Vampires Arc

Episode 7
A council of shady hooded people… Oh well, what else? Destroy the Demon District! Meanwhile Kojou gets into some weird Valentine chocolates argument with Yukina, Motoki and Nagisa. I don’t even… Then they see Asagi getting into the car of Tobias Jagan who is one of Vatler’s men. Shio and Yuiri can’t determine the evolutionary system of Grenda. They also wonder if Grenda who was created to guard a lake treasure, could she be the treasure herself and that she is the guardian of Cain’s relic? They are attacked by Veres Aladar who serves the First Progenitor. It seems Grenda has been identified as a threat by the Holy Ground Treaty council and he is tasked to take her back to be sealed or recycled. Yuiri and Shio know they can’t defeat him but buy enough time just for reluctant Grenda to escape to Itogami to seek Kojou’s help. Aladar could have gone after her had not Kira intervened. Mimori sees this young girl, Kaleid Blood no. 6, Hektos who isn’t pleased she is going to resurrect her generation. Mimori’s goal is to clone a Kaleid Blood so she can transfer Avrora’s soul into that clone. In a way saving both her children. Hektos understands but tells her that her wish won’t come true. Hektos wants this body destroyed and does so. Kojou confronting Asagi getting into the car of Jagan. Geez, why he sounds like a jealous boyfriend? She ignores him and even her friend had to point this out. Heck, not satisfied, Kojou talks to Natsuki about this. Well, it’s Asagi’s freedom to do whatever she wants. So stop sounding like a jealous boyfriend and be one just because a woman got stolen! Kojou then spots Grenda on the roof. Can’t miss that big dragon. Before sad girl can explain, Aladar attacks. Kojou fights him and is of course no match. With Yukina and Natsuki showing up, Aladar knows better not to make enemies with Natsuki here. Hence he challenges Kojou to a duel at sunset today at a northern artificial island. If Kojou loses, Grenda will be taken away. If Kojou wins, Aladar will return Shio and Yuiri as well as swear on his First Progenitor name that they won’t chase Grenda anymore. Natsuki and Yukina can be the witnesses.

Kojou and Natsuki go talk to Shike about this. Shike paints this as a grim outlook that Kojou can’t win. She is unsure why they want the dragon but it doesn’t matter because Kojou will lose and Grenda will be taken away. 2 problems solved! And when Shike suggests Yukina give him something special as a final service, why does Sayaka have to get worked up and attack him? WTF?! And Yukina’s logic is that if Kojou wins, she doesn’t have to give that special service, right? Yeah, how she’d know he’d win? Shike criticizes Kojou that despite being the Fourth Progenitor which is supposed to be the strongest in the world due to the strength of his familiars, he doesn’t even dominate them. Theoretically, if he controls them, he can beat Aladar. Since this vampire thingy is something Shike is unfamiliar of, the only other person whom Kojou can think of is Vatler. But that guy isn’t going to give it to him easily, right? Yukina then suggests talking to Ibliss. He too doesn’t think he can win and even so, doesn’t have a reason to help Grenda. Is because he wants to save her enough of a reason? Because Kojou continues to be oblivious, Ibliss calls him arrogant. He has privileges of a king since even the enemy’s life is at his discretion. A discretion that only the very strong could have. It could be the reason why he is chosen as the Fourth Progenitor. Ibliss hints that there is another person he should consult. If he can figure out who, he has a chance of defeating Aladar. Or else, he’s done for. Meanwhile Asagi sees Lydianne and they do some exchange. Lydianne wonders why Asagi needs all these tanks. It’s to start a war.

Episode 8
Nagisa thought she saw December but is actually Hektos. She is here to bring Nagisa and Kanon to see Kojou and learn about the truth. Aladar is not pleased that Vatler has turned this duel into a grand show. Aladar insists the match will be over soon but La Folia disagrees and believes in Kojou. She adds to the bet that if Kojou wins, he must acknowledge him as the Fourth Progenitor as well as invite him to join Whisper Garden. Since Aladar is wary to accept, La Folia also throws in her virginity to him should Aladar wins. Kojou and Yukina arrive at the place to see it turned into a carnival. Yeah, high class and posh people waiting for the party to get started. And Sayaka instantly accusing Kojou of wasting his chances not speaking to anybody else and hence putting La Folia’s virginity on the line. Apparently it’s not because vampires are horny, if La Folia gives his blood memory to him, he will have knowledge of her kingdom’s secrets. So yeah, looks like the responsibility is on Kojou again to win. Before the fight begins, Kojou sounds like he is going to lose so it’s Yukina’s turn to tell him not to say it like that. Of course he promises to return. But in return she better prepare a lot of service for him! Holy sh*t! For real?! Let’s not jump to conclusions yet… The fight begins with Kojou pulling off a sneaky move to throw the first punch in Aladar’s face. But after that, Aladar goes all out and Kojou is on the defensive. Yukina is worried over her boyfriend’s beat down so Natsuki tells her to calm down and think why this is happening. This duel is most likely a setup by Vatler to make them fight so that Kojou’s Fourth Progenitor powers will awaken. Nagisa witnesses this fight and is shocked to learn the true nature of her brother. She is in shock as Vatler discloses more spoilers to her. She starts blaming herself that all this happened because of her. So shocked that she unleashes a power that temporarily freezes Aladar. Just in time because Kojou is about to get a real beat down.

Avrora possesses Nagisa to go talk to Kojou. With Hektos popping up and claiming to be Kojou’s familiar, Aladar is going to destroy all of them together. That is when Nagisa uses her power with Kojou’s to summon a familiar and fire through Aladar’s body. This isn’t enough to kill him but this opens Kojou’s eyes. He know understands what Natsuki said to him that he isn’t alone. The person Ibliss meant that he needed to talk to are those inside him. His familiars. As they are the ones who have been fighting for him. Hence Kojou warns Aladar to back down now or risk him summoning all his familiars at full power at once. This is when Vatler calls off the match and it is Kojou’s win. With unconscious Nagisa in a dangerous state, Natsuki teleports her to her dimension to recuperate. As for why Aladar was chasing Grenda, Vatler reveals that as the Holy Ground Treaty maintains peace between humans and demons, the council has deemed Itogami as a weapon of mass destruction and will thus be destroyed. As seen by what Meiga was trying to do, using this island as an altar, one can repeat the Cleansing. Therefore fleets from multinationals will soon surround Itogami. How is Grenda related to all this? She is the guardian for Cain’s relic. With this, Natsuki realizes Vatler’s goal is to do another Cleansing. As they try to figure out who else would be enchanting the Cleansing’s spell, they are attacked by Asagi’s tanks. She kidnaps Grenda and leaves the rest in shock that she is cooperating with Vatler. Then Asagi pops up on the news, announcing that the Holy Ground Treaty has sent a message to the Japanese government on their intent to destroy Itogami as a mass weapon of destruction. The attack is scheduled by 6am. Because it is impossible to evacuate everyone from the island and even more so there are not many cities in the world who can accept demons, she is urging all citizens to fight back.

Episode 9
Asagi further adds that the Japanese government has abandoned Itogami. But don’t worry, Vatler will be helping them. Also, she has Grenda activate fortresses that emerge and surround Itogami. These fortresses contain ancient weapons. With that, Grenda’s role is over because as the guardian of Cain’s relic, only she knows the dimension and coordinates of it. Thanks to this, Natsuki’s seal is also destroyed. While she assures there won’t be another Halloween Festa of magic criminals running lose, the more pressing issues is Nagisa. As Natsuki stopped her time, bringing her back to reality means restarting it. So the gang head to her side and Kanon tries hard to heal her. Apparently Hektos thinks she has done enough and knocks her out. Now it’s time to get started on their last banquet. So Hektos has them frolic in the sea? Is she naughtily flirting with Kojou just to stimulate him? So Hektos’ solution to save Nagisa is to extract the 12th familiar from her body. Wow. It’s that easy. But Nagisa disagrees because Avrora will disappear forever. Sure, but don’t do that and both will disappear. Hektos believes Avrora won’t disappear because she is their hope. It is that reason that Hektos believes herself to be the one to disappear. After giving her blood and familiar to Yukina, she starts sucking Kojou’s blood and lets the girls look. This is also to awaken Avrora and draw out the 12th familiar. Then Yukina summons her familiar to cut and extract that familiar from Nagisa.

All is fine and dandy now as the weapons manage to prevent the fleet from decimating Itogami. But as La Folia points out, that is the least of their problems now. Thanks to Vatler entering into alliances with countries not affiliated with Holy Ground Treaty, the world is now divided and on the verge of world war. A large one. This means Vatler intends to fight against the other 3 Progenitors. Stopping this madness depends on Kojou as she takes him to Whisper Garden, the place of the supreme council of the Holy Ground Treaty. The council is made out of 12 members, 3 of which are permanent members. Even if a decision has been made to go to war on Itogami, it can still be reversed by a veto. That right is held by the 3 permanent members who are the Progenitors. Of course that will be hard too seeing that they too might be itching for war. Kojou is teleported to Whisper Garden and tries to get them to cancel their attack on Itogami. No can do. Destroy Itogami = no more Cleansing = world peace. With Kojou realizing there is no negotiations in the first place, he uses his position as the Fourth Progenitor to veto on this war. Yeah, why everyone shocked by this? Like they didn’t see this coming? I mean, do they not know who Kojou is? However, Giada Kukulcan who is the Third Progenitor cannot agree to it because Kojou lacks something to claim himself as the Fourth Progenitor. Like a territory. Conveniently, Kojou claims his territory is Itogami since the Japanese government has abandoned it. Even so, he doesn’t seem like he has control over the island. But they give him a chance that if he can eliminate the threat of Cleansing without casualties, they will accept his veto. And he has only 24 hours to do so. With Kojou claiming Itogami as his territory, Asagi doesn’t welcome this news as she thinks he is trying to undo her efforts. Vatler on the other hand is pleased because he can fight Kojou. Asagi reminds him the deal is off if that happens. Vatler doesn’t mind. Asagi thinks of persuading Kojou to join them and Vatler also thinks this is a good idea. Kojou and him fighting against the 3 Progenitors. La Folia’s troops are now Kojou’s army and Aladar offers to help Kojou because he wants to punish the traitorous Vatler.

Episode 10
Aladar’s plane is under tremendous fire. Oh well, since they’ve reached the destination, prepare to crash land! It won’t be much of a story if anybody died, right? Aladar fights Vatler’s subordinates so as to let Kojou and Yukina go ahead. Meanwhile La Folia’s plane too is under heavy fire. At this moment she asks if Sayaka wants to marry Kojou. You see, Kojou will become the Lord of the Night Empire and he has the right to gather a harem as his blood companions. If Sayaka is not interested, she will not waste time with her anymore. Better think fast, girl. Sayaka claims it is to be with Yukina but to the rest of us, that’s a yes. Kojou and Yukina face off with Lydianne but she is easily dispatched with Natsuki and Astarte intervening. Yukina goes deal with Asagi so Kojou can face off with Vatler. Speaking of which, that vampire dude just sucked the blood of the delegates of the non-member countries of Holy Ground Treaty. That’s what they get for being scared and trying to escape. As Natsuki teleports them to safety, the epic battle between Kojou and Vatler we’ve been waiting for. Yup, Vatler has the power of Cleansing. Kojou is going to lose… Until Yuiri and Shio show up to stall him as Grenda takes him away. Meanwhile Yukina and Asagi’s fight… Looks like it is turning into some argument accusing the other. Yup, Kojou is the centre point. Accusing the other of being too close to him, having Kojou give them stuffs. What’s wrong with these girls? Bickering stop when Grenda delivers Kojou to them. Yukina goes off to fight Vatler since Shio is stalling him. Asagi slaps him to wake him up. Then she starts crying. Is this love? Whatever. After kissing him, she undresses so that he could suck her blood. I think it’s pointless to argue at this point so what the heck. Just sink it in. Can one actually suck gently?

If you’re wondering why Shio, Yukina, La Folia and Sayaka can fight on par with Vatler’s Cleansing, here is Motoki calling to explain that he temporarily has Yume to block Itogami’s dragon vein lines via Leviathan. So they have only 30 minutes to end this. Hence Kojou and Yukina go off to face Vatler. So he doesn’t need the rest of his girls? Whatever. Vatler is waiting for them at this spot where the Fourth Progenitor killed Cain. Kojou corrects him that is only because of the curse of the Devas. Afraid that the Devas could become Cain’s ally, he rebelled against them but was eventually defeated and split his powers into 12 beings and sealed. But all this doesn’t matter to Vatler as his real goal is to fight Kojou at full power. Vatler unleashes his power but Kojou scolds him for being a child. Just because he can’t overcome his boredom, he resorted to this childish manner. It won’t last. Uhm, you just made him madder. Point proven. So if Vatler wants to destroy the world, Kojou will protect it. Because it’s his fight! No, senpai. It’s our fight! Because Kojou’s familiars aren’t enough to fight Vatler, Yukina offers herself to give Hektos’ familiar to him. Yup, blood sucking time. Didn’t even hesitate. Now Kojou has all the power. Vatler even transforms himself and tries to be one with Kojou! They will become the new Fourth Progenitor together! WTF IS THIS GAY SH*T???!!!!! Unfortunately he loses to Kojou and Yukina’s combo. Too bad Kojou spares him because he doesn’t hate him that much. Really? After all that he has done? Because of that, his subordinates come to take him as the escape to another dimension. After all, Cain was also exiled. So is Vatler going to do Cleansing in another dimension? Right after this, the good news comes in with the Holy Ground Treaty rescinding their attack order on Itogami as they have recognized the island as Kojou’s territory. Time to go home. Even in the aftermath if Kojou is the lord of his dominion, he is still a high school student. So shut up and finish your homework! Oh, can you hear the alert that some magical being has escaped from the ward where Avrora is being treated? Time to go take care of it. Hey, it’s his territory, right?

Strike The What?!
Holy what?! You mean there is going to be a fourth season for this series?! A FOURTH SEASON?! Fourth season for the Fourth Progenitor. Heh. Sorry, bad pun. Still I can’t believe it. So my fight will continue?! No, senpai. Our fight will continue! I see this is what happens when you don’t finish Vatler and save us the trouble of getting another season! Sure, there would be other baddies who would want to use Itogami for their own nefarious goals but seeing Vatler had been the main antagonist and hiding in the shadows for a long time, by not getting rid of him means risking he will come back again in the future and bring a whole load of sci-fi sh*t that would threaten Itogami and the people living on it. So you regretting this decision not to finish him off when you had the chance, Kojou?

And as usual… I don’t really understand the finer details of what is going on. Yeah, yeah. I’ve always sounded like a broken recorder when it comes to sci-fi anime series especially those that have lots of those sci-fi jargons, terminologies and other crap words to make it sound oh so grand. Making it even worse is that I don’t really remember much of what happened in past seasons and compounding that misery of mine is that I was too lazy to go back and read my blog. I only refer to my old postings just to find names of the characters. Yup, I couldn’t remember some of their names. Yup, I dug my own grave from the start. And then me go on to blame how confusing this series is… And yet I still continue to watch… What irony! What hypocrisy! Strike the Irony! Strike the Hypocrisy!

And hence I do remember the series for the wrong reasons. Something that I believe is what the series is ‘consistently’. For instance, when Kojou’s harem isn’t fighting against the enemy, their hobby seems to be instantly accusing and blaming Kojou for being a pervert. It’s like their favourite pastime. Like as though they want some of his attention. Senpai, notice me, please! And now with Kojou having his own domain to rule over as the Fourth Progenitor, it becomes official of an excuse why he needs a harem. Not that the series needs a reason anyway to begin with but now this is incorporated into the plot so I guess it makes more sense for him to amass his girls. And I believe that his harem (emergency/spare blood bank would be a terrible name for them) would be further divided into tiers because when you have so many girls with you, it is hard to give them the same equal time. I’m guessing the top tier would be Yukina because since she is his observer and he has sucked her blood a lot more time than others. Next tier would be Asagi and Sayaka. And then Nagisa, Kanon and Yuiri. I could be wrong but I feel this is the pecking order from what I’ve seen. Oh yes senpai, this is your harem!

The other formulaic thing involves the fight and action sequences. Just like in many previous fights, when Kojou fights an enemy, the battle is always somewhat interrupted by a third party, be it ally or foe. This allows our main characters to retreat or escape, giving them some breathing space to plan or whatever. This is how they prolong the drama and the arc. You’d thought they would finish the entire fight the first time they meet but nope, sorry you’re not powerful enough yet or there are some more mysteries for you to uncover as the arc has not finished yet. So we’re going to shoehorn in somebody to break up the fight. Yup, that’s how it always feels. Oh boy. Everybody sure has their own problems to deal with. And for some reason they had to pick Itogami because, long revenge story or some vampire dude just got bored of living so long. Sheesh. Still can’t believe this guy wants to be one with Kojou to be the Fourth Progenitor. Safe to say Vatler won’t be in Kojou’s harem any time forever. Sorry dudes, women only. Also another thing I noticed this season, is it me or does Kojou seem to summon his horse familiar more often than others?

Having said all that, this makes me feel that some of the solutions for plots are written for convenience. Like as though they pull it out of the air for the answer. Take for example when Yukina was in danger of becoming Angel Faux. And guess what? Just one prototype ring created by Shike was enough to elevate the fear of Yukina ever disappearing from the face of the Earth. So easy, huh? You mean no one thought about it? That Yukina would turn into Angel Faux? Didn’t a precedent happen? And just like that, Yukina is safe with other technical loopholes because dumb people like yours truly don’t really understand it all. Also, this ring part is just to make it symbolic that Yukina is the main girl for Kojou. How convenient. I suppose that nothing in this world is neither perfect nor fool proof. You just need to find that weakness or loophole (which this series does quite often) and exploit it. I mean, Vatler’s Cleansing was supposed to be the ultimate destroyer, right? Nothing can stop it ever, right? Nope. Behold! Yume’s Leviathan did the trick. And to think nobody else actually thought of this beforehand. Also, it’s the only way Yume can get her 1 second cameo appearance. Remember that Kiriha girl? I certainly don’t. She didn’t appear this season at all so I guess she really left since the end of last season, huh? Oh well, don’t want to complicate the harem further…

Overall, this series is not for simpletons. Fans with sci-fi minds and interests are only ‘allowed’ to enjoy this. After all, everything that has happened so far, I believe it is just scratching the surface for Kojou since it is just the beginning of a new dawn for him as the real Fourth Progenitor. There are other quirky and shady characters or organizations to deal with so you bet they will ramp up all the drama and the likes in the next season. He won’t have to fight it alone, though. He’s got his harem. Truly, it is their fight. But for me, it’s just me and only me fighting in hopes that I would somehow by then understand and appreciate the fourth season. Fourth season, Fourth Progenitor, heh, it could finally be Kojou’s season. No senpai, this is our fourth season!

Once again, it is time for another Fate series. But this time we’re not going to go down that typical 7 mage Masters and their 7 summoned Servants fighting a battle royale. As we know, with the Fate universe and lore being so deep and huge, sometimes they have branched out to other genres even though it is non-canon. From slapstick comedy to even a cooking theme, now we have a detective theme, Lord El-Melloi II Case Files: Rail Zeppelin Grace Note. Hey, if Pikachu can do it, so can Fate! But this time it won’t be Shirou as the main guy playing detective but another wuss, Waver. Waver?! This weakling who was Iskandar’s Master in Fate/Zero is now the main character? Got to give some other characters some chance and love sometimes. This series takes place 10 years after the aftermath of Fate/Zero so you bet Waver isn’t going to look like some weak boyish wuss but a matured hardboiled teacher. Time really do change some people. A lot.

Episode 0
Lord El-Melloi II FKA Waver gives a lecture about mirrors and how it doesn’t reflect its image, the reason why some symbolize them as deities. Later he is praised by the other teaching staff for his work. We learn it has been 10 years since Waver fought in that Holy Grail War in which Kayneth perished. Waver then rebuild the modern magecraft theory and despite taking on Kayneth’s title, he is just merely a substitute until Reines El-Melloi Archisorte becomes of age to take over it. Waver returns to his room where his disciple waits, Gray. Waver is mad that staffs are trying to force him to take a stance in Clock Tower since it is all about power struggle. Because he nonchalantly curses them (though he doesn’t mean it), subsequently he experiences a few mishaps. Even more compounded when Gray’s stray cat keeps annoying him. One day while out in town, they spot the stray cat dying on the streets. Somebody ran over it. Waver despite never liking the cat, still takes it back to nurse it. Unfortunately it passed on and he buries it while lamenting he never had the necessary powers nor was he there on time when needed. Gray dismisses this and has always believed he was there for her. Gray then hears a cat purrs. They realize a cat’s shadow has been embedded onto Waver’s shadow. Calling his other students for help, Flat Escardos and Svin Glascheit, they detect the source of the curse to be the car that run over the cat. It seems the car owner has also latched the curse not only onto the cat but Waver too. This means he will suffer the same fate as the cat. But the culprit miscalculated because he didn’t know about Gray’s ties to the realm of death and had she not noticed it, Waver’s wounds would have been more severe. It would be easy to just counter this basic curse but doing so, Waver will never know the perpetrator. So they chase this guy down and manage to capture him. Waver laments that the real mastermind behind this will never be known because as Reines interrogated him, that guy never met his client and had his memories altered. He believes somebody is trying to kill him just because of his title. Again, Waver laments about the misconception of being saved. It’s all just in the mind. Again, Gray dismisses it because she is grateful he saved her. It is definitely the same for the cat. After coming to terms that fighting alongside Rider (Iskandar) was easy, Waver is resolved to fight his own battles from now on.

Episode 1
7 years ago, Reines interrogated Waver to force him to reveal why he borrowed loads of money to buy Kayneth’s class. After that Holy Grail War ended, Waver headed to Babylon, the city where Gilgamesh ruled and Iskandar died. However he was captured by a Clock Tower dropout, Barzan and put in some cell. In the same cell is his old friend, Melvin Weins. In short, he was scammed and locked up too. It seems Waver borrowed money from Melvin to go to Japan in exchange for some great story. I guess that Holy Grail War wasn’t it. But it was at that time Waver discovered how Kayneth died brutally. After they bust out, they stumble into Barzan and his team forcing other tricked people to dig for Iskandar’s tomb. Waver decides to level this place. He distracts Barzan by mocking the third rate magician he is while Melvin casts some spell to destroy the balance and let the evil spirits do the rest of the dirty job. The duo then fled and left Barzan in despair. Waver although is still heavily indebted to Melvin, still wants to borrow more money to buy Kayneth’s class. He feels responsible for his death and wants to take responsibility. Though, he has no collateral or guarantee to pay it back. Melvin is amused by his words. Of course he will lend him. In exchange, be his friend! Uh oh… And the rest is history. Still, Reines wonders why he is really doing it for since he is barely keeping the class afloat for 3 years. Despite not being a favourite student of Kayneth, he learnt a lot from his class and he doesn’t want to deny the opportunity to study to other students who used to be like him. Reines is amused with his serious answer and even more so he begs to spare his life. That’s because there is something he needs to do in the name of that king. Reines didn’t bat an eyelid to take advantage of his unfavourable position. First, she wants him to take on the debt by the El-Melloi faction. Next, try something to fully restore the magic crest of Kayneth that was almost destroyed in the Holy Grail War (it is said it will take 3 generations to fully restore but by that time the family will be in ruins). Lastly, be Reines’ stand in as Kayneth’s successor. As she is deemed too young to be taken seriously by Clock Tower, she will have Waver warm the seat and do things on her behalf until she comes of age. Waver is shocked at this large request but will accept it with the condition ‘II’ is added to the title. He might not like Kayneth as a person but he still respects him as a mage. After all, there is someone very important he is chasing after. Now in current time, Reines and Melvin visit Waver with a job that could help repay some of the debt.

Episode 2
Mary Lil Fargo was Waver’s student. Her family is a branch of the Animusphere family. Recently her father, Ernest suddenly died and his body dismembered. Many mages have thrown in the towel to solve this case so Reines believes Waver is fit for the job because he is poor and if he solves this, it will help reduce his debt. Waver and Gray head down to the mansion and meet the people who are there during the night of Ernest’s death. They are Mary, Alec (Ernest’s nephew), Fernando Li (Ernest’s friend and fellow researcher) and Claire (maid). He also investigates the site of the murder where Ernest’s dismembered bodies are scattered throughout the central hall. Some talk about astrology and how the 7 planets represent the 7 body parts. Waver believes everyone is a suspect. Alec owes Ernest money. Fernando is interested in his research. Mary would inherit both wealth and research. Claire was physically abused by the master. Lacking evidence, he goes to talk to Mary for more information and it seems Ernest is trying to do research on eternity. Because it is a mage’s dream to reach the Root, a human’s life is too short and that is why mages entrust it in their magic crest and pass it down their generations. As Waver continues to piece the puzzle together, Alec has been found murdered. Then Waver has everyone gathered in the hall as he explains his findings. From what I understand, Ernest is trying to become an immortal himself so that he could reach the Root. Therefore his dismembered body parts corresponding with the 7 planets is part of his plan in turning this mansion into a workshop designed to give himself eternal existence. Waver finds a hidden spot and summons out Ernest’s ghost. Ernest thinks this isn’t enough yet and wants Mary’s life. Waver leaves it to Gray to settle this. Using her familiar, Add, they transform into some grim reaper and destroy the ghost. In the aftermath, Waver talks to Mary. He believes she knew what Ernest was doing all along and that this experiment was doomed to fail since it was unstable and a deviation from the family’s traditional practice. Why did she not stop him? If Ernest achieved immortality, her situation would never have changed. She would have been kept in this cage for the rest of her life. And hence this was to prove that nothing is eternal. Ah yes, the lesson of how everything changes and people are no exception.

Episode 3
Waver is investigating an electrical malfunction at his favourite tea shop. While it might look like rodents have chewed the circuits, the staffs did call for pest control. However one of them went missing and the other was cowering in fear, claiming he witnessed something horrifying. As Waver treks deeper into the sewers to follow the monster footprint, he realizes a mage might be conducting a workshop underneath and that the monster is feeding on electricity to become bigger. And then… Waver gets attacked by a bunny monster! Gray then calls Flat. She is worried that Waver has not returned since his investigation. Don’t worry. Flat will get to it. Svin is jealous that Gray called him. Well, there is an obvious reason why she didn’t call you. You don’t have a handphone, right?! The trio head down the sewers and find an injured Waver. He managed to stave off the creature for now. Svin takes Waver back out while Flat and Gray investigate further. The duo stumble upon a skeletal corpse believed to be of the pest control. There are other skeletons too. This must be a feeding ground. A monster attacks but they are able to trap and destroy it. Finally they reach the workshop of Gueldoa Davenant. He doesn’t think he has killed innocent people because their lives are to serve his cause for him to reach the Root. When he has his bunny army surround them, cue for Waver and Svin to make their grand entrance. Waver then explains the source of his magic and deducing his goal from it all. Not that I really understand. This shocks Gueldoa a lot because he never thought he would know this much. Eventually, Waver points out that it is because of modern times and they are living in the age of information, thanks to the internet and news, he was able to put together the pieces easily like the surge in electric power and recent missing people. Above all, he has wrote in to some zoology magecraft department to strip Gueldoa of his position and they agree it. Gueldoa is in despair and gives up. After he is arrested, Waver reveals that half of his explanations were bluffs and they would have been done for had Gueldoa decided to act with force. Later Reines sees Waver as she has Luvia to inform him on her investigations regarding the Holy Grail War: Two positions for Association participants have now closed.

Episode 4
Wills Pelham Codrington, son of the recently departed Trevor seeks Waver’s help. Trevor was known as the greatest necromancer as he converted a wasteland into a workshop. However the workshop went berserk and many in the family died via lightning strike. The last was of course Trevor himself. If this incidents continue, the workshop will be taken by the main Codrington family. The rest he will tell when they arrive at the mansion. Upon arrival, Wills is arrested by Hishiri Adashino from Policies. It seems Waletta of the main family who is sent here to ascertain Trevor’s death, tried to summon Trevor’s spirit residual but there is no trace of that left. She accuses Wills of erasing all evidence and so happen that Wills has been present at all other deaths too. Wills says it is a misunderstanding. He did try to summon Trevor but failed. Waver believes it is all circumstantial evidence and since a lightning storm is locking them in, he will investigate and present his findings with evidence. Waletta is against this because modern magecraft has nothing to do with spirit evocation. But as Reines points out, it is the spirit evocation department that requested them to handle this case. Later Wills sees Waver who wants to know the other thing he wants to talk about. After sprinkling some magic dust, Waver is able to see a fairy. Wills claims he was born with that ability and everything a fairy appears, somebody dies. He knows it is some sort of warning but wants to know what is the fairy warning him against. Reines and Gray stumble into a secret underground passage. As they trek deeper, the power starts to affect Reines’ Mystic Eyes greatly. However guardian spirits start attacking thinking they are grave robbers but luckily Shishigou is here to save them and get them out. Reuniting with the rest, Shishigou explains he was taking the underground graveyard so as to avoid the storm above. He is a close friend of Trevor and came to express his condolences. Later Waver thinks he found the connection between lightning, Mystic Eyes and graveyard and goes to do some research to confirm something. Late that night, Gray comes knocking on Waver’s room. What’s the emergency? Waletta has been struck by lightning!

Episode 5
Wills is unable to summon anything from Waletta. Hence Adashino still suspects him and cordons him in his room. Waver will continue to investigate but needs Shishigou’s help to see this through. As Shishigou and Gray gather some research materials, they are being attacked by a Black Dog, supposedly evil spirits or fairies. To Shishigou’s surprise, Gray despatches it with her scythe. Reporting this to the rest, Shishigou wants to know about Gray’s Mystic Code. Waver reveals the scythe is just a disguise and its true form is a spear of King Arthur, Rhongomyniad. Waver then has everyone gathered to conduct a ritual that summons the fairy. Now she can talk because thanks to some combination of powers between Wills’ Fairy Eyes and Reines’ Mystic Eyes. Waver reveals the perpetrator is Trevor and this entire workshop is actually a weapon. Thus the lightning strikes weren’t accidents but premeditative murders. The workshop summons a Black Dog to kill humans in which they will be turned into another Black Dog. It is Trevor’s wish to control artificial fairies to serve under him. But why was Trevor murdered? The fairy admits she killed him because she heard how he was using them for his nefarious ends. But that did not stop the ritual and that’s why she sought help. And something about Wills in love with the fairy?! The place is then under attack by Black Dogs. Apparently Waver realizes too late that his ritual has an effect on Adashino’s barrier and opened up a gate to the other world. They go destroy the ravaging Black Dogs but since they are too many, Waver requests Gray to use her Rhongomyniad. Despite defeating the big mother, the gate is still open. Is it too late? Not that Wills can do something about it. But Waver doesn’t want him to sacrifice himself by going to the other side. Unfortunately, Wills being in love with the fairy claims he isn’t going to die but just join Trevor, Waletta and the rest on the other side. Thanks for uncovering this mystery. In the aftermath as everyone leaves, Adashino shows the results of her investigation. It seems Trevor created Wills’ eyes to be the foundation of this workshop. It is thought that one is born with Mystic Eyes but Waver remembers Rail Zeppelin, a phantom train that buys and sells such eyes. Adashino hands him a copy of Rail Zeppelin’s materials and Waver is not so pleased that this is Policies’ aim in the first place.

Episode 6
Gray notices Waver sometimes in distress so she goes to ask Reines what happened during his participation in the Holy Grail War. But first, Gray must accompany her shopping. At Carnac, it’s like Gray has become her dress up doll. Having fun? They stumble into Luvia. Apparently she is the new owner of Carnac and has done quite an extensive and lavish redecoration. Luvia offers to give them a tour of the place. Basically a high class girls hanging out, huh? During that time, Reines tells about that Holy Grail War and also Iskandar who had a tremendous effect on Waver’s life. Suddenly it’s like the trio are transported to another dimension. They’re still inside the store but nobody else is around. It seems they are trapped and their current magecraft cannot get them out. So as they ponder who would be targeting them, it eventually dawned to them that there might be no perpetrator and this might just be an accident. Because so far there is no moves from the perpetrator and it would be suicidal to target them together in the same place. Because of the extensive and lavish redecorations, that could be the trigger and it created an excessive reaction. They head down to the basement whereby there is a statue that Luvia has placed some magic on. This is to spur customers’ impulse to buy. It is an expensive lesson for her to learn from this as she prepares to destroy it. However, security bots pop up. As this is her store, Luvia will take care of this. Pro wrestling moves?! So much about the perfect security system. Is Luvia enjoying herself? After destroying the statue, they return to normal time. On the way back, Reines deduces that the trio are seen as valuable treasures so when they were leaving, this security barrier activated. Gray doesn’t have high self-esteem so she doesn’t see why but Reines points out that she holds the most important Noble Phantasm ever. When Gray returns to Waver, he looks even more distress. It seems the mantle of Iskandar he keeps in a box is stolen. In place is a note inviting him to a banquet. It is from Rail Zeppelin. He hopes Gray can come with him.

Episode 7
As Rail Zeppelin was created by some super vampire group, the guests are all going to be supernatural. Waver is accompanied by Gray and Caules as he recognizes some of the familiar faces like Adashino, Fernando and Yvette L. Lehrman (one of his students). Also on board is Olga Marie Arsimilat Animusphere, the daughter of the Astromancy Lord. She quickly warns him not to get in her way of the auction. Everyone is startled with the presence of Karabo Frampton as he is from the Holy Church. But calm down. He is here to participate in the auction too. Meanwhile Reines calls Shishigou and tells him about the stolen Iskandar mantle. She wants him to investigate and has Luvia as his assistant. She can’t use magecraft to solve this as she suspects an inside job. Waver tries to find who sent him the invitation but to no avail. Instead, he receives a letter of him snooping around believed to be from that thief and wants him to meet at some place. Olga then talks to Waver. He is willing to listen since it concerns about the next Holy Grail War. As there will be a very high class Rainbow Mystic Eyes on auction, she wants to get her hands on it. So if somebody else outbids her, she wants him to outbid that person. Even though he is broke? Because of his status as Lord, nobody would dare challenge him. She promises to reward him handsomely. She has her assistant, Trisha Fellows demonstrate her Mystic Eyes whose properties is premonition. Gray is suffering from motion sickness so Karabo gives her an apple to help with the nausea. The moment he touches her hand, he sees her past and realizes she isn’t a Mage. Trisha talks to Waver and has researched about his participation in the previous Holy Grail War. Because it was a life changing event for him, she cautions him about getting the Rainbow Mystic Eyes. To have Mystic Eyes is to accept and be bound by them. So please consider if he ever wishes to buy one. With Gray still fumbling to give her gift to Waver, and that guy still reminiscing to meet Iskandar even if there is a chance he might not remember him, suddenly they hear Olga’s scream. Trisha has been decapitated!!!

Episode 8
Olga blames Karabo and tries to attack him but is knocked out. Karabo conducts autopsy but couldn’t see much. Waver also conducts his autopsy and suspects Karabo is only here because he wants to sell his Mystic Eyes. Karabo admits that but even his Mystic Eyes wasn’t able to tell him the perpetrator. Oddly, Trisha would have taken action had she saw this coming. This means the killer is one who is invisible from time, past and present. Olga continues to show her displeasure, thinking this is Waver’s plan to make her family owe him one. Calm down, girl. You think everybody is out to get you? Later Waver confronts Adashino and suspects her motives on Rail Zeppelin. He cannot think of a reason for her to be here. Adashino tells him the sponsor for Gueldoa and Codrington are the same person but stops short in saying if that person is involved in Rail Zeppelin. Waver and Gray go meet the person who wrote that letter. Woah. Who this hot warrior chick? She isn’t the one who stole Iskandar’s mantle but the vassal of that thief. Anyway, she seems disappointed to see the kind of person Waver is and is going to kill him. Waver can tell she is a Servant. Gray protects him only to be hypnotized but luckily is cleansed by her scythe. Waver is shocked when she reveals herself to be Hephaestion, Iskandar’s confidante. She unleashes an attack to kill them but Waver cuts part of his hair to stem the flow of her thunder. Waver laments never knowing such a person who served under Iskandar before passing out. Turns out he has some burns on his body. Caules does what he can to heal him. Olga stops being a b*tch for once as she hands over some druid elixir to hasten his recovery. I guess they’re even now? Reines calls Luvia to tell him about Waver being injured but is interrupted when Melvin barges in. He is dismayed she never told him about Waver being invited on Rail Zeppelin. But no matter because Melvin is going to join Waver. He has used the financial powers of his family to get himself an invitation.

Episode 9
Olga learns about Hephaestion but finds it odd that a Servant is able to materialize and maintain her memories outside the Holy Grail War. Flashback on Waver’s lesson regarding some invocation theoretically makes it possible. Whatever. Olga also deduces that Waver isn’t here to buy Mystic Eyes but to find the thief who stole Iskandar’s mantle. Somebody forces the train to change tracks and now it has entered the forest known as Child of Einnashe where dead apostles reside. After coming to a full stop, several mages try to burn a path for the tracks but were promptly killed by the forest. Olga decides to hole herself up in her room until this situation is resolved. She reminds Gray that she isn’t her ally and will figure out Trisha’s murder herself. Shishigou meets up with his old friend, Jean Mario Supinerra who is now a celebrity chef. Trisha’s decapitation is similar to that headless corpses case in London. Clock Tower and the Holy Church limited any broadcast of it and confiscated what little that was broadcasted. He heard that there was a girl who wanted to hear about it. That girl is Trisha. Gray thought there is a zombie outside her window but it turns out to be Melvin! The forest attacked his helicopter but he miraculously survived. He wants to know who hurt Waver but looks like Karabo and Yvette have come to seek their help to move the train or otherwise risk the auction being cancelled. They have asked others for help but they refused and barricaded themselves in their rooms. While Yvette detects the leylines, Karabo will use his swords as markers and activate the tracks. Gray is supposed to come with them but she has to attend to some other more important business. Facing off with Hephaestion, that is. Olga finds a weird dimensional spell in her room. Activating it, the head of Trisha drops out! Karabo’s side has marked enough trees and head back to the train. But no sign of Gray. She’s going to take down Hephaestion right now because if she lets her escape, she might return to hurt Waver.

Episode 10
Gray is saved by Hephaestion? What the heck is this about warriors should be dying on the battlefield? I don’t get it. Anyway, Hephaestion views them as same but when Gray questions her about reprimanding Iskandar through her actions, Hephaestion forcefully makes her reveal what she saw in her dreams. Luvia and Shishigou now talk to Mary who is Trisha’s old friend. She claims Olga was abandoned by her father who was then obsessed in researching about the Holy Grail War. This also made Trisha research into this so as to find out why he abandoned his daughter and if this had any relation to the serial murder case 7 years ago. It is also noted that a man without a heart as he was named was also doing that research based on Olga’s father’s request. With that, Luvia has an idea who that person is. He has a step sister who is on board Rail Zeppelin now. Gray slides on Add back onto Rail Zeppelin as it leaves the forest. Adashino has gathered everyone to listen to her deduction. So she’s taking over Waver’s role? She admits the method used in Trisha’s murder is the same as that serial killer incident. From what I understand, Trisha was decapitated in a different place. Calling Olga as the witness, she shows everyone Trisha’s head. Because Trisha saw that she would be decapitated she opened some dimensional pocket to let her head fall into it when that happens. Hence her head is still alive when it dropped out. The last word she uttered was “Karabo”. I don’t really get this part as Adashino deduces Karabo sliced the air and since the train is travelling in a predetermined path, it made it easier for Trisha to be decapitated when she reached that point. Before Karabo can be accused as the perpetrator, Waver returns to call Adashino’s deduction just as delusions because she failed to establish a motive for the crime. At the same time, the deputy of Rail Zeppelin pops up to take Karabo’s Mystic Eyes as already informed. This has Waver think that Adashino planned this out in good timing so that Rail Zeppelin could back up her deductions. Later Waver asks Karabo if he was that serial killer. He cannot remember and it might be due to the effects of the Mystic Eyes forcing him to see what he does not want to see. If only he had his Mystic Eyes now, the truth can be revealed. Sure, they can buy it back at this auction but does Waver have that crazy amount of money? Don’t worry. What are (filthy rich) best friends like Melvin for?

Episode 11
Waver finds it odd that despite Hephaestion claiming herself to be Iskandar’s aide, he has not seen her once in his Noble Phantasm. Waver then goes to ask Olga for help and she gets emotional about I don’t know what but she hates them all. After Waver tells his own story, I guess it’s best just to cooperate. And something about Olga talking about everything to her seems fake like as though it is an afterimage. Shishigou pulls Flat and Svin from their special classes so they can conduct some new mission. Waver calls Luvia to note his suspicion on Olga’s father who seems to know about the Holy Grail War because that is a very tightly kept secret that only a few mages would know. It is no doubt that somebody made him move and got Trisha killed when she was investigating it. Waver takes a look at the leylines of the world and now he suddenly realizes everything. Something to do with Hephaestion being a woman or not inside Iskandar’s Noble Phantasm. But rather something is claiming to be Hephaestion. The auction begins and the attraction is the Jewel class Mystic Eyes. It’s like everybody against Adashino since each time somebody bids higher, she outbids them. So much so Melvin has to call a break because he is worried if Waver have that much money. After pulling some strings, I guess Waver has got a few additional funds to keep bidding should the price go higher. The auction resumes. High enough that Adashino backs down. However Waver finds himself with intense competition with Yvette. By the time Yvette bids 500 million, Waver uses this chance to explain about Trisha’s death since a second break isn’t technically allowed. He draws a conclusion that Trisha and the murders 7 years ago all have missing heads. Bringing in Trisha’s head into the room, from what I understand, it is the same perpetrator and that person decapitates the head so as to gain control over the Mystic Eyes. Showing some little Buddha statue that Olga showed him that was with Trisha’s head in the other dimension, this is used to block and interfere with Karabo’s vision. Adashino knew about this, that’s why she hid this important evidence. Trisha saw she would meet Karabo so she boarded this train to get answers from him regarding that serial murder. But she didn’t see this coming and lost her life. The same culprit who manipulated Karabo and the one responsible for the serial murders, only 1 person can do that. Suddenly Caules is bound.

Episode 12
Is Caules the culprit? Actually this person is impersonating him and the real one shows up with Reines. Thanks to Luvia, Flat and Svin combining their effort to spring launch them into Rail Zeppelin. It’s the only way to get there without an invitation. Huh? Waver knew this Caules is fake because his healing was perfect. The impersonator reveals himself to be the previous head of modern magecraft, Dr Heartless. With a name like that, it’s no surprise you can tell he is that man who got his heart stolen by fairies. Heartless also funded Yvette and had her cooperate with him. That is why Waver also had Adashino cooperated with him. The rest of Waver’s deduction I don’t really don’t understand but from what I can pick up, it seems Heartless can create his own Holy Grail. Or at least a variant of it. Thus killing Trisha and obtaining her Mystic Eyes was just an addendum to seek the Holy Grail War. Due to the leyline distortion when Rail Zeppelin clashed with Child of Einnashe, this allows him to summon a Heroic Spirit. This might not be enough to summon a Holy Grail War because the leyline must be in contact with Japan or something so Heartless needed something else like a Master of a previous Holy Grail War like Waver. Heartless then summons Hephaestion to attack Adashino before she can restrain him. Waver deduces that since the Holy Grail is fake, Master is fake and Command Spells are fake, it could only mean that Hephaestion is a fake Heroic Spirit. Something that Heartless calls this class as Faker. That’s why Hephaestion introduced her name instead of her class then. As for her different appearance and why she wasn’t in Iskandar’s Noble Phantasm, she is more like a shadow double for Iskandar. Hephaestion is like the residual image of the king, a magic double who protected the king by fabricating his appearance and existence.

Heartless and Hephaestion flee seeing they don’t want to risk fighting and destroy all the Mystic Eyes. Yvette won’t go along since she’d rather serve her punishment rather than living life as a fugitive. Waver and Gray aren’t done yet. Confronting them on top of the train, Heartless gives back the stolen mantle. Heartless orders a retreat but Waver’s deduction further provokes Hephaestion as she wants to kill him. Waver deduces about Hephaestion not being in Iskandar’s army is because she hates his army. Something about she is some dead twin and wasn’t given a name. When Iskandar wanted to give her a name, she refused. While Gray fights Hephaestion, Heartless summons Child of Einnashe to grind Rail Zeppelin to a halt. Karabo joins in to fight Hephaestion. He has gotten his eyes back since the auction is annulled. Olga and the other mages cast their spells to rain some magic meteorite to burn the forest. The conductor loads in a pair of Mystic Eyes to turn Rail Zeppelin into some mean cannon and blasts the core of Child of Einnashe. Hephaestion uses her Mystic Eyes to freeze Karabo and Gray. After disposing Karabo, she is going to do the same to Gray but Waver was waiting for this perfect timing as he drops that Buddha statue, enough time for Gray to land a fatal slash. In this final combat, Hephaestion rides her chariot to charge at her. Gray then unleashes all limits to fire Rhongomyniad at her. I guess (fake) Iskandar’s chariot isn’t as great as King Arthur’s spear. Vaporized!

Episode 13
Waver and Gray are recuperating fine. Waver could’ve healed faster had not Flat, Svin and Yvette bug him all the time. I suppose this finale is meant to tie up some loose ends but as usual, I don’t understand most of them. For those that I do, probably it isn’t that important. Like when Waver meets and talks to Adashino, all I understand is that Heartless is Adashino’s brother-in-law as they come from the same orphanage in Norwich. Melvin talks to Gray and tells her he is in possession of Waver’s magic crest. Because Waver shouldered the debts, it is only right for Melvin to be his tuner. Also, Melvin continues to call Waver by his name instead of his title because he might be lonely. It’s not like he is going to be a Lord forever, right? This makes Gray realize that this won’t last forever. A promotion ceremony is held for Svin as he has achieved a high ranking rank of Pride. Then we have a lengthy talk between Waver and Gray. Ultimately, Waver announces he will not partake in the next Holy Grail War. It might settle things personally for him but not for Iskandar. Hence his battlefield is not over there as his mission is now to uncover Heartless’ ploy using Faker. After Gray manages to give her gift to him, Waver hopes she can continue to fight alongside him. Her answer isn’t surprising. As Waver sleeps, Gray has this thought of stealing a kiss and would have done so had Add not teased her. Waver dreams a transient dream of meeting Iskandar. He believes he can’t stand beside him yet because must achieve all the pain and glory in real life as Lord El-Melloi II. Iskandar has only one thing to ask of him: Did he have fun during his journey? Yes. It was fun trying to follow his legacy.

Ghost Files: Spiritual Evocation Detective
Like they say it isn’t the destination but a journey. It might be over for this spinoff but not merely so for Waver by a long shot. Hence it is still a long and winding road ahead for Waver as long as he holds on to his Lord title. In a bid to somewhat become acknowledged as Iskandar’s equal, boy, he sure has gotten through a lot of sh*t. Knowing the kind of guy Iskandar is, whether Waver succeeds or fails to achieve it, he will surely accept him for who he is. So it’s mostly about Waver battling his own inner ghost, huh? Oh well, nothing is more a worse enemy than yourself.

As you would have expected from me, I am not really a fan of the Fate series and after watching so many of its spinoffs and alternate stories, there is still much that I do not understand about the lore nor do I ever felt that interest to go read up on more of it. This means that I am scratching most of my head as I watch Waver crack one case and another. I will not say that the cases are extremely complicated and it feels like they are just basic and simple. Because I am sure they don’t want to turn away viewers who aren’t very familiar with the supernatural terms by coming up with very complex and convoluted script. Hence when Waver explains his deductions, it feels as though he is reading it out of the script because he seems to be so damn observant and he can grasp everything and then explain to us once he has all the evidence and pieces of the puzzles put together nicely. That is why the format is not mostly a whodunit but rather a whydunit. Also, because I am not very accustomed with supernatural terms, hence many of Waver’s deductions come off as hogwash to me. I’m like, “What?! Don’t understand. Whatever”. It’s sad but yeah, that is how I mostly feel while watching all the episodes here.

Hence the storyline and plot isn’t anything much except about Waver and his assistant Gray going about solving supernatural cases. That’s about it. The first half gives us a taste of what this series is going to play out so that we can expect more or less something of this manner for the second half, which of course in itself is the main arc for this series. However I am left to ponder if I was somewhat deceived by the initial summary that was partly my reason to pick up this series. You see, earlier on there was this synopsis written that Waver received some inheritance note and is forced to participate in a battle of wits that includes other characters such as Luvia. Strangely, I was waiting for this to happen. After a few episodes in and I still didn’t see this part coming in, so I was thinking maybe they will reserve this for the final arc. And then Rail Zeppelin happened. No inheritance war whatsoever. So as I am at the penultimate episode, I decided to check online again if what I read was true. Oh damn, the synopsis is entirely different now! Just a general synopsis of Waver and Gray taking on cases assigned by Reines. Did I remember it wrongly? Were my eyes deceiving me? Was there some magic magecraft foul play involved? Well to be fair, when the anime first aired, nobody knew if the anime adaptation will follow the novel in which that inheritance battle synopsis came from. So I guess it didn’t turn out that way, huh? So much for me wanting to see Waver go on head to head with Luvia. Instead they somewhat cooperated here.

Watching this series feels a bit refreshing than all the other main Fate series that I’ve watched. In the sense that this is heavy on the dialogue and there is not much battle scenes. I suppose when you don’t have Fate in your title, you can expect the genre to also somewhat deviate and not be of the action fantasy adventure kind. Yes, there are some fight scenes here but they are short and lack the oomph that is much more prevalent in the Fate series. After all, like I’ve said, this series isn’t an action battle to begin with. Even with the short action scenes, they are just to partly accommodate the flow of the story. For instance that action scene of Black Dogs attacking our characters. That was just pretty average if you ask me. Same case when Gray battled Hephaestion. They put in lots of flashy and powerful effects but it’s nowhere near the level of action if you have seen other Fate series. WTF Gray’s activation by releasing her levels of restrictions, is this some sort of transformation scene?

On to the characters themselves, I suppose the biggest change has got to be Waver because he really looks like a different person altogether than the one we know since his debut in Fate/Zero. In his bid to chase after the hero he greatly admires, this inspires him to take on a thorny path with lots of difficulties. Adding to the burden and debt, now he has to take on the title of Lord El-Melloi II that comes with its benefits and (but mostly) risks. Just to warm up the seat until Reines comes of age. Waver being a hard-bitten magecraft teacher in a way looks a lot cooler than his youthful version. It’s not everybody’s cup of tea to have a main character who looks sullen and sounds gloomy but I think it works very much for Waver especially in the line of work that he is doing. Can you imagine if this guy is as lively as Melvin? Yeah, I think I will find it hard to take him seriously too. Though, sometimes you can see him put on a grimace because the frustration and annoyance is too great for even him to stay cool. So Waver, continue being this Waver. A lot of him has changed since but some things don’t like his obsession to chase after Iskandar’s shadow. I can understand why. Because I too felt that he was the best Heroic Spirit then and it’s a shame he didn’t win the Holy Grail War.

Isn’t it strange for a Fate series to note have a Saber character even if this Saber class is not the main character? Ah well, I guess this is what Gray is. She is like some sort of Saber in disguise, no? At least that is what I can gather from I have seen here. Unfortunately this adaptation doesn’t do well in delving a lot about Gray and her past or what she is supposed to be. Because of that, sometimes I find her annoying because she puts on this grim exterior and has this worried look on her face that screams if she could be of any use to her lord. She follows him around because she is grateful for saving him. That’s it. That’s all we know about the relationship between them. Want to know more, go read the sources. This series doesn’t have enough episodes to delve deeply into that. Yeah… I know there is more than meets the eye especially with that little familiar Add who seems to run his mouth with mockery whenever he gets a chance. But for now, Gray looks like a hesitant assistant who is filled with uncertainty and doubt that her only salvation is when Waver somewhat acknowledges her or something of that sort.

As for the other characters, I guess I can say that they are still not fleshed out properly either (what to do with only over a dozen episodes?). I believe they want to put the focus more on Waver doing his detective work and that’s the reason why these other characters fall wayward to the side. Like Reines I believe she is supposed to be an important character because in the future she will take on an important seat and title. But in this case as far as I can see, she’s like some snobbish brat who likes to get on Waver’s goat sometimes. It’s like she gets her kicks in seeing her ‘big brother’ filled with anxiety and frustration. Hey, he is the one who is bearing all the responsibility, right? After all, if he can’t shoulder all this, he is not worthy to shoulder that title in the first place. Yeah, Reines’ bad personality will be the least of his worries. I don’t believe Reines is actually a bad person and is quite capable herself. Just that there was no chance to see her flex her talents. Otherwise she wouldn’t have let Waver temporarily take her future seat in the first place.

I don’t think Flat and Svin would be important supporting characters but they feel so irrelevant and it’s like as though when the plot commands it, they are just pulled in to get what’s going. So having Svin getting promoted doesn’t really serve any purpose except to tell us for a fact that Waver’s lessons have not been all for naught because there is somebody who have surpassed him. Like Waver himself noted, a huge burden has been lifted off his shoulders. And what’s with it with Svin’s fascination with Gray again? Sorry, no love triangle and romcom whatsoever happening here. Then there is Melvin who looks like he is some sort of comic relief character. But don’t laugh too much because this guy looks like he has got pockets so deep that it makes the Black Hole look like a baby! Being so filthy rich is meaningless unless you can seek some sort of thrill. That’s why he is such ‘great’ friends with Waver. The only source of entertainment who never fails to live up to his standards. Just name your price and you can have it. Just in exchange bring him your greatest story. Then there is Adashino from Policies who is a big mystery herself. This snake woman makes it hard to tell if she is friend or foe due to the way she acts and talks but from what I can tell I’m glad she is at least on Waver’s side for now. Though, she still likes to get on his nerves probably just to see him winch.

One thing that is still awesome for this series is its visuals. Yes, it is very high quality that is on par with Fate/Zero. I thought it was Ufotable helming this series but I was wrong. It was Troyca who did Re: Creators, Aldnoah.Zero, Yaate Kimi Ni Naru and Sakurako-san No Ashimoto Ni W Shitai Ga Umatteiru, animated this series. The backgrounds, sceneries, hues, characters and effects are nicely well done to say the least. They’re quite nice to look at as distraction if the plot is too confusing for you to follow. I know. I’m guilty of that sometimes. Some characters do look weird like Gueldoa looks like some scrawny guy who has been fasting for months and some of the mages on Rail Zeppelin really have weird heads. Was that an elephant head or toad head that I saw? Luckily not important characters so don’t really care. And of course Gray having that striking resemblance to Saber only looking a little different because she covers her head with a hood so you can’t obviously tell. Because I’m so used to how Luvia looks in Fate/Kaleid spinoff, looking at her here looks a bit odd. She is more refined compared to that dumb cute chibi look. Why does Add remind me of an even meaner version of Mario’s Thwomp? Is Yvette and spunky and livelier version of Fukumenkei Noise’s Alice?

Also another winner for me are the opening and ending themes. Starting The Case: Rail Zeppelin as the opener is one of those rare instrumental pieces. If it sounds all too familiar it is because it is written by the legendary Yuki Kajiura. And you can tell her trademark style of music permeating throughout the BGMs of this series. Sometimes I feel that they have this one kind sound because they mostly ‘sound the same’. Fortunately I didn’t get bored after all these years hearing her craft her trademark style into Mai-HiME, Tsubasa Chronicle, Sword Art Online and Princess Principal. The ending theme, Hibari by Asca is lovely as sad sounding as it is. This beautifully slow and sad melody is to my liking and somewhat fits the grim nature of this series.

Previous seiyuus are retained for recurring characters like Daisuke Namikawa as Waver, Shizuka Itou as Luvia, Minori Inase as Reines and Kenji Nomura as Shishigou. New ones include Reina Ueda as Gray (Akane in SSSS.Gridman), Yuko Minaguchi as Adashino (Yaone in Saiyuki series), Daisuke Hirakawa as Melvin (Makoto in School Days), Madoka Yonezawa as Olga (Ui in K-ON!), Eizou Tsuda as Karabo (Lay Dawn in Fairy Gone), Seiichirou Yamashita as Svin (Kakeru in Orange), Miho Okasaki as Yvette (Rimuru in Tensei Shitara Slime Datta Ken), You Taichi as Hephaestion (Anzu in Prison School), Kumiko Higa as Trisha (Ginta in MAR – the other Ginta, that is), Hisako Kanemoto as Mary (Erina in Shokugeki No Souma) and Tomoaki Maeno as Wills (Junichi Tachibana in Amagami SS). While I recognized Yoshitsugu Matsuoka as Flat, Jun Fukuyama as Heartless and Youko Hikasa as the auction master, the one that surprises me most is Daisuke Ono as Add. You mean that’s really him?! Damn, I sure pigeonholed him as Sebastian type characters from Kuroshitsuji for a long time. Apparently this isn’t the only time he voices characters with strange voices. He did so too like Nendou in Saiki Kusuo No Psi-nan. Unrecognizable.

Overall, this series particularly blending in detective work isn’t for everyone even if it has great visuals and soundtrack. Especially for casual viewers who know nothing much about the Fate universe, jumping in without any sort of prior knowledge can be detrimental to one’s enjoyment. This might not be the best detective themed series (Detective Conan, Kindaichi Shounen No Jikenbo should be the titles you start with if you are so ever interested in getting into this genre) but it gives a new refreshing variety on the Fate series. Just like warm up before the next Fate adaptation. Speaking of which, Fate/Grand Order started airing after this one finishes. Oh well, back to the familiar territory of 7 Masters and their 7 Servants duking it out in a battle royale over the Holy Grail. While some things are solved via violence, others like in this case as Waver showed us can be solved with a little use of the grey matter. It’s a good thing this one only lasted for a single cour because any more of it I wouldn’t be care about whodunit, whydunit or howdunit. More like I’m-dun-with-it and what-the-I-dun-even…

Machikado Mazoku

November 23, 2019

The time hath cometh… For another magical girl anime series? Not quite. Machikado Mazoku isn’t technically focusing on a magical girl as a protagonist. A normal high school girl one day realizes that her dark demonic powers have awakened. Hwahahahahaha!!! And so she unleashes havoc and reign of terror upon the townspeople! Oops. Sorry. Not quite. Actually she needs to defeat a magical girl in order to lift a curse on her family but since she is quite weak physically (and at times, mentally), she needs to undergo some training. The irony is that the magical girl who saved her from death the first time she ventured out as a demon, becomes her trainer. Damn, this is going to be awkward… And what’s this about them soon cooperating with each other to protect the peace of the city? Damn, this is already awkward, magical girls and demon girls working together…

Episode 1
A demon tries to awaken Yuuko Yoshida to her destiny. Sorry. Too sleepy. When Yuuko wakes up, she is shocked to find she has demon horns and tail! Not a dream! Mom! Mom! What’s going on?! Well, Seiko explains they aren’t actually normally people but from the Dark Clan. So basically demons? However their mortal enemies of the Light Clan (angels?) put a curse on them by stripping their powers and wealth. No wonder they live in poverty. Because Yuuko has shown signs of her power awakening, her goal is to defeat a magical girl to break the curse. Then offer her blood to their demon god statue of their ancestors. Uhm, you mean this door stopper is that statue? And off Yuuko AKA Shamiko (that’s short for Shadow Mistress) goes for the hunt. However bad luck follows her as she clumsily stumbles her way. Until she is about to be hit by a truck, suddenly a magical girl stops it with just a hand. Oh Shamiko, don’t think she is a cosplay maniac with such Superman powers. Because Shamiko looks so hungry, Momo Chiyoda even gives her some food. Taking pity on a demon girl? Shamiko feels insulted but she is forced to retreat for today. In school, Shamiko’s friends, Anri Sada and Shion Ogura aren’t shocked she has demon horns and tail. Because this town is filled with weirdoes! Heck, Anri even tries to make her horn useful by hanging her bag! They even point out a magical girl in the next class. Uhm, isn’t that Momo?! Shamiko uses an excuse recess is almost up and needs to head back. But because Anri is baying for blood, she thinks there is enough time for them to fight and calls out to Momo! Traitor! Oh, Momo is taller than you by a head! Shamiko gets offended of being called small. However her so called threatening call to end her life is more cute than intimidating since she flub he lines. Yeah, they even tease her for it! Shamiko begins by throwing lots of weak punches. Then she tires out… And she might have thrown her hip. Either Momo is that strong or Shamiko is really a wimp… Heck, Momo even teaches her how to throw a proper punch. Slightly better than before but still a wimpy punch. Heh. Even Momo thinks she is better off using a projectile. Poor Shamiko got offended and retreats in tears. Oh, she’ll train hard to become a great demon to defeat her one day! Just you wait! Shamiko’s little sister, Ryouko sees her training. Her sides are killing her… I think training is going to take a while… And can she be a demon lord by then? Nah!

Episode 2
Even though Momo says she is the weakest among the magical girls, Shamiko is still scared of her presence. Yeah, shows how weak this demon girl is. Despite tales of Momo saving the world, that was only because she had assistance. Shamiko vows to train hard to beat her. 500g dumbbell enough? Until she sees Momo with a bigger dumbbell. So demotivating… Because Shamiko didn’t give an exact date on the weekend for their rematch, Momo actually waited there and got tanned. Feeling bad? Yeah well, exchange contacts in the meantime. Noticing Shamiko isn’t fit, Momo suggests training her. Hence they go jogging. Shamiko is huffing and puffing… Can she be fit in time? And then she realizes they have run for 4km! Can borrow 500 yen to take the train back? So tired Shamiko that she fell asleep on the train and when she woke up, it’s already at the last station. Basically lost. With Seiko realizing Shamiko is having a hard time defeating the magical girl, she decides to increase her allowance. From 120 yen to 500 yen. That’s a lot for a poor girl! Uhm, isn’t that the amount she owes Momo? Yeah, Momo even offers instalment repayment plan. Does Shamiko have a choice? But in this state, she cannot defeat her because it would look bad for a debtor to beat up a person she owes. Also, she must quickly repay it in case Momo dies or forever be haunted by debt and bankruptcy! Taking the instalment plan of 50 yen, now Shamiko goes to buy a weapon (those friends tag along too for some reason). Obviously everything costs a lot more. Shamiko thought they are trying to trick her to buy food. But after all the resisting and that health is of importance, Shamiko spends some on some salty udon. With 120 yen left, need a drink? Sure this is not a scam to make her spend?! Shamiko tries resisting but after whatever Anri said, something that makes Shamiko think she has always been watching over her, Shamiko decides to live life to the fullest and buy a cola. Ah, that hit the spot. But now she’s broke. But poor Shamiko thinks everyone was just scamming her because then they see a free water dispenser… Oh Shamiko, if you only knew how to utilize free resources…

Episode 3
It’s that demon trying to talk to Shamiko in he dreams again. Too sleepy to even care! Anyway, after forcing her to pay attention, she is actually Dark Clan’s founder and ancestor, Lilith. First things first. She berates Shamiko for being weak and talentless. Is she the one to say as she herself has never defeated the Light Clan? Then some weird moment where Lilith got hooked by the cola she introduced. Because Seiko is calling for Shamiko to wake up, Lilith has to leave and tells her lots of stuffs. Can Shamiko remember all that? Shamiko tries to pen it down when she wakes up. But with Seiko busy reciting the grocery list, you bet Shamiko forgot them all! But first Shamiko must learn how to do the laundry since she messed up washing her own uniform. Since she is wearing gym clothes to school, Momo is kind enough to lend hers. A bit oversized, though… Shamiko might not be close in coming to defeat the magical girl but at least she realizes she will be at a disadvantage during close quarters. Hence Ryouko has researched she should try projectiles that suit he. So uhm, this low quality rubber band gun is her projectile? Damn, even Momo feels the need to help train Shamiko use it! So at a factory she once own (say what?!), here she teaches Momo how to use her lame projectile. Ironically, Shamiko is full of pessimism and doesn’t want to do it and Momo sounds like a dictator forcing her to do it. Momo even lends her wand and gives encouragement for her to project some sort of magic. Heh. A magical girl putting ideas of world destruction into a demon girl’s mind. I guess after all that futile time wasting and Momo calling her an idiot, probably that lit some fire in Shamiko as she can now project… Just a tiny bubble? Small and slow but if it hits back at you, it can cause a little pain like those injections. Yeah, Momo returns the wand and run like hell! But you know, Momo is so out of shape and slow that the bubble catches up and hits her. Ouch. Momo saying she wants to train her for a while, did she mispronounce that as enjoying seeing her being in torment?

Episode 4
Shamiko introduces Momo to that statue of hers. Her friends help by giving some offerings. Momo notices a switch underneath and flips it. Nothing happens… Except Shamiko suddenly becomes lifeless! It seems Shamiko is now inside the statue and sees Lilith lazing around. Quick! Put away those stuffs! As mentioned, looks like when all the conditions are right, Lilith will be able to swap bodies with her. This means she can avenge the Light Clan on her behalf so sit back and watch. Now that Lilith has possessed Shamiko’s body, she might sound intimidating but you know, she’s as idiotic as Shamiko. She’s making a fool out of herself than being threatening. Yeah, those friends are having fun. Lilith realizes the unfit body means she too is at her limits. Even more so her own magic deflects back! Just when she thought Momo is going to kill her, she gives up! When Shamiko wakes up, she is in a hot spa with her friends. Yeah, this was Lilith’s last wish. To add more insult, not only her body is aching all over, Lilith didn’t have money to pay for this and puts it on Shamiko’s tab! The debt has just grown! Because of this, her friends suggest a job where she can earn and pay it all at one go. But Seiko warns her about saving too much because the curse of the Light Clan means any extra money more than 400 yen will somehow slip away. Maybe Seiko’s just a klutz… But don’t worry. It isn’t a shady job and it’s just to sell wieners. Tastes good, huh? Shamiko believes this is what she’ll do after defeating Momo. And then speak of the devil… Magical girl, rather. Eek! Momo! Shamiko tells her reason for working here when she accidentally spills the pot of wieners. Oh no! All her hard work gone? Luckily Momo transforms into a magical girl to save them. But why? Momo says she doesn’t want to transform often because she has bad memories as a magical girl. However seeing Shamiko work so hard, she doesn’t want it all to go to waste. Shamiko feels bad and even more so when Momo buys up all the wieners. Thank you for your patronage. At the end of the day, the owner who promised Shamiko to take back extra wieners, well, here is plain yoghurt as substitute since all wieners were unexpectedly sold out. Shamiko then realizes it could be Momo’s devilish plan all along when she bought them all up. Curse you!

Episode 5
Shamiko has made enough from the job to pay Momo back. Now let’s do battle! Momo seems reluctant and after hearing how she don’t have money to buy what Ryouko wants, Momo rejects this offer. She even tempts Shamiko with free food if she accepts this plan! Shamiko realizes the lunch she always makes by herself. Momo reveals she has no family. Damn… So sad… As it turns out, Momo accompanies Shamiko to go shopping with Ryouko. Shamiko warns her not to reveal her identity since Ryouko is always told she is always engaged in a fierce magical girl battle. It seems the stuffs Ryouko want to get, a medkit and book on strategies, is she really thoughtful of big sis? Momo realizes the mini camera she has been staring at so Shamiko buys that for her. Shamiko is glad to have not paid her debts to Momo because seeing Ryouko’s happy face was worth it. And with Ryouko and Momo talking about the technical stuffs of computers and cameras, Shamiko feels so left behind. What the heck are they talking about?! Momo then lends her laptop as she gives it to Shamiko so that Ryouko can use it. But is warned to handle it with care. Don’t drop it or get it wet. You know how much that thing costs, right? Gulp. And so shaky Shamiko has to battle her way through Anri and Shion who are dangerously holding tennis balls and a bucket of water respectively. Is fate really testing her? If she passed that, on her way home now she has to deal with that scary dog (albeit in reality it is just a tiny mutt). Her fear has somewhat made Lilith to summon some sort of crisis management outfit for her? Here’s your sexy transformation scene. It just made Shamiko even more embarrassed and as the dog owner takes it for a walk, yeah, they do a double take on this weirdo Shamiko. It’s not over yet because when Shamiko reaches home, she trips on the statue and drops it! Worse, Ryouko comes running and accidentally steps on it! And Seiko also comes spilling water all over it! The Yoshida household in panic! But as they test, the laptop still works. Then a note from Momo stating she knew Shamiko will be clumsy and has put some finishing touches like waterproofing and shock absorbent. Shamiko views this as a defeat since Momo was able to predict her moves. Curse you! Ryouko is able to do (and exaggerate) a great cover story about her sister. Shamiko loves it and won’t let Momo read the printout. But the data is still saved on her laptop… Curse you!!!

Episode 6
It seems there is enough magic power for Lilith to bug Shamiko to enter into Momo’s consciousness and control her. Why does Shamiko feel so bad about it? Yeah, can’t think about any bad thoughts on Momo. After smashing this magic mirror, it seems Shamiko falls into Momo’s consciousness. She sees a young Momo and she has serious low self-esteem. So much so Shamiko has to ask her assistance to clean up the muck. But once that is done, time is up and Shamiko wakes up. On the way to school, Shamiko stumbles into a sick Momo. She claims she had a bad dream but somewhat felt happy at the end of it. Oddly, Shamiko decides to bring Momo home and nurse her. Isn’t this the perfect chance to defeat Momo? Seeing her in such a pitiful state, maybe another time. To Shamiko, Momo’s normal house looks big! Shamiko meets Metako, Momo’s cat navigator. Treat him nice and he’ll tell you some oracle but lately it’s been 97% cat ever since Momo lost her motivation. Shamiko tries to find some medicine but stumbles into this hideous thing in the fridge. It’s Momo’s failed hamburger cooking. Sure it’s not some demon poisoning thingy? Apparently she was trying to cook this because of a promise with Shamiko. Trying to cheer up the mood, Shamiko hopes to invite Momo to her home and cook this. After Momo falls asleep, Shamiko returns home to get some supplies. But apparently Momo followed her. Now she knows where she lives. She points out a seal by the Light Clan outside her door (it’s not a door deco, Shamiko) that prevents others from coming into her place. Even though it is worn out, only an invitation allows those invited to find the place. Because Shamiko earlier swiped some small blood off Momo, it is believed she might have unlocked something. Well, it’s the statue who can now directly talk to them in the real world! Momo feels disgusted. She got sick and her power drained just for this sh*t? In view of this, Momo wants Shamiko to help her protect this city while she recovers. Shamiko can’t say no after Shamiko makes her feel guilty for all the things she has done and lent. Sneaky… But for a week, Shamiko really takes care of Momo at her home. Wow. For the first time Momo lost?

Episode 7
Lilith sure made a very inaccurate recap of Shamiko’s exploits. All lies! Even if it is just a dream, Shamiko rejects it! When a police officer returns 1000 yen to mom, it is a sign that the curse is lifted! Wow! So much money! Hence Seiko buys lots of food to celebrate. Lilith thinks it’s time to flex her authority but Seiko lets her get drunk with some drink and let her soak in hot water. Shift in power balance… Then they realize the fridge is damaged from the recent blackout. How will they keep all this food Seiko bought? Seiko will have to cook all of them and they must finish it! Luckily, thoughtful Shamiko brings some to Momo since she is still recovering from her illness. Though, Shamiko isn’t a good liar that this is all so she can recover and then she’ll steal more of her blood later. Once Momo has recovered, instantly she puts Shamiko under her training regimen. You mean she has to build muscles by dragging this huge wheel? I know she has to take over her magical girl role but isn’t this too much for this weakling? Hence Anri suggests so and instead should start off with training that increases Shamiko’s courage like bungee jumping. Sometimes you wonder if she is friend or foe. Shamiko tries to convince Momo to regain her own strength and magic. When Shamiko asks about her weakness, Momo says it’s some mochi balls. Hence Shamiko rushes all the way to go get them. Even queuing for hours just to get a couple of them. Turns out to be a ploy to make Shamiko do some exercise. But there is some truth that Momo fears those balls. Her sister (not blood related, though) used to like this so Momo stopped eating this as it brought back unwanted memories. Seeing Shamiko trying her best, Momo thinks she might also want to try overcoming her fear and maybe help get some of her magic back. Then Shamiko gets tricked to get some green tea… By this time, Momo thinks it is time for Shamiko to build some muscles. So move that big tyre if you want to go home! It’s not budging… One day, Anri has a job for Shamiko. I guess it’s because she is small enough to fit into this mascot outfit. The kids are hounding her to hand out candies. Luckily a girl saves her from tripping and tells the kids to be orderly. To Shamiko’s dismay, this girl is a magical girl! Oh no!

Episode 8
Mikan Hinatsuki definitely isn’t a passing cosplayer and she’s on patrol and not on vacation! The more panicky Shamiko gets, the more suspicious Mikan becomes. Then in the alley, Mikan forces Shamiko to take off her gear. Shamiko panics and transforms. It seems Mikan was purely concerned if Shamiko was having heatstroke in that outfit. With Momo here, she explains Mikan is the friend whom she called to help in her place. Shamiko gets offended when Mikan thinks she is younger than them. As Shamiko cleans up in school, here comes Mikan. It seems she is going to transfer here too. Shamiko is happy to think that Mikan is a normal girl since she is more level-headed than Momo. However it seems Mikan is very worried about a curse she is having trouble keeping at bay. And then all the cleaned up trash explodes! It seems whenever Mikan gets anxious (especially when being praised), this will cause her curse to go berserk and bring bad luck to others. This is why Momo is late since she got caught up in all her bad luck. Shamiko tries reverse psychology like being the bad demon girl who will take her blood but Mikan thinks she is pitying her and her curse activates. In the end, Shamiko is forced to look for her statue that is now somewhere in the pile of garbage thanks to Mikan’s curse. On another day, Shamiko is forced to train by Momo. This time, she is going to transform into that outfit. Mikan would love to tell about her younger days with Momo but Momo doesn’t appreciate it and threatens her with cooking! So that’s why Mikan has forgot most of them. Shamiko somehow cannot transform. Momo thinks it is because she doesn’t feel like she is in danger so Momo is seriously going to beat her up. However she tires out due to the strain. Mikan explains when Shamiko took her blood, it could have been a matter of life and death for a magical girl depending on the situation. And although magical girls don’t die, their souls end up scattering in the air! Gee, that sounds as bad. Shamiko tries to cheer Momo up that she’ll work harder. But with Momo getting ready to get violent on Shamiko, I don’t suppose we can put off this training tomorrow? Shamiko is so scared that she finally transforms. There. Don’t forget that feeling ever. Poor Shamiko runs away in tears!

Episode 9
Shamiko complains about the need to fix this sexy transformation dress but Lilith says the more skin it shows, the more power she receives! So technically shouldn’t she be fighting naked then? Because Shamiko wants Momo to acknowledge her as an equal, Anri suggests beating her using brains. Conveniently the test is coming up so Shamiko challenges Momo to see who can score higher. Be warned, Momo has very good grades. She got a subject that scored 100%! Shamiko burns the midnight oil but what strategy Lilith proposed for her to ace? Well, it sounds a lot like cheating! Hey, that’s what the Dark Clan supposed to do, right? However Shamiko will not accept it and will fight Momo fair and square. In the end, although Shamiko did very well, Momo still scored higher. But wait. Why is Lilith in the top 10 placing?! Somehow she convinced the teacher to let her take the test. This means Momo lost to her. She claims Lilith cheated somehow as Shamiko’s notes were left in the bag but seriously Lilith never actually thought of this method (Lilith is good in history since she lived through those times). But ultimately, Shamiko feels she still lost… Seiko is happy when her new fridge arrives. But it is too big to fit through the door so she spends the whole day crying… Mikan calls Shamiko to go watch a movie. This is not just for fun but to help overcome their weakness. Yeah, this summer zombie movie! Don’t worry. Mikan is prepared to pay for her food and everything. Including her hospital fees! Oh sh*t. While it might look like Mikan is psyching herself up to be brave, the moment it starts, let’s hope nothing really bad happens… In the end, Mikan passes out and Shamiko ended up being fascinated with the movie since she sided with the zombies who went all out to overwhelm the overpowered heroes. When they decide to go see another movie, Momo is there too. From what I understand, Momo feels jealous she’s been left out since the duo look like they’re having fun. With Momo leaving hastily, Mikan feels bad about it. Oh no… Curse activating… Hey, at least they got some popcorn from the exploded popcorn machine. The next time the trio have nabe together, Momo says she’s not mad but clearly we don’t feel that way… Shamiko excuses herself and leaves poor Mikan alone with Momo…

Episode 10
Because Momo detects Shamiko lacks muscle mass, she makes some special ‘glowing’ drink for her to drink. And when she lets her watch some macho men exercising video, I guess that’s where she draws the line. Shamiko runs away! Did I mention that Shion is from the black magic club? She didn’t mince her words when she wants Shamiko to become her experiment subject! Don’t worry. Momo will go with her. Somehow Momo becomes her manager and rejects all of Shion’s suggestions to experiment on her. When Shion spots Lilith, she wants to experiment on her. Lilith surprisingly agrees in hopes to find a way out of their curse. She might be regretting it after Shion drills holes into her… Shion suggests creating a new vessel for her to easily move around. If only that clay isn’t made out of horse dung! The scrawny limbs make the statue crawl like a creepy bug! Pathetic. Eventually the leftover clay is made into a decent doll. Lilith loves it as she can move freely. However her evil thoughts are telepathically transmitted and hence Momo uses her magic to control Lilith like a rag doll. Dance dolly, dance! Ryouko realizes the borrowed laptop isn’t working. No worries. Shamiko can take and go ask Momo to see what’s wrong. Are you sure of ignoring that premonition of her beating your ass with more training? Anyway they go and see her and as Shamiko puts it, she doesn’t mind putting up with this ‘friendship’ seeing it helps Ryouko. But seeing her so innocent and honest, do they have the heart to continue lying? Hence Shamiko explains the truth about Momo being a magical girl. But wait. Ryouko already knows! However… She thinks that Momo is Shamiko’s subordinate! Please tell me stories of how you subdued this magical girl into your army! I guess the lies are piling up. It gets complicated when Mikan comes in. Huh? What subordinate? Until Momo tortures her and forces her to play along with this. In the end, there is nothing wrong with the laptop. It just overheated because their room has no air-cond. Momo even allows them to come here to use it if they find it more conducive. Just make sure Shamiko cooks some great food for her. Back home, with Momo lending stuffs to back up the laptop, looks like Shamiko’s debts are also piling. Realizing the need to live up to Ryouko’s expectations, Shamiko realizes she doesn’t know much on Momo. She even asks her future advisor on how to seek an enemy’s weakness. Wow this little girl is sure good and technical. Shamiko feeling bad? And then Ryouko spots a picture Momo left inside. A picture of Shamiko in her transformation outfit. Shamiko declares war on magical girls!

Episode 11
Brainstorming on how to get Momo to open her heart, Lilith of course has this devilish idea to ambush her dreams. Something that Shamiko is reluctant to do but here we go. Inside the outer subconscious realm, Shamiko encounters a human version of Metako. Or at least the Light Clan’s angel guardian. As Metako is unable to determine Shamiko’s nature, demon girl innocently blabs out the truth of wanting to attack Momo. Naturally she is going to be purged! Calling Lilith for help, she arrives in that strange bug form. So cat loves chasing bugs? Whatever. Entering the door to Momo’s dream, it seems Momo knows what is going on. Lucid dreaming. Uh oh. This is going to be hard. And Shamiko can’t leave… The door is locked! After getting scolded, Momo is stumped about Shamiko persistently trying to fight her. Wasn’t it to undo the curse? Shamiko believes her dad is away working hard to pay off the debts and this has Momo believing there is more to the story. That seal outside her door is actually to keep magical girls away. Long ago, Light Clans used to hunt Dark Clans and earn points. Of course such hunts today are very rare. It is very likely Seiko is the key to all this and that she is harbouring some secret. As Mikan is trying to wake up Momo, Momo tells Shamiko she is coming to her house after this. With that, Shamiko panics and thinks she is going to ‘grill’ her mom and prepares for battle. Yup, Momo is going to ‘grill’ her. The interrogation wise, not the cooking one. Shamiko still won’t let her in and this standoff has Seiko unable to tolerate this further and has both of them come in as she reveals the truth.

This city has a barrier that protects the Dark Clan and it was setup by the previous magical girl. Momo is shocked when Shamiko knows it is Sakura (because Metako mentioned it). Sakura is Momo’s mentor and sister-in-law. But she went missing 10 years ago. When Shamiko was born, she had a very frail body and was always in hospital. It could be she inherited a lot of the Dark Clan’s blood and suffered its effects. Otherwise take a look at Ryouko. She’s so normal. Thanks to Sakura and Seiko’s husband’s efforts, they managed to keep the balance albeit not perfect. That’s why they got the 400 yen curse. At the same time Seiko was also pregnant with Ryouko and placed in the same hospital. It is rumoured Sakura lost her magic and since she was unable to protect the city, Seiko’s husband offered to cooperate with her. But after Shamiko became healthy enough to be discharged, her husband went missing. Actually he is sealed in this very mikan box! A note was left outside their doorstep saying so. At the same time Sakura went missing. After hearing all this, Momo feels very bad. Her sister took away a family’s husband and father. Perhaps they are really mortal enemies after all. Depressed Momo leaves for home.

Episode 12
Seiko admits she never told Shamiko about this because she fears this would put a further strain to her frail body then. She now realizes it wasn’t right to lie to her and should have put her faith more in her. She shows him a picture of dad during their younger days. Boyish looks. So much shorter! Oh my. There is this fear that Shamiko did take after him… When Seiko says she stopped aging after becoming a vassal of dad, Shamiko goes out to find Momo. But she stumbles into Mikan and tells her the truth. Since this is the first time she is hearing, Mikan panics and of course brings a lot of bad luck. Although they brainstorm where to find Momo, Mikan can’t come with her because in her anxiety state, she might make things worse. You’re on your own. Eventually Shamiko manages to find Momo hanging out at a park where she often goes with Sakura. She is here to make a deal with Momo. Give up being a magical girl and be her vassal! Because of the seal placed by a magical girl, the logic behind is that if she stops being one, she can start searching for Sakura without those barriers. Yeah, Shamiko throwing in some freebies like 3 meals and a nap… Momo looks happy since this is Shamiko’s idea and seems resolved to fall to the dark side as long as Shamiko never leaves her alone. However! Something feels amiss. She’ll become weaker if she becomes her vassal, right? Lilith reluctantly admits so Momo flings her away! Now Momo has a new deal. Even if Momo doesn’t become a demon, Shamiko can still look for Sakura in her place, right? All she needs to do is to protect her and make her stronger. She’ll throw in a few protein shakes to go with that! How about this deal! So it’s like status quo, huh? Since it ends in a deadlock, they break for lunch. If only Shamiko can break the popsicle in half to share… Oh dear, need training? Back home, it seems Ryouko never believed mom’s lies about dad being away on some intergalactic business thanks to the crime novels she read. But she is glad to know that dad is imprisoned nearby. As for dad’s real name, it is Joseph! You mean they have Mesopotamia roots? So Tarou Yamada was just an alias, huh? Shamiko writes a challenge letter to Momo. However the teacher believes it is against the law and helps her write some love letter and the contents resembles like a penpal letter. Although she lets Momo read it, it eventually does sound like a challenge letter but her contents are so over the place that Momo doesn’t understand what she wants. So Shamiko wants to ditch practice and hang out to have fun? And boy, to Shamiko’s surprise she turns up in real nice clothes.

How To Train Your Shamiko
Don’t give up, Shamiko! Continue to try your best, Shamiko! Ah yes. It seems status quo seems to be the best ending that Shamiko and Momo as well as the rest of the other characters here could have. Forget about whatever war the Light Clan and Dark Clan are having. Forget about the rivalry between magical girls and demons. Forget about winning and losing. All they need to do is to bolster their friendship right now. Because that is what it looks like it is heading, right? So it’s not just Shamiko who mustn’t give up and try her best. Don’t give up, Momo! Continue to try your best, Momo!

From what we have seen all the while, I believe that Shamiko and Momo just want to be friends rather than becoming real mortal enemies. It feels a lot like that very much from the beginning. You can just tell from their half-hearted threats that they’re not interested in killing or even hurting each other. It’s just some sort of excuse to, uhm, interact. Of course Shamiko being more naïve and emotional, she reacts to almost everything and it might seemed that she is being bullied. I believe her trademark catchphrase of “Don’t think this means you’ve won this time!” is just her way of saying “Goodbye. See you next time” with some emotions.

After all, what kind of mortal enemies would go so far as to help each other so that they could regain their strength and fight each other at full power? Isn’t that what rivals do? I mean, if Shamiko really hated Momo, she wouldn’t have cooked for her and would just let her be and not care about her eating habits. And we do see how Shamiko takes the trouble to come to Momo’s house just to cook a wholesome meal for her. Although it looks like it backfires but that is in the short term, in the long run I believe this has a greater positive effect. I hope.

On the other hand, I also believe that Momo has taken a liking for Shamiko. Just that she is such a poker face girl so you can’t obviously tell she is enjoying her company. Further proof she considers Shamiko her friend: The time when Shamiko hang out with Mikan, that depressed Momo face was just classic. And as said that Shamiko is being such a naïve demon girl, because she is also cute with her reactions, it makes Momo want to tease her even more. That’s why all the strength training I believe isn’t really helping in making Shamiko strong. It wasn’t meant to make her strong in the first place at all! It is just part of some prank routine to be with her ‘friend’. If Momo was serious in her job to hunt down the Dark Clan members, she wouldn’t have been so kind to Shamiko or even lend her laptop to Ryouko who really looks forward to become Shamiko’s tactical advisor. It’s like Momo is digging her own grave, no? Which kind of money lender would have the most flexible repayment scheme ever?! Momo, I want to borrow money from you! Therefore in spite of the different backgrounds they come from and the things they have done, they’re like best friends.

Even Shamiko’s friends, Anri and Shion may come off looking like sadists and troublemakers who love to see Shamiko in trouble. I’m sure they mean no harm with their pranks and silly ideas but like I’ve said about Shamiko being naïve and gullible, the incentive is there to tease her and see her cute reactions. Yeah, best friends, right? Or maybe they could just simply well be sadistic troublemakers who love to see Shamiko in trouble. Yeah, best friends indeed.

Poor Ryouko as the series’ most innocent character, we fear this loli might end up experiencing the biggest disappointment in her life when she learns about the truth. With Shamiko and Momo continuing their charade, it makes it even harder for them to destroy her hopes. See those innocent sparkling eyes filled with hope? Hear her honest innocent voice filled with confidence and hope? See every action she does with earnest sincerity from the heart? Yup. How could anyone bear the fact to tell this girl the truth! Hence the question if they are protecting her or just delaying the inevitable. But I figure that Ryouko being Ryouko, even if the whole truth comes out, it’s not like she’ll turn into a bag of hatred. I mean, there is a very remote possibility but being the smart girl she is, I have faith she wouldn’t. I hope.

Despite the rivalry between the Light Clan and Dark Clan sounding like some epic legendary conflict, I believe that it is all blown up and out of proportion. To put it bluntly, I think they’re all just idiots. In a funny sense, that is. Not sure if time has mellowed them but take a look at Lilith. Instead of being a scary and almighty ancestor, you could say that she is just as idiotic as Shamiko. Must be in the blood and genes, huh? But then again, it could be that with the change in eras, the mind-set started to change alongside the culture. Because back then I believe even the deities didn’t have the luxury of enjoying human technologies like the internet or Smartphone so they can’t troll and do cyber bullying. Of course this is just me assuming and applying a blanket assumption over the entire world and it could be just those in this city are incompetent. But as narrated in the final scene of the final episode, this town is the only town in the world that is being protected and where magical girls and demons coexist peacefully.

So elsewhere, it might still be archaic witch hunt. So whatever actually happened to Sakura is still a big mystery but I guess that is not the point of this series. At least not this season. She might be outside this town, protecting the barrier from Light Clan and Dark Clan alike trying to infiltrate into this peaceful city. But at any rate we’ve discovered Shamiko’s dad’s whereabouts. Yeah, they’ll treat the mikan box kinder next time. Lilith being used as a stopper, paperweight and the likes, yeah maybe this is why she has turned incompetent. And then with Shamiko, Momo and Mikan looking quite complacent and incompetent, I’d say this war isn’t as brutal as it seemed it would be. At least in this city. I mean, heard of any brutal magical girl and demon deaths around?

The lines between a magical girl and demon has been blurred because sometimes you think Shamiko is more like a magical girl while Momo and Mikan are suitable to be demons. For instance, Shamiko’s kind-hearted nature as well as her own magical transformation scene. Seeing all the weird cosplays these days, this kind of revealing outfit is nothing! Haha! On the other hand, Momo sometimes has very dark and shady thoughts that Shamiko often rebukes to be just pure evil. And Mikan’s curse of attracting trouble to others? Doesn’t this fit a demon’s attribute? With the Light Clan using to hunt the Dark Clan for points being brought to light, it just throws into question who the real baddies are. Maybe it’s all that yin yang thingy and both sides exist because of each other. That’s why it isn’t just about the demon girl next door. It is also the magical girl next door.

Artwork and animation feel pretty okay. Nothing to shout about or complain. Everything is bright and colourful. The characters are cutely designed so you can tell from the start that this isn’t some dark themed magical girl series. Oddly, Momo’s magical girl outfit has this uncanny resemblance to Madoka of Mahou Shoujo Madoka Magica fame. Almost. Just because they’re both overwhelmingly pink and they spot twintails. And I can’t help notice but Shamiko’s devil horns look like mini croissants… I think my stomach is growling… This anime is animated by J.C. Staff who is famous for One Punch Man, Shokugeki No Souma, DanMachi, Little Busters, Shakugan No Shana and Toradora.

Voice acting, I only recognized Sayaka Ohara as Seiko. Not the typical villainess role that I often pigeonholed her to always perfectly play. But sometimes the nicest ladies too like Alicia of Aria The Animation. Initially I mistook Eri Kitamura to be behind to voice of Lilith. I guess I was wrong. Lilith is voiced by Minami Takahashi (Megumi in Shokugeki No Souma). The other casts are Konomi Kohara as Shamiko (Chika in Kaguya-sama Wa Kokurasetai), Akari Kitou as Momo (Kaho in Blend S), Hitomi Ohwada as Ryouko (Eagle in Girly Air Force), Tomoyo Takayanagi as Mikan (Oguri Cap in Uma Musume: Pretty Derby), Sayaka Senbongi as Anri (Mumei in Koutetsujou No Kabaneri) and Ayaka Suwa as Shion (Non in Akkun To Kanojo).

The opening theme is Machikado Tangent by Shami Momo (if you haven’t guessed it, it is the duo behind Shamiko and Momo). Pretty generic lively anime pop if you ask me. Nothing that special. As for the ending theme, Yoimachi Cantare by Coro Machikado (the quartet behind Shamiko, Momo, Lilith and Mikan) sounds pretty frantic. It’s like they want to match the somewhat crazy pace of the series but it comes off as weird. Even the animation is pretty weird. You have the characters in chibi format, some demonic monkeys and goat, it’s like one big LSD trip or a very weird cartoonish dream.

Overall, this is a silly but fun anime to watch and it brings back some similarity with Gabriel Dropout because it’s about a fallen race just trying to their best or the minimum to get back up. Despite they fail but you can’t help continue to cheer them on because, well, at least they’re trying. That being said in the loosest form. The cute and humorous interaction between Shamiko and Momo is amusing to watch and breaks the traditional barrier that mortal enemies don’t mean being mortal enemies forever. Whatever beef the ancestors had a long time ago, doesn’t mean future generations should just blindly follow that fate. In this time and age where the rivalry of magical girls and demons are no longer trending (at least the setting of this anime), isn’t being friends a much better alternative? Even if you’re being jerks to each other? That’s what friendship is about, right? Yeah to be honest, I still have my doubts… While other anime series has magical girls and demons still at each other’s throat, at least this one has proven that friendship has succeeded in making both bitter rivals get along with each other. Don’t think this means friendship has won just yet!

The time hath cometh…

Mob Psycho 100 S2 OVA

November 8, 2019

For those who still can’t get over that the second season of the TV series has ended, don’t despair. There is always the OVA to cheer you up and producers to net some profit. Yup. A win-win situation. And that’s why we have Mob Psycho 100 S2 OVA. Yes, people. Finally we have a hotspring episode. But I hardly doubt it would be filled with sexy fanservice considering the protagonists of the series are males. And of course knowing the nature and genre of the series, what is it that is spooking the hotspring inn?

A healing trip that warms the heart…
Mob and Ritsu join Reigen and Serizawa for a trip to the Ibogami hotspring for a working holiday. It all started when the inn hostess came to Reigen for help. She claims her guests have been experiencing dreams of going into a parallel world. If nothing is done, her inn will be finished. At first Reigen wasn’t so sure of accepting but since she will pay for his travel, lodging and food, the question is now how many people he can take with him. During the train trip, after Mob and Ritsu head to the toilet, Reigen and Serizawa doze off and the train enters the Ibogami tunnel. When they awaken, they realize outside is a wasteland. Reigen soon realizes that wherever he goes, he always ends up back in the same coach. So this is the parallel world, huh? True enough, they are. Because they’ve been sleeping all the time so when they reach their destination, Mob had to use his powers to ‘carry’ them to the inn. They meet up with Teru who went to recon the place. After being welcomed by the hostess, they learn the legend of this place once had a portal to another world. Hence the god, Ibogami sealed it up and the people worshipped him until today. As the boys have fun soaking in the hotspring, the adults are still trapped. However Serizawa trying to be mindful and not offend Reigen who seems he is trying his best to find the source of this, manages to leave this parallel world and join the boys. Yeah, he manage to do this several times! Because of his awkward way of speaking not to offend, Reigen gets the wrong idea that he too is trying to investigate. It feels like days Reigen has been stuck here and when he tries to jump out of the train, he lands back inside the coach! No way out! Soon depression sinks in. Hunger sets in.

The next time Serizawa returns and after feeding him, only then Reigen realizes what is happening. Why the heck did he not take him along?! Reigen controls himself so as not to scold him. He is after all still a junior. After telling him to think for himself, he has Serizawa bring the rest here. So now Reigen admits he doesn’t know what the source and wants this parallel world destroyed. Of course everybody can tell that ominous mountain is the source and behind it is Ibogami but some sticky ghostly goo must be the one causing this phenomenon and weakening Ibogami’s protection. Nothing but a little power to destroy it. Finally Reigen wakes up. Dimple returns with an explanation of what really happened. Because the hostess had a slight flu, it somewhat weakened her protection power source that is situated inside her nose. As her ancestors worshipped Ibogami, the descendants develop psychic powers without even noticing it. With her flu cleaning up, looks like the parallel world is case is solved. Maybe until the next time she gets another flu. Everybody goes to sleep after a long day. But Reigen obviously can’t sleep… Yeah. As they leave the next day, Reigen gives his business card to the hostess. He also hands some to Mob since it contains Reigen’s new address. And of course, Serizawa has his own too. Don’t need to depend on those business etiquette notes anymore now. On the train trip back, Reigen dozes off and the train enters a tunnel…

Dream A Little Dream A Little Dream A Little Dream A Little Dream…
Ah well. Nothing really much, I guess. Enjoyable to say the least but at least the horror effects weren’t that scary to spook the hell out of me. Yeah, I might be having sleepless nights! Maybe I would be going into my own parallel world! Anyway, the focus of this OVA seems to be more on Reigen and Serizawa while Mob being side-lined to just a role as plot convenience. As usual, the suave talking conman shows us why he is so good being the great pretender and of course it has its drawbacks. Serizawa on the other hand who has turned over a new leaf is trying his best to make a good first impression and hence with his miscommunication, it results in something a lot worse for Reigen. He might have given Serizawa the greatest advice for his working life but he sure isn’t doing the same for himself. Is that double standards? Because Reigen still needs to admit that he needs help instead of waiting for things to turn grave. But that’s Reigen for you. Some things are hard to change. If there are more OVAs in the future, I would still love to watch them. Because the biggest mystery now that I want to know is, for that brief moment at the start of the OVA, why does a certain bald strongest hero appeared in Reigen’s contacts???!!! Can Saitama’s punches connect with ghosts?! Can Mob’s psychic powers do physical damage to monsters?! Damn, now I want to see a Mob Psycho 100 x One Punch Man crossover! That would be the ultimate parallel world dream!

Sarazanmai

September 21, 2019

What the heck?! What the hell is this trippy LSD trip?! Is this Mawaru Penguindrum 2.0? Apparently not quite so. Because Sarazanmai might have all the crazy and weird visuals that is seemingly similar in Mawaru Penguindrum, it is only because it is connected by the same director, Kunihiko Ikuhara. Otherwise this series is very much different despite all those bizarre stuffs keep reminding you about Mawaru Penguindrum. Just replace penguins with kappa. Replace destiny with desire and hope. Replace the coveted mysterious item that is Penguindrum AKA apple with something that is not so mysterious like magic dishes that grants your wish. Crazy, huh? Told you this felt like Mawaru Penguindrum v2.

Episode 1
Kazuki Yasaka narrates connections are important to him. He’ll do anything to protect them. Hence there are 3 rules he must always do: 1) Carry this box (Kappazon?); 2) Check lucky selfie fortunes of this idol, Sara Azuma; 3) Send selfies to a person he is connected to but doesn’t know. Having done all this, he doesn’t need anything else. Toi Kuji is trying to break into a car when Sara is seen taking a selfie. Naturally Toi wants her Smartphone but she won’t hand it to him and runs away. As Toi gives chase, he stumbles into Kazuki praying at the kappa plaza. He notices his Smartphone the same as Sara’s and attacks him. This causes the kappa statue to break and a small explosion occurs. Next thing Kazuki knows, he is in class. His friend, Enta Jinnai is mad he quit the football club without knowledge. More weirdness when Toi is the new transfer student in class. Throughout the day, Kazuki and Toi seem to be doing weird kappa stuffs like pouring water on their head and eating cucumbers. They start to hear weird bell sounds. It leads them back to the plaza. The broken statue acts up and turns into Keppi, the prince of the kappa kingdom. He claims he erased their memories this morning and since they know about his existence, he must do something about them. Keppi begs to help his kingdom! But Toi refuses and calls him a frog. This taboo word makes Keppi angry as he devours them and sucks out their Shirikodama from their ass! Both realize they have become kappa!

Keppi explains they are now in an alternate dimension called Field of Desires. Neither humans nor kappa can see this. When Enta is seen running by, because he can’t see them, Keppi puts a sticker to allow him to see them. Guess what? Enta thought he saw frogs! Extraction time! Now we have 3 boys turned into kappa. As explained, Shirikodama is an organ that stores human desires. But in the anus? Underlings of a zombie kappa steal boxes that contain desires. The only way to defeat it is to extract their Shirikodama. And so the trio begin fighting this cardboard zombie via musical? Yeah, it is one trippy fight to extract it. Doing so also has them learn the darkest secrets that is kept. Keppi tells them to give him the extracted Shirikodama before it melts via Sarazanmai. What is that? Whatever. Some weird dancing and poses. We learn that the box Kazuki carries contains female clothes. He cross-dresses himself as Sara and takes selfies. So it was him who stumbled into Toi trying to break in and the person he sends the selfies to is Enta! Keppi further explains Sarazanmai refers to the connection of the soul and mind and this means they share all their deepest secrets. Enta despite is shocked to learn Kazuki’s secret, believes their friendship is strong. But Kazuki is upset. He doesn’t care if anyone understands him. As long as he can be connected to Harukappa, he will pretend to be anything.

Episode 2
For their troubles, Keppi gives them a Dish of Hope that allows a wish to be granted. Stupid Enta got so excited and wastes it for a year’s worth of cucumber sushi. Damn. Hence Keppi’s job for them is to fight kappa zombies if they wish to get more Dish of Hope. Back home, we are introduced to Haruka, Kazuki’s little brother. Uhm, looks like a girl, acts like a girl, name of a girl, but a boy?! Whatever. As we can see, Harukappa is her online account name and Kazuki is pretending to be Sara for him. He wants a Dish of Hope for Haruka. Haruka is a happy little brother and has Kazuki to thank for because he wanted a cat and now they have one, Nyantaro. Meanwhile Toi and his brother, Chikai are doing really shady things. Toi doesn’t want to do this anymore although big bro says the next gig will bring in big money. With all that is happening, Toi also wants a Dish of Hope for his brother. Enta orders a package but inside is a gun! He realizes his package has been mixed up with Toi’s. Toi is trying to make some, uhm, condiment? Not sure if it contains catnip because Nyantaro waltzes in to steal it! They bump into Kazuki (dressed as Sara). Both chase after the fat cat. Weird part it enters some ninja festival that is only opened to couples. Good timing, right? Yeah, they chase a cat inside while holding hands. Can the park let a cat do as it please inside? Toi is willing to give back Nyantaro if Kazuki gives his Dish of Hope. Not going to fly.

Meanwhile a corpse of a man has been found in the river. This guy had a penchant for skinning cats but has been released since no evidence was established. This guy was once interrogated by policemen, Mabu Akutsu and Reo Niiboshi. It seems they fire some special bullets into him to extract his desires. Yeah, some weird otter dancing ritual… With cats now going missing. I guess it is cue for Keppi to signal to our kappa boys to defeat another kappa zombie. Enta shows Kazuki the gun belonging to Toi and that he is bad news. However Kazuki needs Toi to pull off this mission. It is all for Haruka. Transforming into kappa, the trio battle against the cat zombie and extract his Shirikodama to learn his secret that he has been skinning cats for their fur so he could wear them. Uh huh. His girlfriend loves cats and recently left him. So he thought by being a cat he could get back his love. Sarazanmai also reveals that when Haruka wanted a cat, Kazuki actually stole somebody’s cat just to make him happy! With the cat case solved, the policemen believe somebody is interfering. The view those who can connect desires can have a future. Toi threatens the rest to give their Dish of Hope. However Keppi points out that they must collect 5 to truly have their wish granted. So the first time was just demo? Work harder, boys. With Haruka happy that Nyantaro is found and thanks Sara for her lucky selfies, Kazuki feels relieved as he falls asleep. Just like that in the open? Because cue for Enta to steal a kiss!!!! Only the fat cat is the witnessed…

Episode 3
Enta pulls back as Kazuki wakes up! Nothing suspected. We hear Enta’s thoughts that he has a crush on Kazuki. He doesn’t know when those feelings started but he has had them for a long time. Worse, today’s lucky readings from Sara is a kiss! Otone, Enta’s sister even teases him by giving him a kisu. The fish, that is. Yup, it’s from her boyfriend. Later Enta and Haruka talk about Kazuki. Haruka feels sad that Kazuki has stopped smiling ever since he quit football. Enta remains positive that Kazuki will come back to play football with him. As Enta is thinking on how to do that, suddenly Kazuki comes by and regrets leaving football. He wants to play with him again. That’s quick. Unfortunately this is just his delusion as that person is actually Otone. She is supposed to meet up with her boyfriend but he is late. Enta then gets mad when he sees a couple of football boys playing in their secret area. When he tries to act tough, they beat him up. WTF Kazuki beats them up and saves him? Oh dear. Another delusion. Turns out to be Toi instead. Enta explains why he wants Kazuki to play football with him. A reason why he wants a Dish of Hope so badly. Meanwhile the police is investigating a corpse of a murdered man who happens to be Otone’s boyfriend and he has records of being a womanizer. Mabu and Reo claimed to have arrested him the day before, interrogated him and extracted his desires.

With brides gone missing, of course the zombie kappa is doing all this. The kisu zombie is turning brides into kisu. Among them is Otone. Enta begs Keppi to transform him so he can go save her. Yeah, get your Shirikodama extract first. So the trio extract the kisu zombie’s Shirikodama and Enta’s secrets are revealed during the Sarazanmai. We see him secretly sniffing on Kazuki’s jersey and also blowing on his recorder. And yeah, that kiss on sleeping Sara. In the aftermath when Otone returns to reality, it seems she can’t remember who she was waiting for. It seems Kazuki isn’t fazed about the kiss as he thinks it was a penalty game the football club imposed on him. Enta denies and claims how Kazuki always gave him motivation, the reason for him to play football. After Enta confesses he loves Kazuki, OMG a yaoi kiss scene! We should know better by now it is a delusion as Enta just kissed Keppi. How does it feel kissing a kappa? Meanwhile with yet another interference, Mabu and Reo are being admonished by their mysterious boss (only known as Otter) because the harvested energy has dropped significantly recently. Buck up or else he considers this as betrayal. Enta talks to Haruka that he can’t get himself through to Kazuki and wants to give up. But Haruka gives him a missanga bracelet that he threw away. Because he can’t run with Kazuki, he hopes Enta could give it to him and run together. We see Haruka wheelchair-ridden at a hospital.

Episode 4
Haruka is happy that she is going to have a handshake session with Sara. The real one. Toi gets a call from Chikai. The former is sick of living apart but the latter promises they’ll live together once things are settled. Later Toi meets Enta because the latter continues to bug him to give his Dish of Hope. Not a chance. Asking about Toi’s recent transfer to their school, he explains he was once from this area but left for a while after his parents died. Currently he is living with his relatives who are running a soba shop. Subsequently, Kazuki in a Sara’s drag seeks out Toi’s help. It seems he wants him to kidnap the real Sara so that he could substitute her place for Haruka. It’s an identity he needs to protect! This has Toi remember the ‘teachings’ of Chikai how the weak perish and will be forgotten. After their parents died (he later found out that they were cheated into debt), Chikai is seen trying to sell their belongings for money. Hey, they aren’t of any use to the dead, right? Toi was mad but was told off that only bad people survive in this world. Toi then saw Chikai meet up with his yakuza boss and being given a gun. When the family soba shop was about to be evicted, somehow Chikai managed to bring in the cash to keep the store running. Before Kazuki could finish his Sara kidnapping plan, soba bowls are now flying everywhere? And of course, a soba shop owner is found dead. He was arrested on suspicions of stealing his girlfriend’s bathwater but was released due to insufficient grounds. And also of course, Mabu and Reo arrested that guy and extracted his desires.

With a soba zombie in action, our trio transform into their kappa form to extract his Shirikodama. So that soba owner guy just wanted to make soba using the water from his girlfriend’s bathwater? Sick. And now for the Sarazanmai. Toi later found out the money Chikai got was from swiping his yakuza boss. They wanted to make him pay but because the relatives disowned him, they couldn’t touch the shop. However the boss thought of using Toi as bait to lure him out. But Toi used the gun and shot him. As Chikai witnessed this, he took the gun from his hands and shot the boss. This is to claim that he is the one who shot and killed this bad person. The brothers vow to survive in this world together. With yet another loss, Mabu and Reo contemplate of taking action. Since it is inefficient for them to go out there, they’ll have to raise the target’s desire level. Enta is devastated that Toi killed a guy but Toi insists had he not, he would have killed the brothers. It is easy to talk about morals and justice means nothing to the strong. Hence Toi decides to live for Chikai’s sake and won’t let his sacrifice go to waste. He will not hesitate to kill them if they let this secret out. Surprisingly Kazuki gives his Dish of Hope to Toi. He needs it more than him. Furious Enta opposes. He thought he was doing it for Haruka. Kazuki cuts off his ranting and claims he hates Haruka. Say what?!

Episode 5
Kazuki narrates he was the happiest kid in the world when Haruka was born. But a few years later and grandpa on his deathbed muttered the words that Kazuki’s mom is an indecent woman. He found out and realized that he had a real mother whom he was taken away from. And that was when his happiness shattered. He wasn’t connected to anybody. The plan to switch the real Sara begins. Toi knocks out the manager and then escorts the real Sara out on pretence to take some promotional photos before Kazuki in drag moves in. Meanwhile the police has found a corpse of an unemployed guy who was suspected to be involved in some natural treasure sachet incident but of course released due to insufficient evidence. And our usual duo interrogated him and extracted out his desires. No matter how many times Toi tries to lock up Sara, it seems she always escapes by transforming into some sort of kappa?! Kazuki is up on stage to greet the fans. Yeah, nobody realizes this is Kazuki except for Enta. Haruka is thrilled to meet ‘Sara’ since ‘she’ knew their password (Haruka texted her that password regarding connections before the meet). This has Kazuki remember a time when he found out about the truth about his mom and contemplated to leave so Haruka said the same things of how they are all connected in a big way. Handshake interrupted when the manager pops up to call out this imposter. Haruka refutes him and believes this ‘Sara’ is the real deal. It gets worse when the real Sara shows up. When Haruka asks for the password, she doesn’t understand, making Haruka believe this fake is the real deal. But that soon comes crashing down when the manager pulls off Kazuki’s wig. Oh no! Kazuki runs away in shame and fear.

Later Toi says some harsh words that he is the one who hurt Haruka and that eventually all their secrets will be exposed. Kazuki laments he promised never to hurt Haruka but has done it again. Suddenly Keppi interrupts them because a kappa zombie is detected. Yup, better go fight that sachet zombie. After they manage to defeat this sachet zombie, Sarazanmai reveals that Kazuki one day for the first time met with his real mom. The thing is, Haruka also had the same scent pouch as her. This regret causes Kazuki to lose the sachet zombie’s Shirikodama and thanks to that, no Dish of Hope for them. Mad Keppi also lets them be in this kappa form although Kazuki thinks he prefers it this way. Then he starts lamenting about how Haruka knew that they weren’t real brothers. More revelation as that day when he met his real mom, they both found out they each have their own separate families and decided to keep this tryst a secret and return to their respective family life as they viewed it as important. But soon, Kazuki decided to leave the family and Haruka didn’t want that. He thought he was being a bad boy and pleaded for Kazuki to stay. Kazuki turned his back and when Haruka tried to go after him, a car rammed into him. This left Haruka paralyzed from waist down and the thing that Kazuki regretted a lot is how no one blamed him despite it was really all his fault. They all continued to be a real family to him and he continued to stay with them. However he feels all he has done isn’t enough. From quitting football, stealing Nyantaro and even dressing up as Sara. It was a lie that he is doing this all for Haruka. He deceived Haruka just to protect himself.

Episode 6
Kazuki didn’t come home and his family is worried. Especially Haruka. But oh, Kazuki has gone crazy living the happy kappa life! Oh yeah, having fun doing kappa sumo? What about kappa football? Of course this isn’t going to last as Kazuki remains gloomy. When he sees Haruka in the streets, he runs away. Haruka is worried if Kazuki is ever coming back. He is approached by Reo and wonders will be arrested for stealing Kazuki’s smile. Reo is interested to see whether the inside of him is desire or love and puts Haruka to sleep before taking him away back to his police box to have his desires extracted. Nyantaro is flung away. Kazuki still can’t face himself until Nyantaro lands near him. He realizes Haruka is missing. Keppi then receives a call that Haruka has been taken away by the Otter Empire. They kill humans and turn them into kappa zombies. Time for a little history. It seems kappa and otters having been at war since the dawn of time. They fought over the energy inside Shirikodama and when the otters won over the kappa, they set the humans as their next target. Keppi is the only one who can create Dish of Hope so if this secret is blown, his life will be targeted. Keppi takes the trio to the Otter Empire’s secret underground hideout where they extract all desires and put them in a box to devour. How can they find Haruka in all the boxes? Yeah, Kazuki calling Haruka’s handphone somehow pinpointing Haruka’s position. But as they chase after it, it is too late as it gets dropped into the pit. Desperate Kazuki wants to save Haruka’s life. How? Keppi suggests the other way is to transplant his Shirikodama into him. However this means that Kazuki will be disconnected from everything. To cut things short, he will be erased from existence and the memories of everyone who knows him. A fate worse than dying. That is exactly what they have been doing to kappa zombies they defeated.

But Kazuki starts thinking that exchanging his life would mean Haruka’s accident would never happen and that is good enough of a deal to do it. Of course his pals won’t allow this sorry excuse. You think that would make Haruka happy? STFU about this is your choice to make. Enta shows him the missanga he threw away that Haruka saved. It shows that he never gave up on him. He believes in him and is waiting. This is enough for Kazuki to change his mind. Back to operation rescue Haruka. The system detects Haruka’s desire as love and is rejected. It is being sent to the shredders but at least there is window of time for them to rescue him and he is still alive. Flashback shows Haruka’s final message to Sara that he did something horrible to a certain person. The reason he chased Kazuki down was because he was afraid he would leave him. It seems Haruka also stumbled into Kazuki’s real mom. They look alike and he picked up her dropped scent pouch. Similar scent. Haruka told her not to take Kazuki away but she smiled and said everything is going to be okay. But Kazuki stopped smiling after that. He is happy the things he has done for him and will continue to believe he will come home and smile again. How to save Haruka moments before being dropped into the shredder? This is where their football skills come in handy. Use Keppi as the football! Goal! Keppi also conveniently acts as a glider-cum-parachute to land Haruka to safety. With that, the trio are able to defeat the sachet zombie for good. Mabu is not pleased with yet another defeat. However Reo is ecstatic. Calling Haruka’s real love as something they never needed in the first place, he is glad he kidnapped Haruka because he has found Keppi, their hope. Kazuki feels he has been reborn into a new person despite staying pretty much the same. This is the real him. He is glad to have friends like them.

Episode 7
From what it sounds like some ambiguous gay sex between Otter and Mabu turns out to be a ritual for the latter to become his vessel. When Mabu returns from his ‘maintenance’, Reo is not pleased since he is trying hard to eat his old favourites and trying to pretend to be his old self doesn’t mean he will accept him. He is just nothing but lies. Even so, Mabu is doing this for a certain person precious to him. Flashback reveals that Mabu and Reo got entangled during the otter’s invasion of the kappa kingdom. When Reo woke up, he was in the care of Otter who claims he is the chief of the science and technology division. Although Reo was relatively unhurt, the same can’t be said for Mabu. From what it looked like, he died. Reo was devastated and would do anything to bring his partner back to life. Mabu reports to Otter that the energy reserves of the kappa zombies are dangerously low. This of course would mean both their lives are in danger. Otter wants Mabu to prove his loyalty via action. With summer break here, Kazuki happily tells Enta that he will rejoin the football club once the next term starts. They also invite Toi to join them since he is quite good. But as they head to their usual spot to practice, they see it vandalized. Undeterred, they start cleaning up. However the next day, it is again vandalized. Kazuki hasn’t lost his spirit and wants to clean up so as to send a message to the vandals this won’t break them. However Toi gets a call from Chikai. Looks like he can’t continue playing football with them. Seems a huge job just fell through as a partner betrayed him. They have to leave town for a while as they are being wanted. Kazuki remains positive. All they need is 1 more Dish of Hope, right? Let’s defeat a kappa zombie and help Chikai. That way, they don’t have to leave. Toi wonders why they are willing to go this far for him. Enta explains this is Kazuki’s real personality before that Haruka’s incident. He is always helpful. That is why what Kazuki wants, Enta also wants.

The trio go to the plaza to see Keppi but he just got back. From a date with Sara?! Anyway, Keppi claims somebody trespassed on his home while he is away. Proof: The Dishes of Hope the boys keep here are missing. At the same time, all the balls start to go missing. Time to go fight the kappa zombie which is a ball zombie this time. After another victory, the Sarazanmai reveals a nasty secret. It is Enta who vandalized their football spot and the one who stole the Dishes of Hope! Enta did so because he is jealous that Kazuki is paying his attention to Toi. Mabu and Reo’s flashback continues. When Mabu was revived, Reo wasn’t happy at all. He believes this isn’t the real Mabu because of that eternally sad look. But Mabu claims he is the real deal as the otter’s technology is truly amazing. His personality has perfectly replicated. Otter adds that Mabu has been fitted with a mechanical heart and needs Reo’s help to keep it working. If he doesn’t like it, feel free to stop his heart. Reo is in distraught because that means he has to kill Mabu. Otter tells them they will be transferred to the human world along with the hope that they seized from the kappa kingdom.

Episode 8
It seems Toi and Kazuki met before when they were young. Toi was contemplating of following Chikai and decided to throw away his love for football. At the same time, Kazuki too just had his problems about being connected so Toi gave him his missanga because some dreams come true when one is disconnected. Chikai meets Toi so they could leave town together but Toi wants him to wait a day for him to settle things. But Chikai’s mug is all over the news. It is rumoured that there is evidence he killed a yakuza boss a few years ago and is now a wanted man. Kazuki is most upset that Enta betrayed them and surprisingly Toi is cool with it and believes he must have his reasons. Bummed out Enta is hanging out at the pachinko when he meets Chikai who is coincidentally there. Because Mabu and Reo are on his tail, Enta helps him to get away. Enta could figure he is Toi’s brother after the way he says things. Chikai even goes as far as to reveal Toi loved football when he was young and wanted to be a football player. He tossed away everything because big brother sacrificed everything for him. Some sort of reciprocation I guess. Kazuki then sees that missanga. They have to move again when the cops close in on them. However they stumble into this yakuza guy who is the yakuza’s boss’ brother and is out for revenge. When he charges, Chikai uses Enta as bait to escape. As this dude deals with the kid, the cops come by. Naturally Enta escapes as this guy won’t let the cops take the spotlight. So he attacks them and gets shot by Reo. When other policemen arrive, they believe the duo have shot him and they will be charged over this police brutality. However they get brainwashed and believe the shooter is now Chikai.

Keppi and Sara now have clues that Mabu and Reo are the ones who have captured Dark Keppi. They have finished creating some secret anti-otter device that will capture their prey alive. Enta is furious Chikai used him but he advises him about that bad people survive line before they part ways. Just in time for a call from Toi. Enta is mad that he didn’t say anything to Kazuki about the missanga. Well, no use saying something that he doesn’t remember. As Kazuki is looking for the dishes, Toi calls him to say he doesn’t need those dishes anymore as he is going away. Kazuki desperately tries to convince him to stay and doesn’t understand what he is saying about people only believe they have connections once they lose them. Toi wants to protect the connections he has left. With that, Toi leaves with Chikai. Frustrated Kazuki is squashing cucumbers at the plaza? With Enta coming by with the dishes to help, however Kazuki jumps the gun and punches him. Blaming him that Toi would have stayed if not for what he did. Enta also snaps back at Kazuki for not remembering something important but the latter won’t hear it from someone who has betrayed them. Mabu and Reo have found them. The Dishes of Hope, that is. Reo shoots at Kazuki but Enta jumps to protect him. The cops leave with the dishes and Kazuki is left confused why Enta did all that. Despite everything that happened, Enta can’t bring himself to hate him.

Episode 9
Sara accidentally uses the device on Keppi and freezes him. Then she slips while trying to move him. Yeah, right into the middle of the road as the truck slams into him! Pieces of kappa… You mean Sara is going to do surgery and piece him back together?! And it worked?! With Enta being admitted into ICU and Chikai as the suspected shooter all over TV, Toi is devastated when he sees this. Chikai gives him one last chance to go back or else there is no turning back. Toi reasons that Enta has someone else important. But for Chikai, he is all he’s got. The duo then go meet one of Chikai’s underlings, Masa who prepares for their next stage of escape. Kazuki is sad that the police do not believe him that he saw a couple of cops shoot Enta. Of course they are brainwashed and maintain Chikai is the shooter. Otone hopes Kazuki could take to Enta and be by his side. Kazuki doesn’t think he has the right so Otone elaborates how the family is always overseas and only returned here 4 years ago. Enta had a hard time fitting in but Kazuki quickly made friends with him and they became football buddies. That is why Enta owes him his life and will do anything for him. Kazuki sounds desperate praying for Enta to wake up and do his usual smile. Surprise! Enta lives! But only in his kappa form. It seems Keppi transformed him so but he still has a limited time to live. After Masa sees off the brothers, Chikai shoots him! He views Masa as being unable to survive in this world and did him a favour. Of course there are other enemies gunning for Chikai’s head. Talk is useless so a gunfight ensues. When Chikai runs out of bullets, it is Toi who pulls out his own gun to start shooting to give his brother some time to escape.

When Reo returns to his police box, Mabu is not around. Some strange sounds coming from the basement. Taking a peek, he is shocked to see Otter trying to do something to Mabu’s mechanical heart. Even more shocked to see Otter is taking Reo’s form. Otter explains that they only exist in concept and take whatever form in your heart. Otter continues to mock Reo that he is the one who wants to own Mabu. That is his desire. He is merely being made to dance by his desires by them otters. The question now is what matters most to Mabu. How does Reo look to him? Reo is in distraught as he vows to get back the real Mabu with his own strength. All he needs is the final Dish of Hope. Haruka talks to Kazuki and knows he is going somewhere to help Enta. Haruka also has Enta to thank as he always accompanied him during rehab. He claims he and Enta have the same wish of seeing Kazuki run again. He shows a drawing they drew to cheer on Enta. It is behind Enta’s prized football poster. Lionel Kappa???!!! That is when Kazuki remembers about Toi. Chikai manages to get away when Toi confronts him. He doesn’t care if he is bad to the core. He is still his brother. But he wonders if Chikai is going to throw him away as well. Chikai pulls out a gun on him. However it is one of those enemies who shot Chikai. Though he got paid back the same way soon. Chikai knows he won’t make it so he doesn’t bother to go to the hospital. Toi is left devastated over his brother’s body. Lots of memories of the good and bad they had :’(. He’s gone… All the money he’s been left can’t bring him back…

Episode 10
When Mabu was brought back to life by Otter, it was only so he could be his doll. He could let him see Reo again but with a condition. Reo finds Keppi and captures him. It seems Reo and Mabu were also kappa and Keppi’s vassals. Taking Keppi and the kids to the otter’s underground base, however Kazuki and co manage to escape when Reo b*tches about Mabu being the fake doll that he doesn’t want. At the most bottom of the base, they stumble into Dark Keppi. This is Keppi’s other half that he separated when he was captured by Otter. Hence he has been finding it to be reunited so he can defeat Otter. Otter then pops up and tries to gain control of them. First he possesses Enta trying to convince him to hand over his dish. But Enta stays strong and will not lose his connection to Kazuki by breaking his dish. Otter now wants Reo to hand over the dishes he stole but of course he isn’t going to do that. Oh well. Time to let him see the truth. Otter turns Mabu into a Mabu zombie. Reo has no choice but to see Keppi’s help to become a kappa and defeat Mabu. When Otter gave Mabu a condition, he must not say words of love to Reo otherwise his mechanical heart will explode. In other words, in order to stay connected to Reo, he must hate him. No choice, Mabu uttered those words. During Sarazanmai, we see Reo running his mouth about Mabu being an emotionless doll. However he realizes he was the one who didn’t understand. In the final moments, Mabu says the one thing he has always wanted to say to Reo: He always loved him as his partner. With that, Mabu explodes. With the final Dish of Hope at hand, Reo goes insane, thinking this is Otter’s tricks. He starts shooting everything in despair and wants Kazuki to hand over the final dish. He won’t of course. Before Reo could kill him, suddenly he doesn’t understand why he is sad and upset. Because now all memories of Mabu are gone. Mabu is then shot in the heart by Toi. Chikai’s dead. You know what’s coming. But with only 15 seconds to go before Enta dies… Enta then lives as the dish is used on him. It seems that is what Toi would have done to had Kazuki given him the dish. It’s not over yet as Otter unleashes despair on the world in the form of Dark Keppi. It swallows Toi. Kazuki tries to save him but Toi hears Chikai’s voice of getting out of the circle together. Forget all those connections. Toi lets go of Kazuki’s hand.

Episode 11
An apparition in the form of Chikai is trying to convince Toi to shoot himself and his past in order to sever connections. Had he done that, all this suffering wouldn’t have been necessary. Of course, Kazuki, Enta and Keppi dive in to try and save Toi. But with Otter trying to get in their way, the kappa prince faces off with him to let the boys go ahead. As Toi talks with Chikai, eventually Toi shoots him. Of course this is Otter in disguise. But Toi isn’t done yet. He is prepared to shoot himself but his friends get in the way. Dark Keppi aggravates things by stealing his missanga as the trio drop into some alternate dimension and their connections threatened to be erased. We hear the trio coming to terms with themselves, their weakness and what they have realized. Finally it is Toi who realizes he doesn’t want to lose what is precious to him. They come together as Keppi transforms them into their kappa version for their final Sarazanmai. They must deliver this missanga to Kazuki’s younger self to complete the mission. While Keppi confronts his dark self, Otter again tries to get in the way. When Keppi reunites with his dark self, memento of Mabu and Reo revive the police duo to help the kids deliver the missanga. Once young Kazuki has it in his hands, Otter starts disintegrating. He is but an abstract concept after all. And Keppi is now in his true prince version? WTF is this weird looking newt-cum-lizardman look?! The final Sarazanmai has the trio talking about wanting to keep connecting. Weird, it’s like they need to score a goal before the time runs out. Thanks to that, it is safe to say that the world is safe for now. In this weird scene of Sara turning into her equally strange kappa mode and Mabu and Reo flanking her like kappa angels, Keppi narrates that the future is not necessary a bright one but hope and despair are both one with life. Never forget that only those who connect their desires through the pain of loss can take the future in their hands. In the aftermath, Toi enters a juvenile detention facility and is released after 3 years. I don’t think he is committing suicide by jumping off the bridge, but it feels a very odd way for his friends to go pick him up this way too. Is that how they decided to greet him on his release? And happily the trio head to their favourite football spot to practice.

Otterly Krazy Kappa-nings & Konnections
Wow. Who needs drugs when you can have this sort of crazy hallucinations and trippy experience, no?! Heh. Just kidding. Don’t do drugs by the way. Anyway, the series has been quite a mixed ride of drama and craziness. Friends trying to stay connected and finding their place of belonging among each other and in the world. Yet again, the cliché power of friendship wins the day!

Desires and connections are the main themes of this series but I feel that the latter permeates throughout the series more than the former. Desires feel like it is an element to move to plot along or provide a narrative for the episode but the overall main theme would be connections. It may not be very obvious here but connections are a very important factor in everybody’s life. You might think that you are a loner but as long as people remember or know who you are, you are in a way still connected. It is only when everyone in the world forgets about you that your existence is truly severed. A fate worse than death is to have never existed in the eyes and the memories of others. That is why our characters here fight hard to try and maintain their connections. Once it is severed, there is no telling when it can be connected again. It’s not like it can be glued back with duct tape, right?

The use of kappa and otters are also a strange concept. While in this anime, kappa are the good guys and otters are the antagonists, in actual life it is actually the other way around. Sort of. You see, because of today’s media, kappa are now portrayed as some cute harmless little creatures. Lest you do your research, you will find that their true origins have a very dark nature. Let’s say that are not friendly creatures to begin with and the Shirikodama ass extraction you see here is just a light take on the horror aspects of their origin. And otters are supposed to be cute, lovely and helpful to the environment, right? And aww, they look so cute holding hands while they sleep together at sea to prevent from being drifted away. So cute… Well, if you love otters that much and can see no fault in them. Just like many other animals, otters too can be dicks (you should read an article about otters raping seals. No kidding!). Obviously otters are portrayed as the antagonists here only because of its Japanese word ‘kawauso’ in which ‘uso’ means lies.

Speaking of that, this series also has its fair share of puns. While it may not be as spamming and ubiquitous, say like the Monogatari series, there are still quite a few of them for those who are sharp enough to pick up and of course if you have a certain standard in Japanese vocabulary. For example, Toi’s episode regarding his relatives running the soba shop is definitely a wordplay of the ‘soba’ word which also means ‘next’. Toi wanting to be next to Chikai is definitely his desire. The start of every flashback scene you will see the words seaweed with it because ‘kaisou’ in Japanese means both flashback and seaweed, albeit same pronunciation but different kanji words. And of course it goes without saying that all the kappa zombies are puns of their desires. But I guess the puns that take the big share of the cake are kappa puns. You will see them in product placements (Kappazon?), places (Kappabashi? Yes, this place actually exists) and even celebrities. Lionel Kappa… Hah! I will surely remember one. Sorry, no Kappa-tiano Ronaldo, KR7! For more insights to the puns in this series, this site provides a good explanation as well as trivia and Easter eggs.

This show might be even weirder considering how it spams us a lot of butt and ass scenes, especially that Shirikodama extraction. But remember what I said about the darker origins of the kappa? Yes people, kappa is technically a yokai that loves butts! Therefore there are a few butt and ass visuals so it may look weird as hell and cringey. After all, when the kappa boys had to go inside deep into the ass of the kappa zombie to extract the Shirikodama out, it really looks like one weird sexual fetish. Even when Keppi begins his Shirikodama extraction, you see from a point of view that focuses on his butt. And Keppi doing farts and sh*tting out the boys because his anus is some sort of magical transformation device thingy, could really twist one stomach if you’re not used to this sort of craziness. There’s also some gay suggestions other than Enta for Kazuki or a hardcore male friendship among them leading to something yaoi and especially Mabu and Reo hinting to be close enough and more than best partners-cum-friends but it could be just my imagination. Yeah, just our imaginations when Otter seemingly tried to make out with Mabu!

The characters are rather okay. I suppose the main trio are fleshed out enough that you would want to support they stay together till the end. Everyone harbours secrets so it is no surprising that these boys too have some secrets that would put their friendship to the test. I wouldn’t say that many of the episode’s revelation like Kazuki being a cross-dresser or Enta as the culprit who vandalized their football spot, to be mind blowing. Sometimes it feels like a detective themed series. You know, whatever mysterious/curious case/phenomenon is eventually being revealed in the end. Only here, we aren’t furnished any clues to pinpoint the culprit and we should have known and see it coming by the connection theme of this series. By the time we probably are getting used to this, the series has probably already ended. In a way, Sarazanmai serves more than just revealing the darkest secrets of the main characters as it also helps in developing their characters forward. Kazuki wants the best for Haruka. Toi wants to be with Chikai. Enta selfishly wants Kazuki for himself. With Haruka reminding the previous Kazuki was better and more smiley and Chikai dead, it is like the wakeup call for the trio to realize that there are more important connections than their own selfish desires.

Chikai as a shady character, it was hard for me to determine if he was just playing the villain or truly a villain in his own right. From the circumstances that have arisen in his life, not to say that resorting to a life of crime is justified but it lets us understand why he took the path that he need to take. Bad guys surviving the longest is the world rings eerily true in real life and it might be heartless for him to teach this to his younger brother but that is how life works for them. Life wasn’t going to be a bed of roses for them so what else do they need to do to survive? Had Chikai being truly despicable, he would have left Toi and not cared for him a long time ago. So I believe he is just playing the big villain just to help Toi move on. The brothers are both each other’s strength and weakness. Because they have each other, they strongly trudge on in life but that is the same reason why it drags them down. While it is sad that Chikai dies in the end (live by the sword, die by the sword), it was probably a twisted blessing in disguise for Toi to set him free and open his eyes that he also has something else of importance other than his brother. What good is a guy when he is dead except for nostalgia and memories?

Mabu and Reo being antagonists feel a bit underdeveloped. Like as though they are characters created just for kappa zombies to run havoc. But that is okay because Mabu and Reo aren’t antagonists to begin with. Unwilling antagonists if I should say. After their truth is revealed, so as not to let them have a bad ending, somehow they revive and return to being the kappa prince and princess’ vassals? I don’t even know how that happened except for plot convenience. After all, it is not like they have been completely forgotten by being thrown out of the connection circle. Yeah, pretty convenient for them to just turn into memento after being defeat. And I thought Mabu’s mechanical heart was supposed to explode and leave nothing. Nothing. But I guess Otter was also lying. Because Otter is just an abstract concept, is the otter kingdom created because of all the negative emotions from humans? I mean, there is enough to go around because with so many unfulfilled desires and twisted secrets, enough for that cliché factor of bad feelings amass into an evil being that is what the otter kingdom represents. It’s a vicious cycle since they feed on the energy of humans. Otter being defeated in the final scene could it merely just mean the boys have overcome their obstacles? Because with the future still not secure, it could mean that Otter could come back anytime when some strain is detected?

The art and animation are sleek. I would be repeating myself yet another time if I try to explain how the visuals all look nostalgically similar to Mawaru Penguindrum. Crazy, weird, odd, strange, bizarre, flashy. Did I leave any other words out? But that basically sums up my main point about this segment. Especially some of the movements during transformation and the ritual to extract Shirikodama, they’re just wild as hell. Wow. You have to go through all that just to get there? Truly flashy indeed. Unimportant people are portrayed as stick people. You know those male and female signs you see outside the toilet? Yeah. Toilet sign people… And for those other characters who don’t matter but are slightly ‘important’ like those dead victims, all of them have a white paper covering their face. Don’t have to draw their face. Better than putting a censor over their eyes. I suppose we don’t care for them that’s why they can be thrown out of the connection circle so easily. Keppi looks weird as a kappa because I at first I thought he was some duck! Hey, at least I didn’t mistook him for a frog! And with him having red eyes, yeah I thought he was high on drugs. Can’t say I like his new handsome kappa form, though… Looks even weirder. While some of the backgrounds are 2D animation, I think some of them are using real backgrounds. I may be wrong since the 2D animation might be so good that I couldn’t tell the difference. This series is animated jointly by MAPPA (Kakegurui, Shingeki No Bahamut series, Banana Fish) and Lapin Track.

For the voice acting department, Rie Kugimiya sounds quite meek as Haruka. Though, she is still recognizable. Glad to hear that she is still around and it might not be a main character role but it’s still good enough to hear her voice once in a while. Looks like I’ve reached a point in time where I am starting to worry that I won’t be hearing seiyuus that I am familiar with because they are already on the path of retirement. And with so many new and young upcoming seiyuus these days. Ah well. Better be grateful for all that I can get. The other recognizable seiyuus are Junichi Suwabe as Keppi, Kenjiro Tsuda as Chikai and Mamoru Miyano as Reo. I was thinking Mamoru Miyano would be a flamboyant character but that is only because I was amazed by his performance as the main character in Zombie Land Saga and think he could replicate that in this crazy series. Guess not. The other casts are Ayumu Murase as Kazuki (Riku in Show By Rock), Shun Horie as Enta (Koshiyama in Nana Maru San Batsu), Kouki Uchiyama as Toi (Ichika in Infinite Stratos), Yoshimasa Hosoya as Mabu (Reiner in Shingeki No Kyojin), Takaya Kuroda as Otter (Dagger in Show By Rock), Mariya Ise as Otone (Levi in Fairy Tail) and Teiko Kagohara as Sara (debut voice acting role as she is originally a singer – maybe that’s why she sounds a bit raw and weird).

Fitting the crazy pace of the series is the opening theme, Massara by Kana-Boon. This rock outfit also feels suitable for those who would love to do their own AMV. Yeah, it feels pretty much like that. Stand by Me by The Peggies isn’t a cover that was originally sung by Ben E. King. Instead this rock piece has this edgy feel to it. Sounds okay to me and not bad. But it is the insert songs that take the cake. Sarazanmai No Uta and Kawausoiya are the songs featured as the kappa boys begin their fight against the kappa zombies and the policeman duo extracting desires from their victims respectively. The songs are pretty catchy and I can’t help sing or even dance along to the tune each time it is played. Sarazanmai No Uta has this jazzy and samba mix to it while Kawausoiya blends traditional Japanese fold dance with modern music. There is also Houkago Kappa by Teiko Kagohara. But this sounds more like a children song if you ask me. Cute but not as exciting as the former duo.

Overall, despite all the craziness and bizarre presentation, this series is still fun, enjoyable and at times thought provoking especially on the concept of connections. While it started off looking and reminding us a lot like Mawaru Penguindrum v2.0, slowly when you get drawn into the setting and concept of this series, it starts to stand out entirely on its own. So the lesson of the series is to keep your connections and count your blessings for having them. You may not know it but still take the time to thank those around you and putting up with your incorrigible habits. Every day. But the irony in today’s world that despite we are being so connected and staying connected 24/7 via technological advances, the classic and traditional connection of human to human relationship is eroding. We are already zombies looking at our Smartphones every day. Otters could be personified as giant tech companies, brainwashing us and feeding on our raw emotions. Literally, f*cking us in the ass! Hence the only true fear that we will dread the most is when we lose connection to the internet! Oh the horror!!! Usooooo!!!

Sewayaki Kitsune No Senko-san

September 14, 2019

Are you having a rough day? A long and tiresome day? Things didn’t turn out for the best? Don’t worry. Because when you get home, there will be a cute fox girl who will pamper you to your heart’s desire and let you do anything you want till you’re satisfied. Holy cow! Sorry dirty minded people. If you’re hoping that Sewayaki Kitsune No Senko-san is going to be some sort of sleazy porn, be disappointed that this one of those calming and relaxing animes you watch after the countless sex, violence and nonsensical slapstick comedies that have corrupted your anime life. The plot is just that simple. A fox deity taking care of a single working guy who has had it rough at work when he comes home. Nothing more. And also, so calming and relaxing that this might be a cure for insomnia…

Episode 1
Kuroto Nakano is such an overworked man. He is forced to stay back since his colleagues messed up and they need his help to clean up their mess. Because of his ever growing dark aura, the heavenly foxes believe they need to address this issue before darkness brings ruin to the world! Oh dear. You mean this guy is the catalyst? Senko offers to pamper and bring his spirits back up. When Kuroto returns, he thought he got the wrong apartment when he sees Senko cooking. Okay, correct room. This kid is real. Not imagining things. He then fears he will be arrested for kidnapping a loli. He tries to get her out and since she looks pitiful that she is going to throw away all that she cooked for him, I guess a little taste won’t hurt. He is hungry after all. He is treated to several delicious servings as Senko explains she is an 800 year old demigod fox sent to serve him. Don’t worry about the food. They are offerings people left at shrine. Senko claims she is doing this because he is her type of guy. All he needs to do is being pampered. He then notices her fluffy tail and requests to touch it. She reluctantly does. Ah, so fluffy and warm! Kuroto feels guilty he can’t repay her but she maintains she is doing this for him because she wants to. After all, he has already worked hard enough. A fox demigod’s care is priceless and no amount of good deed could add up to that. He gives in and lies on her lap. Kuroto vaguely dreams of the past when he stayed with his grandma in the mountains. When he got lost, he met some weird deity that looks suspiciously like her. He ultimately found his way back. Kuroto feels refreshed after the nap. But it’s not over yet. There’s more to come.

Episode 2
Kuroto has to leave for work. I guess not enough time for morning pampering. It is obvious he doesn’t have enough sleep. Thus Senko is going to prepare and pamper him to his heart’s content when he gets home. Another rough day at work. Yeah, this time he gets chewed out by his boss. He returns home, Senko begins the pampering by preparing his bath. Once he gets out, the perfect chance to dig his ears with cotton swabs. Everybody likes that, right? But Kuroto makes a deal he will allow her to do so if she lets him touch her fox ears. Okay. Kuroto is in heaven getting his ears nicely dug. Her lullaby reminds him of another vague memory. As a teen gathering resources in the woods, it looks like he let Senko rest on his lap and he was happy despite Senko complained she was supposed to help him. Kuroto can’t remember her face but Senko hints they might have met before. Now it’s time for Senko to live up to her promise. I guess he really went all out to touching them. Extreme ear molestation? Even Senko is sulking… Time to sleep so Senko tells him to sleep as much as he wants rather than just 4 hours. Screw work. Because lack of sleep also can hamper productivity. Later as they sleep, Senko sleeps on the floor but decides to sleep next to him. Kuroto is conscious of this but as she hugs him, the warm and softness makes him fall asleep like a baby. He is late next morning but Senko won’t let him leave until he has had his breakfast. She sees him off and hopes he won’t overwork himself.

Episode 3
WTF?! Kuroto trying to touch her fur but she won’t let him molest and hence running away?! Yeah, this look like a weird rape scene… Because they are too noisy, Yasuko Kouenji the neighbour barges in. Got the wrong idea seeing Kuroto trying to rape a loli?! She is confused when Senko explains she is way older and that since she is living with him, he can do anything to her! Kouenji is further suspicious of her ears but since she is hungry, Senko feeds her. With that, Kouenji is now their friend because you can’t be a bad guy if you feed others, right?! I guess as a college student who works from home, she hardly has time for meals. Yeah, she last ate 2 days ago. Now Kouenji asks about Senko’s ear and tail. However she is under the misconception she is an avid fan and cosplayer of an anime series, Little Yoko Inari Girl. Such authentic cosplay true to the character! After Kouenji leaves, the duo watch that anime to find out more. WTF this paparazzi trying to take unauthorized pics of Yoko?! With Senko’s interested in watching more, Kuroto orders the entire library for her to binge watch. Don’t worry. She won’t slack on her job. Kuroto then goes shopping with Senko. Putting on disguises to hide her ears and tail, Kuroto for the first time feels fun shopping with somebody as he has always been doing it himself. He is also assured that she can now go shopping on her own the next time. Don’t feel guilty relying on her. As long as he is happy, Senko is also happy. Kuroto feels he wants to spend more time with her on his off days. Upon reaching home and before they could start making dinner, Senko’s powers were too strong that the potato sprouted.

Episode 4
Another bad day at work. But luckily tomorrow is Sunday, right? What do you mean you still have to go back to work?! Yeah, even Kuroto wonders why… :’(. As he sets his alarm, Senko believes she is more reliable to wake him up. Okay. But morning comes and Senko trying to wake him up, it seems he wants to sleep a little longer. Okay. As you wish. Then she lets him cuddle her tail for ultimate sleep. When he wakes up, he realizes he is too late to go to work. But he doesn’t blame her and instead feels guilty about cuddling her tail. She promises to wake him up properly tomorrow. Senko cooks dinner and uses her own fox flame. She teases it is filled with love. His reply? At least he can save on gas. Is it a wonder why he is still single???!!! When Kuroto leaves for work, Senko thought he has taught all she needs to know about using machines and controllers. The air-cond was easy. Trouble begins when she tries to vacuum. Too loud! I wonder how she ‘tamed’ it. Oh well, clean the old fashion way. She fails at the washing machine too. Oh well, old fashion manual hand labour. When she does multi-tasking, that’s when real trouble starts. With all the machine working at the same time and she is pressing the wrong remote, it gets louder and worse. Are all the machines against her today?! Even somehow the vacuum wants a piece of this ‘fun’ and starts acting up. The machines aren’t going to listen to you to pipe down. When Kuroto returns, no lights are on and Senko in trauma mode in the dark?! Yeah, all the machines suddenly ‘died’. Turns out the circuit breaker tripped. Checking everything, no damage so it’s all okay. Senko wonders why he isn’t mad at her failure. Because coming home to see her smiling face is all he needs. Oh, so touching. Yeah, now he’s touching her tail. That makes his day. Meanwhile Senko’s brethren, Shiro doesn’t think she is doing a good job and is screwing up instead. She is going down to do the job.

Episode 5
Kuroto returns to see Shiro. He’s not hallucinating. Apparently Shiro isn’t here just to eat Senko’s cooking. She has business with him. Even though Shiro sounds flirty and hinting of doing that, don’t worry this isn’t that kind of anime. She allows him to pet her head. He does so and it’s like heaven. You jealous, Senko? She wants in so it’s a win-win situation for everyone. Double happiness for Kuroto. Shiro goes a step further and thinks she can satisfy his deepest craving. She uses her magic to reveal that side of his. Again, don’t worry it isn’t that kind of anime so that deep and darkest desire that Kuroto wants… Squeeze her fluffy tail! Gee Shiro. You mean this sounds a lot worse than rape? Shiro is really freaking out and getting scared as Kuroto tries to get her. Eventually she flees. Kouenji thinks she must be hallucinating to see Shiro coming through her wall. In the end, Senko allows him to touch her tail. Yeah, this is the best. I suppose Shiro is done pampering Kuroto. All just talk, huh? After Senko prepares the bath for him. She wants to wash his back. He refuses but knowing she will still do it, might as well accept her service. Yeah, the best back scrub ever. Now it’s his turn to return to favour. However he realizes something horrifying after washing her back. Her tail is wet and no more fluffy! It’s like the world’s ending? Then they soak in the bath together and remember, this isn’t that kind of anime. Because the most we get is Kuroto teaching her how to squirt. Water hand gun squirting!!! After getting out of the bath, Senko uses the blower to dry her tail and it is all fluffy back in no time. Kuroto is so happy! Can’t wait to cuddle it, huh? Oh Senko. You should know the drill by now. This is going to be a long night… A happy long night.

Episode 6
Shiro is back! Is she serious in pampering Kuroto or is she here just to have fun? Probably the latter because she thinks it is rude for resting Kuroto not to be pampered by her. Also, he lets her play his video games he hardly has time for :’(. Super Fluff Bros Melee? Starfluff? I wonder if there is The Legend Of Fluff-da… More Shiro selfishness as she eats the snacks Senko makes for Kuroto. But he doesn’t mind since he is happy to see Shiro enjoying herself. Because Kuroto also wants to eat Senko’s handmade snacks, hence a video game challenge. Unfortunately because she can read his mind, he keeps losing. Once she has her fill, she leaves. Yup, she’ll be back next time. At least somebody had a good time. Next day, Senko visits Kouenji to apologize on behalf for Shiro. Because that fox girl always accidentally steps into her room thinking it belongs to Kuroto. So you’re not hallucinating, Kouenji. It’s a good thing Senko made lunch and has time. Because her place is a pig sty and needs some cleaning too. Once done, Kouenji feels envious that Kuroto has such a good kid by his side. Then it hit her. She wants Senko to cosplay as a maid! I approve!!! Kouenji loses herself in taking pictures of her. To thank her for everything she’s done, she allows Senko to keep the maid outfit. When Kuroto returns, he is shocked to see Senko in a maid outfit that he tries to run away! WTF?! Are you saying you’re not impressed by a maid outfit! Shameful! Didn’t Kouenji said all men love maids???!!! After learning Kouenji is behind this maid influence, Kuroto says it isn’t that he doesn’t like her in this outfit, he prefers her in her usual because only then he feels more like home. How sweet. Despite he is thankful for her, I guess it’s a roundabout way of saying he wants to fluff her tail.

Episode 7
Kuroto has been carrying things in office so naturally his back hurts. Don’t worry. Senko can help. She will step on his back! Oh damn, is this the first S&M? Don’t worry, it’s still not that kind of anime. And Senko is joking too. She’ll use her hands. Because she is so damn good, Kuroto wants an ‘upgrade’. Yeah, use your feet! Oh yeah. That really felt good. That really hit the spot. Kuroto wants to repay her by doing the same. Okay. She’s making a few strange noises and at the end of it, she gets back at him by tickling him. Hope he didn’t wake up the neighbourhood. On another bad day at work, Kuroto is forced to stay late and when he leaves, he missed the last train. On his way back, Shiro is waiting for him. She can use her powers to send him back but requires a tribute. Don’t worry. Nothing serious. It’s her way of saying she wants to try that corndog from the mart. Mmm… Yummy… Shiro isn’t going to send him flying home. Instead, they’re going to walk through this portal. Kuroto would really love to walk through this otherworld but since it makes Shiro tired, I guess this is just a one off thing. Shiro then asks him if he knows why Senko is doing all this for him. Apparently all those strange dreams of Kuroto being nice to Senko in the mountains are actually of his ancestors. Hence Senko might be imagining him as his ancestors. Is he fine with that? Of course. Senko looks happy so does it matter? Kuroto returns home and Senko is glad to have him back. Fluffy tail come to papa! He tells her about Shiro so she teases him that he ‘cheated’ on her when she was waiting for him the whole time. Joke time’s over. Now is big comfy time. She cooked some really nice meal, you know.

Episode 8
Finally! Kuroto’s summer break has begun! Just for 1 day! Bummer. Don’t fret, Shiro is here to bring them to the beach. Kouenji is also here but doesn’t remember how she got here. Shiro ‘kidnapped’ her while she was asleep. Yeah. But she’s happy so I guess everything’s fine. We see the quartet having fun at the beach. Then they play beach volleyball and they absolutely have a great time. Until Senko sprains her back. Yeah… I guess she’s already that old… When it’s time for BBQ, it seems Kouenji has all the necessary things. Uh huh. Prior to this, Shiro promised to bring her to the beach if she bought certain stuffs for her. And they went on an online shopping spree. Too bad they didn’t buy any ingredients. But don’t worry. They can always do fishing! Meanwhile Kuroto visits the beach house to get some food. He thought nobody is in but this busty bartender offers him sumptuous dishes. He feels modest to take them but the moment he blinks, she’s gone! Kuroto tells this to Senko and she has an idea who she is. Kuroto getting scared about ghosts when he has a fox deity? Meanwhile Shiro and Kouenji’s catch of the day: Seaweed. Thank goodness for the lavish dishes! At night, they play sparklers but Kuroto realizes it’s back to work once this is over. Senko cheers him up by unleashing her own brand of fireworks. Floating fox fireballs? Sure this isn’t eerie? That busty lady is of course a fox deity and Senko and Shiro’s master. She too sadly notes that all this will eventually end.

Episode 9
Because Kuroto is salivating at gratin on TV, Senko thinks of making one for him. So while he is at work, she seeks Kouenji’s help. Kouenji gives instructions to Senko as she skilfully prepares the cheesy dish. Shiro? She just supervises and eats whatever she can get her hand. Yeah, her role is only to eat. The gratin dish comes out good and they have their fill. Kouenji realizes her place is even cleaner than before after Senko cleans up after cooking. And of course, Kuroto gets his taste of Senko’s delicious gratin once he returns. Shiro heats up instant ramen for Kouenji but WTF she put sugar in it?! Senko wants to cut Kuroto’s hair since it has grown and hot days are here. Don’t worry. She kept up with the latest men’s hairstyle. Kuroto isn’t sure but whatever. Oh my, did Senko did a blooper? Don’t worry, don’t worry. Everything’s fine. Kuroto feels good as she snips his hair. Reminds him of how mom did it. Then she also washes his head and you could literally say this feeling is so good that she washes away his troubles! When all is done, Kuroto learns this is the first time she is using a scissors and doing a modern haircut. She admits there were times she messed up and snipped too much but she used her magic to glue it back! Don’t worry. Those parts won’t drop off. Hey, you’re going to grow old and get bald one day, no? Senko is shocked when Kuroto jokes he won’t ask her to do it again. But Senko is grateful to him since she gets to experience something new.

Episode 10
It’s snowing! Just when Senko thinks it means fun time, why the heck is Kuroto waking up and getting prepared for work? Yeah, company hasn’t declared an off day yet. Are the trains even running? That’s why he must leave early. And if he can’t make it back? He’ll stay in office. Oh dear. Senko clinging on to him not to go. And then the saviour email: The company declares an off day today. Hooray! Now they can go frolic in the snow and let out their inner child. And Senko is really rolling up a super huge snowball?! Once they get back in, Kuroto has a request: Please let me fluff your tail to warm my hands! Should have seen this coming. Senko holds it in as Kuroto does his usual. But after that, Senko catches a cold! Did he fluff too much. Temporary ban on fluffing! Horror! With the kotatsu being so comfortable, I guess Senko is getting a bit lazy. That is when this busty fox lady visits them. She is Sora and Senko’s boss. As Kuroto cannot help notice her busty figure, Sora hints that she is willing to give him what Senko cannot. You mean sex? Okay. So are you ready, big boy? What is it that you want? He wants to fluff her tail! Should have seen this coming. Even Sora is surprised by this odd fetish. But not as shocking as Senko comes to ‘protect’ Kuroto from her boss. There is no other fox deity that Kuroto needs to be looked after or other tails to fluff! With that, Sora gets the hint and leaves. But she warns him that because of his eternally tired looking face, something bad may happen. Later when Kuroto thinks Senko was jealous, she refutes it. Even blaming him she lets him molest fluff her tail but it’s still not enough for him and had to go look for other tails. Imagine tails being substituted with boobs and pussies… I hope Senko won’t use this as blackmail and pass to fluff her tail. Kuroto is smart enough not to make her mad so he eats whatever dinner she cooks for him, even if it’s a dish he doesn’t really like.

Episode 11
When Senko sees the plum blossom bookmark design, this brings back memories when she guided a lost young Kuroto back to his grandma by providing him a plum blossom branch. When he was reunited with grandma, he thought he saw Senko peeking from behind the fox statue so he left the branch there and thanked her. With Kuroto having another long day at work, upon his return home, Senko treats him to her style of izakaya. Drink up those wines! But for a while it backfired since when he is drunk, he gets sad thinking about himself as useless since today he still got scolded despite all the work he put in. Unpaid overtime too! :’(. With Senko willing to listen and let him do what he wants, Kuroto relaxes after shedding a few tears. :’(. She lets him sleep on her fluffy tail. Only if he can stop drooling… Meanwhile Shiro is mad that it has been a year since Senko served Kuroto. At this rate she won’t get to eat Senko’s cooking again! Hey. How many hundreds of years old are you? I’m sure she still have many more years so what is just a few more to wait? Kuroto finally applied for some paid leave. At this time when they’re rushing for the deadline? Yeah, screw it. I guess even his boss gives him another shelling before he leaves. With some spare time to rest up, suddenly mom calls to inform that dad has been hospitalized. He is in stable condition thankfully. Although Kuroto has promised to go out with Senko, fox girl wants him to visit his parents and they can do their date another time. So he leaves his Smartphone with her. She can contact him via his work handphone. Kuroto visits his family. No biggies. As he prays at grandma’s grave, he sees the plum blossom. That is when he remembers his childhood and that Senko has been watching over him all the time. He tries to call home but she isn’t picking up. Looks like Senko has packed her things and left.

Episode 12
Nothing breaks your vacation when your colleague calls you to ask when you’re coming back! Tomorrow. But for now you’re on your own! Kuroto calls Senko again but as we know, the phone is left unanswered. When he comes home, Senko is not in. Weird. Did she go shopping in another town? Asking Kouenji about it, she recalls seeing her leave yesterday but had a sad look in her eyes. It is also weird because Shiro hasn’t been coming down to visit too and today is the last episode of that Yoko anime. Senko is back in heaven and Sora knows what is going on. It has been a year since Senko has taken care of Kuroto but because she cannot rid of his darkness, is there a reason for her to be by his side? We see the final episode of Yoko as she sacrifices herself to save Earth from a comet. This has Kuroto realizing that what if Senko’s actions meant she was saying goodbye? So he runs out to the nearest local fox shrine to look for her. He is afraid he won’t see her again. Sora continues that she knows Senko has got her wish to repay her gratitude but the outcome will still be the same. A sad parting still awaits her. Flashback shows before Senko could repay her debt to Kuroto’s ancestor, he died and this left Senko distraught. Is she willing to go through that again? Even so, Senko wants to help him as much as she can. Just when sad Kuroto thinks he will never see Senko again, here she is before him! With an excuse to scout the perfect hanami spot, yeah they have their own hanami party. Just the two of them. It seems all this was just a test by Sora to see Senko’s resolve. Now she’s got her answer, no worries. The private party is going well until Kuroto remembers he has to return to work tomorrow. Senko, weave your pampering magic on him. With that, Kuroto relents and wants to stay like this a little longer. It’s not bad to have some fun once in a while. They are joined by Kouenji and Shiro. Luckily Kouenji taped the final episode so we get to see Yoko somehow surviving the ordeal and return home, much to the delight of the people and her arch enemy. Life returns to normal. Kuroto’s boss isn’t as mad as before. Because he shares Senko’s food with him! Ah, so I see maybe that’s why he’s always yelling. Some people get mad on an empty stomach. Senko continues to take care of the errands and welcome back Kuroto.

Have A Break, Have A Kitsune Caretaker
Are you refreshed? Are you feeling relaxed? Are you ready and motivated to do your best in life tomorrow? Or are you feeling sleepy and tempted to go back to watch animes with more violence, sex and nonsensical slapstick comedies? And so it is pretty much expected that Kuroto and Senko will eventually return to be together as long as they can. You don’t think that they being separated is going to be the series’ real ending, no? I guess that is the much needed jolt and wakeup call for those who are feeling sleepy and starting to fall asleep without any sort of drama. Senko leaving Kuroto for good?! My, how suspenseful! At least for this anime’s level.

And yeah, with not much of a plot here, some may find it really boring and fall asleep. But those who have watched calming shows like Aria The Animation as well as its spiritual successor, Amanchu, I’m sure ‘veterans’ like us could see its, uhm, wonderful side. Unfortunately I can’t say that this series lives up to the greatness as the aforementioned duo but it is still calming and relaxing in its own right. After all, this series is something that many of us can relate to as for us who are working, there would be some days that aren’t in our favour. So coming home and finding somebody there to have taken care our basic needs is something that most of us would long for. No weird friendship adventures on Aqua AKA Mars or no scuba diving friendship thingy. Not fantasy but reality. And certainly not a lot of people likes scuba diving. Just your plain and normal someone pampering you after a hard day at work. How much simple can you get than that?

The characters themselves too aren’t that deep. After all, this anime aims to make you relax and instead of spamming you with complicated back stories, pasts and twists, what you see here is what you get. Though, that bad omen thingy that Sora foreshadowed may be just some sort of trolling and just to get Senko moving to do something about Kuroto’s ever growing dark aura. Because it would have been super mind blowing if this guy was like some chosen one and if his dark aura goes berserk, the whole world would explode and be consumed by his rage! Then his boss would be so sorry for yelling at him and now it’s his turn to prostrate and apologize profusely! Yeah. I don’t want to see that kind of plot here and the characters turning into something entirely different either. So perhaps the darkness is something that can never go away. It will always be there and the only way to seal and suppress it is Senko’s pampering.

While Senko seems like a good 800 year old fox deity, the good thing about her is that she tries to lift Kuroto’s spirits in a good way. What do I mean? We all very well know that Kuroto’s workplace is a hell hole. With him being close to depression and all, Senko has never once put in weird ideas in his head like quitting the company or go as so far as to talk back to his boss and give him a piece of his mind. I might see Shiro doing that but not for Senko. Instead, she concentrates in trying to bring back his positivism in her own ways by cooking for him and doing his other household chores. It might not be much but at least it lifts the burden a little off his shoulders. Even when things are seemingly bad at his workplace, Senko doesn’t butt in. Like as though she understands there is a clear division between his work and his leisure time. It might seem like this vicious might never end because after Kuroto is refreshed, it is back to that stressful place and all back to square one. But remember, Senko isn’t here to make a life changing miracle but to heal his exhaustion with her tender care. Everything else is up to Kuroto to decide if he wants to continue in this exploitative company or quit and move on to do something else.

For those who can’t get more of Senko’s cutie goodness, be glad to know that at the very end of every episode, there will be this Super Senko-san Time in which Senko ‘serves’ us as the view is now in first person. Don’t expect anything much except for the usual Senko being the nice little fox to pamper us. It feels like a reward for viewers for putting up with the boring, oops I mean calming episode proper and we’re probably tired after watching this boring, oops again I mean calming episode so it is time for Senko to spoil us with her hospitality. Not sure if we prefer Sora as the penultimate episode, she hijacked this segment and it felt a little bit sexually charged. But then again, it could be our tired minds wandering and our eyes wandering to those huge twin peaks…

Kuroto is basically a nice guy. Such a nice guy I wonder why he doesn’t have a girlfriend. Yeah, job commitment… Such a nice guy that he is able to put up with all that yelling from his boss and he still didn’t turn into some psychopath. Damn, this guy is patient as hell. But I have a hunch that a lot of typical Japanese salaryman are like that. They put up with all the reprimanding from their superiors and hold it up within. There is only so much one can take before the time bomb explodes… Just so as to prove why Senko chose to serve Kuroto instead of any other random guy who is in the same shoes, that is why they provided a little past between them. It’s not much but I guess you can see that a little kind gesture goes a long way and for life. With Senko around, at least this guy learns to relax and take it easy. There is something else preoccupying his mind other than work.

The other characters don’t feel relatively important but I guess it does provide a little bit of extra spice since it would be awfully boring if it is just Kuroto and Senko. Like Shiro the bratty fox deity who seems to want Senko for herself but because she cannot be serving 2 people at the same time, I guess that’s why Shiro sometimes come down to bug them and at the same time have some fun. Yeah, basically she might get a bit lonely up there. It’s not like Shiro has any sort of special caretaking skills, right? Then there is Kouenji who is your typical next door neighbour who works in the otaku industry. Yeah, another punishing industry for those who work there. She is also constantly working and probably too hard that she thinks the fox deities are cosplay enthusiasts. Even if she realizes their real identity, I don’t think it would change a thing. After all, Senko has been awfully nice to her too and it won’t sit well if she becomes cautious just because she realizes she is a fox deity. Kouenji’s character sometimes feels a bit out of place because it’s not like they’re setting up some romantic liaisons between her and Kuroto, no? And then when she sees Kuroto and Senko doing something amazing, she’ll just like watch it for a while before returning to her work. Though, I love her artwork and specialty in drawing maids! Kouenji should be a maid character!

Lastly, Senko’s boss Sora feels like as though she is to provide busty boobs fanservice that this series lacks so much. Just when our eyes are feeling heavy from all the calm Senko goodness, suddenly here comes this buxom babe to raise our eyes and probably our ‘little buddy’ ;p. I suppose this series wants to tease us and be a little sexy but because Kuroto being the ultimate good guy and virgin, all sexual subtexts of letting him do whatever he wants usually turns into a serial tail fluffing molesting incident. No wonder this guy’s a virgin. This is better than sex? Yeah, work has really gotten to his head. Tail fluffing and molesting is the sex to this guy. Sure, he might look enthralled at Sora’s boobs and she is willing to let him have his way with her as he is naturally a man, but ultimately this anime isn’t that kind of anime so back to the running joke of tail molesting. Oh Senko, these are the kind of things that you put up with if you truly love somebody.

So yeah, there might be a few very subtle sexual subtexts here but that is only if you have a very dirty mind. Well, I do admit that certain scenes only made me think so but it is all just harmless fun and joke and nothing serious. Yeah, I blame, uhm, anime for making me have a dirty mind! It’s not my fault! Honest! How can you resist when they insert sleazy and ecchi fanservice in so many animes? And then that seasonal porn inserted and disguised as a normal anime in your typical seasonal anime line-up?! (That I could have chosen not to watch). But don’t worry about Kuroto turning into some serial fox deity rapist because this anime will not allow it. Zettai ni! The most he would go so far as to just molest their tail. Phew?

The art and animation are simple. Not to say that it is not visually pleasing but compared to other animes done by Doga Kobo like New Game, Gabriel Dropout, Luck & Logic, Gekkan Shoujo Nozaki-kun, Mikakunin De Shinkoukei and even YuruYuri, it is like as though they have some budget issues and aren’t spending entirely on the animation part. I mean, you know what this anime is already about, right? Why the need to further spend and make the visuals look drop dead gorgeous? So yeah, sometimes the characters do look one kind like Kuroto looking a bit blocky and simple. I want to believe it is the stress from his work. On a trivial note, sometimes when I look at Senko, I think that she looks like the gender bender version of Tails from Sonic The Hedgehog. And doesn’t Shiro look a bit like a bratty version of Hiiragi from Konohana Kitan? Perhaps fox characters in anime all have this one kind similar look because you need to have fox ears and wearing the traditional kimono to show they possess spiritual power.

For the voice acting department, hearing Junichi Suwabe as Kuroto, well, I don’t know if it’s funny to hear him voicing a normal character. I mean, a really normal character. Hearing him in various roles like Dandy from Space Dandy to Heydrich in Dies Irae and Yami from Black Clover, it’s like he really needs a break from those roles. Not to say those roles are taxing on his voice in the first place. But come to think of it, I guess he’s got that sleepy and dreamy feel to his voice so I think he fits well as his Kuroto character too. Ayane Sakura is recognizable as Kouenji although she is mostly in that low voice and not in her typical bratty voice that I often identify with. I didn’t realize Eri Kitamura behind Sora’s voice since her character speaks with an accent. There was also something familiar with Yoko’s voice too. Unfortunately not enough lines for me to finally realize it was Rie Kugimiya behind that squealing anime character until the final Yoko episode. Yup. Definitely our tsundere specialist in her trademark squeaky voice here. Azumi Waki (Ao in Midara Na Ao-chan Wa Benkyou Ga Dekinai) does a nice job in portraying the cuteness of Senko that I sometimes think that she herself might actually be a fox deity! And the other cast left is Maaya Uchida as Shiro (Rikka in Chuunibyou Demo Koi Ga Shitai).

If the series is a bit too slow and sleepy, perhaps the opening and ending themes should wake you up or at least make your feet tap to its beat. Because Koyoi Mofumofu by Senko and Shiro as the opener is cute with its hip hop-like tune. Even cuter when you have Senko’s tail popping out from the rice cooker waving to us in such a hypnotic cute fashion. But Moffumoffu De Yoi No Ja Yo by Senko as the ending theme takes the cake. Still a hip hop-like music, it is catchier and cuter to boot. Makes your heart wanna go ~kyun!

Overall, this simple anime is indeed soothing to the soul but some on the other end of the spectrum may find it boring as hell. You are not supposed to expect anything much from this and if this anime manages to calm you or as a bonus goes so far as to help detoxify you from the toxicity of current animes, then it has done its job. It’s not supposed to break any ground either and it does what it needs to do. Not perfect but at least it got the job done. We might not have a cute fox deity to serve us like lucky Kuroto has but this also teaches us that for many of us, we should count our blessings that after a hard day at work, we still have someone waiting at home to return to. Whether it is your family, wife, parents, girlfriend/boyfriend, be thankful that somebody still cares for you. And not necessarily the things they do for you that magically replenishes your morale but rather by being there by your side. So many thanks to this anime that I am now refreshed and relaxed by all of Senko’s pampering. Thus I’m ready to get back to the next anime season’s action of bloody violence, over the top sex and nonsensical slapstick comedies! Hey, sometimes I got to let it all out and have some real fun too, no?

RDG: Red Data Girl

July 21, 2019

Every day, we stray further and further away from God and His path of light. With today’s era of modern society, it seems people have become less and less religious. Blame technology? Blame the changing of societal norms? Blame us being typically humans. Well, I’m not here to lecture and preach to everybody on how everyone should go back being religious because yours truly is also as guilty as hell in not doing any hourly/daily/weekly/monthly/yearly prayers. So it’s not like I felt guilty or empty or something that I decided to go watch this somewhat spiritually associated RDG: Red Data Girl. Heck, I thought it was something to do with the internet or IT. You know, some sort of hacker girl thingy. How wrong I was. Instead… Girl with spiritual powers. A vessel for a powerful goddess. People targeting her. Boy-cum-childhood friend tasked to protect her. Will love come in between? And I’m not talking about the love for God kind.

Episode 1
Izumiko Suzuhara wants a change. So she just slightly cuts her bangs and the whole sleepy village notices and is in shock. Yeah. Those nasty boys at school even mock her that the ‘shrine has got a new roof’. During computer lessons, Izumiko decides to try and use one. Previously anything electronic she touches go haywire. Will this time be different? Suddenly she manages to do a video conference with her dad, Daisei? Wow. The internet must be damn good at that time for them to speak so smoothly in real time. It seems Izumiko is against going to Houjou Academy in Tokyo and she doesn’t want him to decide her life if he can’t even attend her PTA today (I guess he got swamped with work in good ol’ America). Then he notices her bangs. Things get weirder and trippy. Izumiko panics to cut off the power. Suddenly the entire school faces a blackout. Hope you saved your work. Izumiko starts crying, blaming herself for this outage. Even more shocking that Yukimasa Sagara, an acquaintance of Daisei flies in with his helicopter to pick Izumiko up. You mean dad made this emergency call???!!! Yukimasa explains that her hair may have spiritual powers and she doesn’t have to worry if everything around her has changed. It hasn’t. Only her. Because she cut her bangs, right? Damn, Izumiko is taken to a hospital for a full scan and check-up. This must be really a big deal.

When she returns, she meets Yukimasa’s son, Miyuki. But he is not too pleased to meet this plain Jane bespectacled braided ‘goddess’. You can say he hates her. He isn’t also happy that he is the backup plan for all this. Yeah, they haven’t seen each other for 10 years. Yukimasa assures he won’t marry them off. Their status will not allow it. The most he would become is he manservant and that he will be by her side until he dies. Originally the plan was for her to meet up with them at Tokyo but since she didn’t want that, they will follow with her plan to go to a local high school. Izumiko’s fate is to be raised protected from the world. Whether or not she knows about it doesn’t matter, this is their matter to handle. Miyuki will not accept all this and leaves. But after Yukimasa brings him back, he is all messed up and bruised from a fall. The damning thing is how Miyuki is a changed guy! He has regretted the err of his ways and will transfer here. Later that night, Izumiko talks to Miyuki and knows he didn’t want to do this. Certainly. Miyuki only agreed since Yukimasa threatened to kill him. That guy is crazy. Telling others won’t do any good as he is the one calling the shots. Miyuki adds how much he hates people like Izumiko since she is unable to think for herself. She tries to deny and some flashback of how Miyuki ‘bullied’ her to make her strong but she remained a weakling cry-baby. Izumiko doesn’t think she is special too and that is the only thing that Miyuki agrees with her. Next day, Miyuki introduces himself as a new transfer student in Izumiko’s class.

Episode 2
The school will be having a field trip to Tokyo and Izumiko is uneasy about it. Because, crowds. The only guy in school whom Izumiko feels comfortable with, Satoru Wamiya shares the same sentiments with her that he doesn’t like Miyuki. He hopes they can go to the local high school together. Izumiko receives a handphone gift from her mom, Yukariko. Hope the reception here is good. Miyuki doesn’t like Izumiko bugging him but with Yukariko’s letter, he thinks this is the only person whom Yukimasa will listen to. It seems mom wants to meet up with her at Tokyo. But she lacks confidence and wants him to do it on her behalf. He snaps back what if Yukariko doesn’t want to speak to him? In that case, she’ll go. But he has to come along. Can he say no? Izumiko has a bad feeling during the flight and upon touchdown at the airport. She looks pale and sick. It is believed the dark shadows are bad people and there could be some targeting her. They can’t chicken out now as they have to meet Yukariko at the designated place. But as they wait, she didn’t show up. A message comes in saying she can’t make it as she has been spotted. Possibly the people who are after her. She suggests that they come to her house since there is a barrier. As they make haste, weird things seem to happen like as though it is trying to stop them. Like the turnstile suddenly stop functioning and the trains too. Oh dear. Japan’s trains are going to be late! Even the taxi brings them to the wrong street. Yeah, it’s raining heavier. With the electricity around them being cut off, Miyuki too can’t help feel paranoid. Izumiko now really feels scared as something ominous is approaching her. She doesn’t want him to chant an exorcism but to hold her hand. But as the ominous shadow approaches… Yukimasa???!!! Miyuki doesn’t believe he is the real deal but Yukimasa points out Izumiko recognized him and her fear of him proves he is the real deal! WTF???!!! No wonder Miyuki is mad. Izumiko insists she felt something bad. That’s not Yukimasa and probably those bad people who are targeting her. He adds they won’t find Yukariko at home but she provided her place for them to rest safely.

In her house as Izumiko rests, Yukimasa explains about Yukariko always away and working hard to draw attention away from Izumiko. Miyuki still accuses Yukimasa of doing something fishy to Izumiko and perhaps he is the reason why Yukariko stayed away thanks to his presence. Yukimasa doesn’t blame her as it is their nature. There are many people who want to use such powers for their own benefit. Even mountain monks like them. Through ancient times, mountain monks have received powers via training but they have always been women. Miyuki felt nothing from Izumiko as her powers aren’t awaken yet. Miyuki doesn’t think he is up to the job. If he wants to protect Izumiko, by all means do it himself. Suddenly Izumiko appears before them in a kimono. However it is not her. It is Himegami possessing her. Immediately Yukimasa bows before her. It seems Izumiko’s body is to be her vessel but it feels too uncomfortable to inhabit her now. She just came down to check things out after feeling some change. Himegami warns that Izumiko will be her last vessel as she could no longer move forward. Himegami withdraws and Izumiko returns to normal, unaware of what just happened. Yukimasa assures her that her memories will return in time. Miyuki realizes Izumiko is part of a lineage of living vessels. Yukimasa agrees that this burden is too big for Miyuki to handle. He gives him the option to get out and even transfer out from school. Miyuki not happy? Isn’t this what he wanted?

Episode 3
Izumiko explains during her time being possessed. It felt strange like as though she is watching herself. Miyuki now realizes why Yukimasa did all this with great importance and that his real goal is Himegami and not Izumiko. Izumiko’s friends must be considerate. Realizing that Wamiya didn’t come on the field trip, they bought souvenirs for him but have Izumiko give it to him. She does so but Wamiya notices she has changed. He regrets she went to a filthy place like Tokyo. He reminds her she can’t leave here and noting that she now doesn’t hate Miyuki as much as before, he will eliminate him. Hence a few guys go pick a fight with him. It seems they are under Wamiya’s control and they’re really about to get dangerous when they pull out a knife. Luckily, Shingo Nonomura, Izumiko’s driver safely knocks them out and has Miyuki come with them. Miyuki tells Izumiko that there is no such classmate as Wamiya. An ominous presence starts chasing them as Izumiko realizes that it could be partly her fault that Wamiya is doing this. The shadow catches up and crashes the car. Thankfully all survive but Nonomura is stuck. Wamiya shows his face and for the first time Miyuki sees him. Just a normal middle school student. He admits so. As long as Izumiko wishes. As Wamiya has existed in the mountains for a long time without a form, she could only see him after cutting her bangs. He is born out of her wishes. A friend who would understand her. And since she created him, he will not allow her to easily abandon him. Nonomura wants Miyuki to use his staff in the trunk but he is unconfident since he lacks experience. Wamiya wants Izumiko to go to the local high school and she doesn’t have a choice. Otherwise he will kill her. Miyuki wants Izumiko to do just that. Better than dying. However she won’t do that. This isn’t like him. So she confronts Wamiya that if he is from he wishes, obey her. Stop being selfish or she’ll hate him and leave the mountains for good. With that, Wamiya disappears.

In hospital, Nonomura explains Wamiya could be a familiar of a goddess. He had enough powers to go berserk once she realized his form but luckily she managed to control him before it was too late. He assures Wamiya isn’t destroyed but is waiting for a chance to meet again. Izumiko decides to go to Houjou. Miyuki promises to hone his powers there since that place gathers people like them. He will transfer there and tell her what it’s like. Wamiya pops up again but this time he seeks to be dissolved. Since Izumiko first summoned him via mountain top dance that she thought it was some exercise, that same ritual will dissolve him. Izumiko dons her miko outfit as she realizes the reason why she summoned him in the first place. She wanted someone to understand the real her. She was afraid of others looking at her and embarrassed at them seeing her as she is since she can’t accept herself. She starts off her dance and this captivates Miyuki. For once she doesn’t think she is that useless. Wamiya is satisfied and disappears into the wind. 6 months down the road, Izumiko arrives at Houjou and is greeted by Miyuki. He advises her to keep her powers a secret since she is one of the few who got accepted without taking any entrance exam. Izumiko meets her roommate, Mayura Souda who instantly takes a liking for this cute girl.

Episode 4
Mayura introduces Izumiko to her twin brother, Manatsu. His passion is horses but thanks to him, Mayura manages to get into Houjou without sitting for an exam. Mayura further explains that they aren’t exactly twins but triplets. There was a third one but died when they were young. Izumiko gets anxious around the top student and student council candidate, Ichijou Takayanagi. It’s because he looks very similar to Wamiya. However he gives off this creepy feeling and sounds like an arrogant jerk. Izumiko is in a separate class from Mayura. She is in the same class with Manatsu, though. Izumiko has that anxious feeling again as she could see those ominous shadows. Today she is on contacts and only know she remembers why her mom gave her glasses? To protect her from seeing things? Anyway, Izumiko is afraid as she points out to Manatsu about that shadow sitting at the back of the class. Since he can’t see, he points that person out as Ricardo, the Brazilian transfer student. A couple of girls give Izumiko a website that is made by Takayanagi. They give her a password to access it and the site supposedly has some fortune telling readings. Izumiko has the misfortune to make eye contact with Ricardo. He approaches her and wants to meet at the AV room. She agrees just to make him go away. It got so bad that Izumiko ran all the way to Miyuki’s class for help. He hears her out and wants her to see through that promise. You know, Japanese people are good in keeping the promise they make, right?

Izumiko enters the AV room. Why the hell was Ricardo sitting there in the dark? The first thing he asks her if she is human. Suddenly Takayanagi performs a few quick exorcisms on Izumiko. He is glad she is human. Miyuki sees this and calls it bullying. Then he fires his spiritual arrow at Ricardo and instantly turns him into dust. With this, Takayanagi knows their identities. A mountain aesthetic and a spirit vessel. He claims he is not even in his league. After he leaves, Mayura pops out from hiding and she has watched the whole thing. She deduces that Takayanagi is a spirit user and Ricardo must be his spirit agent. She claims she has the same mountain monk training as Miyuki but can’t control spirits the way Takayanagi does. She believes there is some sort of importance for Takayanagi to be the school’s top student. Izumiko remembers the website so they go check it out. The moment she keys in the password, a curse explodes in their face! Though, Mayura bore most of the brunt. But thankfully she still lives and just got away with her left eye needing some bandage. Izumiko blames herself for this so Mayura lightens up the mood by teasing her that it could be Takayanagi’s way of saying that Miyuki and Izumiko are a couple because in the past, mountain monks and miko priestesses often marry. Manatsu comes in and scolds Mayura for being reckless. This makes her cry as she was scared. Izumiko thinks for herself that she never did this as she never pushed herself before. With Miyuki also here, it seems the guys want to settle this tonight. The twins do say some prayers before they go meet Masumi.

Episode 5
Masumi is their dead triplet actually. Though, he materializes as a cross-dresser? With him around, this means Takayanagi has to show up. Indeed. He doesn’t think that was a curse and was just some sort of influence that repels malice at him back at her. Takayanagi uses some binding spell on Manatsu but he easily breaks out. He has Ricardo fight him but Manatsu easily frees the souls that bind into Ricardo. Takayanagi becomes scared that the spirits will haunt him but Manatsu doesn’t care. Takayanagi realizes he isn’t human. Turns out to be Masumi in disguise. With Takayanagi scared sh*t, Masumi gives him a few soft slaps as warnings. In the aftermath, Takayanagi took down the website and gave up on the elections to be the student council president. To cover for Ricardo’s disappearance, it is officially stated he went back to Brazil. Izumiko feels glad to have come here and meet many people who are more special than her. Things seem to be going good between Izumiko and Miyuki when Yukimasa has to pop up. It seems he is now a part time teacher at Houjou. Damn, Miyuki in a bad mood again. But all the other girls swooning over this new hot teacher. In order to avoid being associated with him, Miyuki avoids Izumiko too. She feels sad about it although she realizes that this is to be expected. She has always been alone in the first place and didn’t really lose anything. Later Izumiko talks to Yukimasa about his transfer here. It seems he is doing an experiment to see which students gathered here are to be saved for humanity’s future. You see, there is a decline in humans who have spiritual powers and once this endangered species becomes extinct, Earth will no longer tolerate humanity. This experiment is to avoid that.

Miyuki wants to join the student council executive body and Izumiko won’t have any problems with that. Just that he asked Mayura for help and they seemed so friendly with each other. Sad girl feels so sad that she runs away somewhere alone to hang out. As she sings to calm herself down, she attracts the attention of the current student council president, Jean Honoka Kisaragi. She is practising traditional Japanese arts and brings her to see Hodaka Murakami who is supposedly the school’s first student council president. Meanwhile the former student council president, Mikoto Kanzaki asks Miyuki about Izumiko. Because it seems the shadow student council president has taken an interest in her. Because in reality the true student council president has not changed. Hodaka wants Izumiko to show her dancing but she feels shy. He puts makeup on her and says it is some sort of spell to show her true nature. Even so, she is still reluctant. Luckily Miyuki barges in to stop this farce. Izumiko is confused because he was keeping his distance and now he is concerned for her? Yes, but this doesn’t mean she could hang out with just anybody and should’ve just went straight to Yukimasa had she needed help. Yeah, they sound like lovers quarrelling. When Izumiko realizes she wanted to tell Miyuki something, that is when Himegami takes over. She claims to have seen Hodaka before hundreds of years ago. She warns him he cannot be the judge but Izumiko is the one to choose. She then has Miyuki take her hand. She has a task for him: Prevent her from being created and Izumiko must not become a goddess. Otherwise humans will perish at her hands. By the time Izumiko wakes up, Miyuki and Hodaka just finished making a pact in keeping this a secret. Hodaka welcomes her here if she ever needs advice but please come alone. Miyuki tries to play down his worth and not to expect much from him. Sure. She might not know what the future lies for her but is glad he came for her.

Episode 6
The friends are on the way back to Mayura’s house for the holidays. Izumiko learns from Mayura about Masumi’s death anniversary around the corner. Apparently he slept and never woke up. After the funeral, when the family moved from Togakushi to Nagano, his name became taboo. Since their mom is a normal person, she can’t see Masumi. While having BBQ at night, Izumiko got drunk because there is liquor in the fruit punch. Wait a minute. There are kids here and they put liquor in the fruit punch bowl? Wow. Izumiko so happy. Like on drugs. Until she passes out. When she wakes up, everyone is asleep. She thinks this is a dream when she answers Masumi’s call. Izumiko floating down like a ghost?! Man, this might be a dream. He asks if they can date and Izumiko (still feeling the effects of being drunk) wonders he knows what that means. He believes she’ll find out when she gets to Togakushi. It seems that Izumiko is also part of the student council body as an executive. Mayura organizes a trip for the body at Togakushi to discuss things. However Rena Akinokawa accuses Mayura of having ulterior motives. Because near Togakushi, the history club is also having their camp and it is no secret the club is a big fan club of Mayura. She thinks Mayura is trying to get them to join the body. Mayura doesn’t intend this so Kisaragi puts it nicely that they don’t want any power struggles within the body since the student council is supposed to be neutral judges.

Later Izumiko asks Mayura about her reasons for fighting Takayanagi. She explains she dislikes sorcerers and ninjas because her ancestors were temple priests and Togakushi was a ninja village. She knew about her fan club but chose not to do anything. What is important the student council maintaining their neutrality. Since she knew Izumiko met Hodaka, Takayanagi might have also met him. At first she thought Houjou will have 2 factions battling for supremacy at the cultural festival but there will now be a third force, a vacuum zone. There might be people who are testing Takayanagi’s abilities. It seems the winner of this whatever battle gets to be a candidate for World Heritage. It has lots of benefits for the winner and those around. Because Izumiko isn’t in the loop of this, Mayura talks to Miyuki if he intends to surpass Takayanagi in terms of his spiritual powers. Because those who can foil his tricks can only surpass him in grades. He claims he doesn’t want the top spot and joined the body just to be neutral. This is why he invited them to join too. As for the partner programme that seemingly only them who are using, Mayura believes it was created to favour Takayanagi and his spirit agent. That’s why she wants to know if Miyuki will participate in the battle or not. As she would like Izumiko as her ally, she must settle her case with him first before she goes after Takayanagi. She is going to test his powers now as she summons several tengu spirits.

Episode 7
Miyuki must guess which one of them is Masumi and break out from this special layer. The tengu start attacking and since Izumiko can’t bear to see this anymore, she tells him Masumi is the one standing next to him and not Manatsu. Yeah, Miyuki seemed like a wuss fending off the attacks. Then they realize Izumiko is missing. Luckily Masumi finds her and it seems she is scared not because she could see him but couldn’t see herself. She feels bad for not expecting much from Miyuki and yet talk lowly of him before Mayura. She thinks Miyuki would have been completely normal if not for her. Izumiko returns to the group. She learns the tengu are just the history club guys playing along with Mayura’s plans. Though she put them up to this, they are unaware of Masumi. On the way back, Manatsu gets a devastating call that Tabi, an old horse whom he is fond of is dying. He needs to return but Mayura doesn’t share the same sentiments. She can’t let him go back alone as she cannot leave this camp she organized. Manatsu insists he will return alone (Tabi > this tabi (trip) Haha! Oops…) and will have Masumi take his place. Yeah, Masumi looks like a little kid experiencing his first field trip. So fun! Back at the inn and after dinner, Kisaragi and Akinokawa put up a song and dance. It seems Kisaragi sensed an unusual spirit possessing one of them and this dance is to protect them and expel the spirit. A short blackout occurs before the lights come back on. However everyone notices ‘Manatsu’ and Miyuki missing. Oh, they’re just hiding. Gotcha! Did that scare you? Later Izumiko talks to Miyuki and confirms that Masumi was indeed expelled from the room. He went with him so as he would not be alone. However he finds it weird as Masumi is supposed to be stronger here.

With Mayura getting worried about Manatsu and Tabi’s time is drawing closer, Masumi suggests she go there and tell what she disagrees with and get it over with. However Mayura takes this as Masumi siding with Manatsu as he doesn’t care about her feelings. He points out if they come to think of him differently, he won’t be able to stay as he is. Because their wills are as one, Masumi is who he is. Izumiko and Miyuki offer to go bring Manatsu back. Upon reaching the stable, they learn that Tabi has died this morning. They see Manatsu cleaning Tabi’s stable. It seems he didn’t die a natural death and Manatsu put him to sleep via lethal injection. As Tabi couldn’t get up anymore, its own weight will crush its own organs and cause a lot of pain. Perhaps that’s why he didn’t want to call Mayura and worry her. During this time, Manatsu has thought a lot. Especially how humans have the power to end things instead of waiting for nature to take its course. This brings to the issue of Mayura doesn’t understand that she cannot forever live with him and Masumi. Hence he feels the time has come to end it while he has the power to decide. Surprisingly, Mayura pops up. She isn’t happy about his plan to end things. She knows he is sad and when so, it is natural she will go to him. But he disagrees he isn’t sad that Tabi is gone. He is sad that with Tabi not around, he has to face himself. They can’t keep regarding each other as the most important person in their lives. And then Manatsu runs away riding on Tabi’s spirit?! WTF???!!! Later Mayura gets a message from Manatsu that he will become like Masumi. That way he will forever stay with her. Mayura is distraught as she calls dad about Masumi taking Manatsu away.

Episode 8
Mayura’s father talks to Miyuki and Izumiko. However they have no idea of what Masumi did so father mentions that he too can’t see Masumi and because the twins can only summon Masumi, their mom hates it when they call his name as it goes against a mother’s intuition. Later Mayura talks to Izumiko about Manatsu having the same heart defect that caused Masumi’s abrupt death. That’s why mom refuses to remember Masumi. She knew Manatsu is closer to Masumi than her but never thought he would leave her to be with him. She wanted to become the top student so Manatsu can live longer. Izumiko then talks to Miyuki if he could summon Himegami. As she can’t talk to her in that state, only he can do it. There are risks and they’re afraid but if they don’t do anything, Manatsu will disappear for real. So I guess it isn’t as simple as undoing her braids. Nothing happens. Maybe bad reception? So summoning a goddess is like a handphone? As Izumiko moves, suddenly she enters into a different dimension. She sees Masumi who thinks it is better for Mayura to cry now than later. Because the longer they stay together, the more she will grieve when they are gone. He thinks Mayura would choose Manatsu over Masumi and if that’s the case, it’s better to be one. Izumiko has Masumi lead him to where Manatsu is. He is currently trapped behind a celestial rock. She tries to talk to him but unless he wills it, nothing will reach him. Hence Izumiko decides to dance to expel him, getting the idea from Kisaragi’s dance. As she does so and tells how much everyone will be so happy if she comes back, suddenly Manatsu tells her not to do it. Wait. So this Masumi is actually Manatsu? He warns her if she opens the rock, Masumi will come through and will be different. It was his plant to break the celestial rock and escape. Miyuki and Mayura find them. Mayura hugs her brother seeing she is too tired to punch him.

However they have to run seeing the rock is breaking. Couldn’t have Manatsu realized a bit sooner that he and Masumi are different and shouldn’t become one? Too late. This giant fish god is breaking out. Miyuki defends clumsy Izumiko as he sprouts black angelic wings?! However he knows he can’t fight this thing and Himegami agrees. She is not possessing Izumiko and her own entity. She says a few chants to have this fish god go back to slumber. Izumiko asks if Himegami can remain separate from her so they can talk. However Himegami claims she knows nothing and should ask her mother. When they return to reality, Yukariko is before them. It was her that Himegami possessed her. Izumiko understands why they can’t meet often as Himegami is always with her. Yukariko believes they will face a real trial in the future and although Izumiko believes herself as still weak, that is why Yukariko remains strong to protect her. However this cannot last forever. Manatsu returns to his family and the case is solved. Back in their hometown, Miyuki wants Izumiko to summon Wamiya. She couldn’t. It is believed her getting distorted by Masumi made it impossible. During the camp, a talking raven came into his room. It is believed to be Wamiya and hence Kisaragi’s dance expelling him then and also those black wings he sprouted. Miyuki believes if they are going to follow her, they need to join forces. Then he asks why Wamiya look like Takayanagi. Is it because she likes boys who look like that?! WTF???!!! What was he trying to say???!!! That sure escalated quickly!!!

Episode 9
The student council decides the theme for the cultural festival will be a Sengoku one. And something about the need to have a few models dressing up as that. I can guess who… Later Izumiko is being approached by Takayanagi. He wants her and Miyuki to join his side instead of Mayura. During the festival, the school’s barrier will be down and there will be lots of ‘outsiders’ visiting. He gives her time to think but Izumiko passes out when she hears strange voices calling for her. She is safe in the infirmary thanks to Yukimasa being such a qualified nurse too. He mentions about the upcoming experiment so she wonders if he is referring to her or Himegami. She doesn’t think so since they’re both different. Yukimasa replies that she may be the one to be unveiled as Himegami and probably the last goddess. This has Izumiko think that Miyuki probably wanted to accept her as a normal girl but seeing he is dedicated to serving Himegami, that will never happen. Later Miyuki talks to Izumiko about being part of the backstage crew. Although it is some normal dress, it seems she still has to undo her braids. She is confident from Togakushi that Himegami won’t appear just because they are undone. Hence Miyuki teachers her a simple spell for self-protection. Izumiko sees Hodaka in disguise. He is here to see the preparations and believes the scales might be tip to Mayura’s favour seeing how she treats Izumiko. With one of the models having urgent business, this means Izumiko is now roped in to be her replacement. Mayura warns her that Takayanagi’s supporters might be doing this although there is no concrete proof. As she gets dressed, she has to undo her braids and this has her thinking if this is a ploy to make it easier to draw out Himegami. The models take the stage as everyone is fascinated with the Sengoku costume and snaps away. Izumiko feeling a bit queasy but I guess that angry look on Miyuki’s face that he didn’t expect this to happen tells it all.

Later as Miyuki nags to Izumiko about doing something risky, he didn’t realize that Himegami has possessed her! Even with her braids still intact! Himegami is very satisfied she can move in this body freely. When Miyuki warns her not to appear whenever she wants, she warns him back if he doesn’t treat her kindly, there will be divine punishment. That shut him up. Miyuki accompanies her for the rest of the day. He asks about the state of Izumiko but Himegami doesn’t care. She also tells him to drop talking about another woman as she doesn’t like it. Don’t ruin her vibe. How does she like it if she talks about Yukimasa? Well, she has a point. At the mountain shrines, Himegami talks about how there is nothing here but a vengeful spirit that is herself. She had regrets. After all, she singlehandedly exterminated humanity. When she lost her body, she travelled back in time and wanted help. Someone who could understand her. Not for destruction but for the future. When she returned from an experiment over a thousand years ago, she was declared a World Heritage but the future didn’t change. This is the third time she is going through this experiment and each time her body gets frail and she is gradually forgetting who she is. She might not be able to make it to the fourth time. Her power was so great that in the second experiment, she was killed and stored as a specimen. Her powers put her in conflict with humans as her allegiance is to the planet. She is searching for people who can stop her. That is what Yukimasa and Yukariko are working towards. Miyuki wants time to think so Himegami points out he is like Wamiya. Because of that Togakushi incident, Wamiya resides inside him. Himegami summons him out just to prove. Miyuki wants her to leave Izumiko’s body. Can he force her out? After a few chants, he hugs her and pouring his heart into his feelings for her to come back. Is this impromptu?

Episode 10
Izumiko cries in Mayura’s arms. She is lost on what to do after discovering about Himegami being some destructive force and even Miyuki was scared. She fears she may stop being herself. As the festival gets underway, the model who ditched the job on Izumiko, she approaches her again with her friends. Their reason for that was because whoever does so will be cursed. Since nothing happened to Izumiko, they hope she can be their model for the parade again. They would have taken her away had not Miyuki tell them off. Just hold the parade without a model. Then he lectures Izumiko about being pushed around by younger people. She hits back that he too was doing the same to Himegami. Though he claims he was desperate to bring her back. He explains Himegami doesn’t descent to cause disasters and appears because she wants to avoid them. She just needs someone to talk to. Izumiko wonders if he prefers to spend more time with Himegami than her. Because Izumiko also doesn’t like him talking about other women, that one line has Miyuki thinking both of them are the same?! There’s an incident where several people collapsed after the visit to the haunted house. Isn’t that a success? They are resting in the infirmary, though. Oh never mind. Miyuki and Izumiko investigate just in case. As Izumiko wanders around, we can see ghosts following her. Until they really pop up before her and want to take her away. She manages to run to Miyuki. He asks about not using the self-protection charm. Because she pities them?

Then they visit the infirmary. Wow. A long line of women. Is it that bad? Yup. They’re here to get ‘examined’ by Yukimasa. Damn that guy… Yukimasa talks to Izumiko as she explains the ghosts she saw. Yukimasa seems to want to blame Miyuki for being useless but Izumiko tries not to. So he advises her not to have careless sympathy. He puts a better spell on her. Miyuki blows his top at him that he gets away with everything in the name of Himegami. Yukimasa brushes him off for not making use of the chances. They are shocked to hear Izumiko will be put on several layers after the festival and Miyuki can only talk to her directly while in school. That wasn’t the original plan but Himegami can change her mind. Although Miyuki is not entirely mad at this, he knows Yukimasa has an ulterior motive. Yukimasa might not know Izumiko well but he certainly knows his son. Kisaragi knows that fellow student council member, Yoshiki Hayakawa is making bets for the popularity contest. He wants to have fun and make money while he can. Hayakawa then talks to Mayura and Izumiko. Since Takayanagi will be on the offensive team for tomorrow’s big battle, it is only logic that Mayura will be on the defending team. Mayura feels he has an ulterior motive so Hayakawa says he has the ability to predict the future. Mayura then sees the point of all this. She realizes he is an ally to her as he is from Togakushi. All Hayakawa can do now is set the table. He warns Takayanagi has set something up in school so be careful. Izumiko sees Masumi and it seems he can still hang around without his siblings summoning him. They talk about love but Masumi has a different version of it. Like when he sees a lonely ghost, he eats it to be as one with it. That’s love, right? Well… He leaves her hanging as he mentions he felt some magic in school. But nothing that couldn’t be taken care of.

Episode 11
The friends look around to see if Takayanagi had planted anything suspicious. So far nothing. But when the thought that he might use something not human, Izumiko feels there are strange beings hiding so the guys check it out and find a vial. They believe this is Takayanagi’s doing since he is from the chemistry club. On the last day of the festival, Miyuki gives Izumiko her handphone that he has been keeping all this while. Hope she doesn’t break it. They realize Takayanagi has upped them with a floating balloon from the chemistry club. As they head to their respective posts for the battle, Izumiko has the misfortune to run into Takayanagi and his ‘friends’. Yeah, he summoned a few new spirit agents. He tries to accuse Masumi as the crueller one as he was the one who ‘killed’ Ricardo and that Mayura’s views of the world are narrow. He also tells her about the increase in foreigners at Houjou because of the belief in this era that the west and east need to bridge together and build a common ideology. Izumiko feels scared at first but then finds him not as scary as he thought it would be. Meanwhile Miyuki is rushing towards Izumiko. He realizes there is a spell casted because he cannot reach her. He summons Wamiya to take care of this but he claims that this spell is made by Izumiko. She told him not to come, right? Izumiko finds herself watching one of the battles going on. Once it’s over, this foreigner girl brings her to see Takayanagi as she explains how much she loves Japanese culture and hence why she likes Takayanagi. Izumiko is horrified to see lots of ghosts among the crowd although she is assured they will bring no harm.

Mayura finds Miyuki thinking hard. He believes Takayanagi has set something up and if Izumiko switches side, it will be bad for them. Mayura reminds him about their most important people. She proposes he pretends to be her fiancé. Acquaintances of her family are here to see them and they expect her to be married. In reality she can’t. It’s the same for Miyuki and Izumiko. They can’t be a couple. Because Izumiko said they can’t be together as she would be troubling him, that is why he can’t tell his true feelings to her. Hence they both need an official front. For now, they attend to pressing matters. As the defence side is losing, Mayura has Masumi cover for her and thanks to him, he blows away whatever spell that was suppressing their luck. Izumiko is in the company of Takayanagi and co. They talk about layers and phases. Especially Takayanagi who proclaims he is doing this because they need to seal away dangerous things and set up this world as a place humans can control. As he has known her a bit, he hopes he could study her. What if she refuses? He believes she is now their ally. Izumiko felt confused a calm for a while but when Takayanagi mentions Miyuki’s name, that is when Izumiko remembers him. How could she have forgotten him? She does the chant to break the spell. Must be a great spell since a storm is kicking up. With Izumiko being assertive that she won’t be controlled, Takayanagi tries to calm her down (though, he still wants to persuade her to join his side). She accuses him of using non-humans for his own purposes and won’t stand for this. With the spirit agents blown away, Izumiko realizes she has blown her cover and remembers the warning to keep a low profile. She worries she will now be targeted. It’s that fear of others looking at her again. A small earthquake shakes the place.

Episode 12
Mayura could also felt that Masumi disappeared. All electronic devices go dead after the earthquake. Miyuki is surprised to see Nonomura here. He warns him that Himegami as foreshadowed, Izumiko will awaken today. He passes him a staff. Miyuki and Manatsu head to where Izumiko supposedly is. They find the porch looking strange. Saying a few prayers, they enter another layer to see Takayanagi’s lackeys. And Takayanagi himself turned into a dog! Cute? Yeah, divine punishment from Izumiko for using ghosts! However Izumiko has ventured into another layer and as Wamiya says, she might not want to come back. Manatsu also realizes Masumi is over in the other layer. He has changed the most among the triplets. Because now there is someone whom he loves more than his siblings: Izumiko. Meanwhile we see Izumiko alone, contemplating of never returning to the human world again. Masumi talks to her and he is fine that Mayura has Manatsu. With Izumiko claiming she is no longer human, Masumi disagrees otherwise and humans like her are almost extinct. In short, he confesses he likes her. Miyuki will go get Izumiko but wants Manatsu to stay with Mayura in fear that she will fall apart if Manatsu disappears. But Takayanagi must come with Miyuki so as to apologize and bring her back. In the next layer, they must fight through hordes of ghosts to get to the next layer. But as Wamiya points out, there are many more to come. The problem is not the ghosts and the number of layers but if he has the strong will to get through each layer. Otherwise he can be doing this forever and still not each her. But if he gives up, he can easily return to reality. Manatsu returns to Mayura to tell what has happened. She gets worried since she hasn’t settled things with Takayanagi. Manatsu tells her to stop competing. At this rate they’ll drag and hurt others like Izumiko. Miyuki remembers his reply to Mayura. He doesn’t mind being her fiancé but thinks they shouldn’t do it as it would hurt others close to them no matter how successful the plan is.

Masumi hopes Izumiko can give him a chance to make her happy but she is somewhat hesitant and confused. As Miyuki fights the hordes of ghosts to get to the next layer, I guess it’s time to think out of the box. He calls Izumiko via handphone. Yeah, there’s reception here! Izumiko picks up and he tells her to call for him. She does so and what pops out from her handphone is Wamiya. The familiar says Masumi has lost and don’t be too greedy. Now scram. Then he turns into Miyuki. She admits she was afraid because she found out she is Himegami and didn’t want people to see her. Hence she was hiding. But after Miyuki and Wamiya came for her, she felt better. Miyuki wants her to tell him if she needs anything. Being a goddess is too much of a burden to bear and he’ll help her become one who won’t destroy humanity. However she fears doing so would mean the end so Miyuki hugs her. Takayanagi makes a sincere apology and admits that balloon stunt had some hallucinatory spells. Izumiko is unsure if he can turn him back but Wamiya points out the powers she has that she is unaware of. In reality, everyone is shocked to see ghosts streaming by. Masumi returns to Mayura and vows to protect her. Well, he got rejected so I guess that’s that. Izumiko starts her dance to purify the spells. In the aftermath, we see Hodaka reporting that Izumiko has become the top student and hence a candidate for World Heritage. Izumiko can’t give Miyuki an answer yet but will forever remember how he came for her when she was about to lose herself. She is shocked when he touches her but he just passed out from exhaustion.

Red Data Retention: Spiritual Data Overload!
So I guess mankind gets to live a little longer? Was Himegami’s prediction off? Not surprising as she said she was losing herself so it wouldn’t be surprising if Izumiko didn’t awaken as her at the end of the festival. So is this called a successful failure? Not really sure about the future but as far as the end of the anime is concerned, Izumiko returns to herself with Miyuki by her side. Therefore looking on the bright side of things, all is well, ends well. For now.

As I’m not really into the spiritual theme of things, hence I find it a bit hard to follow some of the storyline and subplots which this series seems to try and cram in a few. The bigger picture looks like if humanity deserves another second chance to exist and hence the smaller subplots include seeing Izumiko taking on a journey if she would be awakened as Himegami’s vessel. It’s rather okay about these subplots of subjugating Wamiya as her familiar, that problem with Masumi and that rivalry with Takayanagi but like I said, these feels like distraction to the bigger plot of Himegami’s awakening. Thus at the end, I was a bit confused to it all. Sure, the festival ended without anything disastrous or untoward but from a long shot, everything is still far by over. Especially when there are other greedy people who harbour such intentions to own that kind of power Izumiko has for their own. I thought that would be a storyline somewhere here but it ended in this Houjou festival thingy. But I suppose that is the story for next time. Next season. Not likely. It’s been years since…

I find it interesting that special people with spiritual powers are now considered endangered species in this anime. So they’re treating such humans as animals now? Hence at the start of each episode you’ll be notified about the Red Data Book/List which is the IUCN’s list of endangered species in the world. Hence the oddly named title of this series as I was wondering at the start. Therefore if Jesus Christ was going to come down a second time to save mankind, in this anime at least it will be in the form of this World Heritage thingy. With people getting more and more hooked to their electronic technological devices, we’re losing that spiritual touch with nature and God. So next time you’re fapping to that porn video you’re watching, bear in mind that there might be many angry spirits watching over your unholy activity… ;p.

It’s hard to say that Izumiko is a useless girl since she is caught in something that is far bigger than what she can understand. She is sheltered and protected from a very young age and when thrust into a different light, she takes some time to stand up on her own two feet. So you can’t really fault her for being gullible and being pushed around because if you are in her shoes, what would you have done? And then she finds out that she is a vessel or could be the big goddess herself, for any normal mortal beings, that is scary enough. Thankfully she has Miyuki to help her bring her back to the right path if she goes astray and the same can be said about him. It feels like this guy is born moody and grumpy and that it sounds like an excuse he is living in the shadows of his great father. He looks like an amateur and unconfident with his abilities because when you’re entrusted with a task that has the big goddess involved, do you not panic and fear you might fail?

Having said that, all Izumiko and Miyuki want is just to be normal high school kids but their fate and circumstances don’t allow them to do so. Hence that wall-cum-barrier-cum-excuse-cum-convenience that makes it a big roundabout way for them not to fall in love with each other. We know and hope they really end up as an item but because the notion of Izumiko is a goddess and Miyuki is her manservant, not so straightforward. Hence she is always insecure and afraid while he is always mad and moody. If the spiritual fate thingy didn’t get in between them, this would have been some sort of generic romance drama. But as we see them rely on each other in the final arc, we can safely say that they are a bit closer to each other than they were at the start. A lot more of these situations should really improve their relationship. Hopefully. It would have been interesting to see if the duo would put their love for each other first than saving mankind. Or perhaps they can do both. But for now, we have to put up with their hot and cold relationship which could be annoying to watch sometimes.

Himegami although feels superior and divine, sometimes I wonder if she is just like any other ordinary woman. After all, just like many other women, she doesn’t like her man to talk about other woman. First sign and hint from your girlfriend that you better pay all the attention to her! I would have been nice to see all the experiments and whatever trials and tribulation she went through to bring about this final journey she is on but I suppose there is not enough time and duration to tell it all in a single cour. After all, they need to keep the mystery of Himegami as her charm. Knowing her a little too well might change our perspective of her and that’s not good seeing she is of a goddess status.

Other characters feel like a distraction like Manatsu and Mayura who don’t really have anything to do with Izumiko and Miyuki’s case and as I have pointed out a few paragraphs earlier, having Masumi around seems like a detour and distraction so as to ‘reassure’ that Izumiko and Miyuki belong to each other. Otherwise, this competition with Takayanagi is still something I don’t get because I don’t really see how this experiment makes one the candidate for World Heritage. Speaking of Takayanagi, that guy really feels like a loser. He looks arrogant and might be suave but eventually in the end he is just a wuss. Heck, he lost not once but twice! You thought he had given up after losing to Masumi and got his spirit agent crushed. But then he returned as sneakier than before and what does he get? Turned into a dog! Hope he learnt his lesson but I doubt it. Then Wamiya is like a familiar for both Izumiko and Miyuki but the way he expresses himself, he sounds not too enthusiastic to serve his masters. It’s like, well, he is doing it because he has to and if so, I mean, what else can he do about it? It’s your call.

Not sure what Yukimasa is doing behind the scenes all the time but I figure it is something important. So important that he had to leave his son with the important task of being with Izumiko AKA Himegami. Didn’t he call Miyuki as his backup plan? So I’m wondering if this multi-talented guy who could do no wrong is just doing all this to piss off Miyuki or in a twisted way, give him some sort of motivation to be like him. I don’t think the latter works seeing how Miyuki doesn’t like him. I mean, you tell when he calls his father by his first name! I’m very sure they are blood related and they are actually biologically father and son but you never know. Anime love to spring surprises about families not really being blood related as plot twist or convenience. Some characters like Hodaka feels like a red herring. I thought he would play some sort of important role but after his debut that makes him feel like as though he is an important character, he falls back into the shadows as background character. Maybe he pulls the strings behind the scenes like Yukimasa but we’ll never know.

The other reason why I watched this series is because it is done by P.A. Works. You know, the anime studio that has brought us a lot of good looking characters and visuals. Like Hanasaku Iroha, Glasslip, Tari Tari, True Tears, Sakura Quest and the recent Irozuku Sekai No Ashita Kara. Oh yeah. Cute kawaii bishoujo galore. You can bet Izumiko is looking damn cute in her braids because I don’t know why many people view girls with braids as plain Janes. This means you can also see the trademark bishoujo and bishonen character designs very similar to their other anime series aforementioned. Like you know, how Miyuki have this main character look but just put him in constant moody mode. Other than the characters, the background and sceneries are also a sight to behold. It is nice to know that P.A. Works have been constant in their anime quality throughout the years as this series came out back in 2013. So continue to keep up the good work and bring me more kawaii bishoujo to gawk at. And to add to my personal top 10 bishoujo yearend list!

Voice acting is fine as I recognized a few seiyuus such as Saori Hayami as Izumiko, Jun Fukuyama as Yukimasa, Akira Ishida as Hodaka, Romi Paku as Yukariko and Mamoru Miyano as Hayakawa. Not surprising but still surprising is Rie Kugimiya as Wamiya because she isn’t nowhere near her tsundere trademark style and is one of those few boyish roles like Al of Fullmetal Alchemist, Hasuta in Haiyore! Nyaruko-san and Shunpei from Oh! Edo Rocket. Only, add more monotony to her voice. I guess she can’t forever be Shana, Taiga, Louise, Nagi… It’s been a long time since I have head Rie Tanaka so I didn’t recognize her when she took over as Himegami. The other casts are Kouki Uchiyama as Miyuki (Shigaraki in Boku No Hero Academia), Madoka Yonezawa as Mayura (Ui in K-ON!), Kaito Ishikawa as Manatsu (Iida in Boku No Hero Academia), Ryohei Kimura as Masumi (Kodaka in Boku Wa Tomodachi Ga Sukunai), Hiofumi Nakajima as Takayanagi (Akatsuki in Aria The Animation), Sarah Emi Bridcutt as Kisaragi (Yuzuru in Date A Live) and Kenji Nomura as Nonomura (Shishigou in Fate/Stay Apocrypha).

The opening theme, Small Worldrop by Annabel feels rather okay as her soft voice feels familiar to Nagi Yanagi. Hence making this song sound a bit like those the latter sings. The ending theme, Yokan has some traditional feel to it. But Masumi Ito singing it feels a bit ‘creepy’ and like as though I have heard her singing somewhere before. Oh right. Just like how she sang in a similar fashions in anime ending themes like Zettai Shonen, Scrapped Princess and Umi Monogatari. The song isn’t that bad but I sometimes get the chills hearing her ‘ghostly’ voice. And sometimes too I think that she is an alternate version of Nano Ripe…

Overall, this isn’t a bad series but it isn’t a good one either. It had some potential with its theme but lost its way. Other than the pretty visuals, the characters and plots may leave you scratching your head and wondering if there is more to it. Certainly there is because from what we’ve seen, they’ve presented with so much but yet we don’t have enough data storage memory to absorb it all! Yeah, it’s hard to think of it this way that Izumiko is just a 64GB USB pendrive but Himegami is a 2TB data to download!!! Not enough storage space that’s for sure! Well, there’s a flash drive to accommodate that today but I wonder having so would make it unstable. With people with special spiritual powers on the decline and on the verge of extinction, corrupted pervy otaku misfits are on the rise. A dime a dozen, spreading like a plague. No wonder there are so many sh*tty shows these days. Is there a religious anime that could bring us salvation? Looking for religious themed animes online… Aha, Bible Black. Or Crimson Climax. Or Sins Of The Flesh. Oh wait, no… Oh sh*t!!!

N/B: Is it ironic that we somehow have a lot of hard drive space when we download porn?

Mob Psycho 100 S2

June 22, 2019

I see that this got a second season first than the much anticipated One Punch Man. Don’t worry, that series got its sequel the next season after Mob Psycho 100 S2 premiered. So before we get to see the superhero who could end everything in a single punch, we need to see how the most powerful middle school esper continues to live his life normally. Also, there’s the threat of that super esper organization, Claw vying for world dominance. Can Mob live his normal school life and thwart their schemes? More importantly, can he finally confess to his one true love, Tsubomi?

Episode 1
Reigen and Mob see a farmer client who believes a spirit is haunting his crops. Because he cannot pay in terms of monetary since his son will be starting school, Reigen agrees to a cut from his crops. There is indeed a spirit stealing nutrients from the crops and because it sucks its life force, it can control the plants to its will. So when Mob gets ‘eaten’ by it, he thought of the same thing too and uses this tactic against the spirit. With the exorcism over, they are paid in some seeds and fertilizers. Reigen thought he could do a side business of selling tomatoes but with Mob accelerating its growth, it tastes like crap. That’s the end of that business. Meanwhile Mezato and a few members are trying to uncover the origins of their cult’s leader. She wants to promote Mob but needs to perk him up first. Hence she convinces him to run for student council president under the pretence that he can close the gap with Tsubomi. Even if he is just to give a speech, does Mob need to go through all the rigorous forest training? Too bad he froze during his turn. Said nothing. Even Kamuro who resigned as the president is trying to make a comeback with a cleaner image. Mob then receives a love letter from a girl named Emi. She claims she was impressed how he mustered his courage to go up there despite being uncomfortable and had fallen for him. Wow. Mob now has a girlfriend?! Of course he is still reluctant to tell her about his exorcism job in fear that she would find it creepy. When Emi shows him a novel she wrote, he thought it is good. However Emi has doubts of their relationship after a week. She thinks he is dating her out of pity because when she confessed he rejected her. She can tell he ran for president was because somebody told him to. She is as guilty of him. The reason she asked him out was because of a dare by her friends. But since Mob walked home with her, they never found out she was initially rejected. She leaves as Mob thinks back all the times they spent together. Then he sees Emi’s friends badmouthing this crappy novel she wrote. Then they rip it apart. Mob then starts picking up all the shredded pieces and this freaks the friends out. Because Mob has decided to be clear with his feelings and pick up things that are important. The friends leave as Emi joins Mob to pick up the pieces. Otherwise it will be littering. When the wind blows away their hard work, Mob uses his powers to gather and glue them back together. He reveals he is an esper and Emi thanks him. Little do they know, Tsubomi is watching and she is glad it turned out well.

Episode 2
Reigen thinks of increasing his business by going to a town that has been posting several urban legends. So he is setting up office in the middle of the streets? Of course the local exorcist, Banshomaru Shinra isn’t happy since this is his turf and this means business rivalry. But they have to put that aside when a woman seeks their help. At first she thought it was a stalker issue but as the days past, she gets this very eerie feeling. Could it be that the urban legends are causing the rise of such cases? With her plea to get rid of the urban legends, Reigen and Shinra split up to make their job easier. Shinra is on the case of a ghost in a red raincoat. Turns out to be some creepy flasher but the way Shinra asks about especially young girls, they think he is the culprit. Call the cops! Meanwhile Reigen and Mob confront the dog with a human face. Turns out that naught kids just drew on its face. Yeah, the old grandpa owner appreciates their help to wash his dog. Shinra chases the pervert in the woods. He falls to his trap of being tasered. While bragging of the invincibility in stalking others, it suddenly gets spooky around. A strange woman asks him if he is thirsty and before he knows it, he gets dragged down into the pond. Luckily Shinra still has enough strength to try and stop her but it is not enough. Only thanks to Dimple possessing him that he is able to move like the wind. Until Shinra’s body cannot hold out, Dimple calls for help. Thank goodness Reigen and Mob arrive in time to put down this Dragger. However she is not easily defeated. As she is created by fear and curiosity, her personality is technically designed by humans and hence cannot be exorcised. Also, powers used in fear only empower its source. Reigen calls for a retreat. But Mob attacks and surprisingly defeats her. It is because Mob is detached from urban legends and fads, he has no idea what makes such spirits scary. And just like that, the Dragger is put to rest. All that is left is the dashing granny urban legend. With the granny seen rushing towards them in a narrow tunnel, Mob thinks she is the most powerful since his power has no effect on her! They run but granny catches up and zooms past. Yeah, just some normal granny running. Mob is devastated he lost to a grandma because he runs every day and this only shows there were no improvements… Back at office, Reigen has completed his website. Looks crappy…

Episode 3
A client bugs Reigen for a curse. He was reluctant to give at first but fakes one just to get him off his tail. The client warns if it is fake, he will curse him. But this has Mob thinking even if it is a lie, does it mean he is going to live like that forever under this impression? Next they visit a woman who feels a ghost is stalking her. She sees a shadow from her window but the thing is there is no balcony outside. They check it out to see if there are any other tricks (like hanging ropes) but then the spirit pops up! Freak out time! However Mob can sense it comes from the neighbour next door and is using some out of body experience. They confront him and he throws a tantrum about his love for her. He is arrested and Mob is surprised the woman who was initially scared of the ghost suddenly changed her character once she discovered it was only human. A group of graduates seek their help as protection as they want to go to a haunted place to take pictures for memories. Fearing evil spirits, that’s why they seek Reigen’s help. Of course nothing much happens and when Reigen asks for payment, they scoff him off as a scam that he didn’t do anything and even abandon them there! Next day as Mob heads to school, a couple of bullies want to extort from him. Dimple possesses him to strip himself naked. He only stops because Mob tells him not too. Still, this jerk doesn’t learn his lesson and continues to extort. This time Ritsu uses his powers on him. If that is not enough, Musashi and his Body Building Club buddies surround this loser. Got a problem? Now the jerk runs away. They advise Mob to fight back when necessary.

Those graduates return. Yeah, there’s a ghost in the picture. Now they change their tune and want Reigen’s help to exorcise. Before Mob could begin, he hears the spirit’s voice. The father claims they are harmless and despite the family died in a tragic accident, they want to live like this peacefully until it is the right time to ascend. Mob is in a dilemma since the clients are pushy since they are being paid to exorcise. Mob really doesn’t want to destroy them. Dimple pokes fire by telling the ghost to kill the clients and hence they cannot exorcise them when they’re dead. But the father won’t. He begs not to make him do something horrific in front of his family. This only makes Mob feel more conflicted. If he protects the ghost family, this means the clients will get hurt instead. That is when Reigen realizes what is happening. To Mob, humans the spirits are part of his life and he is equally close to both of them. He throws salt at the pushy clients and tells them the exorcism is over. Back in office, Dimple notices a curse on Reigen’s back. Must be from that earlier guy. He lets Dimple eat it. Reigen contemplates on the different things Mob can see and he might see something more terrifying than ever. He understood that there are things different from the norm. As for Mob, he continues to think deep about the possibility he might use his powers for evil to eradicate humans than spirits.

Episode 4
Reigen and Mob are one of the many psychics gathered by a rich CEO for a job. Among the psychics are Shinra, Kirin Jodo the president of some spiritual union and the former Scar member who is trying to turn over a new leaf, Matsuo. Masashi Asagiri is willing to any amount to anyone who can save his daughter, Minori who is possessed by a spirit. Reigen beats everyone via rock-scissors-paper to go first. From the way he talks to her, it sounds like her dad abuses her. This has the other psychics think he is using this supernatural excuse to change their relationship. However Reigen points out Minori is possessed by a real nasty spirit. He can tell from her inconsistent words she used and despite being the first time they met, she knew he is a psychic despite not introducing himself. The gig is up as the glass breaks. Minori is indeed possessed. Dimple is scared and wants them to run while they can. He knows this isn’t just an ordinary evil spirit and in fact, Keiji Mogami. He was a super psychic but died 40 years ago. Dimple was almost exorcised by him. Despite being viewed as an entertainer by the public, he was actually an assassin. What broke him was the high medical cost and treatment needed for his ailing mother. When he was about to exorcise Dimple, he wanted to absorb him and become the most evil vengeful spirit and teach everyone a lesson. It was by a stroke of luck that Dimple escaped his wrath. Even Jodo got possessed as Mogami runs wild. Reigen’s knee kick may help for a while but soon Mogami is back up strangling him and Mob’s powers can’t do anything. Father hugs Minori and tells her to stop but is stabbed instead. Now the psychics panic. The door is locked. Mogami is going to kill them all. Shinra tries to fight but Mogami contorts Minori’s body in ways unimaginable to defeat him. Mob has an idea to force Mogami out using out of body experience. His body will be defenceless them so he hopes they can protect it. Once Mob’s spirit is out, Mogami tries to attack. Reigen gets owned but Dimple possesses Mob’s body to fight back. When the moment is right, Mob enters into Minori’s body. He comes face to face with Mogami. It might look like Mob easily defeating Mogami but it was just to test his abilities. Mogami easily pounds Mob and tells how human emotions determine spiritual powers. He believes those with negative emotions hold better chance to have more powerful spiritual power. Mogami then alters Mob’s memories. He is now a normal school kid who can’t use his powers. He wants to see how Mob goes about without them.

Episode 5
In this illusionary world, Mob is bullied to the core. Minori is the leader of the bully pack and Ritsu doesn’t even care about his own brother. Despite all the torment, Mob remains patient and never used his powers for his own good. This has Mogami expanding his own sad story that because his mother’s treatment wasn’t enough, he had to resort to assassination for money. Even so, mother died. In her evil spirit form, she blamed him that all this happened because of the actions he took. That is why he is going to use his powers for himself and punish those who bring misfortune to others. He wants Mob to do the same and avoid ending up like him. Meanwhile Dimple is shocked that Reigen puts his trust in Mob to do the job and won’t run away. This has Dimple decide to enter Minori and help Mob. The barrier by Mogami is too strong and he could only get in with the help of Matsuo. Just when Mob is on the verge of losing it and using his powers to retaliate, here comes Dimple to lecture him. The sinker is when he mentions Tsubomi will be sad to see him like this. With that, Mob’s memories return. Mogami is disappointed but Mob agrees in some way that the world is cruel. But he is blessed and that’s why he needs to be more thankful to everyone around him when he gets back. Because of them, he was able to change and get a little stronger. Talking is over and now it’s an epic spirit battle. Oh my. Mob’s emotions reaching 100%, he’s like going Super Saiyan!!! Mob looks like a different person altogether! Oh sh*t! The fight is just getting to freaky and abstract! Even though Mogami loses, this means all the evil spirits in his vessel are freed. They go on a rampage but Mob is determined to purify everyone and save Minori (since he heard her cries for help). In the end, Mob goes over 100% and his abstract form might give Goku a run for his money. WTF is this?! Mob then wakes up. Welcome back. Mogami tries to escape but is captured by Matsuo. Minori regains consciousness and is very apologetic to Mob. But Mob is fine. Because of this meeting, he gets to change others and she gets to change. In the aftermath, Minori is interested in Mob although her dad didn’t recall hiring any boy her age for the job. But he did try to find out more about him and stumbled on this cult’s lame website. Yeah, they’re still struggling with the donations…

Episode 6
Mob is hanging out nicely with his club members when Reigen calls for an urgent job. Fun ruined. Despite warning Reigen about making such calls on short notices, Reigen still needs him. Luckily his friends understand. After another successful exorcism, Mob reminds him that he too has a life. However Reigen this time went too far. He says his club activities doesn’t constitute as life and shouldn’t be easily taken advantage by others. He also adds that his friends are only in the way and don’t understand him, hence only mocking him as weak. Mob argues back what he said is wrong. Now he understands that not everything he said is true. Reigen has dug his own grave. With Mob getting used to his private life, Reigen is busier than ever. Luckily they’re all easy jobs and Reigen is confident that the lonely kid will come back to him. He even gets confident thinking he can make it without that kid since this business he solely built it up himself. But one day he is shocked to see him hang out with friends. Dimple says he is living life just fine without him. Reigen mocks Dimple that he will forever be Mob’s pet at this rate while he himself goes on to do something big. Suit yourself. Back home, Reigen has serious thoughts about this. He goes check his social media. Oh, a message. Happy birthday. No birthday wishes. Except from mom. Still nagging him to get married… And she sends him some job recruitment ad as present… Oh mom… Then he heads to a bar where all scam victims patron. Because of his random advice, they respect him. However his plan backfires since he realizes he really had no friends. He now truly sees this is going to a bad direction and needs to shape up. Hence he soon changes. He widens his job scope like picking up trash and giving free seminars. Then there is some online ghost player that no exorcist want to take up the job. Reigen burnt the midnight oil to level up and even make lots of in-game purchases to finally beat that ghost player! Because of that, his popularity skyrockets to a point he gets magazine interviews and now a live national TV interview. Of course this is set up by Jodo who seeks revenge after that humiliating defeat on Minori’s case. Yeah, Reigen knee kicked him in the gut when Mogami possessed him.

Episode 7
There is a kid who is possessed by Kokkuri and it is Jodo’s job to exorcise it. However he wants Reigen to do it. Initially reluctant, upon hearing Jodo will then stick to the script, Reigen wants to do it. He thinks this is all part of an act and just needs to do some flashy moves. For 30 minutes, nothing happened. Time for Jodo to step in. He can’t exorcise because the kid is not possessed! The kid then reveals so. Now the focus is on Reigen. What was he doing? Was that a new dance? Jodo has all the perfect sarcasm each time Reigen tries to make an excuse. The final nail in the coffin: When Reigen says there was Beethoven’s ghost? Jodo: *Answering to the tone of Beethoven’s 5th symphony!*. Yeah, that really killed him. Reigen is now all over the news as a scam artist. When a friend brings this up to Mob, he believes this is all part of Reigen’s plan (getting the wrong idea of course). Reigen tries to fix his image but you know, the more you try to do so on the internet, the more you get burnt. Even his bar buddies all abandon him. When reporters are stalking outside his house, he runs. But he accepts when they suggest holding a press conference. But his mind went blank so screw it as Reigen returns to his normal self. The bottom line is, they can’t prove he has no spiritual powers and so are those so called ‘victims’. He won’t say he has them either because he knows the media will not accept unless it is no. Reigen continues to answer their questions until one brings up an essay he wrote back in school that he wanted to become somebody. His mind went blank. Flashbacks shows he quit his job and did this for fun. He was considering his next move until Mob came in to complain how to control his powers. Thinking it was a prank, Reigen listens and throws him some generic advice to be a good person. Mob is impressed, though. But when Reigen sees how he used his power to saved his spilled cup, this was when Reigen realizes he was something. He wanted to grab that something for himself too. But in the end, he realizes he didn’t change and tried to cage Mob in. He only kept using him. Reigen leaves the media stumped when he leaves a message for Mob that he has grown. Suddenly all the equipment start floating. Is this his power?! They are panicking but Reigen walks out. The conference is over. Hope you guys find your next big news. Reigen stumbles into Mob on his way back. Reigen prepares for the worst when Mob says he has always known his true identity. That is, a good person. Looks like they’re back on good terms again.

Episode 8
Mezato is glad the cult is gaining followers and popularity. All that is left is for Mob to show up as the leader. Hence she calls him to use his powers and win the annual marathon with style. Of course he won’t do that and will do it on his own. Mob gets even determined to a point it shocks Dimple because he realizes he needs to finish in the top 10 so he can confess to Tsubomi! Hence, Mob begins his training with all his pals supporting him. Even Reigen gives him time off and helps jog with him. Yeah, this guy lacks exercise too. Ritsu and Teru even fill in for Mob’s job. But Ritsu has to hide when he sees Tsubomi coming in as a client! Actually, her friend Miki needs some love advice. Reigen dispenses his love advice and eventually Tsubomi too asks some questions pertaining to love. Later Tsubomi tells Miki her questions were fake just to test if Reigen was the real deal. It doesn’t look like he is a bad guy. She notices Mob in one of Reigen’s wall photos. Marathon day is here and as it begins, the tussling has Mob falling and scrapping his knee. He is so determined that he gets up and continues running. Dimple suggests cheating and Reigen is also here to provide his support but with Mob being so focused, nothing will change his mind. Unfortunately he passes out and is taken into the infirmary. He might not have finished the race but he impressed a lot of people because he kept going. Back home, Ritsu thought Mob is at the door (you mean nobody waited to get him at school?) but to his horror it is Shou. When Mob gets back, he is shocked to see his house on fire. So shocked that he walks into the burning house and stays positive that his family is still alive. But when Dimple says there were signs of break in at the front door, Mob fears the family might have been kidnapped. But when he opens the next room, he sees a burning corpse… Oh no. Mob turning Super Saiyan in his rage!

Episode 9
Dimple reasons that the corpse is a dummy. But Mob will not rest until he finds the culprits. He uses his power to detect them and then beats the hell out of them for info. Before more of their buddies could come as reinforcements, Koyama and Sakurai takes Mob away to their hideout. It seems Reigen is the boss of the former members of Scar’s 7th division! So that esper thingy on TV made them think he is fit to be their leader against Claw? When Reigen tells that Mob’s family is safe, Mob only relaxes but falls asleep from exhaustion. Reigen’s office was also burnt down but luckily he was away. Also in this ragtag group are Mitsuura and those Awakening Lab kids. The whole gang is here with Teru who survived an attack from a Claw member, brings the arsonist in for interrogation. He reveals their boss plans for world domination and has gathered espers all over the world. Indeed, Touichirou Suzuki hijacks the world’s TV to make his announcement and Claw’s war declaration on the world. In order to achieve that goal, they will destroy Japan first. Well, gotta start small. This Suzuki turns out to be Shou’s dad and he has had it with this lameness. Ritsu is alive and well with him. Turns out Shou popped up to give hotspring tickets to Ritsu’s parents so you can bet they are safely enjoying themselves. Some of Claw’s foreigner members led by Joseph doesn’t think Claw’s plan to fight Japan’s numerous police will be good. Hence they try to bring down this organization by picking a fight with the division leaders. Joseph confronts Suzuki and thinks this will be the end. However he met his match as Suzuki isn’t flinching. The destruction of division leaders isn’t merely enough to take down Claw. As long as he has the strongest Ultimate 5 (Shimazaki, Hatori, Shibata, Minegishi and Serizawa), they are invincible. Joseph manages to escape by the skin of his teeth. Apparently Reigen’s party missed Suzuki’s broadcast because they were partying courtesy of Mitsuura’s food. Shimazaki kidnaps the Prime Minister as he has teleport abilities. However Teru tries to intercept but since he lacks knowledge of his abilities, he is defeated.

Episode 10
With Suzuki and Claw taking over a tower as their base, the lower members of Claw are enough to keep those police at bay. The surrounding area then becomes a battlefield. Some of Reigen’s side wants to strike first but Reigen disagrees as they are not superheroes and have to lie low until this blows over. But when Reigen receives a call from the insurance company that the fire will not be covered by esper attacks, he gets mad that he won’t get any compensation. Hence he changes his mind to go into battle! Meanwhile Ritsu and Shou’s side make their way towards the tower but they face Minegishi. Shou’s underlings fight him so the boys can go ahead but it didn’t take long for Minegishi to defeat them with his plant powers. Reigen splits his team to infiltrate into the tower. On Teru’s side, they face off with a few Claw members but Terada betrays as he claims he is working with the enemy to get info and will gladly tell them if they reinstate him back into the team. Sakurai’s side is infiltrating from the sewers but Shimazaki is waiting for them. Mitsuura warns Reigen that Claw members are here to get them so Reigen takes Mob to hide. Of course they are sniffed out but thanks to some curse spray he got from Sakurai, Reigen puts them to sleep. Now they have to deal with Shibata. The spray doesn’t work and he only becomes stronger and madder. Dimple possesses Mob to fight back but realizes he can’t win and runs. With Shibata hot on his heels, this dude is so strong that when he throws Mob, Dimple is pushed out of possession! Luckily the Body Building Club buddies catch Mob. When Shibata comes into the picture, Musashi tries to tell him off not to bully their club member but is smacked down. The other members try to fend Shibata off but gets owned. Shibata is about to stomp Mob but Musashi uses his body to protect him. Dimple then possesses Musashi to fight back. Because Musashi has been training his muscles every day, this is the reason why he beats Shibata whose muscles are developed only from spiritual power. Of course this damages some of Musashi’s muscles. When Shibata gets back up again, this time Mob wakes up and puts him down for good. Mob parts with those guys as Dimple fills him in on what has happened. Ritsu and Shou have reached the tower.

Episode 11
Teru’s side defeated the baddies. Terada claims he was just lying to get their guard down. Yeah… However on Sakurai’s side, they’re totally routed by Shimazaki. Now this guy goes to face Ritsu and Shou but Ritsu wants Shou to go ahead to put a stop to his dad. Reluctantly he does so and easily beats up Hatori along the way since he is physically the weakest. Mob tries to stop a few punks from looting and since they look down on him, time for Mob to lecture them about thinking they’re special. With Minegishi coming into the picture, time for an epic battle. With Matsuo helping out, one of the punks accidentally breaks a spirit bottle of his. It housed Mogami as he sucks the life force of all those around. Even Minegishi is scared and can’t control his plants. Mogami wants to kill all these bad people but Mob reasons with him that they can change. Though, he can’t guarantee if he can watch them all rehabilitate so Mogami makes a deal with him that he’ll let go of this in exchange if he becomes hard on others. Shou faces off with his dad but is no match for him. Like him who has been storing up power for 3 months, Suzuki has been doing it for 20 years. He explains his journey around the world was to see if it was worth dominating. And he concluded there are no other stronger espers than him. Ritsu isn’t alone facing Shimazaki. The other Scar members pitch in to help. Everyone against Shimazaki. Why does this feels like everybody against Thanos? Although Shimazaki owns everyone, Teru is able to figure out that he cannot be in top condition if he loses concentration. Because of that, Shimazaki tries to kill this in this overkill smackdown. Teru distracts him that he is just an ordinary human who can be defeated, allowing others to do relay combos on this guy. Too bad he finally got his focus back and returns to owning everyone. He awakens to the next power level but senses Mob coming. A more powerful esper. He relishes to fight him but gets punched by Reigen???!!! Oh, he can’t detect this guy! Knowing he doesn’t stand a chance against them, Shimazaki admits defeat. He isn’t interested in taking over the world and is doing it for fun. This doesn’t sit well with Mob because their actions have disrupted lives. Instantly Shimazaki felt scared and teleports away. All that is left is the last boss but Mob tells everyone he will go alone since they are injured. Even if they can fight, they’ll get in the way. That is Mob’s take on being harsh on everyone. Reigen has Dimple go with him. Mob now faces off with Serizawa.

Episode 12
Serizawa explains how Suzuki saved him from his shut-in life. He understood Serizawa was bullied and ostracised due to his tremendous power and wants him to join his side. Afraid to leave his room, he is given an umbrella that supposedly works as a substitute. Mob tries to take away his umbrella but like a child losing his blanket, he explodes in anxiety. This makes Mob realize that Serizawa has been given the impression he cannot live on his own. Mob understands his desire to want friends but at this rate he isn’t going to make any or integrate back into society. Also, Suzuki sees him as a tool and is only being used. Ironically, Mob is the one to say. Serizawa accidentally fires his most powerful shot but Mob absorbs it and feels its sadness. Then he returns it to Serizawa. He too could feel Mob’s sadness and now understands they’re the same. Shou definitely didn’t stand a chance against his dad. He mentions about the project to make artificial espers failed. All those under Claw can do so because Suzuki lend his powers to them. This means that since they are defeated, he can take them back. Mob arrives in time before Shou is dead meat. He knows what is going on thanks to Serizawa telling the truth. Actually Serizawa couldn’t stand watching Suzuki beating up Shou and that’s why he left to face Mob. Serizawa is grateful to Suzuki for changing his life but he realizes his happiness comes from hurting others and had he knew that, he wouldn’t have left his room in the first place. Suzuki can sense Mob’s powers. Viewing him as his potential enemy, he goes on the offensive. With Dimple getting owned, Reigen knows something is wrong and takes action. With Suzuki believing himself as the true and only power and that bonds are meaningless, Mob’s beliefs are contradictory to his. He believes everyone has their own shortcomings and that’s why bonds are important. Suzuki continues to beat down Mob. Cue for Reigen to pop up. He acts confident as usual. Even suggesting to join his side. Heck, he has a way to defeat Suzuki? Let’s hear it. Rather, Reigen tries to punch him with brute force but fails of course. Suzuki is going to kill him but is protected by Serizawa. Mob gets back up. He is done talking. Maybe guys like him only learn after getting hurt. Suzuki tries to destroy Reigen first and although Mob protects them, they are flung out. Thanks to Minegishi’s plants saving them. At this point, Suzuki realizes all his men have betrayed him and is now alone. Not that he is worried about it since he has always been like that from the start. Mob’s goal to float the tower is so that he can hit him with everything he’s got in this final boss fight.

Episode 13
The epic power boss fight begins! But when Mob sees Ritsu, he loses focus as he realizes he has let the power control him. With Suzuki pounding him and bragging he is a lucky man to have such powers, Mob notes he doesn’t lack luck but bonds since he is the only one in his world. Woah. Mob using all the buildings to crush Suzuki! But instead he powers up into a different being! Mob is beaten to a pulp but what sets Suzuki seething in anger is that Mob has given up?! Really?! He realizes he is not strong enough to change him. As Suzuki continues to take it all out on him, Mob then uses his powers to contort him unimaginable! What Mob meant is that he is fine with both of them losing. With Suzuki now a ball of energy waiting to explode, Mob tells the rest to escape. But he goes back so as to help contain the explosion. Wow. Mob even lecturing him that everyone is the protagonist of his/her own life and thus it is his own decision to come back to try and save him. Even though Mob doesn’t like him, leaving him to suffer alone isn’t what he want. I guess that’s the clincher. Flashback shows Suzuki being ruthless and his wife didn’t like it. He believed power is absolute and the only thing that would get him followers. Mob tries to absorb some of the explosion but it looks like the atomic bomb just went off. In the aftermath, Mob is plucked out from the rubble. He gets his much needed rest but since their home is gone, they head to school. Too bad the Body Building Club guys think they should all go on a training camp now! I guess that incident really hit them. Next morning, everyone is shocked to see a giant broccoli in place of where the explosion was. The Amazing Lab kids want to stop becoming espers as they don’t want to misuse their powers. Mitsuura accepts that but hopes they will drop in sometimes as friends. Other Claw and Scar members try to find their footing in society again. Surprisingly, Suzuki allows himself to be arrested by Joseph since he is an undercover agent. Suzuki laments he wanted Shou to meet mom again but rest assured, he has done so once in a while. Shou lets his dad know this isn’t over yet since she has yet to scold him for turning into this. Reigen gets a new office since the insurance finally pays out. Serizawa is trying to look for a job here. Reigen hires him but first a haircut. Man, he looks different but presentable! Since Mob is his senior, he has to show him the ropes. Getting nervous? Mob then remembers the giant broccoli is due to the seeds that was in his pocket.

Rage And Honour: It’s Over 9000!!!!!!!
Oh my. I thought the final episode turned into some sort of Dragonball crossover with its insane amount of power and fighting. Cool! The world could have ended that night but thanks to Mob, everyone gets to go on living their normal lives the next day, not knowing what really happened last night. Yeah, the city was so evacuated and I’m surprised there were no people taking videos or recording this even from afar. See all the clueless people the next day? Yeah, that huge power fight that took the final battle to another level of dimension, nobody else was witnessing it?! It is a good thing that Mob continues to be Mob in the end and didn’t have to turn to the dark side or sacrifice himself to save the world. Yeah, it looked like it could have turned that way as there were a few times that we see Mob on the verge of giving up and going to cross the dark side. But was he just trolling us or changed his manner of thinking? Either way, it’s good to have Mob back and with Claw disbanded, let’s hope he can get back to his real challenge in life as a normal middle school kid. That confession to Tsubomi is still on the waiting list…

It is without a doubt that this season rocks and perhaps even more thanks to the action packed second half and Mob changing into someone much better that surprises a lot because he feels a lot like a different person although maintaining as Mob. Get it? The first half of this season might be a bit slow and so I feared that the rest of the season might be this familiar pattern of Reigen dragging Mob around to do odd exorcism jobs (sometimes con jobs too). Thankfully the first half isn’t all that boring since it is surprisingly focused on Reigen. We know this guy has been using Mob for his con jobs but what surprises us the most that he actually cares about him! I mean, we know he does take care of Mob but that is only because he is using him and so as to continue his scams. That is what we all view and knew of Reigen. So when he showed some sort of empathy and compassion towards a very conflicted Mob, wow we only thought he was heartless. We started to see him in a different light. And then he goes back to being a dick again with those arrogant and careless quips that strained their relationship for a while. It was pretty much an eye opener and blessing for Reigen because now he really has to count his blessings. And while Reigen may overall still be Reigen, at least now that he acknowledges Mob’s importance and worth (not because for his own gains), we see Reigen in a slightly better light. But still, we need to keep our suspicions on him because at the end of every episode as he narrates the next episode preview, he will eventually be talking and promoting about this series on DVDs and BDs and the likes. That’s the best way to support this series!

Things really picked up the pace in the second half. This is where everything goes off at full speed. The sudden attack of Suzuki and his Claw organization really took everything by surprise with their quick offensive for world domination. Starting with Japan, of course. In this part, it is Mob’s growth that astounds us the most. He is no longer that meek and indecisive kid we once knew a while ago. It is as though he went on a long journey to search for himself and then come back a wise sage! Wow. Suddenly he can lecture us about loneliness, bonds and friendship. But he isn’t pulling it out of the air since he has put in a lot of effort and experienced a lot of harshness to get where he is right now. So with Mob awakened on all fronts, it is indeed shocking to see that he has grown and changed in that short amount of time. It is during such times of chaos that we see characters being built and thank goodness Mob has grown up fast in that situation. But still, why all that running and jogging didn’t make him the least bit physically stronger?!

Everything happened so fast in the second half with Suzuki suddenly coming into the picture as Claw’s big boss, it confused me a little at first. Because at the end of last season, I remember Shou was calling his dad about Scar’s failure and wanted him back in Japan as soon as possible. Damn I thought there was going to be this father and son combo to take over the world. But surprise! Shou is actually on the good side? Did something happen while we weren’t watching? Perhaps. Because since when was Shou and Ritsu such ‘good friends’? And then suddenly bringing back all the disbanded members of 7th division of Scar and to fight along the good side against Suzuki and Claw, that was unexpected too. At least I didn’t foresee that. Maybe one or two of them would return but all of them? Damn, was I paying attention?

With this season, there are many more characters introduced that I think the character pool has become bloated. Many feel insignificant but some of them do play their moments like he Body Building Club buddies to prove that their friendship with Mob isn’t all muscles. Some feel like red herring or didn’t really go anywhere like Kamuro’s comeback as student council president and Mezato’s goal to make Mob the cult leader (Mob would have really become God had his heroics being known). I thought Mob might be starting get a harem of his own since Emi and Minori I feel take genuine interest in Mob. But that would be unnecessary distraction from the final battle with Claw. And I wouldn’t want that either. That Joseph guy feels a bit redundant too. I thought I’ve seen the last of him after he fled his failed attack against Suzuki and his Ultimate 5. Because it’s like as though his role was there to arrest Suzuki, that’s it. Even some of the more supporting and main characters like Teru and Ritsu weren’t that prominent, like as though they don’t want to steal Mob’s limelight. Dimple feels more like an annoying sidekick (like that fairy that always accompanies Link) and it’s like we have forgotten his ulterior motive of why he is hanging out with Mob. Will he change now after being with him for a while and seeing Mob’s true powers?

Suzuki as the main antagonist, he might sound like a typical villain but because of Mob’s great profiling of him, he turns out to be someone who is just lost. Mob understands him the best because they are the same. When you are the most powerful being that is so different from everyone else, who would understand you? Is this the reason why we never really understand God?! But it goes to show that even Mob can turn this guy over a new leaf. It is safe to say that Mob doesn’t just talk the talk but walk the walk too. Who else better but to bring someone as lost as Suzuki to his senses as Mob has went through (somewhat) similar hardships. After all, Suzuki now gets a chance to make repentance. Something he can still do when he is alive and not dead. I guess he isn’t so powerful after all now that he is going to get an earful from his wife… ;p. On a trivial note, I have always thought that Suzuki would have been an evil version of Reigen had the latter had esper powers and misused them. Must be the way they dressed sharply that made me think they are similar.

Mob might not be perfect and still has his flaws. But it is a good thing that he continued to stay true to his beliefs. He might not have the best solutions for this wretched world, but he does what he can and to the best of his abilities. After all, Mob is Mob and the best he could do is to be himself. He isn’t any superhero (although technically he saved the world or rather Japan from Suzuki’s schemes) and definitely he is no God. It might sound naïve to wish that people will turn over a new leaf and learn from their mistake, but I guess that is better than many who misuse and abuse their power. Or in worse case, victims like Mogami becoming a vengeful spirit and continue the vicious cycle. Even if having esper powers give you the right to dominate others naturally and instinctively, does it give you the right to pass on misery to others? After all, Mob is such a good kid that he doesn’t harbour any ill intentions. Even when his master is being a scam artist dick, he still believes he is a good person! Even Hitler has his sympathizers, if you know what I mean… All in all, Mob’s self-realizing statements do make much sense. Mob isn’t a psycho, it’s the world!

It goes without saying that the power action bits here take the cake. With all the espers coming in for one big battle, we will soon forget that this series is about a clueless and meek middle school boy whose extraordinary esper powers is being used by his master for his own gains. The power battles are exaggerated but epic at the same time. If not for that ‘ugly’ drawing that makes it all look cartoonish but I guess this is the series’ trademark visuals. It’s not that bad actually. Of course this makes a lot of characters look weird. Like that moment exorcists from all walks of life were called to exorcist Minori. It’s like one freaking freaky cosplay convention and a macho guy wearing bra and panties showing up among the midst! Definitely a scam! So if you disregard the ‘crap’ art, the action sequences are quite enjoyable. It’s nice to see that moment of everybody taking down Shimazaki since it has that feel of Avengers and every other heroes in the MCU taking on Thanos. Was that fight inspired by this? Well, it was nicely done. With Mob know awakened to his even more powerful esper power, I just wonder why his hair didn’t grow any longer or turn glowing blonde like a Super Saiyan. Just saying… But in this mode, Mob looks more like Boku No Hero Academia’s Midoriya.

At points I was contemplating if this series was going to turn into a horror genre because of some of the scenes that almost spooked the living daylights out of me. Coupled in with that ‘crappy’ animation, yeah at points they look scary. For instance, the family of good ghosts that Mob was in a dilemma to exorcise. It may be nothing to others but for a horror averse guy like me, even those simple drawings were enough to give me the chills. But thanks to the ‘crappy’ drawing that makes it not looking so realistic and hence I didn’t suffer any nightmares subsequently. After all, when you are dealing with the supernatural theme, ghosts and spirits have got to be something to expect.

This season’s opening theme, 99.9 by Mob Choir featuring Sajou No Hana is as epic as it sounds. Because it sounds like one big cheer and support theme for Mob. Are you ready to get psyched up? Are you ready to dig your anger up? Are you ready for the hype train?! And while the opening animation credits is filled with lots of weirdness, I guess it doesn’t get weird enough to have Mob in Lego form. Sajou No Hana sings the main ending theme, Memosepia. A rather okay rock piece if you ask me. Special ending themes like Gray (1st and 7th episode), Mabuta No Ura (5th episode) and Ikiru Hitobito (final episode) feel more like slow rock.

Overall, this second season hits all the right notes. At least, most of them. It has got a good character development especially for Mob as well as heart pounding action sequences in the later half. It sure doesn’t look like it is going to have another season, the way things ‘ended’. But who knows? An even darker and more secretive organization could be lurking and Claw was just the front! Plot twist! Yeah, anything could happen in life. Ultimately it isn’t about who has the best esper powers but whether you have them or not, it is about human relationships and bonds. Humans being the more complex creatures compared to ghosts. Because the latter either wants to scare you or hurt you or kill you for vengeance. But the former tries to be friends with you first… Heh. Took and reedited that quote from a certain famous Australian Crocodile Hunter. May he rest in peace. As long as we are alive, we still have a chance to make amends. Something that no matter how much esper power you have could never teach you. Mob went through all of that to teach us that so we don’t have to. Thanks for reminding us what it is to be human beings.

Gyakuten Saiban S2

June 15, 2019

Matta!!! Wait a minute!!! You mean after that cheesy and mediocre first season, nobody said “Igi ari!!!” for another season?! Nobody objected to it?! Maybe somebody did but objection was overruled. I guess not because Gyakuten Saiban S2 went on air in late 2018. I suppose the game that this series is based on is still popular as this second season adapts the third chapter of the game. Oh well. Time to find more contradictions and truths. And how cheesy and mediocre they go about it. Can’t argue with that. It’s the court of law we’re talking about.

Episode 1
Naruhodo is about to review his case for his trial when he is knocked out. When he wakes up, officer Mako Suzuki pins her hope on him to set her free. However, Naruhodo has lost his memories! In the courtroom, Mako is accused of killing a fellow officer who is also her boyfriend at the park. Yeah, the case must be coming as a shock to Naruhodo as he learns everything on the spot! Not bad for a guy who just had amnesia. With Itonokogiri giving his witness testimony, Naruhodo is guided by his instincts to cross-examine. Even if his brain doesn’t remember, his body does. So he notices the discrepancy in the evidence like how her boyfriend spelt out her name wrongly and using his right hand when he is a left hander. This would have set her free if not for the prosecution calling another witness, Moroheiya Takamasa. Hmm… Isn’t this guy the one who knocked out Naruhodo? He claims to have witnessed Mako killing her boyfriend. However it soon proves his sight is in doubt as he can’t see well without his glasses. Earlier on, he lost his handphone but Mako was the one who picked it up and agreed to wait and give him back so he must have misheard her name. Even if Takamasa’s glasses were found on site, what motive did he have to kill her boyfriend? Before Takamasa walks free, here comes Mayoi with evidence. A name list of conmen that Naruhodo told her to put together. Yeah, he can’t remember all that. Because Takamasa’s handphone contains info of other fellow conmen, when he saw Mako, he thought she called the cops (her boyfriend was still in uniform) and panicked. Takamasa claims his handphone is still with him and it is just coincidence it looks like the same model as Naruhodo’s. Just then, Naruhodo conveniently gets his memories back and remembers him knocking him out to take back his handphone. So he has Mayoi call his number and the handphone in Takamasa’s hand rings. With that Takamasa is found guilty and arrested while Mako is declared innocent. You know, Takamasa must be so dumb. He killed a cop but couldn’t do the same to a lawyer and at least give him some time to run and avoid this mess? Yeah, his own carelessness that’s what got his ass caught. Not Naruhodo’s skill. Oh Naruhodo, you’re the one who has all the luck, not Mako who claims herself as the goddess of luck.

Episode 2
A phantom thief named Kamen Mask has been stealing rare artefacts. One of them being the urn from Kurain Village which is being exhibit at a local exhibition. You bet Mayoi and Harumi want Naruhodo to turn detective and get this important urn back. At the exhibition, Kirio is working to manage the place. She reveals she did receive a calling card 10 days ago that a priceless exhibit will be stolen. She never thought it would be the urn because the appraiser appraised it at zero value! Then comes in the supposedly world famous ace detective, Aiga Hoshiidake whom Kirio also hired. He rants about being Kamen’s arch rival and even confronted him last night when he was here to steal the urn but let him get away to lure him into a false sense of victory. A call just come in. Kamen has turned himself in?! This guy, Yuusaku Amasugi is pathetic, weak and lame?! And what’s this? He claims he lost the urn?! WTF?! Plus, he has a wife, Mareka?! She claims her husband is a big fan of Kamen. Because of his timid nature, he looks up to such ‘heroes’. She knows he is being framed and hopes Naruhodo can defend him. This doesn’t sit well with the sisters as they claim they are the victims. They think Mareka is lying but Naruhodo believes she might not. So they go their separate ways to investigate. The sisters try to believe in Mareka and head to her house to investigate. Meanwhile Naruhodo visits Aiga’s office but he isn’t in. So why let himself in and despite knowing it is against the law to go through his belongings, he is going to do that???!!! But Aiga returns. Knowing Naruhodo will defend Yuusaku, he tells him he will also be taking the witness stand and put an end to Naruhodo whom he thinks is Kamen’s accomplice. Because you see, the prosecutor is a prosecutor whom Mitsurugi acknowledged as the best in the country, Godot.

Episode 3
Is Godot being disrespectful drinking coffee and even questioning the judge? Yeah, he claims he hasn’t lost a trial but this is his first trial! Technicalities. The trial begins with Yuusaku taking the stand and he wants to be proclaimed guilty! However Naruhodo is here to proof he isn’t Kamen. That is where Mayoi comes in to bring Yahari as a witness. He is working as a security guard and can proof that Yuusaku was also an ex-worker of the security firm, KB Security. Based from the access card, Yuusaku went to his previous employer’s building the night the urn was stolen due to a blackmail letter Mayoi found at his place. With the KB Security being 30 minutes away from his home, hence Yuusaku cannot be at the exhibit at that time. Even with Godot admitting that, now Naruhodo thinks the only person who can steal it is Aiga. He is called in as a witness as Naruhodo accuses him of being Kamen. Wait a minute. He did that without any evidence?! And he admits it too?! Thank goodness for Mareka bringing in the urn supposedly from Aiga’s office. However can she prove it was from there? Naruhodo believes he can. His own fingerprints are on it. Because Kirio cleaned the urn to make it look valuable, Naruhodo might not have looked inside the bag that contained the urn but he did touch it. Before the judge could ask the bailiff to dust for fingerprints, Aiga starts laughing like a madman. He also admits he is Kamen and doing this to find a worthy rival. I guess you can’t rival that sort of genius by creating one yourself. With Yuusaku declared innocent, however real sh*t is just about to begin. Because Godot comes in and claims the CEO of KB Security, Kurobei Busujima is murdered at the same time Yuusaku went there. Yuusaku is detained again on grounds of murder. Everyone is left in shock as Naruhodo could sense some sort of calm and deep hatred from Godot.

Episode 4
Although the urn is back, Mayoi noticed the writing on it has returned to its original position. Harumi will take it back to Kurain Village to ask her aunt. Then Kirio comes in to confess that she was the one who broke the urn. She tripped on some paint and tried to put it back afterwards. She moved a statue to cover the paint but on the day Naruhodo came to investigate, the statue was moved. The only person who could move it was Aiga but why did he did it? They head down to KB Security to investigate. Itonokogiri points out Busujima’s body was found in the safe. There is also a button on it that would send an emergency buzzer to the security room but that night no buzzer was heard. Apparently Busujima dabbled in some shady job of selling info too, probably why some want him dead. Heading to the security room that Yahari was supposed to be on duty, on that night he snuck out to go hit some chicks. Checking the log again, there was indeed a buzzer that went off on the night of the murder. Yahari is so getting fired… Next they visit Yuusaku to get his statement. He claims after getting the blackmail letter, he went there. I am surprised an ex-employee still has the access card. But upon entering the room, someone knocked him out and the next thing he knows, Busujima’s body is lying there. He hid it due to his panic and turned himself in hoping the theft incident would be his alibi. Yuusaku admits that all other Kamen incidents were his doing. However after his first job, somebody must have spotted him and continued to send him blackmail letters. Those letters also tell him his next raid and you could say the heists are all planned. After he deposits the heist, he waits for the money to be delivered. Yuusaku did all this for the money as Mareka loves to spend. With that kind of wage he earns, stealing is the better option. He once told her he is Kamen but she didn’t believe him. But definitely he didn’t kill Busujima. Next they talk to Mareka. They learn she fell in love with Yuusaku at first sight. She was working at the bank when a robbery happened. Weak Yuusaku who was a security guard somewhat (pathetically) saved her. With Harumi returning, Naruhodo seems to have pieced the puzzle together. But tomorrow’s trial is a battle of speed as Aiga is facing his own trial next door. He must drag Aiga here before his verdict is handed down.

Episode 5
Godot explains Yuusaku’s motives. In order to get money for his wife, he stole confidential data from KB Security. He was caught and fired by the CEO. Hence he murdered him. Yuusaku maintains he was knocked out upon entering the room. Everyone hears for the first time he was in Kamen’s disguise during that night. How could he forget such important detail? Naruhodo argues that only because Yuusaku/Kamen was out cold, he could not have heard the very loud buzzer. Because he would have run away instead of placing Busujima’s body in the safe. All to frame Yuusaku. Naruhodo believes the killer is Aiga. If he is accused and found guilty of theft, he cannot be charged with murder. The key is to drag him here before his verdict is passed. Aiga is summoned to this trial as Naruhodo shows the picture proof of Kamen stealing the urn that night. However this was taken a few nights before the incident. The picture shows the time but not the date. Furthermore, when Kirio moved the statue to cover the paint, Aiga panicked and moved it back so as to line up with his alibi. Even so, Naruhodo cannot prove he is at KB Security that night. Oh my. Is Aiga going to walk free and be charged with a lesser crime? I guess Naruhodo must be praying hard for a miracle. That miracle is Chihiro! Time for his ghostly mentor to motivate him to think harder. She hints Aiga said too much that proved his downfall. Because Aiga praised Yuusaku as Kamen’s biggest fan and even went to meet him on that night, Naruhodo points out that nobody knew Yuusaku was in Kamen’s outfit until today. Aiga praises this brilliant deduction and as a reward, we now need to know the whole story. I don’t know why Aiga was hiding in the dumpster when Yuusaku did his first gig as Kamen because Yuusaku went to the back alley to toss away his outfit. Aiga then devised a brilliant plan to blackmail him. Part of his bigger plan for an ace detective to fight a phantom thief and captivate the world. One night he got a bit careless and stole a ring from Busujiuma. The CEO discovered it and blackmailed him. Hence Aiga decided to use Yuusaku and frame him with Busuhjima’s blackmail letter. Once Aiga is done bragging, it’s the slammers of despair for him. With Yuusaku not guilty, he might be a free man but laments he has lost everything. Don’t worry. Mareka forgives him. She finds him brave for admitting to his crimes unlike that detective who was a coward and being sneaky. All’s well, ends well. Until Harumi thought Naruhodo was trying to flirt with Mareka. Loli power knocks out a lawyer!

Episode 6
Naruhodo and Mayoi are trying to do an ad for their firm. Lame… Samurai lawyer?! WTF?! Anyway, this is a flashback episode on Mitsurugi. 3 years after his father’s death, he is now living under Karuma’s household. Mei was more of a cute loli than a sadistic b*tch. With Mitsurugi unsure of following his father’s footsteps, Karuma is contemplating of sending him to an orphanage home! I guess he doesn’t need a useless adopted son. But after watching a few of Karuma’s victories in court, Mitsurugi did find some inspiration albeit not enough to make it his life’s ambition. One day at the shopping mall, his dog simply ran off. Mitsurugi listens to his radio for some hints. It seems his dog chased another bitc-, I mean female dog. Then this fat cow woman claims this lost dog is hers. However it is growling at her. Mitsurugi doubts she is the owner but she mentions about some of its traits. With no further evidence, Mitsurugi releases it to her. Of course we could tell this sneaky b*tch just wants to claim the reward for the lost dog. But she made a mistake by humming a song from Signal Samurai. Mitsurugi questions where she heard that song. Because it was just recently played over the radio. If she claims she has no kids, how did she know it was from a children’s TV show? Because Signal Samurai ended 3 years ago! And if she is the owner, she should pay him the reward as he was the one who found it. Fatty is mad and wants to get violent but thankfully Karuma is here. Do you want to settle this in court? Think not. This event made Mitsurugi firmly want to be a prosecutor. Karuma cancels that orphanage plan and realizes when he took him in 3 years ago, it wasn’t just out of guilt. It was to see what path this would lead to. Mayoi uploads the lame video online. Yeah, Americans think Japanese lawyers are crazy! However the video has only 1 like! It is hinted Mitsurugi saw it and liked it. So this dude is in USA now?

Episode 7
Itonokogiri barges into Naruhodo’s office to claim a phony has been using his name to defend clients and lost! It’s right here in the magazine?! It happened a month ago! WTF?! Nobody verified this for so long?! Not even Naruhodo knew about it?! They go see the accused and to their surprise it is Mako! At first she is mad at him for his amateurish defending but soon realize how different the phony was. You mean she never realized it then?! Anyway she relates her story. After quitting the force, she worked as a waitress at a café. There was a table with2 customers. She saw one of them lacing a cup of coffee with poison that killed the other. She was so shocked that she fainted. However everyone testified that there was only 1 customer at that table and that the poison was found in Mako’s apron. Mako is sure there were 2 of them as she served them. Naruhodo will get her a retrial. First they visit the café in which the gay French chef, Kaoru Hondobou. His testament is the same except for the fact he forgot to mention a medication bag of the victim in the previous trial! As the retrial begins, the victim, Takao Oka is a programmer and it is believed he was hearing a radio that announced the lottery ticket’s winning numbers. Hence Mako is accused of killing him to steal the ticket that was found in her possession. Also, Godot has examined the medication to be applied as cream and not eaten. Because the day before he got into a fight and busted his left ear. The judge doesn’t see any reason to prolong this trial but Itonokogiri won’t give up (because he’s in love) and has arranged a witness to be cross examined by Naruhodo. Shouhei Igarashi was the only other customer there and testifies the same. However Naruhodo believes he is an unreliable witness because he claims Oka used his left ear to listen to his earphone and left hand to drink from the cup (evidence shows he used his right thanks to the coffee lip stains). Even more so when he couldn’t describe Mako from the front and only from her back, which is very ambiguous. He also can’t identify the ketchup stained apron Mako was wearing that day. The judge postpones his verdict for both sides to find more evidence. As they leave, Naruhodo notices a messed up scooter. Then this hooligan threatens him not to touch it and takes off with it. So this guy is the phony Naruhodo?!

Episode 8
Checking the café again, in the kitchen there seems to be bottles of aromatherapy. But one of them stinks so Itonokogiri will take it back for testing. Naruhodo hears Hondobou talking to Urami Shikabane outside. From what is deduced, it looks like she is from a loan shark company and he borrowed money from her. Then at the park, they see Igarashi sitting around. Since he was pretty annoyed at the retrial, time for Chihiro to pop up and make this pervert talk again. He maintains what he said and also when the murder happened, Hondobou told him to call the cops. So he left the café and looked around for a phone for about 10 minutes. He also knows Hondobou has borrowed money from a loan shark. Naruhodo and Mayoi head there and are greeted by Urami. As they wait, they rummage through the stuffs. No warrants whatsoever. They find a CD and an invoice by the Shikabane Group worth 1.5 million Yen. Also there is this suit that looks like Naruhodo and it is confirmed this phony is the one, Toranosuke Shibakuzou. He is quite the ruffian but is very lovey-dovey with Urami who claims he saved her from a car accident and she owed his life to him. They are forced to leave. Returning to Itonokogiri, he reveals Urami is the only granddaughter of Gonta, the head of Shikabane Group who controls the black market in Japan. Also, Oka had also taken loan under them and as a programmer if he can’t pay back that loan, he would have used his skills as repayment. The CD contained a virus. Going back to Mako, now she reveals there was another customer other than Igarashi: Urami. They go ask her stuffs and even though she claimed Shibakuzou paid her operation in full out of love, Naruhodo can tell he was only doing it because he cannot defy Gonta. His messed up scooter proves he was the one who banged into the car and the expensive invoice, most of it was ‘compensation’. Urami sadly admits she knew it all but wanted to believe it was truly love. Because a person’s life is hanging on this case, she gives Naruhodo a medical papers. As they leave, Shibakuzou returns. He wants to pick a fight with them when conveniently Itonokogiri tackles him. He will handle this ruffian and wants Naruhodo to go save Mako.

Episode 9
Itonokogiri returns with the lab results. The bottle is the ear cream medicine but has unknown fingerprints on it. Trial resumes with Hondobou being called to the stands. As he testifies, Naruhodo calls his bluff. Because of the lottery radio programme Oka was listening it couldn’t possibly ended so soon. Because Igarashi wouldn’t have witnessed the crime then as he was not in the café yet. Naruhodo claims that Mako and Igarashi’s contradicting statements are both true because they both witnessed different events. This means Igarashi witnessed a re-enacted scene. Hondobou admits he helped hide the body but did not kill Oka. However he will not name his employer or he will be finished. Naruhodo believes it is Shibakuzou since Hondobou took out a loan with his company. Shibakuzou is called to the stands and is shown the medical papers. Behind it is written his appointment time with Oka. After Oka was killed, Mako fainted. Oka’s real body was hidden as Shibakuzou pretended to be Oka while Urami pretended to be Mako just to re-enact the scene to Igarashi before putting everything back in order. All this elaborated setup just to frame Mako. Godot argues if Oka had won the lottery, there is no reason for Shibakuzou to kill him as his winnings is more than enough to cover his loan. But Naruhodo points out that it isn’t the money Shibakuzou is after but the virus programme. You see, he also owes Urami’s medical bills that amounts to millions. If Oka won, this means his debts are cleared but this will leave Shibakuzou in a lurch. Had Oka lost, he would have given his virus CD as collateral and this is worth millions! Thus he poisoned Oka and stole his CD. To cover this, he pretended to be a lawyer to frame Mako. But even if Itonokogiri returns with fingerprint evidence it belongs to Shibakuzou, it doesn’t prove his anything because they are supposed to meet and hence the fingerprints are given. But when Naruhodo tries to explain the poison bottle containing his fingerprints, Shibakuzou foolishly denies the one in hand and describes the bottle. How does he know what bottle the poison was in? Even if he claims he saw it in the last trial, this forces him to admit he pretended to be Naruhodo. This stupidity brings an end to the trial and Mako is declared a free woman. Shibakuzou is taken away. He wonders why Urami betrayed him. As a Shikabane, they always get their payback.

Episode 10
I guess they wanted to make a spoof of the Murder On The Orient Express. Naruhodo, Mayoi, Itonokogiri and the judge are invited to ride Silver Star. It is a luxury private train made by Avery Richman from Goldstruck Republic, the typical foreigner who loves Japan that he bought up their railways and made his dream come true. Naruhodo and Mayoi are served by Rick Steam as he explains all the workers on this train are from Richman’s country. The train departs. Mayoi and Itonokogiri are on the same childish level to play some bomb squad game with their toy communicator. Is this allowed? Oh well, dinner time. A blizzard builds up and the train suddenly stops in its tracks. Itonokogiri sees a fireball and is shocked to think it is some human soul. The train starts moving again and it seems they have picked up Richman himself. All the employees now brandish machine guns to take away any communication devices from the passengers. Some are confined to their rooms and those in the dining hall have the ‘honour’ to meet Richman himself as he explains things. You see, he was convicted for murder in an American trial a year ago and is sentenced to death. Gee, how did they go ahead with this Silver Star thingy then without knowing this?! Anyway, Richman conveniently just naturalized as a Japanese and was hence being transported but managed to escape with the help of his people. What he wants is a retrial as all the evidence against him during that trial were false. You mean right here on this train instead of a proper court? Yeah, this train even has a court room! That is why he invited all those related to his case for this ride. He heard of Naruhodo’s heroics and he will be his defence attorney. The prosecutor is Yusaburou Saiga, an American prosecutor. This retrial will be broadcasted to a certain place and in the event if Richman is still found guilty, he will accept the verdict. Mayoi excuses herself to the toilet to contact Itonokogiri who is being grounded in his compartment. After learning everything, he tries to get to the courtroom but a clumsy employee shoots and a stray bullet grazes his arm. When he tries to get to the dining coach, it is missing.

Episode 11
Saiga fills in the details of the trial. Yendol Kanesky was the secretary general of America’s trade federation and was killed on stage while giving his speech at the yearend ceremony. It is believed Richman shot him since Kanesky saw Goldstruck Republic as a threat to America’s economy and wanted to kick him out. When police restrained him, they found the pistol with him. Richman insists he did not have a gun then and although the murder weapon was registered to his name, he claims someone had stolen it. Other witnesses mention a waiter with bandages on his right hand dropping an ashtray before the gunshot was heard. Before that, he also spilled champagne on an old lady in wheelchair. Suspiciously, he followed Richman to get the cloth to clean. That waiter is Gale Gaelic and before they could call him to the stand, a fire breaks out in one of the rooms. After putting it out, to their shock, Gale’s dead body lying there! Meanwhile Itonokogiri is being treated by Regina Locomoti who apologizes for accidentally shooting him (Richman gave specific orders not to harm anyone). He needs her help to contact to the outside world and gives his word he will not tip off the Japanese police who are looking for Richman. Hence he sends a message to Mitsurugi. Saiga insists in preserving the crime scene but lets Richman in since he needs to identify the witness. Upon opening the door, the body is gone! Is the retrial going to be postponed? Naruhodo and Saiga talk. Saiga might be a prosecutor but he prepares cases for indictment and doesn’t stand in court. Learning that Mitsurugi is Naruhodo’s rival, this brings back memories how Mitsurugi was the only one who could defeat him during his law college days. Because of that he ran away to America?! He only came back for a vacation but got this invitation. Mitsurugi is researching the records of Richman’s initial trial when suddenly agents tell him to come with them to see the chief prosecutor. Mitsurugi can see that there are malpractices of Richman’s trial including strange cross examinations and unnatural evidences. So if they claim America’s justice system is perfect, why summon him here when he is just looking up the records? Actually it is to show the live broadcast of the retrial. Meanwhile as Itonokogiri waits for Mitsurugi’s reply, he hears a thud outside. It is Gale’s body!

Episode 12
Itonokogiri connects to the trial room and shows Gale’s corpse. Teleportation? When he mentions about that fireball soul, Naruhodo and Mayoi remember seeing something like that. When the train went dark, it was to celebrate granny’s birthday. However one of the candles fell and burnt the cloth but was luckily put out. That was probably the fireball. Itonokogiri could only see it because they were at a path where there were several tracks. It was at that moment the coaches changed positions and hence the dining coach is not missing but went to the back. Saiga calls all this pointless but Naruhodo points out he is able to pinpoint Gale’s murderer. It is Saiga. The one they saw in the room is fake and somebody was just pretending to be Gale. When the fire broke out, Saiga went to inspect it first. When they re-examined it later and the corpse gone, the perpetrator was hiding behind the door while everyone was in shock before sneaking. The only person who appeared after that was Rick. With Naruhodo calling out Rick, he apologizes for this betrayal and admitted he was cooperating with the American law enforcement. He was asked to buy a gun with Richman’s fingerprints on it. The killer who shot Kanesky was indeed Gale and he did near Richman to frame him. Even the cops were in on it as they planted evidence in Richman when frisking him. Rick was once again put up to do this as he was threatened by Saiga or else he will expose his betrayal. Although Naruhodo believes Saiga killed Gale during dinner time when nobody was at the passenger coach, what evidence does he have to show Saiga’s motive for killing him?

This is where Mitsurugi comes in. He shows the report that Saiga’s name in charge of building this case. Gale was a key witnessed but during the American trial, he was cancelled by Saiga as an unimportant witness. This is to hide the proof that he was at the centre of the conspiracy. Even America’s chief prosecutor is disappointed at Saiga for dragging their good name through the mud. Even if Saiga says he did as the top brass ordered him to, that is precisely the reason why he will be severely punished. You see, Gale was an assassin hired by the federation. Hence there is no justice in this but only blood money. Cornered, Saiga is forced to tell the truth. When he was invited for this ride, he didn’t expect to see Gale too. They talked and it seems Gale had this idea of turning this into some blackmail stint. However Saiga didn’t want to himself to be exposed and quickly hatched a plan to kill Gale in another coach and hid his body. Gee, this assassin must be pretty rusty to be killed by a lawyer. Because Saiga didn’t foresee this retrial and others would be suspicious of Gale’s disappearance, that was why he wanted some time to prepare and that was to blackmail Rick into partaking in this plan of his to pretend to be the fake corpse. Now that Saiga is apprehended and Richman is pronounced innocent, it’s not over yet because Richman has put bombs on this coach! He has everyone evacuate but will go die himself in this explosion. This is why he rearranged the dining coach to be the last. He is resolved to do this no matter what the verdict was. Although this retrial proves his innocence, he thinks it will change nothing. However the chief prosecutor apologizes for the mistake and vows to give him a fair retrial. Oh my. Another retrial? At least this one is official. And with that, Richman realizes he needs to live and evacuates with the rest. With Itonokogiri is now a train driver and speeds up before the dining coach explodes! I guess we have had enough twists and drama for today.

Episode 13
This 1 hour special tells how Naruhodo became a lawyer. Yeah, he was accused of murder when he was a university student. Kikuzou Nonda warned Naruhodo about the girl he is dating, Chinami Miyanagi. Yeah, she’s Kikuzou’s ex. An argument broke out and Kikuzou ended up dead. Chihiro was tasked to defend Naruhodo and ironically she’s pretty nervous while Naruhodo being quite the chirpy lad. Amazingly, Chihiro devastatingly lost a case a year ago and never set foot in court until today. Man, she sure took a long time to recover. Naruhodo is accused of killing Kikuzou by way of shoving since the latter was holding his cough medicine (Naruhodo is currently sick). But can a fall kill a man? Turns out actually he was killed via electrocution by a nearby broken cable and this is supported by the university lab losing power at that time. Since this doesn’t prove Naruhodo’s intent to kill, the prosecutor then calls Chinami who witnessed the event. I guess she’s so cute that any guys would not hesitate to believe her. Anyway Chihiro finds flaws in her testimony. Because she said everything happened so fast, there is a discrepancy in the time of Kikuzou’s death (since amazingly his watch stopped at the same time). Hence there is a 10 minute gap from the electrocution and time of the stopped watch. Chihiro further accuses Chinami of wanting to frame Naruhodo. Apparently this isn’t their first meeting and Chihiro met her before. Plus, half a year ago, Chinami was in a trial that accused her of poisoning a lawyer. However she was set free as the supposedly poison was not found anywhere. But dumb Naruhodo interjects. He remembers that trial was the day they first met and he fell in love with her. She even gave him a weird pendant. Yeah, this guy wouldn’t shut up about his love and that’s where Chihiro has got Chinami cornered. Chinami poisoned the lawyer and then gave the poison in the form of a pendant to Naruhodo. Because as one who is not related to the case, he was not searched at all. Dumb Naruhodo objects to it all as he can’t believe his love cannot do all this. Especially obtaining very specially made poison. Oh yes she can. Her ex was a pharmacology student and hence had access to all sorts of poison. Dummy lover boy can’t believe it that he runs away!!!! WTF?! Can he do that in court?! Of course the bailiffs brought him back.

Chihiro wants the pendant handed over to be analysed. Guess what? Lover boy swallowed it!!! WTF?! WHAT THE FFFFUUUUU???!!! However, Chinami is b*tch laughing because since he is still alive, this proves it isn’t poison. So did the poison lose its potency after 6 months? Chihiro now desperately telling Naruhodo to tell the truth. So I guess no more evidence so taking his word as the truth? Naruhodo feels bad for acting this way when Chihiro has gone out of her way to defend him. Hence he is going to tell the truth, something he has not told the courts. I see only now his conscious prevails over his boner. When Kikuzou told him to stay away from Chinami, he warned him about some poison she stole. And last night he found some poison stolen too. Naruhodo didn’t believe this and shoved him. He ran away soon after but got worried and returned. He saw Chinami by his body and she told him to keep this a secret. With this, Chihiro puts together the pieces. Because Naruhodo did not want to give her the pendant back, she planned to poison and kill him. It’s the reason why she dated him. To get close to him and poison him. Chinami in b*tch mode now admits she is the killer but without evidence, she cannot be thrown into the slammer. That is when Chihiro shows the definitive evidence of the cough medicine bottle. This is where the poison is. Chinami’s testimony as witness for the 2 guys was a lie. She was the one who cut the cable. It took her some time to move the body and this explains the time discrepancy. She was about to put in the bottle that she stole earlier from Naruhodo but that dummy came back. No choice but to hide the evidence, she left it in Kikuzou’s hand. If she is so certain that there is no poison in here, drink it. At that moment, Chihiro is about to turn into some evil vengeful spirit???!!! But she goes back to her nice girl mode and admits her defeat. She is taken away but warns this isn’t the last she will see of her. Naruhodo is declared innocent and although sad about his love live, he has to move on and is motivated to become a lawyer to help a friend. Chihiro pays a visit to her senior lawyer in coma in hospital. She is glad she has finally avenged his poison case.

Episode 14
Oh no. Not again. This time Harumi broke a giant conch seashell that Mayoi gave her. So she pleads for Naruhodo to help her find this special seashell that seems to be available only at this certain beach and not tell Mayoi. Flashback shows that Harumi and many other women of Kurain Village are forbidden to step outside of the village. Harumi saw a photo of the sea and wanted to see the real deal. Even when Kimiko warned Mayoi not to do it, she secretly took Harumi there. Of course Kimiko found out and was reprimanded, giving Kimiko more reason to badmouth her mom and Chihiro who did the same thing and look what misfortune it brought to the village. Harumi regretted causing her trouble but Mayoi didn’t mind and gave her the seashell to remember this day. As Naruhodo and Mayoi continue to search, they stumble upon a little shrine. Oh look, it’s Mayoi taking a break from whatever ceremony. She relates how her first view of the sea was also here when Chihiro brought her here. Yes, this seashell was from Chihiro to her to commemorate that day. This only makes Harumi feel guilty. So they let the loli run off like that? As they eat ramen, Naruhodo realizes the uniqueness of the seashell is because it is actually a bowl! Hence they buy this bowl and give it to Harumi. However she prefers this old broken one since it holds lots of memories. Cue for cousins to emotional reassure their sisterly love. I wonder if they can get a refund for the bowl. More flashbacks after Chihiro gave Mayoi this seashell. Yeah, she was clumsy and dropped it. Although it was only broken in half. After that Chihiro told Mayoi that she wanted to leave the village and become a lawyer to find the truth about their mom. With a heavy heart, this means she had to throw the village head’s responsibilities to her but Mayoi accepted and will support her.

Episode 15
Going back more in time to witness Chihiro’s first trial. She’s nervous as hell as rookie and it doesn’t help her senior, Souryuu Kaminogi (definitely Godot) leaves teasing hints for her to think through. Anyway, Chihiro is to defend an escaped convict, Michiru Onamida. He is on death row for killing a girl (Chinami?) by throwing her off a bridge into the rapids 5 years ago. He claims he was framed but the policewoman who arrested him then, Yuki Miyanagi testified so. A few days ago, there was an accident transporting the convict. He escaped and wrote a note to Yuki to meet and cleared things up. However she is instead killed. The meeting place was at the same bridge where the murder took place. With Mitsurugi as the prosecutor, Chihiro has a hard time but manages to decently hold her ground. She argues Yuki who was stabbed in the back and bundled into the car wasn’t wearing a white scarf as per instructed so as Onamida could identify her. But Mitsurugi points out a damning photo of them meeting on the bridge and she is wearing a white scarf indeed. He calls the witness who took this photo. Chinami? However she goes by the name Satoko Mukui. Chihiro argues from her point of view, she wouldn’t have known Onamida put the body in the trunk. Hence she accuses her of being the murderer. Because Onamida says he drove off and had no time to put the body in the trunk, this only means that Satoko killed Yuki beforehand and planted her body in the trunk. She was also impersonating as Yuki as in the photo (the camera was on timer) as Onamida could not recognize Yuki and that’s why he wanted her to wear a white scarf as identification. If Onamida had killed her, why not just dump the body in the rapids below? So much easier. This is Satoko’s plan to frame him. Satoko uses her girly innocence to score some points. But what motive does she have to frame Onamida? Kaminogi then points out the girl he killed 5 years ago, Chinami was Yuki’s sister. However her corpse was never found and if she was alive today, she would be around Satoko’s age.

Episode 16
From what Satoko says, it sounds like as though she knows what the memo between Onamida and Yuki states. Because the memo also pinpoints Chinami’s name and to go public with the truth, Chihiro is fully certain that Satoko is Chinami. Chihiro requests Onamida to testify and tell the whole truth. 5 years ago when he kidnapped Chinami, it was actually a setup staged by the sisters. Onamida was Chinami’s tutor and was very much in love with her. As Chinami’s family had an expensive jewel, they thought of staging this kidnapping. The plan was for Yuki to make the transfer but she betrayed him. After Yuki shoots at Onamida’s arm, Chinami herself dives off the bridge with the jewel. Onamida passed out from the shock. He was then tried and sentenced to death thanks to Yuki’s lies. Onamida spent these years wanting to know why she betrayed him. That’s why he broke out to find the truth before he dies. He insists he didn’t kill her. Hence Chihiro points out that Chinami too had a motive to kill Yuki because they were going to go public with the truth. So with her silencing Yuki, it is a trap to frame Onamida and keep the jewel to herself. For the past 5 years, this guilty conscience must have weighed heavily on Yuki’s mind too. So right after Onamida called, she panicked and called Chinami. This had Chinami came out with another devilish plan that sealed Yuki’s fate. Chinami laughs it all off. He calls Onamida’s testimony a lie and that she changed her name because as a kidnapped victim once, she went into hiding. At this point, Chihiro has no evidence to prove the kidnapping was staged. Kaminogi hints to her even if there is no evidence, someone’s testimony can be used. Hence Chihiro needs Onamida to tell the whole truth. First he asks if Chinami betrayed him. Chinami says this only to him: Her life is in his hands. With that, Onamida testifies the person he met on the bridge was Yuki. As for why he came 30 minutes earlier, it was to go to a special place. He and Chinami made a promise 5 years ago and she brought a memento to represent their vow. He went there to get it. At this point, Onamida starts coughing blood. He has swallowed the poison from the memento. How the f*ck did he even bring this into court?! The promise was to trust each other till death. If not, drink the poison. Onamida fears he cannot keep the promise and might kill Chinami. Onamida’s death left a deep scar in Chihiro’s heart. It was a day nobody won nor lost. Maybe for Chinami because she gets to strike again…

Episode 17
Naruhodo accompanies Mayoi and Harumi to the mountains to Hazakura Temple where the latter duo will undergo training to boost their spiritual power. They meet the head nun, Bikini (yes, that’s her name) as well as another trainee, Elise Tenryusai. She is a fortune teller who is also a famous children’s picture book writer. Harumi is a big fan of hers so she is delighted to do stuffs with her. Elise has an apprentice, Mathis who is out painting. Naruhodo and Mayoi then check out the area. Hmm… The bridge looks like a familiar suspicious crime scene… At the inner temple, they stumble into another meek nun, Ayame. Naruhodo is puzzled that she knows him. Mayoi then notices a hanging scroll and is shocked to see her mom’s image. Wait. If she says she recognized it because of the Kurain symbol, what makes she think that’s her mom since she herself said she couldn’t recognize her? Then they meet Mathis. Yahari?! So he dislikes himself and is trying to find a new personality via painting? That night, Naruhodo bumps into Ayame again. He requests she take off her hood. OMG! Chinami???!!! It could be just coincidence since Chinami is still serving time. She gives him her hood as good luck. Naruhodo has a feeling that she definitely knows him and will ask her more tomorrow. However in the middle of the night, a scream is heard. Naruhodo rushes out only to see Elise stabbed by a sword in the back. Thankfully Bikini isn’t another corpse. Just passed out from the shock. She tells him to call the cops. A landline phone near the bridge? But the bridge is on fire. He believes Mayoi is stuck across due to her training. He runs across but the wood gives way. He falls down into the river. Don’t worry, he is still alive and somehow in hospital. Just caught a cold. I don’t know why but he has been looking at Chihiro’s case of this. It seems Ayame has been arrested for murder. But surprise! Mitsurugi returns! Yahari called him and told him (and everyone) that he is dead. Naruhodo wants Mitsurugi to defend Ayame on his behalf. The prosecutor now playing the defence? Mitsurugi sees her in detention. She maintains she has never met all of them before as she has never left Hazakura. She explains she saw Bikini and Elise together after dinner. After that, Ayame didn’t leave her room until the incident happened. Mitsurugi still believes she knows Naruhodo because he acts strange whenever her name comes up in their conversation. Ayame tells the truth that she deceived him 5 years ago and is doing this nunnery as repentance. She might not want to see him again but Mitsurugi points out he is still hurting. Until she tells him the truth. She promises to tell him the truth and Mitsurugi agrees to defend her.

Episode 18
Mitsurugi visits the site and with Itonokogiri’s assistance, he learns the bridge caught on fire because lightning struck it. Elise’s body had bruises, consistent from the fall from her room. Then interviewing Bikini, her statements are in line with Naruhodo. At first she was accompanying Mayoi but because of her bad back, Ayame brought her back to the main temple to rest. When she came back out, she saw the murder incident. Next, Mitsurugi interviews Yahari. However this painter is obviously hiding something and won’t tell. So he runs away. WTF. Also, Harumi has been missing and was last seen in Elise’s room. The trial starts and Mei is the prosecutor. Because a prosecutor can’t be a defence lawyer, hence they changed the judge. WTF?! Can they easily fool him like that?! Isn’t Mitsurugi famous?! Yeah, just say it’s your imagination. WTF???!!! Bikini gives her witness testimony but is quickly overruled by Mitsurugi since it contradicts about Ayame not leaving her room after 10pm and hence never been to the inner temple. Bikini is very sure she saw Ayame because of her usual getup. Again overruled because she gave her hood to Naruhodo. With a warning to tell the truth, Bikini explains at about 11pm she saw hoodless Ayame stabbing Elise from the back. While this might sound like a guilty verdict for Ayame, Mitsurugi objects. If Ayame truly stabbed Elise with the sword, the entire sword would be covered with blood instead of just the tip. This could mean the sword wasn’t the murder weapon and despite Ayame’s fingerprints on it, doesn’t prove her as the murderer. Although Bikini believes in what she saw, she didn’t actually see the murder being committed. She already saw the sword was already in Elise. As for the real murder weapon, Mei argues that there were snowmobile tracks near the river and it could have been thrown in here. The rapid currents make it hard to retrieve. Bikini testifies that only Ayame had the keys to the snowmobile. Because Ayame will not confirm, her silence is confession. But before the judge can hand down the guilty verdict, here comes Yahari to object! He is going to save his beloved Ayame. WTF?! Can he do that?!

Episode 19
Yahari says the snowmobile wasn’t to commit murder but to inform everyone about dinner. Mitsurugi notices a 45 minute gap when the lightning struck the bridge and Yahari calling the police. So Yahari was so inspired by the bridge on fire that he was sketching it?! Yahari reluctantly shows them what he was drawing. The bridge on flames and somebody flying over it?! That’s supposed to be Ayame?! That’s why she didn’t need a snowmobile?! Unbelievable! Yahari also picked up a crystal believed to be from Ayame’s hood at the foot of the bridge. It has bloodstains on it and he thinks Ayame fell and injured herself. Mitsurugi objects to his testimony. Because his drawing indicates Ayame was wearing her hood, unfortunately she gave it to Naruhodo. Also, the crystal is too big to fit on her hood and proof shows it was from Elise’s staff. Mei argues Elise didn’t leave her room that night so Mitsurugi points out the possibility that the murder didn’t take place at Hazakura. She was killed somewhere else, her body brought back to the temple to make it look she was killed there. Sure, it might take 10 minutes from the bridge to the temple but that’s what the snowmobile is for… With this deadlock, this is what Mitsurugi has been aiming for. Due to the inconclusiveness of the case, the judge has to adjourn this session and order a new investigation. With Mitsurugi’s job over, he passes over the baton to Naruhodo. Is this guy okay to do the job? Mitsurugi updates him about the case while he goes investigate Ayame. He felt he has seen her somewhere before. With the bridge fixed, Naruhodo and Itonokogiri head across. Naruhodo finds a new lock at the inner temple. And then Harumi pops up. She feels guilty for what happened and then runs away again?! WTF?! Naruhodo notices curry on the hanging scroll. If that is not bad enough, Godot returns since he will be facing him as the prosecutor. He explains the trick lock can only be open by the person who set it and that was Ayame. Godot then explains how he died once but it took a lot of effort to bring him back. Read: Hospitalization. He hints that without his mask, he cannot see. Investigating the stone lantern, there is no snow around the base and it is believed this is the murder scene. With Mayoi still missing and possibly stuck inside the inner temple that temperatures could reach below freezing levels, Godot accuses he will send another woman to her death. He accuses him of killing Chihiro. Despite the baddie was prosecuted, this will not bring Chihiro back. Godot believes Naruhodo who was there was the only one who can protect her. He hates it when he calls Chihiro his mentor but he robbed his life. That is why he will never accept Naruhodo. Oh Naruhodo, not the time to be in despair now. Then he sees Mayoi’s name on the stone lantern.

Episode 20
Itonokogiri explains because Mayoi’s name was written backwards, it could mean it was written from the victim’s point of view. Hence the police believes Mayoi is the killer. More discoveries as Naruhodo picks up Elise’s pendant and realizes the mark of Kurain on it. Also, an almost burnt note that spells out this crime in detail! Talking to Bikini, he notices her strange way of addressing Elise. Bikini reveals that Elise is actually Maiko! She came here a week ago because she was worried about the bloodline of the main family is dying and was here to stop it. Because only the main family can become the head, there are assassination plots from branch families. Like last year’s case that involved Kimiko. With this revelation, here is another one: Ayame is also Kimiko’s daughter! Not shocking enough? Ayame is the younger twin of Chinami! Damn, it feels like they’re making this up. When Kimiko’s husband realizes they cannot become the family head, he took the twins and left but decided to give one up to look after Hazakura. A short earthquake occurs. Worried Naruhodo heads to the inner temple only to see more locks! Ayame decides to try and unlock them but it will take some time. Come back tomorrow. That night, Mitsurugi returns. He is investigating Elise’s staff and what do you know? There is a hidden sword in it! It’s covered with blood! You mean he never tampered with the staff like he did now with Naruhodo? Off to the forensics. He has also researched about Ayame. However he tells Naruhodo the heart breaking news that Chinami cannot be implicated in this case. Because she was executed last month! Is Naruhodo confused or sad?

Naruhodo then returns to talk to Ayame. Because he knew he talked to her before the bell rang and that she was also seen at the inner temple, this could mean there were 2 Ayames! WTF?! He explains actually somebody channelled the spirit of Chinami by a medium. Impressed with his deduction, she knew about this but never said a thing because as a traitor who was supposed to be part of that fake kidnapping, she was afraid to be implicated and hence don’t want to get in Chinami’s way. This kidnapping was supposed to be Chinami’s revenge against her father who abandoned mom because she couldn’t be the head. Naruhodo asks one last question. Did Chinami say anything about a guy she dated after that poison case? Yes. She hates him. Oh well. The truth hurts. Let’s hope he can get over it for good. Naruhodo then sees Harumi hanging out with Yahari. He thinks she channelled Chinami. The note was written by Kimiko for her. Because her vocabulary isn’t that good, she misinterpreted a line and hence threw curry on the hanging scroll. Harumi reveals she visited Kimiko the last time and was told about this to help Mayoi. Damn, Kimiko planned all this even before being put in prison? However she claims the seal on the note was already broken. Meaning, somebody else read it first. More revelations as Harumi says after dinner, she didn’t go to Elise’s room but went to the inner temple. She was supposed to help channel Chinami’s spirit but couldn’t summon her no matter how much she tried. The only explanation is that somebody else channelled Chinami’s spirit already. Meanwhile Kimiko in prison is relishing that Harumi has done her bidding well without knowing the truth (how does she know? Did Chinami’s spirit report to her?). Once this is over, Harumi will become the next head.

Episode 21
If Ayame will be testifying today, who will be trying to unlock the locks? Mei?! Can she do it?! The trial begins with Godot pointing out Ayame would like to confess to the crime. She admits to being an accomplice of covering the crime up to cover for Mayoi. She lied about not heading to the inner temple that night. When Mayoi was getting ready for her training, Elise showed up and attacked her. She took out a small knife to stab Mayoi but Mayoi stabbed her back in self-defence. Naruhodo objects to her testimony as lies. He shows the staff that has a hidden sword. Also, Elise is Mayoi’s mother. What intention does she have to kill her daughter whom she has not seen for 17 years? Naruhodo is puzzled why Ayame is trying to frame Mayoi. However Godot also shows the small knife with blood on its tip as the murder weapon. The blood is currently being analysed. However Godot panics when he cannot see that blood writing on the stone lantern. Ayame claims she moved the body to the main temple via snowmobile. However Naruhodo points out another contradiction. The bridge was on fire. He has proof that the corpse was ‘flown’ over. Remember Yahari’s drawing? It’s a complete contradiction. Huh? Describing Yahari’s drawing of the bridge is slightly different, it is because Yahari was drawing it upside down as he was sleeping when he saw the incident. This means the ‘flying’ body was actually being swung under like a pendulum. Where to get a string that long? The wires of the suspension bridge is long enough. Furthermore, bruises on Elise’s body as well as her crystal being knocked off from the landing impact proves this. However, who is to receive the body? Ayame. Wait a minute, if she was sending the body, somebody has to be there to move it? That’s right. It’s Ayame. Remember, she was seen by Bikini at the main temple. Are you confused? Naruhodo points out there were 2 Ayames. Hence he claims the Ayame here is not Ayame but Chinami! She might be dead but this is not impossible for those in the spirit channelling trade. Also, Ayame gave her hood to him that night. But at the same night at the inner temple, she was seen wearing it. Showing the burnt note that was written by Kimiko, Naruhodo points out Ayame switched place with Chinami during that short period of earthquake before the addition of multiple locks. That is when Ayame drops the act and reveals herself to be Chinami. Remember me, boys? I’m back.

Episode 22
Chinami doesn’t even try to hide her identity. She’s dead after all. What can they do? When Chinami was in prison, it was easy to see Kimiko as she told her the plan. This entire plan was to kill Mayoi and install Harumi as the next master of Kurain. Chinami agreed to help as she too had a personal agenda against Chihiro. However she died and the only way to get her revenge was on Mayoi. Chinami tells the whole truth. She was materialized about 9.30pm, put on the hood and switched places with Bikini. Taking the dagger from the store, she cornered Mayoi at the stone lantern and tried to kill her. Strangely, she had no memories after that but knew Mayoi stabbed her because she was the one who wrote Mayoi’s name on the stone lantern to cast suspicions on her. The next time she wakes up, she is inside the inner temple’s cave. She couldn’t get out because of the lock and it took her hours. When she finally did, Ayame came by. Chinami forced everything out of her, tied her up and put multiple locks after that. At that point Chinami realized she was under the assumption that Harumi was the one who summoned her. However it then dawned to her it was Elise. How else to explain Elise’s body lying at the stone temple? Mayoi must have felt so guilty of killing her mom that she killed herself by jumping into the river. Naruhodo objects that Mayoi isn’t the person to do all this. Godot receives a call that the locks have finally been removed. They only find Ayame inside. No Mayoi. With Chinami screaming victory, Naruhodo realizes there is 1 possibility where Mayoi is. Who is channelling Chinami now? Definitely not Harumi because she is here in court watching. Therefore Chinami is possessing Mayoi’s body. Chinami is distraught because who could have told her such a plan? Nice timing for Chihiro to return! Via Harumi of course.

Although Chinami claimed she was stabbed by Mayoi, Chihiro says that Mayoi passed out before her. Hence the real killer was the one who stabbed her. Chihiro left a note for Mayoi what to do and the best way to protect herself from Chinami is of course to channel her. She had to do it fast because otherwise it would be Harumi who would have channelled Chinami and it would be very tragic if the loli killed Mayoi. Naruhodo calls Chinami a failure since all her plans ended up that way. Yeah, it happened so many times that it is not funny anymore. They used her own quote against her. Even though it is impossible to punish the dead, Chinami will forever be a weak loser and she lost that chance to redeem herself when she was executed. Chinami is mad but Naruhodo and Chihiro shoo her out of Mayoi. That was easy. The judge is about to hand his verdict to Ayame but Godot objects. Elise’s killer is still unknown. This means putting Mayoi on trial but since she is unwell, the court will take a short recess until she is ready. Naruhodo tries to get Ayame to tell her the truth. She admits she did receive orders to take the snowmobile to move Elise’s body but refuses to say the killer’s name. Naruhodo talks to Chihiro one last time before the trial resumes. They know the killer knew the plans all along and was on the side of the inner temple as the bridge was not crossable then. The rest is up to Naruhodo to think. The judge discloses the blood on the weapons. It is the staff. As for the knife, at least it is not the blood of Elise. The trial resumes and Mayoi is back on the stands. Again.

Episode 23
From what Mayoi says, Naruhodo believes she knows who the real killer is but is trying to protect him. But how can she identify him clearly when there is no light? There are some things you can identify clearly in the dark. Naruhodo has the courtroom off the lights. What do you see? Godot’s visor’s lights! He also deduces that Godot cannot see red colours on white backgrounds, that is why he cleared the snow around the stone lantern. As for his motive to kill Elise, it is rather he protected Mayoi. She is after all the younger sister of his love. Time for Godot to tell his side. He was smitten by Chihiro because of always putting in the effort. It all began going downhill when he got poisoned by Chinami. When he came out of coma, Chihiro was already dead. Hence he only had 2 reason to live. It was to see what kind of man Naruhodo is and to protect Mayoi. After Kimiko got arrested, Godot knew it wasn’t over by a long shot. He went to Kurain and eavesdrop and found that note. He could have destroyed it right away and end it there but he wanted to play along with Kimiko’s plans. That is when he contacted Ayame and Elise to cooperate. The plan would have worked well had Harumi be with Elise that night but instead she went to the inner temple. Hence Elise had no choice but to summon Chinami first. Godot hid himself there just to make sure Mayoi was safe. The rest he leaves up to Naruhodo to finish. Even with Mayoi pleading not to, is she trying to obstruct justice?! Anyway, Naruhodo points out the knife has Godot’s blood. Mayoi objects since he was trapped on the other side, how could he have changed his clothes or hide his wounds? It won’t be impossible if that would is behind that visor! Because Godot saw Chihiro in Naruhodo’s vigour, so he is admitting defeat?! Godot now admits that he doesn’t really hate Naruhodo but himself as he was the one who failed to protect Chihiro. Instead of facing the truth, he ran away and hid behind a mask. Him becoming a prosecutor perhaps wasn’t just to save Mayoi but his own broken soul. He isn’t sure of it now if it was the motivation to protect Mayoi when he stabbed Chinami with the sword and in return Chinami slashed him with her knife. Godot praises Naruhodo for never running away from Chihiro’s death. Is Godot crying blood?! Oh, must be his wounds opening up.

Before the judge hands down the verdict on Ayame, he gives her a chance to say a few last words. She apologizes to Naruhodo about her twins’ despicable act. After all, they only met twice. The first time she gave him the bottle and the second was when she killed Kikuzou. So the 6 months they’ve been dating was actually Ayame taking her place! She didn’t want Chinami’s soul to be further tainted and hence offered to do the job to get the pendant back. However she became impatient when Ayame couldn’t accomplished it. Ayame feels guilty for deceiving and hurting him but Naruhodo has always believed in her. Even now. Damn this episode trying to make us feel the feels with people crying? Mayoi, Godot and now Ayame. So the case ends with both lawyers drinking to a cup of coffee? Cheers! The judge declares Ayame not guilty. Good for Naruhodo, even Mitsurugi congratulates him. Mayoi is reunited with Harumi and Naruhodo’s confidence boosts even further with the voice of Chihiro praising how he saved everyone. Something that she couldn’t. Damn, I hope this doesn’t mean he is the next Jesus Christ! Because if so, igi ari!!!!!!!!!! And Chihiro hoping they would meet again? I hope she didn’t mean when he dies! But don’t you worry. With more court cases coming up, you bet Chihiro will materialize from time to time to deceive the judge help Naruhodo out.

Hung Jury: Verdict Not Returned
May those dead souls rest in peace. I suppose justice is served. Even if God doesn’t bring divine retribution to you, Naruhodo and the Japanese justice legal system will! Even if you’re dead! Haha! Damn, I sure love it if reality really operated in such a way. I suppose Godot won’t be facing his trial in killing Elise because you know, he killed her in self-defence. And because he cried tears of blood that suddenly turn into normal tears (is something spiritual messing with our vision?), I think this gives him a free pass to say that he isn’t guilty of whatsoever and absolve him of his crimes. Yeah, he convinced us enough not for him to think that he would be convicted. Godot sure played everyone. Damn, I sure love if the courts use emotions and feelings to decide!

I wonder why this season had such an odd number of only 23 episodes but I figure that if they split up that one hour special, they would still end up has 24 episodes just like last season. This season feels more like, uhm, how should I put it, like as though everything is related. Especially with many of the characters in many of these cases. We also get a few flashbacks on the past of our main characters and to our surprise, Naruhodo had a girlfriend? Last time I said how this world is so small that some witnesses were recalled twice in separate cases. It also feels the same here with Mako being accused of murder twice! Same detective to work on the case. Same judge. Same defence lawyer. Same verdict. Wow. Is this what you call a precedent?

Hence just like last season, it follows the familiar pattern of how the trial proceeds. You wonder why they can’t bring out the damning evidence and explain it all and instead they present whatever evidence they have now and then one thing leads to another. I know it is for entertainment purposes because everything that has been said or shown will have some sort of consequences that is evident as the next lead in the case. No red herrings. Or at least every dead end clue has a reason to it. Otherwise it’s like wasting your time with unrelated facts. Everything presented is somewhat related, I suppose. I guess it is only logical if you want to get from A to C, you have to get through B first. So once all the evidence and the circumstances are presented in a way that the guilty party has no way out, then comes the verdict. Wow. If only real life cases were this simple and easy.

And I’m starting to see the power of igi ari. Because when you nail the person giving testimony, you can see such superb special effects that blow the person away! Yeah, everyone has their own special unique reactions but I guess the more damning your counter evidence to the lies, the greater the effects will be so much so that a hurricane can blow and destroy the courtroom! And then be fixed back to normal in the next scene like as though everything never happened. Must be all imagination, huh? No wonder the lawyers are waiting for this chance to point out igi ari. Yeah, but it gets unbelievable with spirit mediums now trying to cheat the law. Are there law provisions for the dead?

Chinami feels like the biggest link and factor linking to almost everything that had happened this season and what probably led to her ultimate defeat. She feels like the ghost of the past that keeps haunting you forever. Hence she is this season’s biggest antagonist and thorn in the side of justice since the final arc is the longest trial in the series, spanning 7 episodes (most trial arcs only last the most at 4 episodes). How convenient. She had a twin to fool us and pull a fast one. But I saw it coming from a mile away when Mayoi went ‘missing’ in the last trial arc and it wasn’t really Ayame on the stands. Uh huh. If I was the lawyer, that trial would have only lasted 1 episode as I would have pointed out Mayoi was being possessed by Chinami who isn’t Ayame on trial. But then again, I would have been chided for lack of evidence for that conclusion. I suppose my guts aren’t conclusive evidence enough. I wonder if Kimiko the great mastermind has another plan up her sleeve seeing this one failed. Like as though she saw her first plan failed and quickly made this backup plan just in case. And what if Plan B also failed? Maybe she too thought of having Plan C… Yeah… Please don’t let her be executed and come back as another vengeful spirit as the ultimate move. We’ve had enough of that this season already.

But you know, it really gets a bit silly with the final trial that they bring in spiritual factors as evidence but then again, logic isn’t supposed to be the strongest evidence here. Get what I mean? Remember, in the court of law, evidence is all that counts and most important. Therefore whoever has the evidence and the better logical argument of it has a better chance in winning the case. So with such spiritual factors being hauled into the trial, not to say it is all BS, crap and illogical. At least in this world’s setting, the existence of spirit mediums and channelling are valid. All that is left is to connect the dots. Yup. Going by this logic, you can still charge a ghost with murder so long you can present your evidence and convey your points. After all, this isn’t the weirdest thing that has happened in the courts for this series.

Having said that, I still feel the courts here are somewhat of a joke. So much so that people don’t really take this seriously and the courts feel more like a place where people come in to discuss what happened. Uh huh. We see almost everybody acting so disrespectful while the court is in session that you wonder if the circus is in town. Uh huh. Witnesses (AKA clowns) who can even tell off the judge or barge into the middle of a testimony, Mei still whipping everything, Godot even drinking coffee and getting his cuppa like as though some hidden bartender slide it into his hands. All this would never fly in reality and you would be charged with contempt of court! And everything in the end looks like a spectacle, an entertainment. For us viewers, of course. But if you put yourself in the shoes of these characters, you would soon understand why the courts all look like a big farce. I guess now the judge has seen spirits possessing and leaving a body, why is he not surprised about Chihiro? Oh yeah. Spirits are eternal. Can come back temporarily via medium. Okay. Cool with that. WTF?! As long as you are assertive enough, you can really control the court. Not the judge. Yeah, you be the judge of that. You can fool him all the time if you’re convincing enough.

The biggest slap in the face was my understanding that when you are accused of both crimes and if you are found guilty with a lesser one, you cannot be charged with the other. WTF???!!! Haven’t they heard of the rule of being charged with multiple accounts and crimes?! So they’re saying that if I kill somebody but have no proof to charge me for it and instead charge me with damning evidence that I stole a little boy’s wallet, I cannot be charged for murder? Are they saying I can get away with murder?! Oh my! No wonder we see perpetrators being so confident in courts because they think they can get away with it! And they would if it’s not for that meddling Naruhodo…

Lady luck must be smiling on Naruhodo so many times because he has been freaking lucky to have won all his cases so far. And that lady luck takes the form of Chihiro. Case in point when he lost his memories in the first episode! Damn, he fumbled his way successfully! I dare say he has not lost any cases at all. At least not the very important ones. With his impeccable record, this guy’s reputation would have soared and many would have sought his services. I don’t know about his wealth status but he still looks pretty same. I mean, I don’t really see him riding his bicycle and wearing his mini backpack. But thank goodness his sense of justice is still so great so I suppose he isn’t blinded by money and greed. But overall, Naruhodo mainly remains the same. In the sense that he still panics and looking around thinking hard for clues when the prosecutor corners him. Sometimes Chihiro helps him but more than often, he manages to figure out the contradiction. Yeah, the courts also feel like a big game of objection. This season feels personal since Naruhodo has to deal with his former lover who turns out to be one scheming b*tch whether dead or alive. Thank goodness his sense of justice is strong, eh?

The last time I said Mayoi felt like a useless character. She still is. Still the happy go lucky girl who is always at her own pace and sometimes the way she nonchalantly does things, you can say it might put Naruhodo in jeopardy. If he ever loses a case, there is a good portion that Mayoi is to be blamed. And so Mayoi in this season once more feels like a damsel in distress. Last season she was accused of murder and even kidnapped in that season’s final arc. Now, she went missing and is still accused of murder! Do you not agree with me that trouble should be her middle name? WTF Harumi trying to set up Naruhodo and Mayoi as a couple? I think that would be the greatest disaster ever! Their romance better not happen! Igi ari! I’d rather see the cheesy romance between Itonokogiri and Mako. Hopefully the latter is slowly opening up to this clumsy guy. By the way, since it was the real sweet Ayame that dated Naruhodo, are there chances of them getting back together again? I suppose everyone has moved on. It would have been a different battle and a more complicated one that the law doesn’t cover… ;p.

With Mitsurugi and Mei missing sorely this season, it felt that their temporary return was only so to satisfy fans that they are still around. I mean, these are important characters too, right? Last season saw the rivalry between Naruhodo and Mitsurugi going head to head on opposing sides. This time, Mitsurugi has to abruptly return from his trip to America to side with Naruhodo in a few cases. Yeah, they should already join forces already. At least Mitsurugi had a reason to make his cameo but Mei feels just forced. She was really unnecessary and only for some slight variety. Because if Godot was the prosecutor Naruhodo faced every time, that would be so suspicious. Like as though there are no other prosecutors in the land. Sure, there are but they aren’t as famous or even noteworthy.

Godot as the other new main character, yup another weirdo. Like what I said about almost everything about this season feels related. So Godot is on a grudge mission to defeat Naruhodo because he couldn’t save his junior. That’s very grand of him blaming Naruhodo for something that he could have a slight chance of preventing but how is Godot himself any different? Because for him to let his guard down and got poisoned by Chinami, that says it all. He is no different. Now he looks like some sort of robo knight with those strange visors that supposedly gives him sight. Sure, he finally admitted his mistakes and made his peace with Naruhodo. Was he just playing the villain? Because while I thought of mostly seeing him as one who just wants to get in Naruhodo’s way, but what if all those objections are just a way for him to ‘teach’ Naruhodo to think harder? As I’ve said, Naruhodo still feels like a rookie lawyer and probably that is what pisses Godot off so he has to tell him off he hates his guts for him to improve. I mean, it’s not like Godot is a bad person. Just bitter. Like his coffee. Haha! Oops… Damn, can he still drink coffee in court? Just act a bit tough and scary and the judge will be too afraid to question you. Besides, that other judge we have for ‘variety’, is his brother???!!! Damn, I thought he looks like some bearded troll! Not kidding! Santa guy and troll guy as judges… This is really some f*cked up justice system. Trivial note: I have a theory why Kaminogi chose Godot as his new moniker. As I know kami is Japanese for god. And ki is the general word for tree. Hence, god of tree. God of t. God-of-t. God-o-t. Godot. Geddit?!

This season with Rina Satou helming as the voice of Chinami and Ayame, she really sounds sweet and devilish both at the same time and even depending on which mood she is playing. Next time when I remember her other gentle anime characters like Minami-ke’s Haruka and Sunohara-sou No Kanrinin-san’s Ayaka or her tsundere type character like a certain biribiri character in a certain scientific railgun series, I’d be sure to remember this very devilish and sly character that may send shivers down my spine. And Hiroaki Hirata as Godot, I figured he needs a break once in a while as that Straw Hat Pirates’ cook. As for the art and animation, still weird as usual with some character designs really weird. Like Aiga being some sort of nightmare Pinocchio. And the worst offender of it all: The horrible CGI of the observers.

This season’s first opening theme, Never Lose by Tomohisa Yamashita feels more like some mild techno dance music. Not to say that it is appealing but I guess it is much better than the second opener, Reason also by Tomohisa Yamashita. Because this techno dubstep song sounds so gay! I know the singer’s voice is soft and the first opener also sounds a bit gay but it isn’t as bad as this one. It has gotten bad enough that some of the English words and tune are now stuck in my head!!!! GET IT OUT!!! Even odder, we see all the main characters doing that trademark objection finger pointing pose. IGI ARI!!! MAKE IT STOP!!! Halca sings Starting Blue, the first ending theme. A lively tune with some synthesizer effects. Come to think of it, much better than the gay openings. But I suppose the best one and the biggest shocker is the second ending theme, Beautiful Days by Coala Mode. This is quite a beautiful slow ballad and even though it doesn’t match the frenzy and illogical pace of the series but after all that court madness, I think this is a great song to listen to and wind down.

My overall sentiments for this season mainly still remains the same as last season. Lots of cheesy but fun moments especially how the court systems and the lawyers arguing and duking out feel more like a big showpiece to show how cool you can object. At least they know how to entertain and amuse us with their legal rhetoric and style. Sadly, it wasn’t the contradictions and the truth that awed us ;-). I would want to object to another sequel should the producers decide that another season should be in the works for being an insult to the legal system (heck, like I know anything about it) but I figured my objections would be overruled anyway. Besides, it could be fun to see more igi ari moments from Naruhodo and the bunch of clowns lawyers taking their stand and day in court in the name of justice. Are they making a mockery out of the justice system? Goes to show how complicated the legal system has become. Igi ari!

It sounded so much like a porn title or at least one that is fit for an eroge. Seishun Buta Yarou Wa Bunny Girl Senpai Wo Yume Wo Minai is also a mouthful to pronounce but despite its suspicious title, it has nothing to do with porn or sexual fantasies. Sort of. Despite the very alluring promotional poster of a girl in a Playboy bunny suit (probably that’s what got me to watch this). Instead it deals with Puberty Syndrome. Isn’t that the phase where teenagers go through by being rebellious against their parents, get a tattoo, listen to punk metal music and getting all emo? Sorry. Anime wouldn’t be anime if it based on all that. Maybe. But here, we have dealings with being invisible, Groundhog day, doppelganger, body swapping and personality disorder stemming from amnesia. Yikes. Am I watching the Twilight Zone?

Episode 1
Sakuta Azusagawa is at the library when he sees Mai Sakurajima dressed up as a bunny girl. Is she a ghost because others don’t seem to notice her. Then she notices him watching and tells him to forget what he saw. Can he? Sakuta has his own fair share of ‘problems’ back home because his sister, Kaede is quite clingy to him due to a trauma. But she still can make a witty quip. Sakuta: Damn you’re heavy. Kaede: Because half of it is filled with my love for you! OMG! Buranko! On his way to school, Sakuta asks his friend, Yuuma Kunimi about Mai. She was a famous child celebrity but is currently on hiatus. Ironically, she’s so famous and Sakuta haven’t heard of her? Does he not watch TV? But Sakuta finds it odd that he notices she has no friends at school if that’s the case. Apparently this school has a very strong unwritten law of ostracising people. Once you’re an outcast, you are forever considered one. That is why, Yuuma’s jealous girlfriend, Saki Kamisato telling Sakuta to stay away from him. Not that she is worried if they developed some gay relationship whatsoever. You see, Sakuta has a past reputation of fighting others and landing them in hospital. Saki has to leave in fear that she may be associated with him and become an outcast. At the train station, Sakuta somewhat ‘saves’ Mai from an unauthorized photo that a so called fan wants to take. As they talk, Mai seems to know about his reputation too although he scoffs it off as wild rumours. He never denies them because he thinks it is all part of the flow so it’s pointless to fight it. Now it’s her turn to explain her bunny girl act. She started acting as young as 6 and soon became famous. With everybody looking at her at a celebrity, at some point she wished there was a world where nobody knew her. When she started noticing people ignoring her, she thought it was just a prank. But soon more and more people are starting to ignore her. Hence she is going around places to see if the same thing is happening. I mean, the bunny girl suit is sure to turn heads, right?

Sakuta starts explaining this Puberty Syndrome thingy that has become some sort of an urban legend. To help make her believe what he said, he brings her back to his place and undresses! Rape scene?! Just kidding. It is to show him the hideous scars across his body. He isn’t sure how he got them. Long ago, Kaede got bruises all over her body but it was caused by cyberbullying. Not even physical bullying. It started when she posted on some site and got on the bad side of a popular girl. Everybody started targeting her. Then one day when she came home, Sakuta saw with his own eyes the bruises just popped up on her. That’s why he believes this Puberty Syndrome is real. The truth behind his own rumours is that he was the one hospitalized because one day he woke up bleeding. Sakuta thinks Mai should go back to showbiz and if she is all over TV, people won’t ignore her. But this hit a nerve and she stopped interacting with him since. Sakuta then sees a journalist, Fumika Nanjou who has some info not known to the public on why Mai is on hiatus. Sakuta then sees his senior, Rio Futaba to ask the possibility of suddenly becoming invisible. If it’s not Puberty Syndrome, it could be the case of Schrodinger’s Cat. After a while, Sakuta realizes why Mai didn’t come to school. Could it be nobody could see her now? He rushes home to find her sitting outside his doorstep. Looks like she can’t even buy food now.

Episode 2
Sakuta and Mai shop at the mart. If she is invisible, would others see floating things when she picks up stuffs? Apparently anything she touches becomes invisible too. Sakuta has done some research on Mai and believes there was a rift between her manager who was also her mom. She explains that despite it was written in the contract, Mai didn’t want to do a swimsuit shoot. This made her realize her mom never cared anything for her except making money off her. Even so, Sakuta believes that is all the more reason she should go back to work to clear things up. When she learns he made a deal with Nanjou, Mai warns him about taking the media lightly. He and his family will be hounded. Mai calls Nanjou and wants her to stop publishing pictures of his scar (that was part of the deal). So Mai instead is willing to give her a big scoop that she will return to showbiz soon. As she will be going back to work and have no more time to have fun, their logic is that they will go on a date? On that date morning, Sakuta is on his way when he sees a little girl crying. She lost her mom. He is about to help but Tomoe Koga kicks him thinking this lolicon is going to kidnap her! Realizing her mistake, she wants him to kick her ass back? Too bad the policeman catches them thinking they’re doing something kinky in public. They are released after having their statements taken but Sakuta is already late for his date. Luckily for him, Mai is still waiting but not thrilled.

The date is on but Mai wonders why he is going this far for her. When Kaede had Puberty Syndrome, nobody believed her. Now that Mai is supposedly experiencing one, he wants to be there for her. Mai can tell it is because of a girl. He admits there is a girl he likes. He met Shouko Makinohara and fell in love with her. It is the reason he transferred to this school as he saw her uniform. However there were no such records of her. He still likes her because she got her back on his feet when he was down. Mai shocks Sakuta as she calls her mom here to sign a contract, signalling she would go back to showbiz. However mom cannot see her! She thinks it is Sakuta who called him and is less than amuse of this prank. Heck, mom doesn’t even remember she has a daughter! This is too much for Mai to take so she doesn’t want him to pursue this further. Later when he calls Nanjou, she can’t even remember who Mai is! Sakuta thinks if they go to somewhere faraway, some might still remember her. So technically the date still continues. As they take a train to another town, Sakuta asks random strangers if they remember Mai. Nope. Never heard of her. In the small room they rent, Sakuta calls Yuuma and surprisingly he still remembers Mai. So he calls Futaba in hopes she can help solve this Puberty Syndrome. The room is so small that it isn’t surprising they share the same bed. So they exchange naughty teases if they want to kiss or have sex. It’s not happening. I know. He vows never to forget her and she thanks him for not giving up on her.

Episode 3
Even animals like this cute doggie ignores Mai. So sad. By the time they return to school, Futaba tells him the bad news that everyone including Yuuma has forgotten about Mai. Futaba believes only they haven’t forgotten because they didn’t really sleep (Sakuta couldn’t sleep a wink. He was after all lying next to a girl). Futaba continues her explanation how she is not being observed and hence the entire school is her Schrodinger’s box. There’s more but I don’t really understand. With Sakuta fearing of forgetting Mai if he sleeps, hence he is forcing himself to stay awake. Those energy drinks better do their job. Because Futaba has slept, she has become part of the statistic. Worse, he is in the midst of having midterm exams. I guess everyone is thinking he is burning the midnight oil. Man, he is looking like a zombie. Mai even thinks so and helps him tutor. Eventually he is too tired and falls asleep. When morning comes, he sees a notebook that he has written for himself. A strange bunny girl? It is safe to say that Sakuta has forgotten all about Mai and thinks this diary who wrote is all a bunch of crap. Mai’s name is mysteriously blanked out. Even Futaba gives some not to him. They’re not even sure what this observation thingy is. As Sakuta takes his final midterm exam, suddenly he starts to remember Mai. Some of the buzzwords used during tutoring start bringing those memories back. Ashamed, he runs out from the exam hall and into the field. Then he screams at the top of his voice that he loves Mai! Repeatedly! Boy, this is so embarrassing. Yeah, the entire school must be thinking how desperate this loser is. And then here is Mai. Telling him off how much of a nuisance he is. They talk (cheesy dialogue included to ‘assure’ their love) before Mai screaming at the top of her voice to dispel the fake rumours on Sakuta. Now that Mai is back to the centre of attention, it’s safe to say that now people remember her. In the end, Futaba doesn’t think that scientific methods aren’t really effective when the Puberty Syndrome is caused by teenage instability and warped worldview. As he has proven, a mere confession was enough to turn it on its head.

Episode 4
Sakuta asking Mai to go out with him. Hardly exciting since he has been saying it every day. So she’s like rejecting him every day? She says her upcoming play has a kiss scene. He doesn’t want her to do it. Is he her father now? It seems this isn’t her first kiss as she hints it was with him. Really? Can’t remember. Hints? Not telling. She trolls him if he wants to redo it. Of course. Close your eyes. He just kissed her tamagoyaki. With Sakuta also trolling he is getting less interested because she is showing no interest, she agrees to go out with him. Next day, Sakuta feels weird. Is the day repeating? Everything looks and sounds the same. So with the same conversation with Mai, he manages to do his best trolling. Since she isn’t interested, he’ll find another love. Instantly she agrees to go out with him. Later Sakuta spots Tomoe hesitating to go out with a guy named Yousuke Maezawa. Next day… Same thing! Groundhog day? He sees Futaba for a solution but apparently according to the internet, many others are also feeling they are repeating the day. She explains about Laplace demon. As everything is bound equally under universal laws, by observing every atom and using some formula, you can predict its precise location of anything. However that would require an immense time for observation and it would be useless if you cannot do it within a second. Hence Laplace demon is one who has that knowledge. So for Sakuta to break out from this loop, he must find that Laplace demon who is acting differently than the rest. So could it be Tomoe because she is now hiding underneath the table. However she too is experiencing the loop. But they have to hide since Maezawa is coming in to look for her. It seems her friend, Rena Kashiba likes him but Maezawa likes Tomoe instead. She doesn’t want to be an outcast because of this love triangle. A little struggle from the cramp space occurs as Tomoe falls on top of Sakuta. Maezawa returns and sees this. Not good. And then Mai comes in and sees this. Really bad. Don’t talk to her again. It’s over.

You think Sakuta would not worry as tomorrow will reset itself. Behold! It is 2 days later! So he goes to talk to Futaba and she ends up ranting about being jealous watching Yuuma and his girlfriend since she has a crush on him. What?! But the issue he needs to settle right now is to clear things up with Mai. It was just last month he publicly confessed his love to her. At the café where Sakuta and Yuuma work part time, it seems Tomoe will also be joining them. As Sakuta takes orders from Rena and co, they seriously asking if he is going out with her. They’re worried because this happened so soon right after Mai broke up with him. They warn him if he is fooling around. Later Tomoe wants a favour but Sakuta knows what’s going to happen. He knows she wants him to pretend to be his girlfriend at least until the first term ends. Ironically his reputation didn’t deteriorate after that public confession and is now ‘popular’ among the juniors for his guts! Since Tomoe is afraid of losing her only group of friends, they have to make this pretend date real. So go on a real date? Well, it’s not like Sakuta is bound to anything and is in fact looking forward to have fun. Late that night, Mai rings on his doorstep. Why didn’t he come to explain himself? Damn, you just never know what a woman thinks!

Episode 5
Mai hears his explanations but won’t get mad because he’ll get turned on if she does so. So she really thinks he is a perverted masochist? She still feels something odd for him to do all this. He says Tomoe’s case reminds him very much like Kaede. Since Mai will be away for a while for a commercial shoot, this is not her dress she is giving him to sniff in her absence. Rather it is for Kaede to wear. Kaede lights up and looks like they’re friends now. Sakuta asks Yuuma about Maezawa and it seems he has a girlfriend in another high school and likes to badmouth his exes. Sakuta meet up with Tomoe for their date at the aquarium. She tells him of her past as a plain Jane so he tells her it doesn’t matter what she used to be because all that matters is what she is now. Tomoe wonders why he is doing this for someone he rarely knows. I don’t think kicking each other’s butt is the answer she’s looking for. Even if he is an outcast, why still do so? He likes to be the pillar of support even if the entire world is against him. For Tomoe, she wants to be liked by everyone, at least not hated. Later Sakuta visits Futaba to ask her conclusion about this Laplace thingy. It is believed the looping was caused by her ‘rolling the dice’ until she is satisfied with the outcome. Of course she isn’t aware of this because if she was, she would have been the demon herself. Once again, Saki confronts Sakuta of talking to Yuuma. She’s also complaining about Yuuma hanging out with Futaba. Why don’t you ask them yourself? Time to cut the conversation when Sakuta sarcastically claims she is butt hurt because of constipation! Yuuma then tells Sakuta the bad news that there are rumours that he and Tomoe are f*cking like rabbits. While at the train station, they can hear people snigger this. With Maezawa mocking them, Sakuta sneers back and the jerk punches him. Sakuta fights back but plays dirty that makes him look like a fool. Not so funny now, eh? If you don’t like to be embarrassed, stop doing stupid things. And he makes the boldest declaration that would clear those funny rumours: HE IS A VIRGIN!!! He takes Tomoe and run. For a while there, she really felt like his girlfriend. She also somewhat admits she is a virgin and never had a boyfriend before. Because all her friends said they had one, she too wanted to be in and went with the flow. With Rena giving up on Maezawa, this case is closed. Tomoe wants to repay him. Simple. Just be his friend. It’s not like she could find anybody else, right?

Episode 6
Sakuta wants Mai to tutor him in a bunny suit. She does so! His grade better improve now. Sakuta then goes to date Tomoe before the start of the summer vacation. Yeah, they’re making plans on how to end their relationship. No biggies. Let’s just say he still loves Mai and they had to break up. Day is over, go home and sleep. Next morning when Sakuta wakes up, guess what? He thought it was a joke but it’s not because yesterday is repeating itself again! Groundhog day once more?! It seems Tomoe is unaware of the day repeating itself. Seeing Futaba for an answer, if Sakuta isn’t Laplace then it could only mean 1 thing: Tomoe is lying. So after a couple of more loops and dates with Tomoe, Sakuta decides to do something different. This time their date is at a shrine and after writing their wishes to make their love come true, Sakuta assures he is the only one lying. Then Sakuta wants Tomoe to drop the act. From what I understand, Tomoe might be repeating the day in hopes that he could change his feelings for her. He assures that will never happen if it is a billion times. Tomoe tries to come to terms with her feelings and end this once and for all, hoping they can still remain friends. Then she blames him for being so nice to him and hence these feelings. After all that I hate you, eventually she screams the loudest I love you. Now she can cry her heart out. Now, this doesn’t really make time flow back to normal. Heck, Sakuta realizes time has reset back to when he experienced the first Groundhog day! So everything was just a simulation of the future? Sakuta trolls Mai to be his girlfriend. He trolls and distracts him to give him a peck on his cheek! Don’t push it for one on the lips. Sakuta then sees Mai rejecting Maezawa because she hints she likes Sakuta. He assures he is still her friend but she says it is she giving him the privilege to be her friend. For the rest of the days, everything played out exactly like it happened before. And there’s some scientific explanation from Futaba about quantum entanglement on how Sakuta was the only one in the world to get dragged into this sh*t. Not really understanding this sci-fi crap theory! When Sakuta and Mai are walking home on a rainy day, they see a little girl trying to shelter an abandoned kitten with her umbrella. Sakuta offers to take it in when the girl gives her name: Shouko Makinohara.

Episode 7
Kaede must be conflicted that Sakuta might want an even younger sister than her! Yeah, Shouko is much more polite too. She does come by to visit the kitten. Sakuta sees Futaba (new hairstyle?) about Shouko’s case and she believes it must be that myth of everyone has a doppelganger. While Sakuta is hanging out with Mai, suddenly they see Futaba walking into an internet café. Does she frequent a place like this? They try to find her and since they can’t, Sakuta calls her. She picks up and this is where ‘trouble’ starts. Because Futaba just walked before them and she is not on the phone! Sakuta manages to grab her as she explains how true the doppelganger thingy is. Yup, that Futaba he met earlier was her doppelganger. And it seems the clone is taking over her life and now Futaba can’t go home and hence hanging out here. Sakuta is so kind to let her stay at his place. Will Mai approve? Nope. That’s why she is staying too. Huzzah! Kaede worried his harem is growing… But she will accept his flaws and love him! So if Mai and Futaba will sleep in his room, sorry Kaede, onii-chan isn’t going to sleep with you but in the living room all by himself. So now we get to Futaba’s sci-fi explanation of this quantum teleportation thingy. Don’t get it. Naturally. It seems she thinks she is observing herself and what happens when both are conscious in observing the other? Doppelganger situation. In case of that 2 people cannot exist at the same time theory, after all, Futaba didn’t actually see herself. That night, it isn’t Kaede sneaking in but Mai. Some moments that hint she wants him to kiss her but he blunders and the mood is off. Damn. So fragile? He tries to play psychology that he might fear women if he gets rejected. Don’t worry. She will let him practice as many times until he gets it right. But I guess it’s not tonight. Next day Shouko visits and Futaba sees for herself this little girl. Sakuta goes to school to see the doppelganger Futaba watching Yuuma playing a basketball game. Sakuta learns Futaba fell in love with him when he offered his bun when it was like a warzone for her to get one at the stall. Is that how cheap her love is? Stop with the corny cornet jokes, Sakuta. This Futaba wonders if he thinks she is a fake. He thought so but realizes both of them are the real deal. Later it’s that b*tch Saki confronting Sakuta again. But this time she shows him uploaded pictures of Futaba taking sexy selfies of herself. Is she into some shady business?

Episode 8
Talking to Futaba about this, she says she created an account last summer just to get some attention but realized there was nothing to post about. She started hating herself when her body matured too fast and got the attention of guys. Meanwhile Mai’s agency wants to ban her from dating but she puts that decision on hold so she could consult Sakuta. He agrees with it since she just got back into showbiz so it is better to be the good girl for now. I don’t think that’s the answer she’s looking for but whatever. Now Sakuta talks to the other Futaba and she also says something similar about hating herself. The problem could have been solved if they just go back to being one but they have diverged too far and this isn’t exactly Sakuta’s problem per se. You should solve your own problem. When Futaba receives a very creepy stalker message, she gets scared. She wants Sakuta to stay at her place for a while. She talks about her fear of being alone and was worried when Sakuta got a girlfriend, she would be alone again. The same case when Yuuma got a girlfriend. Sakuta gets this idea of calling Yuuma to meet up with him now by feigning Futaba is in trouble. He really rushes to meet up and this brings Futaba to tears as she is relieved to hear she isn’t alone. Then they play sparklers till morning and Futaba tells Sakuta to save her other self as she is in a much worse position than her. He returns home to sleep but the next morning, he learns from Kaede that Futaba went out shopping but never came back. Since she didn’t take her handphone, I guess Sakuta has to cycle all the way in the typhoon to Futaba’s house to ask about her whereabouts. Yeah, try the school. There she is. It seems she is jealous in seeing that group photo of them playing sparklers. She thinks the world isn’t big enough for the both of them and will disappear since her counterpart is doing a much better job of living. Sakuta doesn’t give a damn and tells her to just come for the fireworks. Just then, Sakuta collapses. He wakes up in hospital and no serious condition. Sakuta then talks to Futaba outside that it is okay to hate herself. It isn’t that his own life is tolerable either. Futaba is interested to go see the fireworks now but Sakuta points out it is not him he should be telling. She sums up her courage to make the call and the moment she says her intentions, she disappears. It seems she called her other self on line and now they are one again. The trio meet up at the fireworks. Futaba whispers something in Yuuma’s ear and the cliché convenient of fireworks make it inaudible to us. But she doesn’t want him to give an answer as she knows what it’ll be.

Episode 9
It’s the start of the new school term but Sakuta has not seen Mai anywhere. When he finally finds her on the streets, she doesn’t recognize him and finds him creepy. That is actually Nodoka Toyohama (from the idol group, Sweet Bullet) and she swapped bodies with Mai. Sakuta can tell this is Mai the way she steps on his feet! You see, Nodoka is Mai’s younger half-sister. Same father but different mothers. Last night she popped up at Mai’s place and didn’t want to go home. Next morning, they realized their bodies were swapped. Until they get back to normal, they must live each other’s life. This means attending each other’s school. I guess they have nothing to worry about since they have no friends so everything will be okay if they don’t talk to others. Sakuta talks to Nodoka about her beef with Mai. Although she looks up to her, she still hates her in some ways. I guess the best way to get it off her chest is to talk to Mai directly. She admits of living in her shadow since young. She is jealous that Mai can do things effortlessly when it takes years for her to achieve the same. Because of that, mom always yells at her she should be able to do the same. So she hates her more? The feeling is mutual for Mai but without the thoughtlessness of their dad, they would never have met. Of course Mai can’t allow Nodoka to stay at Sakuta’s place. This means poor Kaede thinking her brother is really a gigolo bringing another new girl home. As Sakuta watches Nodoka in an acting shoot, suddenly she starts hyperventilating and collapsed. Talking this out with Mai, it could be she realized the insane expectations and burden Mai had to carry and panicked. Sakuta asks Yuuma if he knows what it’s like to have a perfect older sister. So he calls Saki who reluctantly explain about hers. She was the school’s previous student council president (not that Sakuta could remember) and got into a top university. Saki doesn’t like or hate her but finds it annoying that mom always compared her to her sister. Mai gives Sakuta a spare key to Nodoka’s place. He goes there to talk to Nodoka and inform Mai doesn’t care wasn’t worried at all. He thinks she should naturally smile like she did instead of trying to put on a fake smile that imitates Mai. When Nodoka is in the bath, Sakuta is tempted to peek into the tatami closet that Mai earlier warned him not to.

Episode 10
With all the new women Sakuta brings home, Kaede thinks she must do her part of moving forward. So I guess it’s a big step for her to get out of her pyjamas and don her school uniform. Nodoka’s reshoot went well. After 12 takes. With Mai leaving Sakuta a message that father wants to have dinner with him, this prompts Nodoka to ask about his family. After Kaede was diagnosed with Puberty Syndrome, mom couldn’t take it and was hospitalized. Dad went with her and basically dumped Kaede to him. They’re living separately now and because they’re his parents, it’s not like he hates or loves them. When Sakuta meets his dad and ask for parenting advice, dad thinks he knocked up a girl! NOT YET! Dad relates they were at a lost when Sakuta was born as every day was filled with worries and uncertainties. Sakuta and Nodoka are invited to Sweet Bullet’s concert. Nodoka watches in awe as Mai performs flawlessly and even covers a member who slips up. Sweet Bullet announces Nodoka will be the lead vocals of their next single. Nodoka’s heart breaks seeing her mom congratulating Mai and so happy about it. It was a smile she had never seen before. She thinks mom always wanted Mai instead of her. So sad that Nodoka tries to drown herself in the sea! Sakuta had to convince her that Mai doesn’t hate her and can show proof. Inside the tatami closet is a box filled with letters sent by Nodoka to Mai. This is proof she still loves you. Still not convinced? Here’s Mai to explain the rest. Mai was also so busy that she didn’t even have time for herself. When Nodoka was introduced as her sister the first time, she saw the joy of her looking up to her. That motivation kept her going. It all boils down mom’s love is probably due to the hard work she put in. Still complaining? Mai slaps… Sakuta! Can’t damage her face for tomorrow’s photo shoot. When her mom congratulated her after the concert, she could felt she was shaking and was worried the whole time. Nodoka always wanted mom to praise her and make her happy since Mai was only always what she talked about. So be yourself and do what you want instead of what she tells you. Cue for full crying to be allowed now. With Nodoka accepting she doesn’t have to be like Mai, suddenly the duo revert. It’s not body or mind swapping. It felt like the weirdest CGI of shape shifting! WTF! So I guess Futaba’s explanation for the body shape shifting was the sisters envying each other’s position. Sakuta thought his lovey-dovey days with Mai are back. Too bad Nodoka is moving in! Yeah, argument with mom as usual. But more problems at hand. A photo of Mai and Sakuta is circulating. Scandal on the cards…

Episode 11
A press conference is held for Mai to explain. Japanese adults sure love the drama and romance of the young ones, eh? Thanks to Mai being open and cool in handling them, soon this case dies down. Sakuta receives a letter from Shouko to meet at the beach. I’m sure he wants to go but how can he get Mai to trust him he is not cheating on her? How does he show his loyalty? By screaming out I love you in public! Please don’t. Any other ways? How about a deep kiss? Please don’t. Okay, she’ll let him. As they leave, Kotomi Kano who was Kaede’s old friend and classmate needs to talk to Sakuta. Nice guy needs to see this so he has Mai wait for Shouko on his behalf since she recognizes her. Kotomi talks about hoe bullying was a hot issue in their old school. After Kaede transferred out, the bullies received death threats. They too stopped coming to school and this bullying issue died down. Kotomi feels guilty because as Kaede’s friend, she did nothing. She tried to forget about this whole incident and would have until that scandal dating picture of Mai and Sakuta popped up. Sakuta rejoins Mai but since it’s getting late and Shouko not showing up, Sakuta leaves a message in the sand (that he already got a girlfriend!). Hope the waves don’t wash it away. Back home, Kaede has made a list of things to do. It’s admirable considering her case even if most of them are things to do with onii-chan. When Shouko calls, she explains she was sick and also the reason she didn’t visit recently. When asked about the letter, she wasn’t aware of sending any. Kaede braves herself to try and answer the phone from Mai. It literally took all her strength to do so. Congrats! Apparently she wants to be independent because at this rate Sakuta cannot marry! Because girls who marry him must take Kaede as part of the package! Can’t argue with that. But I’m sure Mai would gladly welcome her. Sakuta dreams of Shouko telling him life is a series of trials trying to make you a kinder person. She hopes to become that with each passing day. Kaede makes an even more elaborate plan to walk outside with Sakura. Frequent breaks are the key. Once ready, she clings on tightly to him. Let’s do this. But halfway she wants to give up and before she knows it, she’s already outside. Tears of happiness. One small step for Kaede, one big step for Kaede’s future. Slowly, Kaede is able to ‘exist’ outside in longer intervals. One day frolicking at the beach, that is where Kotomi sees her. Kaede gets scared and doesn’t know who she is. That is when Sakuta reveals a secret to Mai about Kaede: She has no memories of her old self.

Episode 12
2 years ago, Kaede woke up with no memories of everything before. The doctor diagnosed that due to the mental stress, she lost her memories to escape her painful situation. Sakuta knew he was dealing with a different person because everything she did was obviously different to how the old Kaede did things. When he noticed strange bruises randomly on her, at the same time mom was starting to show signs of breaking down. Also, he got that scar on his chest. He was hospitalized but doctor couldn’t find a definitive answer and thought it was self-harm. Depressed, he snuck out of hospital and met Shouko. Her positive words moved him and gave him hope to live. So when their parents moved out, dad hopes Kaede will recover and to take her time because they will always be waiting for her. The problem is, if the old Kaede reappears, what will happen to the current one? When Sakuta hands Kaede a book from Kotomi, there is a note inside saying she wants to be friends with her again. It seemed like some part of her memories may have returned before she collapsed. Kaede is hospitalized but no biggie. Sakuta calls Mai to update her on this and he also believes that the old Kaede may be reawakening and if that’s the case, the new one might disappear. Since Kaede overheard that, she tries to expedite her wish list, especially going to school. It’s hard for her to even walk in public as she is flip flopping between wanting to give up and carrying on. Even if she is so afraid, she still wants to make it to school. Sakuta promises to make that happen but first a little break. He takes her to the zoo. This lightens up her mood. He also gives her a yearly pass for her to come here as many she times she wants. Then they sneak into school at night so she could have a ‘preview’ of what to expect. This gives Kaede motivation that she really wants to go to school tomorrow. Next morning, Sakuta is in shock because he can tell that the way Kaede acts and talks, the old version is back.

Episode 13
Sakuta calls his dad to inform him about Kaede. Currently she is in hospital to be monitored. Though no physical damage but doesn’t remember the other Kaede, the doctor deduces that the gap in memories may destabilize her so it’s best to monitor her for now. Unfortunately it is Sakuta who cannot bear this. He becomes destabilized as he screams and cries his way home. Thank goodness Shouko shows up. The grown up one. She takes him home and takes care of him. Sakuta is so depressed that he isn’t really happy to see this girl again. Hence Shouko reads Kaede’s diary from the day of her ‘inception’. From her observations of her new family to her brother bringing home new girls and the recent list of goals. She knows Sakuta has been regretting the whole time and if she doesn’t do something, he might end up thinking he couldn’t do a thing. She doesn’t want him to have regrets when she disappears. She wants him to be happy and leave lots of memories before she goes. Sakuta still isn’t convinced because Kaede tried so hard and it’s like betraying her hopes. Shouko believes Sakuta is feeling sad proves how important Kaede is to him and how much a big place she holds him in her heart. Sakuta, you can continue crying louder now. Next morning, Sakuta is still like a zombie. Shouko left a note that she has gone. Then a voice recorder from Mai has him calling her to tell what really happened to Kaede. With life slowly seeping back to him, Sakuta realizes that Shouko, both the teen and loli never appeared again. Asking Futaba’s advice on this, she can only deduce that Shouko is his imaginary friend.

Mai takes a short break from filming to visit Sakuta. Though he is happy, she sees that note from Shouko. Oh dear. Mood just sour. No matter how long he explains himself and that nothing actually happened between them, it’s safe to say Mai is still not impressed. She’s going back to work. He’s fine, right? That’s all she needs to know. Man, he sure shot himself in the foot. Looks like Sakuta is going back to depression by being clumsy at work. And a talk with Nodoka, she knows Mai isn’t that petty to be bothered with that. She trusts him. So why? Because didn’t he know it was Mai’s birthday?! If Sakuta rushes now and takes the shinkasen, maybe he can catch up with her… And rush he did. But Mai is waiting to pick him up. With all that spamming from Nodoka, of course. So they go to some place to talk things out. He apologizes. She explains she knew he needed someone to be there for him and that it hurts that it wasn’t her. Sorry for not being there when you needed me the most. Mai trolls him with a kiss but it is just to pinch his cheeks. He likes that, doesn’t he? Kaede is discharged from hospital. She must be embarrassed after reading her diary. But she still wishes to go to school and is not afraid because she is not alone.

Do You Like Horny Bunny Girl Senpai?
Well… That was a pretty normal and anti-climactic ending. Is this considered a good ending? Kaede returns to her normal original self. Hence the final episode is somewhat a 24 minute goodbye from Kaede and Sakuta coming to terms with it. Yeah well, it’s strange he only got to know the real Kaede for like 2 years and he found it hard to part ways. Was this Kaede more fun? Maybe. But super cute! Not too sure about the original Kaede but she sounds a bit mundane. Sure, for us viewers we just got to know her but it remains to be seen if the other one will return. Hence future Kaede will have split personalities and switching forth in between. Heh. I won’t count that out. But I’m gonna seek Futaba for an explanation if I ever get confused on that one.

Overall, the plot and story of this series is really nothing special. It is more of the strange predicaments that the characters are facing that is somewhat the more intriguing part. In a sense, I guess that could be considered the general story but generally it just goes something like this. Sakuta’s normal high school life is interrupted when he notices some sort of irregularity especially with one of the girls he knows or related. They try to figure out what is happening and doing something about it (which isn’t much) and the problem is solved. There. That’s just basically it. Not with a lot of fanfare so some may go, “Huh? That’s it?”.

Hence the strange phenomenon are not actually sci-fi moments if I should say. What do I mean? Although the strange phenomenon the girls experienced in this series may look like some sort of mild sci-fi situations, they are more like inner demons that the girls need to conquer and overcome in order for the problem is solved. That is why I said in my previous paragraph that they don’t really need to do anything much or anything that is too drastic. With Sakuta’s help, a lot of drama, talking and self-realization is all it takes for the problem to literally go away and things reverting back to normal. At least, that is how I see it.

Indeed, the issues at hand that the girls faced may still sound and look sci-fi worthy. However you know me, I am really dumb when it comes to sci-fi moments and stuffs. Although I still continue to watch such series in hopes of ‘getting smarter’. Ultimate fail, of course. They aren’t really that bad but with Futaba using some sci-fi mumbo jumbo, even if it is in the simplest form that dumb viewers like me are supposed to comprehend, I just can’t. My brain just automatically shut off to prevent a meltdown. Really. I believe that such theories aren’t really far-fetched and there are lots of such notions and ideas floating around the internet (too lazy to Google, of course) so I’m taking Futaba’s word that in some sense, the theories are somewhat interesting. Just not interesting to a level that I can understand them. Also, watching these girls experiencing sci-fi phenomenon isn’t anything new. Since it reminded me of Kokoro Connect, another series that deals with strange sci-fi-like situations among a group of high school friends. Also not forgetting the Monogatari series but with way less supernatural elements.

Thus the characters play a vital role in retaining the intrigue of the overall story. As I have said, many have their own issues to deal with and overall if you look at them, they’re just normal and ordinary people with nothing really interesting to their background per se. Even with Mai and Nodoka having some sort of proxy rivalry because of their mothers, this background setting isn’t exactly all that exciting if you think about it. It is just enough as a setting for the sci-fi phenomenon to take place and drive the pace of the arc to last for a few episodes. Because the series likes to plant small cameo hints in current episodes for the next arc (like mini Shouko’s appearance), so I thought Mai would be getting another arc of her own considering the media sounding like they’re going to have a field day with the scandal of her having a boyfriend. Too bad that turned out to be a red herring as it was surprisingly ended as fast as it started. Otherwise we wouldn’t have time for the final Kaede’s arc, I think.

I do find that some of the character interactions to be interesting and hence funny and amusing. Especially Sakuta who is the main character has his own brand of witty sarcasm. He isn’t exactly the most sarcastic guy in anime but saying those lines in his deadpan voice can still be funny. Doubling this ‘comedy act’ is his ‘partner in crime’ Mai especially when they started dating. Can they be one of the best couples in anime? Because they hardly use their emotions and with them being sarcastic to each other, it’s probably the glue that sticks them together (maybe the sex jokes did the trick). Then there’s Kaede who is just as cute as she is tragic. Before her arc, she feels more like a side comic relief character especially with her one liners. I can never forget her comeback of how she commented on her own weight gain as Sakuta thought. Yeah, that was pretty classic. Maybe I’m heavy too because half of it is filled for my love for some 2D waifu… And who could forget how she is always shocked with Sakuta bringing home a new girl in every new arc… Sakuta sometimes being frank or playful with his personality, I guess that is why many girls think he is such a perverted pig. Hence every episode’s next episode preview’s trademark line of calling him one. That’s my Sakuta. A total pig alright. Don’t take it from the girls. Even Sakuta himself said it to himself finally.

Sometimes I feel this series might be a sleeper harem series. Instead of having all the harem girls at once, each is given their own focus when they become the ‘star’ of their own arc. In a way, Sakuta’s harem is spread out throughout the series. But calling it a harem may be a little stretch because it isn’t like all of the girls have romantic interest in Sakuta. Not that I can see. After all, Sakuta helped them out so maybe there is. Or not. Even being Mai’s boyfriend feels pretty bland since Mai is often away ever since she got back into show business. Futaba is more interested in Yuuma, Kaede overly relies on her onii-chan more than anything and Nodoka looks up to her half-sister. There may be some feelings from Tomoe but for now they’re just remaining their status as friends (or at least butt kicking buddies). All in all, these girls are mainly featured prominently only in their arc and in others when they are not, they feel more like background characters. For example, Futaba is just some lonely mad scientist explaining what she interprets the problem Sakuta tells her. Kaede is a stunted little sister with a few traumas (can’t even let phones ring) who relies heavily on Sakuta. Tomoe is just Sakuta’s co-worker at the café and Nodoka the idol. That’s all there is to them.

Probably the TV series was too short to feature all the girls because the only one missing her own arc is Shouko. So far her presence in the series can be considered as baffling and a red herring because we are not really sure if this little girl is the Shouko that Sakuta knows or an entirely different person who coincidentally shares the same name. Or maybe she too is having her own Puberty Syndrome but is put on the back burner as Sakuta solves the others who are more pressing at hand. Or like Futaba puts it, just an imaginary friend. But we see others interact with her. What if all those are just in Sakuta’s mind and point of view? Everything is perception. So she may be some guardian angel of his since she swooped down to him in the final episode just to get him back on his feet when others couldn’t. I guess when Sakuta is there for other girls, who is going to be there for him? Therefore as far as the TV series is concerned, Shouko is still a big mystery. Maybe that is why perhaps the sequel that is coming out in mid-2019 in the form of a movie may focus on this. I thought Saki should have her own arc too seeing she is the only girl who sort of hates Sakuta. It would be interesting to see some sort of sci-fi phenomenon befalling on her because the irony of needing to rely on Sakuta to eventually get out of her predicament. Then she can fall for him. Ah, the tsundere role that every harem needs.

Art and animation feel pretty okay but sometimes I can’t help feel that it is also sometimes a bit bland. I know, characters here do not have strange body part shapes (One Piece comes to mind) nor do they have a variety of colourful hair or hairstyles to really tell them apart. For example, I sometimes get confused when I see Sakuta and Yuuma because these generic guys look so generic that I could be mistaken the other for the other. As for some of the girls, I thought I have seen them somewhere before. Like Saki whom I thought was inspired from To Aru Kagaku No Railgun’s Misaki. Seriously. Maybe that’s why her character is also like that. Then there is Nodoka whom I thought was Eri from Love Live but with less smiles. Coincidentally, looking at Mai brings back memories of Mai from Izumo: Takeki Tsurugi No Senki. Futaba could be To Aru Kagaku No Railgun’s Shinobu in disguise. Just add glasses. I’m starting to think this series may be taking its design inspiration from To Aru Kagaku No Railgun because doesn’t Shouko look like Ruiko? Take away the flowers, Uiharu would actually be Tomoe? Heck, even their school uniform resembles very closely… This series is made by Cloverworks who did Persona 5, Slow Start and the second season of Gyakuten Saiban.

Voice acting, I didn’t recognize anyone except Nao Touyama as Tomoe. I haven’t heard Satomi Satou in a long time so it was a surprise that I just found out she was behind the voice of Nanjou. She didn’t have many lines either too. Maybe I did identify her but did I forget? Huh? Oh dear. Do I have Puberty Syndrome too? Nope. Just a forgetful person :(. The rest of the casts are Kaitou Ishikawa as Sakuta (Iida in Boku No Hero Academia), Asami Seto as Mai (Asagi in Strike The Blood), Asumi Tanezaki as Futaba (Mizore in Hibike! Euphonium), Maaya Uchida as Nodoka (Eruza in Killing Bites), Yurika Kubo as Kaede (Hanayo in Love Live), Inori Minase as Shouko (Hestia in DanMachi), Yuuma Uchida as Yuuma (Yaichi in Ryuuou No Oshigoto) and Himika Akaneya as Saki (Yatsumura in Mahou Shoujo Site).

The opening theme is Kimi No Sei by The Peggies. While this rock outfit isn’t that all bad, I wonder if it is suitable for a dramatic series like this. Considering the pacing of the show, the lively pace of the rock music sometimes feels out of place since the song is a bit frantic itself. Maybe it is supposed to reflect the storm that Sakuta is facing. But the ending theme sounds more intriguing. Fukashigi No Karte has this enigmatic feel infused with some jazzy tone. A song that you would best fit as lounge music. There are a few versions of this song depending on the heroine of the arc (there is a version with all the heroines singing as a group too). Not only the way they sing reflects their character (Futaba sounds very soft and mellowed compared to Kaede’s cute style), the unique thing about the ending animation isn’t just the featured girl walking on the beach but all of them at different time of the day. Did you notice that? Like Tomoe at the break of dawn, Futaba in the dark pitch of the night and Nodoka in the golden evening sunset. Neat.

Overall, I guess this series isn’t your standard harem and romance one. It has lots of heavy dialogue and isn’t a sci-fi masterpiece too but some of the issues we see here is a good topic for discussion because let’s face it, such problems only arise because of how society treats itself (the heavy expectations of society on Mai has her wanting some private time, suppressing feelings made Tomoe unable to express them properly just so she can stay within her circle of friends, unrealistic expectations of a mother pushed Nodoka to be someone else instead of herself, cyber bullying has turned Kaede into a recluse and a totally different person). I have to admit it is mostly boring if not for the strange humour I find in their sarcasm (apparently many commenters online too didn’t find it funny). I know the Monogatari series sounds way better if you want to watch a series with harem girls having some sort of supernatural issue but that is only because it had a long run and so many stories. Otherwise, Sakuta’s normal and quiet high school life didn’t turn out the way he wants and hence, Yahari Ore No Seishun Buta Yarou Wa Love Comedy Wa Machigatteiru. My Teen Romantic Sci-fi SNAFU. Rascal Doesn’t Dream Of Ecchi Romance Comedy. And still, sasuga Sakuta, buta yarou desu ne.

Oh man. Is it really here? The final chapters of Saiki Kusuo No Psi-nan: Kanketsu-hen? Believe it, people. Nothing lasts forever and good things will eventually come to an end. Heh. Looks like we’ve been preparing ourselves for this inevitable day since the second season. So if you still remember that prelude to the final episode in that second season, this is it. Saiki using his psychic powers to save the world or risk another time loop and hence another season? Well, try not to delude myself. I’m no psychic anyhow.

Episode 1A
Saiki and friends are evaluating what they want to do in life. Like Nendou wanting to marry some famous seiyuu… Hairo wants to be a teacher but when Kuboyasu also mentions the same, nobody believes him! Yumehara tries to write down the same universities that Kaidou goes even though it is way out of her league. The power of love will see them through! Everybody tries to guess Saiki’s choices but they feel disappointed they turn out normal. And if you think it is a coincidence that Teruhashi wrote the same choices, well, see the pencil and eraser evidence she left behind?

Episode 1B
Kuusuke has created an exact replica of Saiki, Kusuomega. This means his character is exactly the same. He unleashes it in school and Saiki needs to get rid of it when no one is looking. Too bad this Saiki is attracting everyone. He has to solve this fast because Kuusuke has programmed Kusuomega to run naked through the halls at noon. Luck is on Saiki’s side as Toritsuka has bought his favourite jello. Saiki has him use it as bait to lure Kusuomega to the roof where Saiki ultimately smashes it. Now can Saiki have the jello? Although Kuusuke rues to loss of Kusuomega, at least he has obtained data on Toritsuka.

Episode 1C
Saiki knows something is wrong when Toritsuka is missing for a week. He is actually captured by Kuusuke and being brainwashed to hate Saiki. Kuusuke makes them fight but Saiki easily knocks him out. However this is a ploy because when Saiki knocked Toritsuka out, the latter’s spirit transferred into his body. Yeah, Toritsuka is going to strip naked and run out! Saiki riles up the martial artist ghost that is possessing Toritsuka’s body to hit Saiki’s body. It might not be enough to kick his spirit out, but Toritsuka is back to his senses and destroys the device forcing his hate on Saiki.

Episode 1D
Now Kuusuke faces off with Saiki. Since there is a bomb in this building, Saiki must defeat him while not touching the building and blowing up his friend. Flashback reveals about their twisted contest that started ages ago. Saiki’s powers could have saved the world but Kuusuke thought publishing them would be against his wish so he suggested a contest. If he can take out his controlling device, Kuusuke wins. But as we have seen, Kuusuke has failed to best him despite all his inventions throughout the years. But this rant allows Saiki to flick Kuusuke away and part of the building destroyed. He knows the bomb is fake thanks to Aiura’s fortune telling that she couldn’t see Toritsuka die. Plus, it isn’t like Kuusuke to use a hostage for this fight. But now Kuusuke returns taking the final fight in this cat tank? Yup, he is using his own body as hostage.

Episode 1E
So now it becomes a battle to steal each other’s device to see who the winner is. Saiki has a chance but because he put the device on his crotch area, he is hesitant to take it, hence giving Kuusuke enough time to recover. Saiki is reduced to avoiding as Kuusuke fires, turning the building into Swiss cheese. Saiki is getting tired but the tank replenishes its energy via electricity. Toritsuka saves the day by taking Kuusuke’s device. It could have been Saiki’s win after picking it up and even claiming he let himself exhausted to control his overwhelming strength. But he calls it even by giving him his device since it was made by him and without it, he couldn’t have gotten this far. He is willing to give up his normal life if he causes so much trouble. So goodbye to his high school life! Here’s the real punch line. Kuusuke reveals he turned the device off many years ago! He thought he shouldn’t sacrifice his little brother just to benefit mankind even if Saiki’s powers do that. Besides, no need to go public with his power since he has finished a device to completely erase all his powers! But Saiki isn’t going to use that yet since he has something to do first.

Episode 2A
The usual gang gathers to discuss their much anticipated trip. Even much more anticipated because they’re going to discuss it at Teruhashi’s house! But for the umpteenth time, Saiki has to wonder why he is dragged into this. Not like he is going to go, right? Until he learns they want to go to this Oshimai town. Hey, wait. Are they making a pun of the end?! No matter what Saiki suggests, they keep going back to this Oshimai place. The reason he doesn’t want this place is because there is a volcano called Owari (yup, they’re making puns of it) that is scheduled to erupt and hence causing the deadliest volcano eruption in all of Japan. Saiki agrees as long as it is not on a certain date. Guess what? Everybody is busy except on that date! Now, with everyone wondering if Saiki is really busy on that day and that they’ll have to reschedule, Saiki doesn’t want to be viewed as the guy who ruined the trip and reluctantly agrees.

Episode 2B
So all our gang is here in Oshimai. What a fun day. Too bad the hotel reservations they book is missing. So the blame game begins. Eventually all point to Hairo since he too tried to pass on responsibility! Anyway, are they going to sleep on the streets? Nobody is going to join you in your camp, Mera. But thank goodness Saiko is here. If they prostrate themselves, maybe he’ll let them stay. I think they rather keep their pride. So out of the goodness of his heart, Saiko lets them stay in his deluxe suite hotel! Wow. This guy really had a change of heart. But the day isn’t over for Saiki yet.

Episode 2C
Saiki has called Aiura and Toritsuka to help. Previously, Aiura and Saiki’s clones tried to suppress the eruption but it ended in failure. The plan is for Toritsuka to stand in as Saiki. His pals will see this spirit medium as Saiki’s face. Aiura and Saiki’s clones are stationed at where the eruptions are going to be. The problem of suppressing is that when you suppress one part, the pressure will be moved to somewhere else and no matter how many clones you have, it will eventually explode. So as Kuusuke suggested, teleport the magma out into space! Everything seems to go in order till the final eruption that is too much for the clones to handle. Saiki chips in with his power. He is adamant to end all this today.

Episode 2D
Hooray! Saiki manages to teleport the magma into outer space! But he was so focused on this that he didn’t see what is coming next. His friends all see this. They are confused there are 2 of him. So how did Toritsuka screw up? Well, the friends are already suspecting if he is the real Saiki since he was trying too hard to imitate Saiki. Then Saiko was flying his helicopter over the volcano and saw Saiki. So he thought of telling his friends and bringing them all here. How is Saiki going to get out of this? Toritsuka says they are twins! Yeah, those clones… Sextuplets! With Kaidou hounding Saiki to say something, surprisingly it is Nendou who won’t force his friend to talk. He can tell them when he is ready. Either way, he is still their friend. Will they still be his friend if they force him to talk? Oh Nendou, you sure say the darnest surprising things.

Episode 2E
With everyone agreeing to this, suddenly Yumehara confesses she likes Kaidou. Aiura notes that they will still be Saiki’s friends even if he tells them the truth. Flashback shows in an alternate past, they too didn’t mind after he revealed he was a psychic. For the first time, Saiki opened his mouth to talk to them and a truly nice smile!!! Suddenly Saiki disappears? It seems he leapt a day back to fix things and prevent them from seeing his power. Too bad this means Yumehara’s confession was in vain. Saiki is now ready to use Kuusuke’s device to erase his powers. Only after that he will tell his friends he was an ex-psychic? Too bad his parents are sad he is going to give up his powers. Can’t rely him for errands now, can they? In the aftermath and start of the new school year, Saiki truly lost his powers. He is in the same class and sitting next to Teruhashi! He doesn’t mind because he can’t read her mind but we all can tell that she scored big. When Teruhashi thought Saiki told her to meet at a classroom, she thought it was finally going to be a confession. To her disappointment, all the usual characters are called here too. Looks like Saiki is resolved to reveal his ex-psychic powers. But before that could happen, he freaks out seeing a cockroach, causing the window to break. Oh dear… Could it be still…?

Yare, Yare… Last Hurrah Postponed Due To Unforeseen Circumstances…
Good grief! WTF?! What the heck is this abrupt ending?! I was thinking there was going to be some sort of twist since you know, the series likes to pull a fast one like this many times. However I must say that this feels disappointing. Are they supposed to leave us to our own imaginations that Saiki still has his psychic powers intact and that he backs out of exposing it to his friends? Then everything returns back to normal and status quo and life goes on for Saiki and his friends. The end. Yeah, pretty cliché ending if it does end this way. But as I read on further over the internet, it seems this wasn’t really the real ending. Before the series really ended, there were actually 2 more chapters! So the authors really trolled us, huh? Unless those final chapters get animated, I guess those who don’t read the manga will never know. Is this their way to make those curious of wanting to know the real ending to go buy the final volumes? But then again, they may troll us again by animating them in the future. Or not. I hope it would be the former. Please, please and double please. One more Saiki episode for me?

But as far as this final arc is concerned, I guess they wrap things up nicely albeit not perfect. The spontaneous jokes are still there, the quirky personalities of the weird characters are still there and Saiki being Saiki till the very end until he opens his mouth and talk. So to say that everybody was assuming what he wants or they’ve been hearing only voices in their head? Saiki settling the eternal rivalry with Kuusuke as well as saving the world that in turn proves his friends are really his true friends. You know what they say about the birds of the same feather flock together? I’m sure you noticed that even Saiki doesn’t want to join his pals in many things they do, he eventually does. Somehow. Saving the world, wanting the quiet normal life, avoid his identity being busted are just excuses to cover up that maybe he just wants to hang out with friends. I’m sure nobody here is going to have a drastic change. Saiki will still be Saiki and everybody else will continue to be everybody else in their own peculiar way. Maybe Saiko. He isn’t as snobbish as before. Though he still can be irritating flaunting his riches. Bait to attract friends? Friendships are earned, not bought!

If I really wanted to nit-pick about these final chapters, I would point out that many other characters didn’t make their appearance. For this kind of series, I thought they’d be able to pull off a final scene showing a huge group photo of just about everybody (no, not just in the credits). Yeah, I suppose they did that at the end of the previous season so don’t want to spam it all here in this. For example, Saiki’s grandparents. I thought they are ‘important’ enough to warrant some 1 second cameo. At least Rifuta and Akechi got that. Not that it matters anyway, right? Uh huh. Me b*tching that even if they get a few seconds screen time, I’ll be saying it is better they don’t because they’re insignificant. WTF?! Am I trying to be some contradicting clown here?! Oh, I remember. Good thing Mugami didn’t appear because he’s so annoying… ;p.

Overall, this series has been one funny and entertaining ride from start to finish. I love the short simplistic story with no confusing plots as well as all the bizarre characters that help enhanced the funny moments. It really did what it had to do and that was to make us laugh no matter how silly and impossible it may seem. Now Saiki can carry on with his normal high school life without being worried us viewers are watching and laughing at his every move and decision. RIP Saiki! Heh. Did I sound like I just killed off the main character? But who knows? In the future Saiki may just return just to troll and surprise us. A normal adult life? A dystopian future? An alternate parallel world setting?! Who knows for sure? I’m not a psychic. But I still do keep my fingers cross that Saiki would one day come back just for old times’ nostalgia’s sake. Will he? Yare, yare…

I think Jeanne d’Arc AKA Joan of Arc has got to be one of the most famous female character in western history because from time to time the Japanese would borrow her name and weave her into their whatever story. From Fate/Stay Apocrypha to Nobunaga The Fool and even the obscure Drifters where she is the villain, it’s time again for another Jeanne d’Arc adaptation. This time it is Ulysses – Jeanne d’Arc To Renkin No Kishi. Though it follows closely the historical events, it adds a few other extra things just to spice things up. This time we have got harem, magic, alchemy, fairies and even God Almighty himself coming into the mix. Oh yeah, this is one version of Jeanne d’Arc I would like to see how it all turns out in the end.

Episode 1
It is 1415. England and France are at war. Montmorency prefers to borrow books instead of attending class. As he explains to Arthur de Richemont, his goal is to master the secret art of alchemy to prevent anyone dying from the war. He believes the old guy in the bookstore is the famous alchemist, Nicolas Flamel. But the old fart insists he isn’t. Thus Montmorency has to read all the books to decipher everything, though he still hopes on Nicolas will teach him one day. That night, they sneak out but Charlotte de Valois and Philippite “Philip” Valois Bourgogne also join them. Montmorency claims he has seen fairies at Nicholas’ place and believes they must be connected to alchemy somehow. But in the forest they are being ambushed by English soldiers. Only Richemont can fight. To buy time, the rest pretend Montmorency is an alchemist under Nicolas and threaten to turn them into stone with his Philosopher’s Stone. I don’t think the English understand French… Luckily Richemont despatches her enemies in time. The young ones lament in the crazy time they live in. War is upon them and yet ironically the girls come from different houses (Richemont = House of Brittany, Charlotte = French royalty, Philip = House of Burgundy) but study in the same school. They make a vow to stay as friends even after graduating. Next day, Richemont’s brother, Jean d’Alencon challenges Montmorency to a duel for putting his love Philip in danger. Richemont just kick him in the balls!

Richemont then talks to Montmorency that France and England will fight a decisive battle in which she has been put in the frontlines to save face for the family. Montmorency becomes desperate to save her and seeks Nicolas for help on alchemy but he warns not only the church will banish you but you will forever be alone as an immortal. He is then chased out. The fight rages on and when Montmorency heads to the battlefield in the aftermath, he assumes the worst as he sees Richemont’s broken sword. She has been captured by the English. Meanwhile Philip’s family decide to join forces with the English. Montmorency is even more desperate as he will use alchemy on himself to become immortal. If there is no God, he’ll sell his soul to the devil. After conducting the ritual, Astaroth, the queen of the fairies and guardian of the Philosopher’s Stone pop up. He agrees to be her slave in exchange for power. She mentions great people like King Solomon and Jesus Christ used the stone and achieved great works. They earned the title of Ulysses. Montmorency has it possibly his ancestors was a member of Knights Templar. She warns swallowing the stone as it is will kill him because of the poison. He must find a way to turn it into an elixir and only then his body will be able to withstand the poison. For 7 years Montmorency tried and failed. Yeah, time passes by in a flash when you’re in obsession.

Episode 2
The battle ended with the English winning. Hence they advanced and captured Paris, causing the royalty to flee. With the Burgundy side aligning with the English, the region soon fell into chaos. In a small village in France, Jeanne d’Arc is praying for the war to end with her fairies. Montmorency as the travelling alchemist is here to get some ingredients to help with his alchemy. But with Jeanne interrupting, the slightest wrong mixture causes it to explode. Montmorency is lucky not to have died from it. He and Astaroth argue about the supposed completion of the elixir within 3 years but look how long it has turned out. La Hire and her mercenaries arrive in the village. They are sent by Charlotte to warn and protect them from the invading Burgundy army. However they blackmail them into giving all their food for this protection. Suddenly Montmorency starts drooling?! I don’t think it’s because of La Hire’s boobs but Astaroth points out after so many experiments, he may have absorbed some amount of the elixir and become a vessel himself. However he can’t just eat the stone wholly right now. He will only stay as Ulysses for 3 minutes before meeting a horrible death. Arguing on this too long and the Burgundy side has arrived.

As the village is burnt down, the fairies try to protect Jeanne’s home, only to be killed off! Damn Burgundy f*ckers don’t like cute fairies! Jeanne tries to save them but is also killed. Lamenting if she only had the power to stop wars, Montmorency has an idea. He asks if she truly wishes to live and risk banished from this village forever. He plans to put the stone in her wounds to regenerate her flesh. She won’t be alone, though. He will always be with her. Montmorency breaks the stone in half and puts it into her wound. Then the kissing to transfer his elixir drool. Hot and sweet. Until the immense pain takes over. Once she overcomes that, she turns into an evil super human! Too fast! Too strong! The Burgundy bastards don’t stand a chance! Did she enable some cheat code?! The remaining soldiers run away and she would have gone after them had Montmorency not stopped her. Astaroth explains the stone not only amplifies her powers but her emotions. Jeanne then challenges La Hire a duel to the death (on grounds that she has bigger boobs?). She dares her to shoot her brain to effectively kill her. But this only makes it easier for Jeanne to predict her moves. But Jeanne is a millisecond too late to kill La Hire as the Ulysses effect wears off. Phew. Astaroth further adds that for the power of acceleration for 3 minutes, her arrogance intensified. In the aftermath, Jeanne says goodbye to the villagers as she prepares to leave with Montmorency. La Hire believes she will now be hunted down by the inquisition as a heretic but Montmorency thinks otherwise. She will become a saint.

Episode 3
The French royalty relocated to Chinon and with the French king suddenly dead and other male heirs died in battle, Charlotte ascended the throne. Montmorency spreads the word that Jeanne is a saint sent by God to save France. I guess in desperate times, people will tend to cling on to any hope. Even more so when they think Astaroth is the archangel Michael. Astaroth is of course not amused by being used by all this. She claims Montmorency cannot become a Ulysses and instead turned into an elixir factory. Jeanne’s side effect means she wants to taste his elixir very often. Your excuse to have an indecent French kissing scene. Oh good, the Burgundy army is here. Time for Jeanne to kickass. This is just a ploy by Girard to gauge Jeanne’s time limit as Ulysses. Montmorency sends a letter to Charlotte, requesting her to knight her as a saint. But that letter is intercepted by La Tremoille, the chamberlain of the palace and Montmorency’s cousin. When Jeanne and Montmorency are let into the palace, the latter gets kidnapped and thrown into prison. Guess what? Same prison with Richemont! It seems Charlotte escaped from the English army back here but is arrested for investigating corruption within the ranks. Flashback shows she lost to Henry V in battle. Instead of killing her, he made her his knight. Her plan was to be a mediator but Henry V died shortly after an illness and her plan fell into ruin. Then his heir, Bedford got horny and wanted to rape her (thank goodness he waited for her to mature) and that’s when she ran away. But Richemont is disappointed. She always thought Montmorency would come save her but he did not. He admits he is useless for being unable to save her. But he was running the entire time from the inquisition so that he could keep their promise alive. Elsewhere, Astaroth tries to investigate. She stumbles into La Tremoille’s room, only to see weird creepy dolls. Too bad she gets captured by him.

Meanwhile Jeanne is brought before the queen. Charlotte notes that many has requested an audience with her, claiming they have the power to save France but only embarrassed herself before her double. She laments no one will save France or her. However Jeanne can tell the one at the throne is a double and the real Charlotte in the crowd. How can she tell? The boobs. You mean Montmorency knows his girls’ boobs even when they’re far apart? Was photo invented then?! Talking to Jeanne privately in her room, Charlotte finds out about the letter she never received. She thinks Montmorency was too scared to face her and fled. But Jeanne believes he is not the kind of guy who will break promises. Charlotte still can’t forgive him as she was alone and scared. Even her own mother abandoned her. The talk is interrupted when a bulky knight assassin tries to kill Jeanne. Can she activate Ulysses mode any time? Jeanne easily fights the guy and defeats him despite wearing such heavy armour. After collapsing, Girard reveals himself. His intention is to wear her out and then steal her Philosopher’s Stone as ordered by his employer.

Episode 4
When a peace talk was attempted with Burgundy, Duke John I was betrayed and murdered. With both nations’ ties severely irreconcilable, Philip succeeds her father and is on her way to Chinon for a top secret mission. La Hire and her mercenaries get paid. However she knows this is hush money to not be involved further as Montmorency is captured. La Tremoille sees Montmorency and Richemont. He reveals his plan to end this war via politics. France will surrender its lost territory to England and in exchange secure rights to the land south of Loire River. As Philip will be visiting soon, there is no way for French royalty to survive other than making peace with England. La Tremoille accuses Montmorency for trying to overthrow Charlotte with this saint ruse and end the royal family. Montmorency believes Charlotte won’t give in but Richemont gives him some reality check. After seeing so much bloodshed, Charlotte has become withdrawn and left all the decision making to La Tremoille. Speaking of her, she is in trauma mode as she watches Girard torment Jeanne for answers of the Philosopher’s Stone and elixir. Despite telling the truth, he doesn’t believe and continues to beat her up. Brilliant idea for La Tremoille to let his prisoners out of their cells so he could kill them. Because cue for La Hire and her mercenaries to barge in and cause some havoc. Here’s the money back. Astaroth who was stuck in a bottle was saved by her. Because Charlotte screamed loud enough, Montmorency and co arrive in time. Montmorency is willing to give the stone in exchange for Jeanne’s life. But Girard won’t be fooled as he has heard from Jeanne how it works. So Montmorency covers the stone with his elixir and tosses it to him to devour. However Girard didn’t know the reason why kissing is necessary. Because the elixir evaporates upon contacting with air. Girard’s body soon explodes! Charlotte is grateful to Jeanne because she risked her own life to save her even if they just met.

Good timing for Philip to be here. Greatest reunion timing? Philip talks to Montmorency as the latter believes the war will not end if France surrenders to England. This is because the royalty has so many branches and relatives, everyone will start fighting to claim the throne. All France need is to unite and for Burgundy to become their allies. However Philip is fighting her own inner demons. The ghost of her father, that is. He continues to haunt her to carry on his ambition to make Burgundy the most powerful empire in Europe. We take a detour with Jeanne bugging Montmorency for his elixir. In front of the other girls. Since when did Jeanne has got monopoly over his kiss? WTF is this logic Charlotte has bigger boobs so she can’t kiss him? Philip has decided. She tells Girard is from Burgundy and was acting on his own for her father’s wishes, which is to use the Philosopher’s Stone and make Burgundy the most powerful empire. That’s why she can’t cooperate with them. Montmorency can’t accept this. He tells her about their promise. Not the ambitions of her father. The only thing she did in return is to kiss him! But this is just a sneaky move to steal his elixir. Is that suffice? With Charlotte rejuvenated and rallying her people to fight back, however they lack the military strength. Don’t worry. All you need is Jeanne. With Charlotte’s blessing, the people now believe God has not abandoned France. Let’s drive the English out! Uhm, why does Jeanne’s outfit make her look like a slut? However La Tremoille has ratted out to the church. Even if Charlotte has accepted Jeanne, God (AKA the church) will not allow a heretic to be a knight.

Episode 5
With the death of France’s king, England saw this chance to crown Bedford in the Notre Dame cathedral at Reims to legitimize their rule of France. Hence it is race to crown Charlotte there but they must liberate Orleans to secure a safe passage there. However the tide is in England’s favour and France lost many men. Richemont goes to see Alencon (in the midst of making out with his lovers) to request for troops but he is only delaying and in the end she didn’t get what she wanted. Later Richemont is kidnapped and almost raped had not one of Alencon’s lovers led the soldiers to liberate her. They talk about Alencon being a weak and indecisive ruler. However she tells when Lord Bedford demanded Richemont to be handed over, Alencon opposed this not because it meant they sided with England but rather Richemont is his sister and will not allow it. Even if Alencon isn’t a good ruler, at times he can still be brave on her behalf. Jeanne is handed the sword of the French royalty, Joyeuse in hopes she could rally knights to fight for her. La Tremoille seeks an audience with Charlotte as he hands her a message that the church calls for Jeanne to take a virginity test. Yeah, possible rape by perverted old men. Others of course won’t want Jeanne to go but since Jeanne blames herself for not being able to raise an army, is thinking of going.

Charlotte and Richemont’s relationship is strained as they start blaming each other. The former accusing Alencon for not providing the troops and hence prolonging the war. Then there is also the touchy issue of the Brittany house being annexed. With that, Richemont quits and she hits rock bottom after seeing Montmorency hug Jeanne (to calm and assure her). She feels sad that it wasn’t that she was afraid of losing her purity to Bedford but rather couldn’t offer her purity to Montmorency. More woes as La Hire won’t send her men to fight and die a pointless battle. That night, La Tremoille leads some of the villagers to demand Jeanne take the virginity test. After all, bad rumours have spread that she might have received the power from the devil and Montmorency is a black magician. Montmorency tries to use diplomacy but gets beaten up instead. Jeanne shows up in Ulysses mode to beat them up and even tell them off that she’ll take the virginity test. After she collapses, Montmorency lets everyone know how Jeanne won’t even kill in this mode because of witnessing her sister died in war. She knows a life lost is forever and decided to use this power to protect instead. With the other villagers cooling their heads and accepting Jeanne isn’t as bad as she seems, only La Tremoille rues his ruined chance as he can’t get back his grand chamberlain title and continue with his fairy collection. Thanks to Joyeuse, more knights decide to fight alongside Jeanne. They prepare to march towards Orleans. Astaroth notes this is the first step to end the war and turn the world into a utopia. She calls Montmorency by his full name, Gilles de Montmorency Lavel or Gilles de Rais for short.

Episode 6
In the decisive battle at Orleans, Montmorency must also lead the soldiers to cross the bridge over Loire River as this is where the Tourelles complex sits and a frontal assault will be difficult. Montmorency is reunited with Batard, Charlotte’s younger brother who is forced to dress as a girl since young since she desired a little sister. That’s why he hates girls and is more into men. Like Montmorency. Also participating in this battle is Alencon who views this as a perfect chance to change his reputation as a useless brother. However he is struck down by a mysterious woman who calls herself as Ulysses Noire. Thankfully Jeanne enters the fray to fight her before retreating. With France obtaining victory and the English retreating to Tourelles, the people’s morale is boosted. We take a detour to see Jeanne in her usual raping of Montmorency. Not sure why Astaroth needs to point out the danger of them procreating (because it’s just natural) and hence unlocks some power in his Philosopher’s Stone. An image of the hottest babe ever appears and if he is able to draw this power out to its limit, this hot chick will be his and he shall never desire another human woman again. Montmorency rejects because he believes true love cannot be born without spending time together. With the high morale spirits of the French, this poses another problem as they are willing to go die in the frontlines for Jeanne. Alencon blames Montmorency for this and wants to assume command of this mission. While it might sound logical to use the mob as diversion while their limited forces conquer Tourelles, Jeanne is against this and will not sacrifice the people. She will go alone if needed to. Too bad the French people are already fighting the English army on the bridge. As the battle rages on, the English commanding officer, William Glasdale pops up. This is part of Montmorency’s plan to lure him out so Jeanne could go into Ulysses mode and strike him. However she is struck down by Noire. Uh huh. This is Glasdale’s trap to lure Jeanne so this could happen. Worse, Noire pins Jeanne down and is willing to die together with her (it is hinted Noire is Phillip). Glasdale uses his holy lance that supposedly killed Jesus to rip out their hearts! Because their organs won’t heal when coming into contact with the lance, hence Glasdale is the ideal Ulysses Hunter to exterminate all sorts of monsters. The French are left with a devastated blow seeing their saint dead. Glasdale orders the retrieval of Jeanne’s Philosopher Stone and corpse and anyone who does so will be generously rewarded by Bedford. Alencon grabs Jeanne but Montmorency is still reeling from the shock.

Episode 7
Montmorency is having bad nightmares that Jeanne is dead. He wakes up in Augustine’s Fortress where the French have temporarily seized it from the English during the confusion. But Jeanne is not dead. She is in a comatose state. She still has her head intact although she has lost her heart. The Philosopher Stone is barely keeping her alive. But even if she is revived, they cannot stand the force of the English might and need reinforcement. It is believed they need the mystical sword, Escalibor that lies hidden in the forest of Brittany but Alencon wants Montmorency to request troops from his grandfather instead even though their relationship is strained. Alencon will find Escalibor instead. Montmorency reluctantly returns home and meets up with his cousin, Catherine who is so glad to see him again. Grandpa has no qualms lending him as many men he wants. But on one condition: Marry Catherine. Montmorency refuses and gets beaten up. Gee, old man beats him up like that, Montmorency must be real weak. But Catherine must truly love Montmorency. Love him so much that she really wants his baby! Is this desperation. She narrates that his grandpa known as Jean the Redbeard plotted to marry his grandsons off to girls of wealthy families for their wealth. Wow. How many grandsons he has? But in reality he kidnaps them and brought to his tower where many die from sorrow and frailty. She is one of those girls but luckily for her, Montmorency somewhat ‘saved’ her and they made a vow to become siblings. Gee, that’s a step closer than a cousin, don’t you think? Meanwhile Charlotte pays La Hire in advance her Joyeuse to fight the English at Orleans. Jean is visited by Flamel. He remembers about his warning to kill Montmorency because of his prediction he will bring ruin to the world. Of course Jean didn’t because he is his grandson (is it for the future money?). Montmorency goes to see Catherine. He says he can’t marry her because of the promise he made to Jeanne and the responsibility he needs to take after turning her into a monster. Luckily he didn’t make any promises with Catherine, right? Catherine knows Montmorency loves Jeanne. Even if the world is against him and he still fights to protect her, that is love. I guess Catherine lost out on this game of love as she too is in the similar lonely position as Jeanne. She will lie to grandpa she lost her virginity to him so he can take the troops. After he leaves, Catherine cries as loud as she can. No one can hear her from this tower, right? And what the heck did Flamel lecture about one not being able to change one’s fate except after experiencing love? Is this the cliché power of love he is talking about?

Episode 8
I’m sure Astaroth clears us up about the spelling confusion of Excalibur, right? We’re in France and not in England. Also, they aren’t searching for the sword in particular but its scabbard. Because it will be too dangerous to put the sword and scabbard together. Hence Astaroth hints that she is actually the legendary Lady of the Lake! I want to doubt that because it seems she can’t remember where she hid it in the forest. Can we blame it has been 1000 years? Yeah, she even forgot the trap (I guess it isn’t Stonehenge) she set out to stop pursuers. Until she shows the Philosopher’s Stone did the stones stop moving and those little fairies she appointed to protect it pop up. They don’t remember her so she chastises them to keep a memo or something. Yeah, like she is the one to say. But as the fairies take them to the place, it has already been stolen by Thomas Malory, the princess knight of Wales and the one who is leading the search for Escalibor. She intends to hole herself up on this tree until her search team of 100 men come to rescue her. Batard tries to distract her but Thomas saw this coming and kills Astaroth! Not! Astaroth cannot die as long as she is the protector of the Philosopher’s Stone. Thomas is so shocked that she falls out of the tree! Alencon wants Batard to return with the scabbard while he uses Thomas as hostage to buy time. If he sounds like he is sacrificing himself, he is. Short flashbacks show his goal is to surpass Richemont and this is the perfect moment for it even if it means his death. Astaroth reunites with Montmorency and updates what happens. However his side now has to face off with La Tremoille who won’t allow him to be France’s saviour. Montmorency doesn’t have time for this but is dancing into his palms getting angry as La Tremoille mocks Jeanne. Suddenly Alencon returns! With Richemont and her strong private army! Flashback shows she was passing by and saved him. Thomas immediately had her troops retreated. Alencon thought he would be a laughing stock again but Richemont was proud of him for doing well. Thus Richemont’s side will fight on La Tremoille’s army so that Montmorency could go to Jeanne. Jeanne is given the scabbard and some of the elixir to revive. Kiss of life? Her wounds heal and Jeanne is back. So happy that they hug and she wants to stay like this for a while. Sorry to break you up, but there’s a war going on the outside and the French are losing ground, you know? Care to turn the tide sooner the better?

Episode 9
Jeanne’s voice revitalizes the French to fight back. However the rest won’t let Jeanne back to the battlefield. Because if she dies the same way again, she cannot be revived anymore. You mean the Philosopher’s Stone is only good for 1 use? We see Philip putting on the helmet which is the Holy Grail. She was expected to die when done so but Montmorency’s elixir turned her into a Ulysses and negated that effect. And that damn father’s voice telling her to fulfil her mission before she dies. So with Noire chopping down the French, Jeanne can’t sit back and watch her people die so she stubbornly enters the fray to fight Noire. Because of Noire’s helmet, she can regenerate easily. The rest of the French still motivated, fight on the pave a way to lead Montmorency to Jeanne. English dudes are getting pretty scared how fearsome these ordinary French people can be. Jeanne is supposed to win with her acceleration that Noire and Glasdale can’t keep up. So Noire plays this psychological trick by telling how Montmorency f*cked Catherine just to get the army. How the f*ck did she know?! Was she there to witness all that even if it was just lies? This works like a charm as Jeanne is now mad at Montmorency, thinking he thinks of her as a tool for battle. With her provoked, Noire kicks her into the air where she can’t move so Glasdale and other English soldiers fire their arrow. Can’t tell the real holy lance among them. Can she evade all of them? Just when she is about to succumb to her fate, Montmorency swallows his Philosopher’s Stone and suddenly becomes a Ulysses! As Jeanne’s half is offence, his is defence. With that, he is able to harden air and block all the arrows. Noire pins down Jeanne and wants Glasdale to shoot through them like the last time. Hesitantly he shoots. Although Montmorency tries to block it, his Ulysses effect runs out. The arrow hits Noire’s helmet but not enough force to pierce through. Jeanne manages to crack the helmet as Noire blames her for being loved by Montmorency. The bridge crumbles. I wonder how fast was Glasdale to dive in to save Noire. Luckily for Jeanne, Montmorency got her hand. The end of this battle signals the French’s victory. Montmorency believes Astaroth’s prophecy was off because he didn’t explode and should have ate it earlier. I hope he didn’t jinx it because now he feels something but wait, the entire sky turns ominous! Is this the end of the world? Flamel says love triggered the end of the world?! Astaroth is in shock that several dimensions are opening up. Are these monsters from those dimensions? Is this the effect of the Philosopher’s Stone going berserk?

Episode 10
The Hole of Babylon is opening and the monsters are killing everybody. Montmorency uses his air defence but he can only last for so long. He gets devoured and finds himself in an alternate dimension. He witnesses Astaroth and a human sealing a god in a Void Dimension. Yeah, god is ranting how without him, humans will lose their eternal utopia. STFU and get sealed forever. After that, the human dies (like Thanos’ snap?) and entrusts Astaroth to bring utopia to humans. Now Montmorency is possessed by the freed god (looking more like a demon) as he rains havoc on Earth. So god is an alien? Because he summons his spaceship to fire a laser to destroy the surrounding area! He is going to bring back utopia but must cleanse it of humans. Oh, how can you pray to God when God is now your enemy? Looks like this god has got a grudge with Astaroth. Nice timing for Flamel to show up and regret letting Montmorency live. He thought love will free him and mankind wouldn’t be a slave to fate but looks like he was wrong. Flamel is the last remaining survivor of Temple Knights, an organization by humans to create utopia for humans. They fought to destroy the Philosopher’s Stone but a traitor brought it back and it ended up in Montmorency’s hands. Thinking about it, everything could have been a curse. God demands Astaroth and Flamel won’t hand her over. So he uses his alchemy to fight him? Not going to work! Old geezer gets blown off. God is going to get his revenge over Astaroth’s betrayal. Even though she cannot die as she is the Philosopher’s Stone’s protector, he can kill her forever. Each time Astaroth dies, she resurrects and the killing resumes. Having fun killing her in many ways? Why does it look like a bad rape scene? La Hire isn’t going to sit around and do nothing. She stabs Joyeuse into her own heart and turns into some sort of Ulysses? Her magic bullets are able to fend off the tentacle monsters and will hit anything with accuracy. Her limit is up as she manages to shoot the Philosopher’s Stone out of Montmorency. Too bad the tentacle monsters can take it back. But for that slight moment, Montmorency returned to his senses and wants La Hire to kill him. Blow his brains out. When God resumes control, the Philosopher’s Stones resonate. This causes Jeanne to revive as she beats the sh*t out of God. Actually she is beating the crap out of Montmorency for trying to die. He promised he will not let her be alone and yet he is going to let himself be killed? Jeanne does multiple Super Saiyan punches in hopes of returning Montmorency. Not going to be easy. God won’t permit it. Meanwhile Montmorency is dreaming whereby Jeanne gets burnt by the stake as a witch.

Episode 11
Apparently this God has a name. Enlil. You mean it’s not Zephiroth? Okay. With Jeanne unable to detect Montmorency anymore, she gets mad. Meanwhile Philip continues to hear her father’s voice telling to go forth with her destiny to make Burgundy’s name legendary. F*ck you! With humanity ending, there won’t even be Burgundy left except in history. Philip is back to herself without the helmet. Wow. Did her bust shrink a lot. Philip believes Enlil is now a Ulysses since he absorbed the Philosopher’s Stone to maintain his form via a host, that’s why he didn’t kill Montmorency. This means Glasdale’s lance can pierce through him and Philip is willing to ruin her good name and sacrifice Jeanne for that cause. Philip puts back the helmet and reverts to Noire. Oh man! She just bust up and got her ass thicc!!! Jeanne and La Hire are no match for Enlil as he summons his demons to attack the humans. Wait. He has got lots of alien spaceships in space awaiting his command to fire?! When Noire holds down Enlil and Glasdale fires, Jeanne intercepts! This means Noire gets killed. I guess she has a responsibility to save Montmorency. Yup, she somewhat felt his presence. So this is how she is going to do it. Kiss Enlil! She goes back to the past when Montmorency was a kid believing alchemy could save the world. When Jeanne talks to him, of course he doesn’t know her, is confused and rejects her. Blown into another part of the past whereby Montmorency and his harem made that promise, same thing. Hi, I’m Jeanne. Who the f*ck are you?! Go away! Blown away. Next is Montmorency and Catherine paying tributes of the graves to all the girls Jean kidnapped. This time she just says they can end all tragedies together. Montmorency says they can’t. Next thing she knows, a vision of her being burnt at the stake. This time the real Montmorency explains with his assimilation with Enlil, he is able to see the flow of time including the future. This might be a fake world but he wants them to leave in this eternal peace. This time she rejects him. Even though the world is a sad and bad place, it is still the world she loves because everybody is there. So let’s go back. Uhm, so she’s a masochist? Montmorency fears she will not be there. Well, she’ll be in everybody’s smile. Technically. And so Montmorency returns by pushing Enlil out of his body. Hah! God is no match for a mere human! You mad, Enlil? Well save some because it’s time Montmorency and Jeanne kick you out of their world for good.

Episode 12
Have some elixir to turn you into Ulysses and kick this damn God’s ass back to where he came from! Damn that was easy! I guess it really shows God wasn’t necessary after all. And the ironic part is how the French people are praising to God that He has blessed them. Yeah… With our heroes collapsed, Noire is going to kill them. Can’t blame her. Philip’s bugging father tells her to do so. Get rid of Jeanne or else the English will be in a pinch and this will affect their Burgundy family who assisted them. The clincher: You will never be with Montmorency. It’s sad but Noire can’t do it. Instead she asks Glasdale to shoot and kill her. He only shoots and breaks her helmet. Finally he completes a mission. When Lord Talbot arrives, he is told by Thomas they are to retreat via Bedford’s orders. Talbot thought he could tough it out as the French side is in disarray. Well, not if every French soldier are motivated to fight like martyrs. But what about Jeanne becoming a legend with this victory? Don’t worry. Bedford has a plan… With the English retreating, time for the French to celebrate. Wow. Batard such a hit with the ladies that they want to f*ck him?! But he got so scared and prefers Alencon?! Is this early French gay shotacon? But where are the stars of the war? They’re not at the party. It seems Montmorency is trying to convince a sulking Jeanne after she learns he gave some of his elixir to La Hire. And what’s this about Catherine being his official wife? This battle isn’t going to be won any time soon. But here comes Charlotte kissing and hugging Jeanne for surviving the battle. Is this early French yuri lesbianism? So Jeanne and La Hire got medals for their bravery, huh? Okay. Better than nothing. Charlotte installs Montmorency as the highest general in the French army. He doesn’t want this but she says it is necessary. The French nobles are in disarray and with La Tremoille still alive (albeit wounded from his battle), he will no doubt plot a comeback. He accepts but with a condition she makes up with Richemont.

We see Astaroth trying to do something useful for once: Leaving them! Too bad Montmorency won’t let her abandon her duty so she scolds him for what?! His answer to that is even though he mastered alchemy, he cannot stop time. The present is the only time they can live. Oh, so philosophical. Who you learnt it from? But Astaroth notes she stopped his time when he was a boy. It must have been Jeanne who moved it forward again. Cue for whatever reason for Astaroth to continue following him. Glasdale reports to Bedford about losing Noire but the latter hints he doesn’t believe it. But no time for checking your subordinate’s loyalty. Time for another mission… Philip is sure shocked the helmet is back in one piece. Something about it cannot be destroyed in this realm? Oh boy, here goes her dead father trying to guilt trip her AGAIN into doing his bidding. Yeah, even dragging Montmorency’s name into it. It’s a good thing Philip is tired of it all and walks away. You go (away) girl! Enough of this sh*t already. Montmorency brings Jeanne to see Catherine as requested. Thankfully she is not here to remind about the pecking order of the harem. Instead, Jeanne wants Catherine to be Montmorency’s crying shoulder should he be sad. Next day, Montmorency announces his strategy to head towards Reims to crown Charlotte. This time they will be joined by Richemont who offers to help. Will her majesty allow it? I guess so. As the French army make their way there, I guess it is sooner or later that Jeanne starts asking Montmorency to make babies with her! Excuse for the other girls to chastise him for being a lolicon.

Full Metal Ulysses: Sainthood
So we get a very anti-climactic narration at the very last scene how Jeanne led the French to defeat the English at the Battle of Patay and hence Charlotte was eventually crowned as the ruler of France. I suppose the magic has run out. No more Gods, demons and fairies to help aid in the French’s victory over the English. Oh well, perhaps it is best to end it here. Because at least technically it is still a good and happy ending. An ending where Jeanne doesn’t get burnt at the stakes!

I’m not really into the history of Jeanne d’Arc but I suppose it follows closely to the historical events. Yeah, my lazy Google for a few seconds some time ago has me ‘convinced’ that this is what supposedly happened. Only, this anime added in some supernatural elements so as not to make you feel like you are watching an animated documentary. Heh. So I suppose the plot for this series can be considered pretty okay in my books. After all, I did speculate this might turn into some cheesy harem but thankfully that didn’t happen. It’s not like this series was gunning for total historical accuracy in the first place, right? Because even though all the characters are real but some of them have been given the gender bender treatment. Because cute young anime girls (and traps) are so much hotter than ugly old Caucasian guys. Thanks anime.

So perhaps this series took a different path because unlike in the history of how Montmorency AKA Gilles de Rais screwed over Jeanne and eventually became a serial killer, it turns into some ‘epic’ battle with space aliens. Heh. It just sounds complicated and mind blowing that an alien proclaims himself to be God based on his own dumb views and now he wants to destroy Earth to bring back utopia? I say this alien dude must be an outcast and kicked out from his own society, the reason why he targeted Earth and decided to become the almighty supreme ruler AKA God. If he could lose to humans and their power of love, I guess he isn’t so mighty after all. Yeah, so called ‘best twist’ in the plot ever. Fool me once shame on you, fool me twice… What turned out to be a simple plot of the French trying to throw out the English and gain their people back their freedom, turned into one giant end-of-the-world affair. Jesus Christ not coming down to save you from your sins again.

Eventually Montmorency screws over his harem just to be with Jeanne. Because promises made must be kept. Remember, despite making a promise with his harem during their younger days, it was just to remain as friends. It’s not like they said they all want to marry him, right? Yeah, so Jeanne got the better deal because now Montmorency has to accompany her until she dies. Technically not turning into a wife material (yet) but I guess this is closer than being friends (let those tiny boobs grow first, will you). Him experimenting and dabbling with alchemy for many years and ultimately turning into a vessel serves as an excuse for several kissing scenes but apparently that is how you power up and turn into Ulysses according to this series. And they had to make Jeanne drunk and addicted to his elixir and make her look like some deprived nympho. I suppose that is why they keep using the word ‘baiser’ instead of saying kiss. Because although this French word is a loose meaning of that, it is more often portrayed as a vulgar word to have sex. I think there are topics online to clarify and how not to be confused with sex and kiss because for the latter it should be something like ‘embrasser’. French, people!

Personally, the most useless character in this series as I can see is Astaroth. It is not like this fairy did anything that is so significant after all. All I see her from day one is to provoke Montmorency and complain just about everything. The worst part is that she talks like as though she knows everything but in reality isn’t. She sounds so mighty and know-it-all but when it comes down to the real deal, she doesn’t and just feels like all hot air. Hence putting her role as the protector of the Philosopher’s Stone somewhat redundant. It gets annoying after a while. While she talks big, she is pretty harmless so it was somewhat conflicting to see her killed over and over again temporarily by Enlil because despite finding her irritating, I didn’t really wish for her to be killed. Just hoping she would improve on her behaviour. Too bad Montmorency and Astaroth somewhat reminds me of The Legend Of Zelda’s Link and Navi. Coincidence, no?

Especially the Philosopher’s Stone thingy that Astaroth is supposed to be the guardian of. She won’t tell you its secrets but it always almost comes off rather as because she mostly likely doesn’t know anything about it. Speaking about the Philosopher’s Stone, I don’t really understand how it works and it could make one Ulysses. But apparently if you can split it into half, why not split it into 100 parts? So when that happens, it not only split the offence and defence parts but maybe it will split into more specific departments like the ability to have sex and hit on chicks. Yeah. Really. Damn this Philosopher’s Stone is like the most coveted thing in the world here like the Holy Grail. And I thought those horny men back then only coveted their women. Haha! Oops… Eventually it isn’t just the Philosopher’s Stone that can turn you into a Ulysses but any weapon that sounds legendary and holy enough. Can my grandma’s old toothbrush turn me into Ulysses then?

With Montmorency shifting his attention to Jeanne, I suppose the rest of his harem, I mean, old childhood friends have fallen to the wayside. Like Richemont trying to find her place between the English and French as if carrying the burden of her family name wasn’t enough. Charlotte almost losing her mind as the queen of France and Philip exists only to become an antagonist. Oh my. Such a broken harem, I mean, group of childhood friends. Then you have the supposed fiancée, Catherine still waiting and stuck in the tower back home. I wonder what happens when Jean finds out it was all a lie. Thank goodness pregnancy kits aren’t easily available those days. Oddly, Jean has kidnapped so many girls from nobles, do they not even once tried to send and army to claim them back? Are they that scared of Jean or don’t want their daughters anymore (because male heirs are preferable). If the latter, Jean must have done them a great service. Taking them away and getting nothing in return.

Too bad I felt Richemont was sorely missing in the final battle. I wonder if it could have been epic had she fought along Montmorency and Jeanne against Enlil. Could she have become a Ulysses herself? Nah. Don’t want to get in between them so better fight behind the scenes that we don’t get to see. Do you not agree with me that Philip’s vision of her dead father has got to be the most annoying part of the series? I mean, Enlil is also annoying but at least his context of trying to be God over humans sound funny overall. But Philip’s dad is just like, oh God, how should I put this. Every time this persistent ghost pops up to guilt trip his daughter, I would be going like, “Oh no. Not this sh*t again”. Now that’s what you call truly haunting. I’m so glad Philip walked away from the helmet that started this trouble in the first place. Assuming her father ghost is trapped in there forever. Don’t wear it, no problem. I’m very sure that if she goes back to Montmorency, he will forgive her. After watching this series, we know he is that kind of guy. So don’t worry, let the harem return to its original complete form!

Something about Alencon baffles me. If in this series he is the sister to Richemont, how the heck did he end up being part of the noble ruler of France? In actual history, the Alencon is of French descent but married the daughter of the Duke of Brittany. Wow. The English and French sure do have a long complicated history between them. Especially during the Hundred Years’ war. But here, it’s like they also want to portray him as some useless ruler because of his inaction as he prefers to fool around with his women. At the same time he has got this look on his face that says I-wish-I-wasn’t-here-doing-all-this-sh*t. Providing and raising armies seem to be a pastime during this age and in this series because you see both sides trying to lay siege and hence the need to get more soldiers. I don’t know about the population then but it seemed a hell lot of soldiers on the battlefield each time. Hence characters like Alencon and even Jean feel like a distraction and side plot for the overall series. Just like Batard who feels like the anime needed some trap to distract us. Otherwise, girly boy who proclaims of wanting to be a man can be done without. And now he is a man, what kind of a man doesn’t want to frolic in the arms of busty mature women?! Yeah, you have a long way to go… I think they even purposely named this character so. Yeah, it’s a pun of bastard. Because the character that he is based on, Jean de Dunois was an illegitimate son and thus the nickname Bastard of Orleans.

Despite the characters having the typical kawaii bishoujo and bishonen look, the general atmosphere of the series is mostly dark and gruesome to reflect the medieval and impoverished period. There are also a lot of violence, blood and gore so if you can’t stomach such scenes, feel free to watch something else. Heads coming off, limbs getting cut off and excessive blood overflowing from the corpses are just one of those ‘normal’ things that often happen in war and the battlefield. Really. That’s why their numbers are important so we can see Jeanne the future saint cutting them down in a flash and make us go “Oooooooh…”. The only character design I will ‘complain’ is how Jeanne’s uniform makes her look like a loli slut. I know she is a Ulysses and with that speed and strength, nobody could touch her. But shouldn’t she at least take some precautions and wear some armour? Even sexy armour would do. Okay, maybe not. Because La Hire is so busty and it’s like all the enemies misses her vitals despite her cleavage protruding so much. Thank goodness she kicks ass.

So I suppose it is pure fanservice when they turn Philip into Noire because it was damn unbelievable that she turned from a child-like body to some overly busty and curvaceous babe. I guess it is to hide her identity as Philip when they bring in the Noire character. Because Richemont and Charlotte grew up so busty and it feels like they don’t want to leave Philip behind, hence this sexy armour and helmet trick. Horny guys might want to get this set for their waifus.

One of the most mind boggling and amusing sections in every episode is at the end. The narration of the next episode preview isn’t about the next episode. Instead, the narrator rants about boobs and the likes! It feels so out of place and yet so funny. I mean, the series is already dark and gruesome and then suddenly we have this part relating the wonderful wonder of boobs. Like, WTF?! Don’t blame me. The French nobles dress kinda sexy and showing off their cleavage because before the age of internet porn or even Renaissance art, horny men probably like to look at their women like that. Just maybe. Can we pay more tributes to boobs that are so underrated in this series?! Yeah. I know it’s weird but it’s so funny too. Boobs forever! And then the episode ends with this ‘surprisingly useful French lessons’! In every episode, you are guaranteed to learn a French phrase that has even an advice of when to use it for! An authentic French to pronounce if you don’t know how to pronounce the word. I’ll keep this in mind if I ever want to date a French babe. Je t’aime, mademoiselle!

Although Ryota Ohsaka is the voice of Montmorency, somehow I keep thinking that Yuuki Kaji would have been more awesome helming this character. I don’t know. Is it because Montmorency sometimes closely resembles characters that Yuuki Kaji voiced like K’s Totsuka, Nil Admirari’s Hayato and Tokyo Ghoul’s Ayato. So okay, they’re just hot looking guys. But yeah, I thought Yuuki Kaji would really nail it as Montmorency but Ryota Ohsaka didn’t so a bad job either so I guess that’s okay. The only seiyuu I recognized is Takehito Takeyasu as Enlil.

The other casts are Yuko Oono as Jeanne (Asagiri in Mahou Shoujo Site), Manami Numakura as Richemont (Narberal in Overlord), Saori Oonishi as Charlotte (Eriri in Saekano), Yuuki Takada as Philip (Aoba in New Game), Hisako Toujou as Astaroth (Miko in Animegataris), Shizuka Ishigami as La Hire (Mito in Shokugeki No Souma), Junji Majima as Alencon (Kinji in Hidan No Aria), Hiroaki Hirata as Glasdale (Sanji in One Piece), Yuuki Kuwahara as Batard (Hakua in Shomin Sample), Miyu Tomita as Catherine (Sophie in Tonari No Kyuuketsuki-san), Ayaka Suwa as Thomas (Non in Akkun To Kanojo), Abe Atsushi as La Tremoille (Touma in To Aru Majutsu No Index), Hiroshi Itou as Flamel (Augre in Madan No Ou To Vanadis) and Tessho Genda as Jean (Rudersdorf in Youjo Senki).

The opening theme is Liberation by Mai Fuchigami. Typical anime rock pop but not really to my liking. The one that captures my attention is the ending theme, Hyakunen No Melammu by Rionos. It is basically a slow ballad but sometimes with those hymn voices, it comes off as creepy but at the same time calming. At certain times too, the song sounds like it could be used for a religious ritual. Even more fascinating is the ending credits animation. Well actually, the artwork and sceneries are sketches and water coloured, giving it a unique but also eerie atmosphere. It feels like going through some weird abstract contemporary art.

Overall, a weird action fantasy, it isn’t the greatest but it doesn’t suck badly at the same time. Some no weird out brainer moments but I still enjoyed most of it. Historical accuracy it isn’t because I am very sure that the Hundred Years’ war ended with the English eventually leaving the French alone after being big invading dicks just because of a dispute over the succession of France’s throne. It didn’t end with some cheapskate alien-cum-God apocalypse that would have alleviated Jeanne’s sainthood to godhood. Funny how in Junketsu Maria, God and His angels were like sticking to their guns of non-interventionism in mankind’s petty war among each other, huh? Victory for mankind! Hooray! Oh mon Dieu, ca craint mais que c’est si tellement bon! (Oh God, it sucks but it’s so damn good!). Use it when anime is so crappy that you can’t hate it!

I believe the Senran Kagura franchise is very much popular in Japan and has a steady following till today. But I didn’t really count on having a sequel after 5 years after its TV debut back in 2013. Even if a single OVA 2 years later in 2015, I thought that was just a one off thing. And now, here it is. Senran Kagura Shinovi Master: Tokyo Youma-hen probably would appeal to hardcore fans as well as try to introduce newer ones to the series. I mean, after all these years and finally a sequel? Heh. Not the first series that waited for so many years to have another sequel. Because To Aru Majutsu No Index in that same season started its third season when its second season was way back in 2011! But anyway, maybe the creators need to widen their fan base for this ecchi series. That’s why suddenly out of the blue you have this sequel. The more the merrier, right? Oh, right. The more fans, the more money to milk… ;p.

Episode 1
Asuka and Yumi are out shopping together on Christmas. I guess our shinobi girls also need some time out and act like normal girls. Including buying lots of stuffs. On the other side, Homura’s side is working part time to get that turkey dinner and so as not to skip on their training too, WTF these quick foot tapping technique in public? After Asuka and Yumi are done and ready to head home, they realize a hairband accessory Asuka bought is missing. Time to split up and look for it. An excuse to show off their shinobi skills without the crowd even noticing. Meanwhile the other Hanzou girls are also returning from their shopping but are confronted by ninja girls from Gessen Girls Academy, Gekkou and Senkou. First they ask their thoughts on power and justice. I guess they didn’t like their answer so the only solution? Eliminate them! Yumi has found the lost present and calls Asuka. But looks like the meet up will be delayed as Asuka detects some youma in the alley and destroys them. Gekkou and Senkou mock how she was struggling to defeat the youma and decide that kind of justice is not needed. Yeah. Eliminate! Asuka loses to them as they are stronger and faster. However, upon learning to duo has got rid of her friends (that small piece of cloth was enough for Asuka to identify with?), Asuka gets mad and fights back. Unfortunately she gets beaten up even more. Wow. She really took a pounding there. I’m not sure if this is really the justice they’re talking about because I thought they wanted to eliminate her but just left her defeated there and not even making sure she’s dead or dispose her body.

Episode 2
Yumi can’t concentrate on her training as she remembers Asuka never met up with her. Suddenly an arrow is fired at her. No biggie to stop it but attached to it is an invitation to a spa resort. Obviously a trap but since her Death Cram girls are eager to go, I guess that’s your answer. Meanwhile the Hebi girls are on a mission to kidnap some evil politician, only to be interrupted by Miyabi’s side who is hired by the ugly baddie to protect him. Man, they fight until they’re naked? Until an arrow stops them. It seems Miyabi’s side was also to force this politician to confess his sins so it’s a win-win? Eventually all the shinobi girls arrive at the spa. Swimsuit fanservice galore as they have the entire resort to themselves. Haruka suggests a water gun game. With her special chemicals, the liquid will turn your swimsuit naked. You are out if you become totally naked and the last girl standing wins. Get ready to feast your eyes! I guess this would be all too familiar for those who played the game version of Peach Beach Splash. Eventually it is a draw since all of them got naked. Yeah, we viewers are the real winners! Then Gekkou and Senkou show up. So all this elaborated setup was just to see if they’re willing to participate in the strongest shinobi tournament, Shinobi Masters? So why would they go along with this plan? Because otherwise, these Hanzou girls will die! Now you know why the Hanzou girls never showed up, right? Details to be further furnished, so stay tuned. In the meantime, please hone your skills. You mean of the fanservice kind? Just kidding. As the rest noticed that Asuka wasn’t the only one captured, later it seems Yumi knows where to find Asuka. Glad she is okay, but Asuka doesn’t want her to enter Shinobi Masters. A sunken Asuka realized there is no justice for shinobi.

Episode 3
Asuka attacks Yumi and wounds her before escaping. Yumi is disappointed as Asuka was the one who taught her the meaning of justice. Meanwhile Suzune gives the green light to Miyabi to participate in Shinobi Masters as she is interested to know what Gekkou and Senkou are up to. Yumi talks to Homura about Asuka. They believe she has her reasons for doing so. Hence they are going to participate in Shinobi Masters to not only help the Hanzou side but to fight the best ninjas. Noticing Yumi’s wound, Homura suggests a visit to the hotspring to recuperate. And today’s fanservice of free tits flowing. Don’t mind Murakumo’s tits fondling logic for manga realism. Poor Mirai got insulted with her non-existent boobs. Meanwhile Fubuki has stumbled into the shrine of the Mikagura sisters, Renka, Hanabi and Kafuru. This means Kagura is around. Before they could fight, the loli shows up. Fubuki wants Kagura to participate in Shinobi Masters as the winner will get to fight to ultimate youma. Homura could sense Asuka around. Again Asuka tells her not to participate in Shinobi Masters. Homura somewhat understands her situation and that she wants to save her friends. But the only way they get through to each other is via fighting. And while Homura spouts about strength and friends, ironically it is Asuka who plays dirty tricks to eventually defeat her.

Episode 4
Fubuki proves herself that she could control a youma. Kagura transforms herself into her adult form to fight but everything is so fast that we can’t see. Yeah, we only see ripped clothes! When Kagura asks about Fubuki’s identity, she will only get her answer if she participates in Shinobi Masters. Homura is being treated by her comrades as they contemplate to pull out of Shinobi Masters. Yozakura finds a photo in a yearbook that proves Gekkou and Senkou are a student of Gessen, Yumi’s former middle school. So if you’re wondering why the need to show Yumi’s flashback with her grandpa, Kurokage and all the kindness he taught her, well, Fubuki also has a picture of him. Death Cram girls infiltrate Gessen but since Yumi is super famous, dress up in their school uniform and everyone leaves them alone?! They go about trying to find those sisters. Shiki, Minori and Murakumo talk to other students who praise the sisters as talented in everything as well as friendly. Something feels off, right? Yumi and Yozakura have found the sisters and tail them to the rooftop. Of course they know this stalking and before you know it, they fight. Their other friends come to aid them but Yumi won’t allow the fight to continue for fear this might hurt other students. This has the sisters mention her justice is pathetic. So their view that the weak has no justice is better? They believe they are the ones who will carry on Kurokage’s teachings. The date and venue of Shinobi Masters is confirmed. We see Yumi and Miyabi’s team attending as the sisters host this show that will be streamed live all over the shinobi network. Fubuki makes her opening speech that she organized this tournament and summoned strong shinobi from various schools to compete. Let the games begin!

Episode 5
With Kagura’s side joining Shinobi Masters, that makes the total number of teams participating… Wholly sh*t! Only 3 teams?! Man, I thought there was supposed to be 100 teams. Either the rest of the shinobi schools are not good enough or they just didn’t bother accepting this invitation. Also, Fubuki smokes out Asuka hiding but too bad she didn’t have an invitation so she can’t participate and can only watch. Homura’s side couldn’t participate since Haruka declined as they thought Homura won’t recover. As the rogue shinobi they are, they’re going to sneak in of course. Shinobi Masters is a round robin match. The first match pits Yumi’s side against Kagura’s side in this naked dodgeball. The bomb explodes upon slightest contact (except the special gloves) and gets you naked when it hits you. Ah… Whose team gets their captain naked first, loses. To cut things short, Yumi’s team wins. For the next match, it is Kagura’s side versus Miyabi’s side in this naked cavalry match. The team whose captain falls to the ground loses. But in the end, Kagura deliberately falls and loses the match. Meanwhile Suzune has detected youma appearing in Kikai Dome and all other ninjas have perished. Yup, only students left. No time for this Shinobi Masters. Luckily she stumbles into Homura’s side. They sneak around and find the other Hanzou girls but also realize there is a youma there too. The final match has Yumi’s team facing off with Miyabi’s team in this naked capture the flag game. You fall in the water, you’re naked and out. In short, Yumi’s side wins. But it’s not over yet as Yumi’s team will have to face Fubuki and the sisters. NOW! Yeah, so you complain you have no strength left to fight right now? Doesn’t this prove you aren’t the best shinobi team out there? And now Asuka wants to join in? And Fubuki allows it? When Yumi wants to fight alongside her, Asuka refuses. Time out. Time to talk things out. Yumi gives Asuka that present they shopped the other day. Yeah, more talk about justice, protecting smiles and all. But Asuka still doesn’t look convinced. She just allows her to fight alongside her. Wait. So it’s only Yumi and Asuka against Fubuki’s side? The rest really want to sit this out, huh?

Episode 6
We go back to another flashback of Asuka fighting Yumi. Oh dear. Not another dispute of their version of justice. So logic isn’t part of justice? Because it can’t change one’s hearts? So back to the tournament, Gekkou and Senkou take on Asuka and Yumi. Oh man. Not another ranting about their different version of justice and whatever the f*ck Kurokage’s teachings. So much so we have to return to that earlier Asuka vs Yumi flashback to see that moments before they are seemingly going to kill each other (because Yumi seemed desperate to do it all for grandpa), Kurokage intervened. And now back to the tournament. Oh damn, must we now hear some flashback from the sisters how they have to keep a perfect outlook but their hearts remained unfulfilled. Then one fated day, they stumble upon Kurokage’s diary and teachings and the rest is history. Wow. So touching that Yumi cried. Meanwhile we take a detour of Suzune and Homura’s side stumbling into Miyabi’s team so that they could join forces and face off with the youma. Yeah, this one is so humanoid and it talks! You mean to sound that surprised? Okay, but back to the tournament’s flashback. After Kurokage stopped the girls, he realizes there are things in life that are more important than one’s beliefs. He admits their defeat but it is Asuka who says her side has lost because the world of goodness is now in his arms. Yumi, that is. Hence Kurokage’s last lesson to Yumi is that the definition of justice changes on who you are and what you do. For her, she will be the justice that shines quietly in the night. She will be the justice of the moon. I hope there won’t be any mooning jokes related to this. Anyway, to show how much better our heroines’ justice are, they defeat Gekkou and Senkou and you know it is so when their clothes are blown away and they’re stark naked. With Asuka injuries making her unable to carry on, it’s up to Yumi to face Fubuki. But this leaves Asuka in despair as she worked hard to prevent them from facing off. All in vain?

Episode 7
But first a flashback between Kurokage and Hanzou. During their younger times, they’re like frenemies. Kurokage was also dating Yume at that time. One day, many of their comrades got injured in a trap so Kurokage was furious to avenge them. Despite warnings that his rage and hatred isn’t justice, Kurokage didn’t listen and went on to kill evil ninjas. He is summoned by his superiors and punished. They tell him that many shinobi are not good or evil but grey and neither. And what’s this about good and evil must sometimes work together? WTF logic?! I thought they’re enemies?! When the elders threaten to punish Hanzou and Yume, that is when Kurokage labels them as evil. Hanzou tries to talk to him but Kurokage is hell bent on proving his own justice and destroy all evil ninjas. And so he left walking this path with many good and evil ninjas targeting his life. Not sure how he even impregnate Yume but was it before? Because before you know it, many years later, his son and his wife died in a ninja mission. Yeah, Kurokage never even met them once and the first time was at their funeral. Regretting taking this path? He then spots Yumi his granddaughter. Man, it must be such a long time that his son even had a child. Anyway, Yumi somewhat knows about Kurokage since her parents and grandma often tell tales about him. See, after all these years, they still placed some faith in him. He decides to take in Yumi. After all, they have no other relatives. Back to the fight, it is not surprise Fubuki possesses Kurokage’s black fan. Yumi transforms into her true form. So you think this ice queen has a trump card? Zombie girl too has a trump card as she transforms into her dark queen form and easily defeats Yumi. At that point Yumi now remembers Fubuki. Kurokage subsequently took in another girl and they were like sisters. YOU MEAN YOU REALLY FORGOT THIS MOST IMPORTANT PART IN YOUR LIFE UNTIL NOW????!!!! Anyway with Yumi’s lost, Fubuki declares war on all shinobi. Good or evil, she will have her revenge. And she is going to do it with this intelligent humanoid youma, Rasetsu.

Episode 8
Miyabi has a grudge to kill youma because they killed her family. Fubuki puts some doubts in her mind asking her if she ever thought the youma had families too. She even has proof that the shinobi are the ones who attacked first. Thanks to Asuka interrupting, looks like they have to show that proof another time. Because Asuka is too weak to fight and hence Fubuki and Rasetsu leaving. Gekkou and Senkou want to come along but Fubuki abandons them. That look on her face says it all. Get out of my faces, b*tches! Meanwhile Asuka frees her buddies and you know they’re back together in no time with Katsuragi’s serial boob fondling. I don’t want to think that this is the method how the girls bond and get back. Suzune tells the girls about the door to another world opening. Shinobi leaders have sent their team there but after losing contact with them, it is feared they are dead. With Gekkou and Senkou leaving, Yumi tries to talk to them but there’s nothing to talk about. And since they have nothing to live for nor do they want to return to their original mundane life, they’re going to kill themselves. Thank goodness they contemplated long enough for Yumi to come stop them. Just say a few justice lines. Throw in something about Kurokage. Then a big hug and there you have it. Changed their mind. Now they wanna live. Easy. For now, Gekkou and Senkou are living in the care of the Hanzou girls. They feel awkward since they attacked them but the Hanzou girls are only mad at themselves for being weak and defeated. And what a better way than to say welcome to the club with Katsuragi’s usual boobs molestation. Overdrive mode! Meanwhile Asuka has been missing that day. Actually she went to see Kagura and requests that she wants to handle the youma alone. She allows it but wonders if Kagura can do it as she has yet to seal one. Not confident? Oh, let’s try now! Kagura summons a youma as Asuka quickly uses her super secret shinobi art to seal it, Fuma Korin. Woah. So easy! On her first go! So what’s there to worry about? Kagura warns that if she keeps using it, she’ll die. Oh… And looks like it has taken some toll on her body but Asuka remains defiant. She is willing to die if she has to. Trying to play the tragic heroine but won’t let others do the same? Elsewhere, Fubuki opens portals from another world right smack in the middle of Japan’s busiest city. Halloween’s here early. Or maybe hell on Earth.

Episode 9
Weird youma monsters attack the people. But thank goodness for our shinobi girls here to save the day and bust some youma ass. To fight better, Kagura unleashes some barrier. Just one condition: The girls are stripped down to their undies! Except for Ikaruga. She’s stark naked! You mean she isn’t wearing any undies?! Some fight better in skimpy clothes, some don’t and some just being perverts. Meanwhile Gekkou and Senkou confront Fubuki. They still believe in her but don’t approve of her method. What else? Fight! Oh well, we know how this will end up. For this huge youma boss, they use some BDSM string to tie it down because apparently that’s the toughest string in the world. Whatever. After doing so, the next part is to kill it but Asuka won’t allow it and instead leave it to her. Oh, I almost forgot she has that sealing ability. I thought she was going to take their credits or something. The Fuma Korin sealing is successful but it is clear that it sucks a lot of energy from her. In the aftermath as the city returns to normal, Homura’s groupie continue their part time Christmas gig. No business until Miyabi’s side cuts off more clothes and horny men start streaming in. You mean they’re already so sexy and nobody noticed until more cleavage and pantsu are shown?! PERVERTS! Miyabi and Homura talk about Asuka’s intention to seal instead of kill the youma. But if Asuka sides with the youma, Miyabi will not hesitate to kill her. Meanwhile Yumi sees Asuka in hopes she can open up and tell her what really happened. Back to that flashback of Asuka being defeated by Fubuki. She won’t be killed so as to tell others the tragic history of shinobi, blah, blah, blah. Yeah, so horrible that Asuka cried and still decides she can’t tell Yumi after all. Since this is dragging its feet, I guess Fubuki is here to tell Yumi herself! After asking her about beliefs, justice and evil, Yumi still feels it is her duty to hunt and destroy evil youma. Enough talking. Fubuki will show you that youma can feel love. They feel a strange aura from Fubuki as she reveals she is a child born from a human and youma! Is that even possible?! At least that explains he weird appearance. Meanwhile Kagura senses a more dangerous portal to the other world opening soon. Where is it? Hotspring town. Ah…

Episode 10
So we’re all here at the hotspring. Eh? Fubuki is also here?! Awkward. She has nothing to say to them and she too doesn’t exactly know where the portal will open. Convenient? I guess this screws the mood of our shinobi girls. They can’t fight Fubuki in this manner or they’ll regret it. An excuse to have fun at the inn! More awkwardness because Fubuki and Yumi bath together at the hotspring. Fubuki still keeps a hairpin from Kurokage. I suppose it’s that time again for reminiscence of their past as ‘sisters’ before another guilt trip that her mom who was a youma was sealed with Fuma Korin and using this technique means you can never return to this world. In the end, it is either the shinobi or youma who will die in this final fight. Later, Kagura meets up with Fubuki to begin their fight. Meanwhile Asuka reveals to the rest about Fubuki being half human and half youma. While Miyabi doesn’t care and will kill youma (her mom was killed by one), the rest are conflicted because it is a shinobi’s job is to kill youma and if they disobey because they sympathize with Fubuki… But don’t worry Asuka, your comrades heard you story and you can assure they will back you up no matter what. That night when Yumi wants to talk to Asuka but she is no longer in her room. She goes out to find her but stumbles into Fubuki-Kagura fight. Yeah, it has dragged out this long. Just because Kagura got distracted with Yumi’s appearance, she lost! WTF?! Is this an excuse by Kagura to pass the baton to Yumi to defeat Fubuki? And Fubuki makes the villain’s 101 mistake by not killing them because she’ll let the youma do it. Yeah, if her hate is so deep for the shinobi, don’t you think she would have want to do it herself? Anyway, conveniently now it seems Fubuki knows where the portal is and is waiting for it to open. Here it comes…

Episode 11
Youma, youma everywhere. Killing them all will take forever. Unless you gather them up in one place and seal them. This is the idea Katsuragi had. She gathers a few shinobi girls and use them as bait because apparently youma are perverts too. With that, Asuka is able to use Fuma Korin on the entire bunch but this is wearing her out. Yeah, see that mark on her chest. It’s getting bigger. I wonder if Katsuragi will draw any pleasure from groping them. Asuka will continue using it because of this lame excuse that she wants to see it through the end. Whatever. It’s your call. And now we get a Yumi-Fubuki rematch. Of course it’s flashback time. We see Fubuki’s mom being targeted by the ninjas. After killing them all, the inevitable fight with her husband. No wonder a child like Fubuki was so confused and dismayed. Eventually father had to seal mother because it is the only way to save Fubuki (do they seriously believe the shinobi is going to let her live?) and that it is better than killing her. However the price to pay was he will use up his life force. Poor Fubuki was so traumatized in seeing this scene. I don’t think parents’ assurance of I-love-you is going to help. Before the other shinobi could get Fubuki, Rasetsu saves her. Too bad she is injured and cannot fully protect her. Luckily rogue ninja Kurokage was passing by and he agreed to care for her until Rasetsu’s injuries are healed. Fubuki is still mad and vows to kill all shinobi. Coincidentally, Kurokage too had that thinking once. Of course as we know the rest is history. When Rasetsu finally came back to claim Fubuki, Kurokage gave her the hairpin. I’m sure she doesn’t understand the meaning of hatred and forgiveness come in pairs. Now, Fubuki claims her goal is to eliminate all shinobi. Even if that means destroying everything and nothing left, that sense of accomplishment and revenge is all that matters. If that is the case, why did she not finish off Yumi when she had numerous chance? Why did she not get rid of Kurokage’s hairpin? Yeah, it mad Fubuki even madder. Time to fight some more.

Episode 12
Everybody is ganging up on Rasetsu. Hardly a fair fight but whatever. For some sympathy points, Asuka asks why Rasetsu is siding with Fubuki. Her mom once saved her life. Asuka is cool with that but as long as she targets the shinobi, I’m afraid she will still have to seal you. And hence begins the shinobi girls’ attack on Rasetsu. In order to show off their set of skills, we see them do a chain of combos on Rasetsu. Man, she must have taken a lot of damage before Asuka begins her Fuma Korin. But guess what? Rasetsu is so determined for power that she turns into a beast and breaks out of Fuma Korin! Okay, now what? But don’t worry. Homura can help lend her power to seal her. She has seen Asuka done it enough times to memorize. Wow. I’ve seen my dad do all the repairs over the house for years and I still can’t even hold a hammer correctly! So what is the deal that Asuka allows her to do Fuma Korin with her? They won’t die! Yeah… Meanwhile back to Fubuki and Yumi’s fight, it ends with Fubuki defeating her! Don’t count your chickens yet. And here is Gekkou and Senkou. They want to save Fubuki. How is holding her hands saving her? Feel the warmth? F*CK THIS JOKE! Now wonder Fubuki is mad! Are they serious?! Just to show their perseverance, they won’t let go. So did they die? Your guess is as good as mine. Yumi’s comrades arrive. But they won’t be fighting her because, wait for it, Yumi lives! Time for round 2. Elsewhere suddenly Miyabi turns into this part angel and part devil form to unleash her Fuma Korin power. And now she remembers mom’s teachings that if you fight for revenge, you can’t unleash your true power. And with the power of the trio, Rasetsu is finally sealed. But she has no regrets since she fought for Fubuki. And also to end things, Yumi defeats Fubuki for good. This time, she doesn’t kill her. Just left her lying in the snow. Probably it’s a good time to reflect on stuffs. Lastly, Kagura uses her awesome powers to seal the portal. Should have done this from the start! More good news (AKA conveniences) flow in with Suzune calling in saying everyone is safe at Kikai Dome and the matters here are settled. In the aftermath, we see our ninja girls celebrating Christmas their own way. Asuka and Yumi are out together. Somehow her mark has healed. You mean just like that? They stumble Fubuki in the streets. She returns the hairpin to Yumi. She doesn’t need it anymore. She is going to find her place in this world. Somewhere. Gekkou and Senkou follow her so that she won’t be alone. More cheesy philosophy of justice from Asuka and Yumi because, justice always prevails, right?

The Jus-tits Of Shino-bitches…
So Asuka was asking if Fubuki would organize another Shinobi Masters tournament because she didn’t get to fight her? Hey girl, you had your chance but you fluffed them. Besides, didn’t you and the rest of the other girls get to fight Rasetsu? Unlike you mini army, Fubuki had only 1 subordinate by her side so I guess while the boss fought each other, the rest of you had to be content in sharing your opponent. Thank goodness Fubuki didn’t give Asuka a reply. She just smiled. Because that is probably what she was thinking of this b*tch. Bye. Hope not to see you again.

Well, to be honest, I wasn’t really impressed with the plot. As I am not a big fan of the series, I don’t really know how to ‘appreciate’ the finer details (if any) of this series. Though, as far as my failing memory can remember, this sequel is a lot darker than the first season since it now involves the supernatural and the tragic story of a child that was conceived and caught between both sides. In that sense, that is ultimate the storyline of this season but that only comes halfway and I thought the first half felt like some sort of trolling.

You see, when they decided to have this Shinobi Masters tournament, it ended so fast and furious that I thought it was all some sort of time wasting sham. It was just an excuse for a lot of fanservice (something this series is famously known for) and didn’t contribute to anything important. Because why the f*ck would Fubuki organize such an important tournament but only a handful of shinobi schools attend? Like, what?! And this is supposed to be the best of the best tournament as claimed by Fubuki. Of course it was all a scam. And it felt like Fubuki also trolled us. I believe she isn’t all that evil and just wanted to give a chance for the shinobi girls to prove her wrong. Yeah, their weak ass pussies wasted those chance and now look at the mess that we’ve got into in the second half. I also thought the Tokyo youma-hen was also a scam thinking the Shinobi Masters tournament would last the rest of the series. Looks like they leave it late for the second half.

I was wondering why the series is officially called Shinovi Masters. Shouldn’t it be Shinobi Masters as said in the episode or whatever? At first I thought it was a Japanese thingy because you know, there are no alphabet ‘V’ in their language and anything with that automatically translate to ‘B’. So are they trying to sound unique? Or is this some sort of play of words. You know, Shinobi Victory. Shortened as Shinovi. Yeah. Whatever.

To my surprise, Asuka and her Hanzou comrades weren’t the ones hogging the limelight. Because the first season they were the main characters, I was also expecting them to helm the similar role. Too bad it was mainly Yumi and ultimately Fubuki. A showdown between the stepsisters. Like I said, I’m not a fan of the series so I am not sure if the games slowly shifted the main character to Yumi or if Yumi was the real main character in the first place. Therefore with Asuka’s baffling behaviour in the first half, it makes her look like a total b*tch because it looked like she was told some sort of hideous secret and she doesn’t want to tell her friends (and us) just so that she could shoulder the burden all by herself. Ooooh. How noble. Yeah, don’t kill the youma! They have feelings too! Why does this feel so SJW?

Evidently Asuka’s actions just prove she doesn’t even trust her own comrades. Oh heck, her Hanzou comrades were further reduced to damsel in distresses in the first half. We are left to guess what the f*ck her problem is (the way she plays and exaggerates it out feels so overblown so that we could have our dramatic effect) and when it is revealed this youma and sealing thingy, I was like, “Big deal! WTF?!”. So all that trouble and secrecy just for this? Now you’re really trying to play the tragic heroine, huh? Yeah, just hope it doesn’t kill you because I know it won’t. Plot convenience and Asuka, do you not know you are one of the most beloved characters in the franchise? Yeah, top 10 most popular. Like hell the producers are going to let you die! But the ultimate f*ckery is when Asuka’s mark suddenly goes away. She still feels pain but I feel it is more of because her flesh wound has yet to heal but the danger of the mark that puts her life at risk is gone. So no more youma, no more sealing, less use of Fuma Korin and thus healed for the better? Man, I wished my nagging injury would also heal like that. Did she go for some sort of special acupuncture because I wanna try too. Otherwise with Asuka’s boobs back to normal, I suppose Katsuragi can be happy to grope them all she wants.

Thus Yumi seems like a cooler and more mature character and hence a much better one compared to Asuka. She might not be perfect but at least she tries and never gives up. We couldn’t understand why Asuka was wallowing in depression either. Perhaps we understand Yumi because her past with Fubuki is fleshed out and given more prominence. So we understand her cause more. We sympathize with her more. Hence relegating Asuka and her Hanzou comrades to just annoying minor characters who don’t matter. The one thing that boggles me about Rasetsu is that, after she picked up Fubuki from Kurokage, where the heck have they been? The first time we see Rasetsu, it’s like she is in some stasis condition. So ever since then up till now don’t tell me she was using some sort of power to open the youma portal. Yeah, that sure took a pretty long time since Fubuki is all grown up to be one busty evil babe.

Just like the other shinobi girls like Homura’s groupie and Miyabi’s groupie. Yeah, too much for us to even care. So if you are great fans for these girls, too bad they don’t get a lot of screen time. Even if they do, it just feels like they had to and portray their character in the most cliché way that we identify them (for example, Mirai always conscious and being teased with her flatness, Katsuragi always loving to grope and Ryouna an obvious nympho). Yeah, that’s the problem when you have like 20 girls (25 if you count Kagura’s group) in the fore and so little screen time to do any justice. I’m sure nobody is going to expand this to a year’s worth of Senran Kagura episodes because I’ll be so bored and I can only see that such girls who will be focused, their episode would mostly be a filler.

I thought that Yumi, Fubuki, Gekkou and Senkou seemed to be f*cked by their Kurokage oujisama’s ideology. The way the girls preach about his teachings sound like he is the best teacher in the world. Honour must be upheld. Justice must be upheld. There are always 2 sides of a coin. Live the way you see fit. Not that he says all those but you get the gist of this. So it’s like when these girls clash because of their different interpretations of Kurokage, I thought that old geezer really did one on these girls too. I mean, he was a rogue ninja so there is no specific method he sticks to. But still, every time the girls mention about Kurokage’s teachings, I’m like, “Oh no. Here they go again mentioning this old geezer’s name”. Say that again, that sword and shield thingy…

But I just don’t understand the logic behind the shinobi world. I don’t know. Their code seems to sound a lot like BS to me. Like the good and bad shinobi. They’re always fighting each other but there are those also in the grey area. And then when a bigger threat comes, they must put aside this rivalry and fight for the better. Like, WTF???!!! So why are they fighting each other in the first place?! I understand different schools have different methodology but shouldn’t they be working together if their goal is to actually annihilate the youma? So what the f*ck is with this good and bad shinobi faction thingy?! I just don’t get it.

And I’m sure they want to give Fubuki some sort of revenge story for this season. But how the heck did a child born out of a human and youma happen in the first place?! Yeah, they want to show us that love knows no bounds. One heated night of passion. But wait. Think about our future. Our child’s future. Will she be accepted by both sides? Nah. Just f*ck it. Let’s leave that for later. And that is how the tragic story of Fubuki was born. Born to watch both her parents kill each other and now she wants revenge on all of you. They want us to feel sympathy for Fubuki’s case as they claim youma also feel love, blah, blah, blah. You mean humans don’t feel love? Sure, a lot of them are pieces of sh*t. I can say the same for youma in that case. So that’s why when shinobi are grouped into good or evil, eventually it doesn’t matter. Because even though it is wrong for Fubuki to classify all shinobi as evil and must be eliminated, it still makes the good and evil shinobi kinda redundant. I guess they want to have some sort of grey area to make us confuse and unsure who to support. Fubuki or the shinobi girls. Of course the latter! They are a hell lot sexier than this bad goth makeup girl.

Still, it is mind boggling that it makes you wonder if deep down inside Fubuki’s heart she still loves her sister because with so many chances and times that Fubuki owns Yumi, only in the final episode that Yumi is able to defeat her. Like after how many times?! And because of that, the day is saved?! What kind of plot convenience logic is that?! All the villain needs to do is to be defeated once by the hero and it doesn’t matter how many times the heroes lost before (just an excuse to become stronger) all you need is that one chance of victory. Usually it comes in the final or penultimate episode. Wow. I’m so good I should start writing scripts for the next season.

As you would have guessed, the fanservice plays the biggest part and is a trademark signature of the series. It isn’t Senran Kagura when the girls are not showing their tits or getting naked one way or another. It makes me wonder if they have so many same uniforms and clothes because each time they get into any sort of battle, guarantee their clothes will be ripped. Absolutely. It’s like as though they are obligated to be ripped so their boobs can be exposed just for the sake of it. Shouldn’t they have tried getting better materials for their clothes? Man, their clothes are going to be the most expensive and recurring expenditure on their list. But I guess it is better that their clothes get ripped than seeing unsightly damages and wounds on the perfect silky smooth skin on our shinobi ladies. Yup, somehow their skin manage to stay safe always despite the amount of powerful blasts they take. Maybe their clothes (no matter how skimpy) absorb all the force and that’s why they always rip at the slightest. Yeah. Whatever. But thanks for the fanservice, girls. Keep on fighting!

This means that the action bits are closely and always tied to the fanservice. Every time the shinobi girls need to give us some action, this also means fanservice action. Yeah. That’s the only way their clothes could come off fast. Unless it is hotspring or bathing, the action sequences are directly correlated with this cheap sleaziness. I believe every shinobi girl has their own unique technique/ But too bad they aren’t memorable because too many characters and not enough screen time. And for those who are supposedly ‘their turn’ to shine, make some sort of ridiculous move that I can’t remember. Maybe except for Yumi because her techniques are ice based so she keeps using ice attacks. I think. But overall the moves are mostly flashy, over the top and outrageous, that’s for sure. Didn’t spend years training that skill for nothing, eh?

Animation and art feel only mediocre. I don’t really remember the original one but this season feels like it is just passable and that they want to focus on the fanservice, thinking that this is what fans are for. Especially during the action scenes. They think it’s too fast for us to catch and that our eyes are only focusing and anticipating where the cloths cover the boobs will rip. Well, too bad I saw some of those low quality movements. Heck, I think some of the idle scenes feel inconsistent. Maybe it is because TNK now taking over from Artland but that shouldn’t be the case since TNK animated all the seasons of High School DxD series and other ecchi series like Sin: Nanatsu No Taizai, Ikkitousen: Xtreme Xecutor and Kenzen Robo Daimidaler. This isn’t definitely one of their best.

This season’s opening theme, Scarlet Master by Sayaka Sasaki sounds more like a techno dance song with all the techno effects and exuberance. Because of that, I feel the singing falls flat and sounds really flat. Like as though it is sung just for the sake of singing. Too many words trying to match the beat of the music makes it really one messy song to hear. Maybe it fits the pacing of the series (because fast paced fanservice action) but I don’t find it really appealing. The ending theme is Junsei Erotic and sounds more like a happy rock song. It should be since it is more fanservice time with its animation having the girls having fun in the hotspring. I didn’t know being shinobi girls allows them to have a lot of fun time together. Perhaps. It’s not like they can have a normal life and mingle with normal girls outside their school, right? Then there is one BGM that is a solo harmonica. Often played for those cheesy flashback moments. Don’t know. Makes it feel like some wild west flick. So out of place.

Overall, I am not sure if hardcore fans would even appreciate this. I have a feeling that if you really want to appreciate the fanservice (of course, it’s the only reason why you would stay for this title, right?), go play all the instalments of the game. They should have named this season as Tokyo Pantsu-hen(tai) or something. My biggest speculation remains is that they want to introduce this series to the new generation of weeaboos because 5 years is a long enough time for things to change in life. But I guess the allure of fanservice from boob shots to pantsu shots have never changed since the day anime was born. The eternal grey area and line that should be fought over is the war of good porn and bad porn! Oh, who am I kidding? Porn is always bad and must be eliminated, right?!

Tonari No Kyuuketsuki-san

February 16, 2019

There are 2 types of vampires in this world. The horrible kind that wants to suck the blood out of you and turn you into their slave or hate mankind and want to destroy all humans alike. Then there is the other kind who drinks tomato juice and just wants to live peacefully with nobody bothering them whatsoever. Tonari No Kyuuketsuki-san fits a lot like the latter and you know what this means when you have a cute vampire girl and a cute human girl interacting and doing stuffs together every day (or night, rather). Cute girls doing cute things, vampire version!

Episode 1
Akari Amano is lost in the woods. Her friend was talking about some haunted house but Akari was interested in finding some doll girl thingy. But she stumbles into Sophie Twilight who admits she is a vampire and flies her to her mansion. Akari soon becomes infatuated with Sophie as she looks like a doll and wants to pet her, scaring the vampire girl. She asks if she could stay and is willing to offer her own blood. Too bad Sophie doesn’t drink from live humans. Sorry to blow your enthusiasm there. With Akari making this place like her home, she also continues to visit every night and learns more about Sophie like how she isn’t good with sunlight. Sophie finds it annoying and decides to scare her by showing her strength. Instantly Akari runs away. Sophie relishes her quiet days but soon feels lonely without her. And then Akari comes back. She has brought all the jars she can’t open! Maybe she should just go home for real. With Akari bragging to her friends, they tell her to just move in and stay with Sophie. What a great idea! Plus, this place is closer to her school. But will her parents be okay with it? They agree! They are fascinated with this vampire girl. Maybe Akari got such annoying habits from her parents… As Akari tries to cook and accidentally cuts her finger, Sophie sucks on it. It gives Akari an idea to cut off more… Don’t do it! When Sophie’s blood is running low, Akari wonders if she is going to hunt humans. Well, she orders her blood online! They sell that online?! Akari tries to be useful around the mansion to get Sophie to accept her but comes off as annoying. However Sophie allows her to stay seeing it would be less lonely in this big space. Plus, her being useless, Sophie never had anything useful for her in the first place (is this an insult?). Akari takes this as Sophie accepting her love and is ready to marry her! Oh Sophie, you’re going to regret your decisions right now. Akari learns about Sophie attending school once but with so many rules and restrictions, she gave up after 3 days. Wait. So everyone knows and accepts a vampire?!

Episode 2
Sophie shows Akari her book collection. Her hobby is collecting books with signatures. Sophie accidentally reveals she is 360 years old as she has books from famous authors of the past and it brings back memories (mostly dreaded ones) when she go get their signature. And because there is another book signing event, this time Akari accompanies her. To prevent the sunlight from turning her into ash, Sophie wears thick capes and uses a parasol but it is still uncomfortable. But don’t worry. Akari is here to help her out in any way. But the short trip turns into a detour as Sophie has to avoid churches, garlic shops and the likes. When the wind blows her parasol away, Akari quickly uses her jacket to cover her. Phew. Safe. Akari is so relieved that she starts crying. Eventually Sophie manages to get her signed book. Akari wonders if she’ll remember this day as being helpful but Sophie will mostly remember it as Akari having a weird suspicious smile. Hinata Natsuki, Akari’s friend is worried that she is living with a stranger and wants to visit. Okay. Sophie is even shocked that Akari has friends! At first Hinata finds everything normal until she realizes Sophie is a vampire. Not panicking yet but she worries if Akari is alright living under the same roof as a blood sucker. Then they watch horror movies. Ironically Akari isn’t scared but Sophie is! Naturally Hinata too. So could this mean they could really be pals? When Hinata mentions about rumours of a floating girl around, it soon dawned to them it is Sophie although she herself is unaware of it. When it’s time for the human girls to go to bed, Sophie still reeling from the horror movie decides to join them. It’s not her bedtime. The scariest place in the mansion has got to be Akari’s room. Look at all the dolls she brought over! Ultimately, Hinata is glad Sophie is Akari’s friend as she seems happier. Sophie might be weird, but she’s a nice person. Hinata goes on to rant how much she adores Akari. Oh no, another nut brewing… With Hinata and Sophie now friends, looks like she gets the green light to visit again.

Episode 3
Hinata’s parents are away for a trip so she invites Akari and Sophie to visit her. Such an achievement for Sophie to step in a house of a friend. Hinata introduces Sophie to her dog, Mikan but it starts growling at her. Dogs don’t like vampires? As they talk about their families, Akari imagines Sophie’s family to be super cute. Unfortunately Sophie says she did have a family when she was human but none since she turned into a vampire. There is also a family who turned the rest of her family members into vampires. Oh look, they just posted on their social media page a few days ago just celebrating the sister’s 421st birthday! Akari gets this idea to play family and wants to be Sophie’s mom. This has Hinata overthinking that means Akari is married to somebody and will not allow it! I guess Hinata is naturally the dad then. They decide to play sisters and the humans love the vampire to be their little sister. And then Akari tries to be Sophie’s cat? All this family talk has Sophie feeling fun to be part of a family. Akari promises never to make her lonely and Hinata will always welcome her here. Sophie realizes Akari forgot her lunch. School doesn’t have pleasant memories of her but she still braves the sunlight to deliver the lunch. Everyone at first gets afraid thinking she is some sort of assassin because of her dark cloak but upon realizing she is Akari’s friend, they are relieved. So they think Akari’s friends are all kooky? Akari introduces to her other friends, Yuu Aoki and Sakuya Kurai. They are awed that she is a vampire. So cute, who is going to get scared, right? Yeah, does Sophie need to lie about her age? Like shaving 20 years off? Yeah, who could tell? Yamada then wants Sophie to stand in for her as she intends to skip class and go back to check on her sick sister. She thinks they look the same. Obviously not. And as expected, the teacher can tell Sophie is not Yamada but decides to play along since Sophie is playing poker face. After school, Sakuya tries to scare Sophie with ghost stories and enjoys it! As they study, the international history brings some memories back for Sophie. Like where she was at France and ‘witnessed’ the beheading of Marie Antoinette. Amazing, huh? When they go home, they stop by a bookstore since Sophie feels this youths do this. Sophie realizes today’s school outing is not so bad. Akari says because she is with her.

Episode 4
Akari stumbles into another vampire girl from America, Ellie who is on her way to visit Sophie. However Sophie isn’t pleased to see her although the last they saw each other 100 years ago. That’s because Ellie always drags her into her shenanigans and Sophie bears the brunt of it all. Later Ellie uses up all of Sophie’s blood just to have a blood bath. It freaked out Akari. Now with no blood food, Ellie guns for Sophie’s neck. Thankfully Akari stops her. Or not. Because she’ll come back with a camera! Slowpoke Akari returns and the meal is already over. Ellie tries to target Akari next but is told her blood is really bad. Better not regret it. Ellie reveals that she overslept for 100 years after getting tired from playing. By the time she woke up, it’s already the modern era. After Sophie returns from an errand, she thought Ellie has gone. Peace and quiet back. Too bad Ellie is waiting in her bed trying to seduce her. Sophie quickly Google for the crematorium! Since this is Ellie’s first time in the modern world, Sophie introduces her to many modern conveniences we take for granted like colour TV and best of all, the computer and internet. But since Ellie is such a noob and almost wrecks her laptop, it’s a good thing both vampire girls agree to stay away from it. Later Ellie learns Akari is Sophie’s friend and not a slave or emergency food supply she thought out to be. This has Ellie being cautious as she reminds them they are different beings, hated by humans. Hence the idea of befriending one is ridiculous. Sophie says times have changed but Ellie tries to threaten Akari to break them up. Akari misinterprets Ellie’s attack as a sexual one and expects it! It’s scaring Ellie instead. Because Akari cannot imagine Sophie’s friends being bad, Ellie gives in and allows this friendship. For now. Ellie will return and visit again. Sophie warns due to her erratic behaviour, it will be decades from now. Akari is disheartened as she’ll be a grandma by then. But that won’t happen as Ellie has moved into the neighbourhood. Time to set up the crucifixes…

Episode 5
Ellie is caught red handed emptying the fridge of all the blood. Okay. No biggie. She’ll go out to hunt! Hence Sophie introduces her to online shopping. No fun, can’t choose your target. That’s the way it’s done today. With Hinata coming over for a sleepover, it is the first time she meets Ellie. However Hinata mistakes Ellie to be younger than Sophie (Ellie is over 450 years old) and this causes her to snap as she fondles her boobs?! It descends into a childish argument with Hinata running away and not wanting to sleepover. So I guess we have to go look for her. Don’t want a young girl walking in the dark. Something may assault her and it won’t be vampires! Anyway, Ellie explains why she hates being a child because it is he dream to grow up mature into a beautiful lady. Now she’s stuck in this loli body. At the same time, Hinata rues of having such mature body at a young age as all the guys can’t keep their eyes of her. Just the right moment for Hinata to fall down the stairs and Ellie to catch her. They reconcile and respect each other’s body. The sleepover continues. Late that night, Hinata hears some sounds from the kitchen and gets the shock of her life to see Ellie putting blood all over her face (for beauty purposes – old fashion thinking, maybe). Sophie is tired out just trying to teach Ellie how to use modern appliances. After hearing her neighbour how she overbought lots of food for her family coming over, Sophie thinks cooking a lot for humans would make them happy. Hence on the day Akari left for a doll exhibition, Sophie hatches a plan to surprise her with her cooking. Of course she gets help from Hinata. Sophie tries to think outside the box but all ended up in disaster. I mean, she thought of putting nails in soup because you need the iron, right?! Something got lost in translation… Finally they follow the normal instructions to make curry rice. The final hurdle is most taxing because of the garlic! Don’t worry. Sophie puts on a hazmat suit! Curry rice finished! But Sophie is disappointed it looks so normal?! Better than disastrous, right? Of course Akari comes home to be thrilled with Sophie’s cooking. But Sophie can’t eat near her. The garlic. Yeah, great at keeping Ellie away too.

Episode 6
Sophie was half asleep when Akari called her asking for permission for Sakuya to come over and interview her (in regards to this episode’s title, sorry, no Tom Cruise cameo here). So don’t be surprise when you wake up only to see Sakuya covering her while she is asleep! Apparently Sakuya is doing this since she is part of the occult club. Sophie tries to get dressed for the occasion but dresses like vampires in the movies. Sakuya asks a few questions like why vampires where black (doesn’t look obvious with blood stains but shouldn’t it be red then?) and if the rivalries with werewolves exist (they’re just superstitions!). Ellie comes in because has a problem with her new laptop. Yeah, she chopped it since it wasn’t working. It’s beyond repair. Now she wants to borrow Ellie’s laptop… No way! Ellie and Sakuya meet. Although Sakuya akin her to a child, Ellie doesn’t get mad since she is the same petite size and is flat. Ellie teases of wanting to bite Sakuya’s neck and the latter excitedly anticipates it until Sophie warns her bite is painful. Uhm, won’t you turn into a vampire with a bite? Shouldn’t that be of concern? Sophie watched anime up till so late (that’s noon for vampire standards) and before she is about to turn in, Ellie wants to go out to buy clothes! At this time of day?! Well, shops don’t open at night. Good thing Akari is going to meet up with Hinata. Too bad the vampire girls are like in torture just trekking through the bright sunny day. It’s a miracle they didn’t die. On the train as they rest, this must be a touchy issue if they are qualified to sit on the reserved seats for senior citizens! As the shopping begins, it seems all of them pick the same clothes they often wear when they’re supposed to pick something that gives them a different look. So they decide to shop for each other’s clothes instead. I’m sure Ellie isn’t amused with Hinata’s thoughts of having her dressed as a kid. Hinata’s clothes look so feminine that she herself is amazed she looks like a girl! WTF?! Finally a nice white dress on Sophie that really makes her look cute. Is this Akari’s plan to take her original black clothes and vacuum seal it? All this shopping makes them hungry. Oh Ellie, all those young girls at the food court aren’t available…

Episode 7
Beach episode! But how the f*ck did Sophie end up here?! Sure, she did say she never seen a beach before but could she Google it? The other part to blame for this ‘harassment’ is Akari who packed her in her bag while she was sleeping. So, uhm, surprise? Ellie was smart to decline this as she enjoys her ‘beach’ in her own living room. Back home, Akari thought of doing summer things with them but the thought of kimodameshi… I think even vampires are afraid of ghosts. As a vampire, they don’t have body temperature like human and hence it doesn’t matter if they wear long or short sleeve. Akari takes this chance to rub herself on her cool skin. Stop it. You’re making it unbearably hot. Akari gets an idea to visit the fireworks festival. She starts making their yukata. Akari might have discovered Sophie’s ‘weakness’ while she is painting her toenails as she gets ticklish. Hinata thought she isn’t feminine enough to wear a yukata but if Akari has her way… At the festival, I can understand Ellie not understanding the culture but Sophie? How long has she been living here? She thought there are shaved ice that serves blood and goldfish scooping is eating goldfish on rice?! Are you sure you have even used the internet? Honestly, you never came to such festival before Akari, eh? During the fireworks, Ellie gets excited and starts flying. I’m sure everyone saw a vampire spectacle too. On the way back, Akari wants them to do this every year. Surprisingly Hinata reacts to that because this means Akari won’t get a boyfriend and Akari can be by her side. Forever. Well, if you become a vampire, forever is likely. Because Sophie has never seen a morning glory bloom (only in day time), Akari gives her a bookmark with one. Too bad she reads e-book. Sophie finds herself in another predicament. How the f*ck did she find herself trapped underneath a tree and it’s day time. Apparently she got curious to count all the seeds in a sunflower. Yeah, she counted them to be over a thousand! Happy? Now she realizes she has brought nothing with her except this 500 Yen. What can she do with it? Luckily Akari is here. She visited her mansion and got worried because she wasn’t in and started looking for her. Akari is going to get her mantle and umbrella but Sophie wants her to stay with her until they can walk home in the evening.

Episode 8
It’s that time of season again. Yup, the rush to finish your summer homework. Too bad Akari and Hinata are having a hard time focusing and getting distracted. Even more so when Ellie is here to play. So they go shopping, cook a nice dinner and when they’re all revved up and ready to continue, a short while into it, they’re back to being lethargic. Homework sucks… Thankfully they manage to do so and are rewarded with nice cool watermelon treats and playing sparklers. But reality soon hits them. They don’t want summer vacation to end! Too bad they have to go to school tomorrow and Sophie is most relieved since Akari won’t be bugging her taking naps in her coffin! When it’s time to go to bed, the quartet have a hard time finding the right combo to sleep with each other. Sophie finds it perfect lying in between the tight space of the bed and wall… When night falls, the quartet make their way to Akihabara. It’s Ellie’s first time so there is a section in this manga shop that is age restricted if you want to browse through those erotic works. Don’t worry. They’re like over hundreds of years old, right? Too bad the store clerk kicks them out thinking they’re young girls. Discrimination! After that they hit the crane game and then the maid café. Sophie feels embarrassed doing that moe-moe spell on your food. They overhear how a maid says she is always 17 years old (as part of the act to otaku customers) so they think she is one of their kind. Back home, Akari has created a maid dress for Sophie so she could feel she’s at Akihabara at home. Too bad she didn’t think far enough because if that is the case, doesn’t this defeats the purpose of going back there again?

Episode 9
A bug bumps into Ellie and she almost died! Is this how weak vampires are in daylight? But when they reach Akari’s school for the cultural festival, they are all revived. They see Hinata who brings them to Akari’s doll exhibition. Why does it look like a haunted house? Bad lighting on purpose or what? When Sophie rests, others start thinking she is a doll and get shocked when she starts moving! Why does everyone else have this haunted house vibe? From Sakuya’s ghost story telling (I think it’s her bad singing) to Yuu’s horror journal, eventually Hinata is forced to enter a haunted house with Ellie with the latter only finds it all comforting. Luckily for the rest of the day they had a swell time. On the way back, they see a strange girl outside the mansion when she suddenly collapses. No worries. Just rumbling of her stomach. They take her in and treat her to some food. Then she reveals she is a rookie vampire hunter and heard there is a vampire in the neighbourhood! Oh dear. Sophie better stop posting on social media from now on. They try to pretend not to know anything and anybody could see through their bad acting except for this vampire hunter. All okay. Naturally you want her out but to stem suspicions, Sophie lets her stay here for the night and will just need to pretend to be human until morning. The vampire hunter explains her goal to exterminate vampires because her great-great-great-great grandpa was turned into one. Yeah, he became one as an old man and his body is aching all over. So killing all vampires can release the curse? Then Ellie comes in and almost ruins it. She also plays along but the vampire hunter gets more suspicious when the vampires try to do human-like things but fail big time. I guess the foreigner excuse comes in handy. Later that night, the vampire hunter stumbles into Sophie’s room and sees her coffin. Oh no! Actually this is an elaborate cover for her dakimakura. Phew. Next morning as she leaves, the vampire hunter drops something but Sophie picks it up and gives her back. Unknowingly her hand touches the sunlight and for that moment she saw it turn to ash. However realizing that these vampires are good and not as terrifying as she imagined, she leaves them in peace. Better than in pieces, right? Haha! And we are rewarded seeing the quartet bathing together but all of them become lazy after experiencing the goodness of the hotspring.

Episode 10
Oh no! Akari is a vampire! Sophie in shock! Gotcha! Just a Halloween costume! Akari would love to make Sophie’s Halloween costume but she rather buy it online. The friends gather for a Halloween party. Sophie the witch, Yuu and Sakuya the zombies, Hinata the werewolf and Ellie the super sexy succubus! Is this even legal?! I suppose many of them would prefer tricks to treat. Never seen anybody so eager to go buy candies… Then they have really weird Halloween food. Eyeballs, body parts… Probably just bread but they can eat all that without flinching? As Christmas is approaching, the gang plan their programme for that day. They like the idea of exchanging gifts and some of them already starting to have fantasies if they receive from the ones they like. Akari wanted to invite Yuu and Sakuya too but after hearing how Yuu would be alone during Christmas since everybody else is away and only have Sakuya for company, looks like Hinata took a hint and better leave them alone. So the rest decorate the place and make Christmas food. During the present exchange, Akari and Sophie got each other’s present, breaking Hinata’s heart. She got Ellie’s instead. Not too happy? It’s a lipstick and since Akari commented how pretty she looks, she totally loves it. All go outside when it starts snowing. Thankfully the vampire girls aren’t affected by the cold hence not die of its exposure. Akari feels bad because the mitten present she got for her felt useless. Don’t worry, she still wears them. On New Year’s Eve, they take out the kotatsu. Time to laze around. Sophie is puzzled since no soba is served as it is done traditionally in Japan. That’s because Akari is allergic to soba and fries are substituted instead. They wait until midnight to celebrate the New Year but looks like they can’t keep their promise to stay awake to watch the sunrise. Luckily Akari and Hinata manage to catch it in time. So great that the vampire girls even don’t mind catching it even if they are slowly turning into ash! I guess a video will do if they want to see the rest.

Episode 11
A loud crash in the middle of the night. It seems Sophie is trying to put away all the junk in her collection room that has accumulated over the, uhm, centuries? Hinata is called to help and she thought it would be easy pie until she sees how much junk the room is filled. Plus, Ellie isn’t helping and just reading manga. This is going to take some time as the girls reminisce old technology like Gameboy and even a pager. You people know what’s a pager, right? Also, Sophie is distressing whether to throw away other useless junk or not. The room is finally cleaned. There are ribbons Ellie gave to Sophie. Time to throw them away?! To thank them for their help, Ellie cooks for them. But since they are worried, it’s safer to just order. They order pizza and since Sophie is taken in with the pizza box, will the hoarding begin again? Selling all those stuffs earned Sophie some money. But she can’t decide what to buy. Later Sophie thinks Akari is acting strange. But she’s always acting strange! Turns out Akari is sick. Not in the head, but physically. Sophie starts panicking. And since the vampires don’t know anything on how to cure a cold (have they even tried looking on the internet?), looks like they call Hinata. Instantly this girl slams the phone and rushes down. Mama is here. Akari is taken care of but Sophie is still panicking thinking she is beyond saving if she refuses to go to the hospital. Sophie gets tricked as Akari pulls her in to hug her. So cool and refreshing. With Ellie joining in, Akari is living her fantasy of being sandwiched by 2 cute vampires. I think Hinata is trying to join in… Next day, Akari is much better but since she wants to be taken care of a little longer, she bluffs she isn’t getting any better. Too bad Sophie thinks she is really dying! Better stop the lies. That night as Akari sleeps, the vampire girls think it is a pity humans don’t sleep in a confined space. So they think by putting a styrofoam board will make her sleep better? Yeah, Akari is having nightmares…

Episode 12
Sophie with new short haircut! Actually, she took out the trash and the sun burnt her long hair! What’s this about the local laws forbidding to take out one’s trash at night?! So Akari forbids her to take out the trash and will do it for her? Later as Sophie tries to order blood online, looks like the service will be down for a few days! Horror! Then Ellie comes by asking if she has stock because she too has run out of blood. Double horror! Time for Akari to be useful. Too bad they ignore her and think of sucking humans’ blood in town but with their consent. I guess that failed. With the hunger pangs, Ellie is looking at Akari’s neck. Looking good… Sophie has her wear a scarf. To distract this hunger, they watch an action movie. Blood everywhere! Changing it to cute girls doing cute things genre, aren’t the girls cute enough as meal? Akari soon falls into depression that they rather stay hungry than drink her blood. Yeah, it’s that friendship reason again why they don’t want to. Yup, we care about you. A few days later, the blood delivery is back to normal and the vampire girls have their fill. When Sophie goes for a night flight, she forgot her shoes and when she returns home, Akari too want to go. At the school rooftop admiring the city lights, the teacher almost caught them but they flew away. Hence some haunting legend was born after this… Yuu and Sakuya are looking for some legendary floating girl. To their disappointment it’s just Sophie. Then they meet Hinata walking her dog. Looks like Mikan still isn’t receptive of the vampire. Then they make their way to the woods, the place where they first met. Too bad it’s dark and creepy instead of that wonderland delusion in Akari’s head. For a short while, Akari got distracted and then separated. Lost in the darkness, it isn’t too long before Sophie finds her. Just like how the first time they met. And they reintroduce and replay that exact scene again before continuing their walk. Don’t walk too long at night. Akari has school tomorrow, you know.

I Heart <3 Vampires
And so the heart-warming story of a human girl and her vampire friend continues. But I hope this series doesn’t make you want to go out and do some vampire hunting on your own. No, not the kind that turns you into some Van Helsing wannabe and go out there to kill every vampire. It would be very troublesome if you’re going to kidnap a cute vampire girl and keep her as your pet! The irony of your ‘pet’ outliving you…

There isn’t so much of a plot in this series and it is possibly close to non-existent as every episode just sees the daily life interactions between the human girls and the vampire girls. There’s nothing more to it. Some funny moments arise because of their odd fetish (like Akari’s maniacal ways to cuddle Sophie, hence giving rise to her perverted rape face) and some misunderstood conceptions of how modern technology works (like Ellie who has a lot to catch up to now that she is living in the 21st century). Humans and vampires have so much to learn about each other… There is no plot here that would shake things up and even that vampire hunter episode is so mild that Akari’s illness seems to look like a tenser drama. Really.

So I am left to guess if vampires in this world are actually accepted as docile beings. They aren’t creatures that exist in secrecy as we see them posting on social media as well as Sophie herself has an unfortunate experience as a first timer at school and even then it is safe to say everybody knows of her identity. I mean, if they have online blood sales and delivery, I bet the mosquitoes aren’t the ones ordering it. A lot of characters don’t seem to be alarmed with the fact that a vampire is living in their neighbourhood. Not sure if they know or they just don’t care because vampires here don’t kill people. Even the vampire hunter girl’s reason to kill vampires stems from the fact it isn’t because vampires killed any family members of her. Just some bodily annoyance, that’s all. So if vampires exist in this world and nobody bats an eyelid (pun intended), what about werewolves and zombies? Do they exist here too? Or just solely vampires? I guess unicorns will always remain as mythical creatures. Sophie did say werewolves were superstitions but is that her belief or a general fact? After all, vampires and werewolves are natural enemies so it is natural Sophie doesn’t want to acknowledge their existence.

There are some other mind boggling questions that I want to ask to. It would never have occurred to me had not Sophie tried to clean out her archives. Because this has me to ponder of how long her collections will last. Assuming vampires are the only eternal beings in this world, then everything else is perishable. This means a huge number of collections, especially Sophie’s books would have been in dilapidated conditions and about to break apart. I wonder how she manages her archives and if she has got space for them all. Sure, she is only 300 over years old but from the looks of it, she has amassed quite a number of collections that the museums and library would be at envy to have.

The vampires in this world seem to suffer from all the cliché weaknesses that Hollywood told us. From sunlight to garlic and holy water, it makes Sophie look more like a weakling. Too bad I didn’t see her transform into a real bat and the most I see is with bat-like wings. If that is the case, I wonder how Sophie manages to keep herself so clean and proper if she cannot see herself in the mirror! This is before she met Akari, you know. I don’t see other familiar assistants around so it is indeed mind boggling. Unless you tell me our vampires here can see their reflection. Of course not as indicated by Sophie. Yeah, does Sophie even know how she looks like? Somebody please be consistent with the vampire clichés already?!

Since vampires can only die and be dissolved by direct exposure to sunlight, I have a question that if Sophie stands and finally gets fully dissolved by the sun’s rays, then when it is night fall, will she resurrect fully to her vampire self? You see, this anime tells us that they can recover or regenerate as long as they go back into darkness. That is why vampires stay the same. Too bad if you’re stuck with a bad hair day when you become one. And since the dissolving takes time, by the time it is night, does this mean Sophie will be truly be back alive? Oh Sophie, you are indeed an immortal if that is the case. Maybe somebody will try to drive a stake to her heart or poison her food with garlic…

Character wise, I guess if you’re not really picky or bored with this cute girls doing cute things genre, they’re pretty cute and likeable in their own ways. Possible subtle cute girls lesbianism because I guess with hardcore ones like Citrus and Yagate Kimi Ni Naru, this one looks like being masked behind an innocent friendship, which I guess is pretty okay with everyone. So yeah, doll lover Akari loves Sophie only because she is so cute like a doll and a plus point is that she doesn’t age, meaning she won’t become a hagged doll forever. And then Sophie is like annoyed and scared but at the same time puts up with all of this because it’s like her first normal friend in, uhm, her life? Excluding Ellie, that’s like her lifetime friend. Akari may be annoying but for an immortal, it gives meaning to her existence. For better or worse. It’s hard to say if Sophie would have preferred the quiet life and just hooking up to her internet. She might enjoy that too but would it be as much as hanging out with a friend no matter how annoying? That’s right. Even vampires are people too. In this case, were people. They have feelings too despite not having body temperature and resistant to illnesses. It’s always that human factor that ramps up the friendship and bonding. Can’t have such intimate relationship with your laptop, can you?

It remains to be seen if this friendship will last into the long future because if that is going to happen, Akari and Hinata have to be turned into vampires. But don’t wait until they are grandmas to turn them so. Because boy, the plot is going to be damn interesting and possibly tear jerking when it comes to a point that Sophie considers Akari her best friend so much so she can’t part with her and the only solution is to turn her into a vampire. Then literally BFF! Otherwise, let Akari grow old and die while Sophie continues to find a new cute young girl as her new friend. I wonder what Akari will think of that. Yeah, that would be interesting to see.

There seems to be this running joke and dilemma about Sophie being 360 years old. She is now forever stuck in this loli body and no human in their right mind will ever think she is of legal age. Heck, she is possibly the oldest around! By a few generations! So while this legally entitles her to a lot of stuffs, at the same time she is also age conscious because it makes her look old. Can’t argue that old is old. Accept your age and age gracefully. Oh wait. She can’t. I don’t think shaving off a few decades is going to do her any good. It’s not like she is finding a prospect or suitor, is she?

Then you have Hinata acting as Akari’s mom and big sister because I guess Akari’s own mom and dad are busy doing their own things. If they are fine with her staying at a vampire’s place, it says a lot about them. Like as though they’ve gotten rid some sort of burden. But that’s just my take. So my guess is that Hinata is now filling that void and in hopes Akari would notice her affection. Yeah, one-sided unrequited love is so unfair. Hinata -> Akari -> Sophie. And where does Ellie fit in all this? Any cute and nice girls would do. I am waiting for the day where Ellie would just bite Akari and turn her into a vampire. Then Sophie will forever be haunted. Heh. So for now she is safe because of the presumption of Akari’s blood tastes bad. Ellie believes it without even thinking further? I mean, if Sophie knows Akari’s blood is bad, that means she would have drank it and that further means Akari is now a vampire. Since she is not, I think somebody is lying… Can’t Akari just drip her blood in small cup and let them taste? Or will that somehow magically turn her into a vampire too? Last and not least the Yuu and Sakuya best-friends-cum-other-potential-lesbian-couple but to a lesser extent. The series could also be done without them but I think to prevent us from thinking these 4 losers girls only have themselves as company, Yuu and Sakuya show that they also have other friends outside the circle who accept the vampire ladies.

Art and animation are drawn to a very cute and kawaii perspective. With everything so bright and colourful, that is why I fear that some people may get the wrong ideas that vampire lolis are cute enough to be your friends that they forget the other cliché views of scary vampires (see the loli vampire twins in the recent Tenrou: Sirius The Jaeger for reference). Sure, Shinobu of the Monogatari series is a cute loli vampire too but considering the genre of that anime, it’s not all happy peaceful sunshine as enjoyed by Sophie here. Speaking about vampires dissolving when being exposed to sunlight, how come Sophie and Ellie seem like they are in a slow process of Thanos’ snap?

I keep feeling that Akari looks like Kiniro Mosaic’s Shinobu. With their similar haircut and similar passion for their perversion. It’s no wonder why I keep seeing shades of the latter in her. (Shinobu is obsessed with blondes and certain blonde named Alice. Like how Akari is obsessed with dolls and a certain doll-like vampire named Sophie). I also see Slow Start’s Eiko in Hinata. Both are tall girls and have a crush on a certain someone who is hard to reach. This anime is jointly produced by Studio Gokumi and Axsiz who have done a few other anime series together like Seiren, Ramen Daisuki Koizumi-san and Koukaku No Pandora.

Didn’t recognize anyone in the voice acting department. But everyone plays their part to make the sound characters (annoyingly) cute. So squeal your heart out visually and aurally. The casts are Miyu Tomita as Sophie (Gabriel in Gabriel Dropout), Yuu Sasahara as Akari (Li Xuemei in Marchen Madchen), Lynn as Hinata (titular character in Fukka), Azumi Waki as Ellie (Maika in Blend S), Aya Uchida as Yuu (Kotori in Love Live) and Rina Hidaka as Sakuya (Ririchiyo in Inu X Boku Secret Service). More cuteness galore in the opening theme with the main quartet singing Kyuutie Ladies. I guess that’s a cute way of playing with the words ‘cute’ and ‘kyuuketsuki’ (vampire). The same quartet sing the ending theme, Happy Strange Friends and I prefer this song a lot more with its light-hearted bouncy sunshine feel (a bit of Broadway too). There are also a few BGMs that have that jazzy feel. Kinda reminds me of that main Yakitate! Japan theme.

Overall, this series is relaxing and funny because of all the cute things they spam us. Ironically this series has quite a bit of cutie sunshine but it doesn’t get dissolved… I guess it has been quite a long time since we have had a cute vampire series (remember Karin, anyone?) because so many vampire themed animes are like so gory, violent and bloody (Hellsing, Owari No Seraph, Blood+). Others are too over the top brooding dramatic (Vampire Knight), too sexy (Rosario To Vampire) and too overrated (Kizumonogatari, Shiki and yes, Kekkai Sensen too). Not sure if they are trying to normalize the supernatural that they are our friends and not our enemies (Demi-chan Wa Kataritai, Centaur No Nayami and to a certain extent Monster Musume No Iru Nichijou) but with vampire lolis like Sophie around, you bet you don’t have to be afraid of vampires sucking your blood. Thank goodness I’m a middle aged guy so they’ll stay clearly away from me!

Saiki Kusuo No Psi-nan S2

December 29, 2018

If you can’t get enough of the crazy characters who keep bugging a certain psychic kid who just wants to lead a normal and quiet live, be glad there is more. Saiki Kusuo No Psi-nan S2 is going to be as wacky and hilarious as its predecessor with more psycho antics that would seemingly threaten to reveal our titular character. He is always one and many steps ahead but can that last forever? Stay tuned as we find out. But for Saiki, I think he already knows the conclusion to it all.

Episode 1A
Saiki trolls us with a Gintama crossover! Thankfully it is just a short one. He makes his way to school and stumbles into the usual gang of idiots. As usual they continue to gather around and bug him. It ends with an unexpected Gintama crossover punch line.

Episode 1B
Saiki doesn’t want to spend another disastrous Christmas night with his family. So as he hangs out alone at the park, he sees Takahashi in a pinch as he dropped a Christmas cake he is supposed to deliver. Yeah, that guy has to work tonight and will get his pay docked for every cake he messed up. But what’s worse is that Saiki senses Nendou and Kaidou wanting to come to his place to party and Teruhashi joining in. With the crowd spotting Mugami and chasing him, Saiki sees this and teleports back home. Only, his friends are already waiting in his room ready to celebrate.

Episode 1C
Saiki is alone on New Year’s Day. He feels there is a conspiracy because on every channel he turns on, one of his idiotic friends is on the channel! From Nendou in that millionaire quiz show to Mera in an eating contest to Hairo playing baseball. Finally the biggest troll of them all: This anime running now on TV!

Episode 1D
Toritsuka begs Saiki once more to use his power to help him win Aiko’s heart. Of course he won’t and conveniently dumps him to Hairo under the pretence this lecher wants to join the tennis club. Oh lucky, Aiko is also a tennis club member. Toritsuka tries to look good but sucks thanks to Saiki interfering. But as he tries his best on his own, it looks like he could play decently. But why Aiko isn’t impressed? Saiki reveals Aiko liked him from the start but that is only because he is useless. That is why he was trying to help. Now that he looks competent, she is going to forget about him. Bummer.

Episode 1E
Saiki transforms himself into a girl so he could eat a dessert buffet only open for ladies. Too bad Teruhashi, Yumehara and Mera are there. He can’t get away. There are times when his real identity may be busted because the girls think he is acting so much like Saiki. Then they try to talk about their crushes. Saiki gets up to leave and accidentally drops his books out of his bag. The girls see the name on the book. Why does ‘she’ have Saiki’s stuffs? Oh no. Could it be ‘she’ is Saiki’s little sister? Yeah. Let’s go with that.

Episode 2A
Saiki is forced to hear his parents’ rant how they met since today is their anniversary. It sounded like dad is such a hot guy who saved mom from a ruffian. Hard to believe, right? After he goes to bed, Kuusuke calls to inform the parents that one of Saiki’s antenna is defective. Next morning, Saiki wakes up with his room on a tree! As he walks around, he realizes he has gone back to the past. Because this dude isn’t Nendou but his father! Also, the fashion sense of the people in that era. Saiki realizes he made a terrible mistake that changed timeline. Because he bumped into Nendou’s dad, he avoided bumping into Saiki’s mom that would have led to Saiki’s dad rescuing her. At least that was the story he was being told.

Episode 2B
Realizing he won’t be born from this aftermath, he conspires with Nendou’s dad to hit on her. In the meantime, trying to get his pathetic dad to make his move to save his future wife. In the end, not exactly the way it should have turned out but at least dad ‘saved’ mom and he hit it off. Now, everything should have returned to normal as Saiki returns to his original timeline. Guess what? A decimated dystopia!!!

Episode 2C
Saiki explains the butterfly effect. Something about because of your interference that wasn’t supposed to be in the original, you can never get back to your original timeline. He bumps into punk Toritsuka to reveal about the details about World War III due to some invention created by Kuusuke. Saiki is shocked to learn that in this timeline, he is dead! Saiki goes to see his brother and learns the invention he created that people started fighting over: A time machine. Though, it could only go back one day. Now we see Saiki returning to the exact timeline he is. But why is he paying intense intention to his parents’ story? Using the time machine back and forth, a day at a time, he is trying to listen and see if he has returned to the correct timeline. Phew.

Episode 2D
Kuboyasu tries to give up his thug life but it seems there are other punks who aren’t willing to allow that. So they continue to pick a fight with him but in the end they got beaten up as Kuboyasu reverts to his extreme gangster style. But the moment for him to change for good is when he receives a love letter. He takes this chance to meet this girl and change. Turns out to be a trap by a few punks to get him to fight. They’re going to regret it… Kuboyasu has become so disillusioned after this, he became a badass that nobody dared picked a fight with him for a while.

Episode 2E
Saiki is out buying clothes when unfortunately Nendou and Kaidou are also here. Don’t bother asking these guys with lousy fashion sense. Suddenly it becomes a competition between the duo who has the better fashion sense and Saiki will be the judge. They’re both losers. With Teruhashi now in the picture, they have this idea to pick clothes for her to wear and Saiki will as usual be the judge. Kaidou goes first with his bizarre ‘warrior’-like outfit. Fail. Though it made other females want to try it out. Nendou is anticipating putting Teruhashi in a very skimpy cowboy outfit and since Saiki saw through his plan, he quickly switches with normal clothes. Looks pretty good on her. She’ll buy whatever he picks! Saiki has left, only to realize he hasn’t bought his own clothes.

Episode 3A
Today is extra chilly. If you think outside is cold, wait till you get inside class. It’s colder! Don’t worry, we have a human heater: Hairo! Don’t stop exercising! Normally it would be okay to just skip class and go home but since some famous comedian, Peanuts Ueda (who the f*ck?!) is coming later, everyone else decides to stay! Because of that, everyone pulls up their jersey covering their face, forming some sort of new fashion. By the time this comedian arrives, he tells the lamest joke. Yeah, it’s so cold in here…

Episode 3B
Saiki is forced to hand notes to Saiko. Oh, Nendou, Kaidou and Kuboyasu tag along too. With them being so awed at his high class luxurious mansion, Saiko thought of showing off to make them acknowledge he is much better than them. But all of them only have this commoner expression and they expect something fantastical or futuristic. In other words, not really impressed. So after they leave, Saiko vows to show them a house that will knock them off their feet.

Episode 3C
Hence Saiko forcefully invites all of them again. This time his mansion has turned into a futuristic amusement park! He guides them around as they all have fun. In the end, they are so happy that they want to invite him to their house next time to show how commoners have fun. This puts Saiko in a bind. He spent so much money and time researching on them just to achieve what? And they’re more entertained than impressed? Is this victory worth it? They realize that Nendou has been missing ever since they started entering this place. It seems he has been stuck at the gate. He is the only one who thinks this isn’t any fun at all.

Episode 3D
With the heavy snow, school is of course cancelled. Saiki thought he could sleep in but Nendou and Kaidou are here to invite him to build a snowman. Normally he would decline them but he sees visions of them being killed. Seriously. So he hangs out with them just to keep watch. Any impending danger, Saiki is able to ward them off without anybody noticing. Finally when the snowman is done and there is nothing else to do, the duo suggest one more thing to do: Pretend to be dead! The vision came true… So much time wasted…

Episode 3E
With the start of the new term, Saiki and co will be second years. Too bad he notices the third years are all weird looking people whom none he recognized at all. Did they really school here? Saiki notices a graduating class with names beginning with only ‘A’ and a senior whom Yumehara once fell in love with but is more like leeching off her money. Shockingly, Kaidou gives his speech as representative year and personally thanks Mineo Nobuaki AKA Alphonse Calcifer Raiden! Who the f*ck?! It’s probably this guy that introduced Kaidou to his chuunibyou world. Saiki notes the only senior he will recognize is Kongou. But he has changed so much from a gangster dude to a prim and proper student that he is barely recognizable! Who the f*ck?! Then everyone starts getting emotional as they sing the school’s anthem. Yeah, weird song. Should have been used in a tokusatsu series instead.

Episode 4A
Imu Rifuta thinks she is hell of a cute and the world revolves around her. It’s no surprise that the guys really like her. Until Nendou points out Teruhashi is cuter. An argument ensues but her fans seem to paint Teruhashi in a higher light. This has Rifuta wanting to see this Teruhashi girl. Woah! Such an angel! Even more so Rifuta realizes she causes guys to fight with each other but Teruhashi has them make peace! With Teruhashi treating her nicely but getting better stuffs than her, Rifuta runs away as she cannot take it anymore that somebody is better than her. Turns out it is a devious ploy by Teruhashi to teach her the harsh truth that the world does not revolve around her!

Episode 4B
Kaidou is having fun telling April Fools jokes until people start accusing him of going too far. However Nendou still believed some laser beam shooting tower crap thingy and has bought a camera to take a picture of it. He accidentally drops it, threatening to fall over Kaidou but Saiki uses his power to miss him and have a soft landing. This amazes Kaidou as he tries to tell everyone about it but nobody believes. He demonstrates again but this time the camera really breaks. Now they accuse him of being a true liar but the laser beam is starting to shoot from the tower! Thank Saiki for that.

Episode 4C
Saiki has allergies but each time he sneezes, something precious from his dad explodes! It’s too much of a coincidence to call it random. While some pills do hold back his sneeze, he has to take them periodically. However Nendou wants him to see his sneezing face and won’t let him take the pills. Too bad Saiki sneezes and the pills explode! He needs to get out but Nendou is still hell bent on showing that face. He is even trying to use a bouquet of pollens! Saiki knocks him out but before he could teleport, his sneeze causes a hole in the wall. This alerts everyone else but Saiki manages to cover up using pollens as a smokescreen to repair the wall.

Episode 4D
Hairo and the gang are to pick up trash but it is also a competition as depending on what kind of trash you pick up, you earn certain points. Kaidou believes everyone is in it for the big prize money in the end as the one who gets the most points wins it. Some shady dude tries to coax them to join his side and pick up cigarette butts since it is worth the most points. But Hairo’s pride will not allow it and so he rejects him. With Hairo’s enthusiasm, they could have easily run away with the lead but he is so particular in picking up every darn trash that is small in points too. Not to mention, Kaidou is just freaking clumsy. Lost some points there… That shady guy returns and has a trash bag full of cigarette butts. He brags about it so Saiki ignites and burns the whole lot. In the end, the winner is some family because they picked up a corpse of a dead tsuchinoko. WTF…

Episode 4E
Toritsuka offered to help solve ghost rumours of the piano playing at night in the music room. Of course he needs Saiki help too. Turns out to be a girl who has a great attachment to it. Toritsuka wants to flirt with her but she rather die than date him. Ghost joke. Eventually she realizes she is causing others to be scared and leaves. The next day, the piano is removed since many students complained about the hauntings. Toritsuka won’t give up and has Saiki do him one more favour. While we hear the backstory that it belonged to some family who donated it 20 years ago and the daughter who played it passed away due to illness, we see Toritsuka has not given up on the piano and has it moved into his room! So cramped. But I don’t think ghost girl is coming back…

Episode 5A
Rifuta still plays second fiddle to Teruhashi. Whatever she does, Teruhashi is always tops. When asked about Saiki, Teruhashi suddenly loses her balance. Rifuta gets it that she likes him and has finally found her trump card to best her. So she tries to hint she wants to date Saiki to throw her off and Rifuta relishes seeing the almost panicky face she puts. Of course this is all part of Saiki’s plan. He would look like he is with Rifuta until Teruhashi gives up. Once Rifuta believes she has won over her, there is no more reason for her to be with him. Killing 2 birds with a stone. As expected, Rifuta approaches him. She is thrilled he ‘chose’ her instead of Teruhashi. But it looks like Rifuta is starting to genuinely like Saiki. He looks so cool in her vision! Another cans of worms opened…

Episode 5B
Saiki’s parents’ birthday as just a day apart. So it is obvious they lie to each other about going their way when it’s to get the other presents. Saiki peeks on what they are going to buy and it’s definitely questionable. So mom got him a display case to put all her past presents to him. On the other hand, he got her a huge teddy bear. But wait. How can he afford that? He sold her past presents to buy it. Also, she moved the sewing kit to make room for the shelf and hence can’t put together the teddy bear. So are their presents useless? They start crying but it is tears of happiness that they love each other so much that they sell their precious things for each other. Yeah, the power of love is in the feelings not the presents!

Episode 5C
An arrogant hamster tries to make Saiki adopt him. He doesn’t need to oblige so the hamster panics and reveals he wanted to see the world but regrets how dangerous it is. Now it is lost and can’t get home. Since he is not from this area, Saiki can’t help. Beg all you want. Amp tries to up the hamster but after being flattered by the furball, Amp who knows where it lives decides to bring it there. You think the hamster would be happy to be reunited with its original master. Too bad that kid has bought a new hamster pet and is very happy with it.

Episode 5D
Saiki now has this obligation to find the hamster a new owner. Hairo: Too much training! Kaidou: Too much chuunibyou! Yumehara: Can’t stop blabbing! Ever! Teruhashi: Oh, she has a cat. Nendou is their last hope and logically this is the worst of the lot. Is it doomsday for little Hamtaro? Well, don’t judge a book by its cover because Nendou is pretty good in taking care of the hamster as he owned one before. Before you know it, the hamster is so attached to this dude.

Episode 5E
Kuusuke sends an electric massage chair to his family. Literally shocking. When the parents try to massage Saiki’s shoulder, it is as stiff as a rock! No, an iron vault! You can blame the past seasons for all his stress. Dad has an idea to beat him up using stuffs but why does it feel like revenge? Anyway, anything he uses breaks! Even metal stuffs! Mom even tries to stab him but it didn’t work! Dad borrows an impact rammer and surprisingly Saiki feels good. But anymore vibration and the house will be destroyed. So he teleports himself to some riverside and destroy rocks to let its broken bits rain on his shoulders. It is perfect until he realizes an old woman watching him. He teleports back to the house where he accidentally sits on the electric massage chair. But wait. The electricity literally cured his aches! Now he can really move! So light! But so powerful that he puts a hole in the house.

Episode 6A
Saiko brags about his weekend luxury liner cruise. He will invite the boys if they get Teruhashi to come. So they did and Mera and Yumehara also joined. Saiki assumed he isn’t in since the head count is supposed to include Hairo. Too bad he is busy with his club activities and Saiki lost his chance to decline. So as they board the ship, it seems Saiki read Saiko’s mind of what happened last night. The ship is under maintenance and won’t be finished in time. Saiko told them to finish it or get fired. And hence the ship split apart during the voyage and now they are in some uninhabited island.

Episode 6B
Did Saiki not see this coming? Apparently there were bad omens but somehow he chose to ignore them. Although Saiko claims his ship has the best tracking system and in no time they will be rescued, only Saiki knows they are not near Japan waters. Saiki remembers what happened. Last night when they were trying to stop Mera from raiding the fridge, somehow Saiki got seasick.

Episode 6C
As they put him to bed, Teruhashi accidentally took off his antenna. That’s why the ship split and Saiki woke up then, used all his powers to save everyone but somehow teleported them to an island near South America. This means no help will come to them. Of course Saiki can teleport them back but it will raise suspicions about his powers. With their food running out, suddenly Mera returns as a native!

Episode 6D
So apparently she raided all that’s left of their emergency food and is giving them poisonous mushrooms as apology? Make sure you eat up. Yeah, Mera can’t even speak human tongue. But Saiki saves them because he teleported back to town and bought foodstuffs and make it look like they washed up ashore. Nendou then has an idea to build a raft. Saiki agrees to it since in the middle of the ocean he can teleport near Japan waters without anyone noticing. However it seems they lack the necessary manpower to build a raft even if Saiki has bought and accidentally washed up the tools. Yeah, Saiko is being a dick not wanting to help.

Episode 6E
Not even Teruhashi could use her charm and get this guy to help. He is too proud to stoop to a commoner’s standard. Mera is caught trying to steal their food again. This time she has degraded into an animal. But treating her with food, she is finally tamed. Now they have the necessary manpower to build the raft. At night, Saiki inspects the raft and knows it isn’t seaworthy. So he makes some adjustments so the logs can stick together and it doesn’t have to float as long as he is around he can use his powers to do so.

Episode 7A
Saiko hasn’t eaten for 2 days and he still refuses the charity of others and won’t eat their junk food. He goes on to reveal about his stubbornness that led to the sinking of the ship because it was still under maintenance. This only serves to make the rest hell bent on making him eat. With Saiko regaining his strength, now he joins in to help make the raft. Albeit, he is just ordering around. Once done, Saiko points who is going to remain on the island. If they are all on the raft, what if the rescue team comes here and finds no one? Besides, the raft team can go and get help for those who remained on the island. This throws a spanner in Saiki’s pan.

Episode 7B
So the gang deliberates on who gets to stay or go. With their silly reasoning and all, finally the ones who will take the raft are Nendou, Mera, Saiko and Kuboyasu. So will we have some love romance between Saiki-Teruhashi and Kaidou-Yumehara on the island? Not if Saiki has his own ulterior motive…

Episode 7C
Just before the raft team sails off, suddenly the rescue team finds them! Of course this was all Saiki’s doing. The night before when everyone was sleeping, he teleported part of the island to a nearby Japan island. Hence the island they are on is just a partial replica. However back in school, things are not over yet. Rumours spread like wildfire that the 8 of them got stranded. Even though Saiko used his power to suppress the media, the rumours still spread around in school. Thanks to the sleazy press club president, Manako Jouten and her photographer lackey. She wants to interview Saiki but he refuses. Hence she prints a fake story on Saiki and Nendou being gay. Saiki has no choice but to accept just to put this case to rest.

Episode 7D
However Jouten is unhappy that all the truths that Saiki said (except the parts of him using his powers) are really boring. Even more disappointed that he did not take sneaky photos of Teruhashi changing or taking a dump. Yeah, she’s really a corrupted journalist. She would’ve been more suitable to be a paparazzi. Thus Jouten prints a fake story that Saiki did take pictures of Teruhashi taking a dump. This causes all her fans to hound him but Teruhashi clears the air that he is not that kind of person. Plus, she didn’t take a dump despite being stranded there. Because she is more than your ordinary girl! Everybody believes her! It doesn’t end there as Jouten tries to aggravate the situation further. Dressed up as Teruhashi and doing posing in a taking a dump position later to be superimposed and Photoshop, the next day she gets a shock when Saiki alters the story to reveal the embarrassing act of the press duo trying to fake a take a dump act. That’s journalism for you.

Episode 7E
It’s the last day of summer vacation. As usual, Nendou, Kaidou and Kuboyasu hound Saiki at his home to copy his homework. However Saiki realizes there is one homework he didn’t quite finish: Picture diary. High school students still have picture diary homework? So we see the rest make up stupid stories of what they do. But when they learn Saiki did nothing during all his holidays, they feel pity and want to bring him to the beach or something. Saiki changes his mind and will show them he did everything. Yup, he teleported around the country and take pictures of himself doing awesome stuffs. The friends are so amazed that now they don’t want to do their homework and instead spend their last day to the max doing fun stuffs.

Episode 8A
Time for another new transfer student, Mikoto Aiura. She claims she can read fortunes. Sceptic at first, Saiki sees her doing weird rituals but reads Yumehara’s loveless life right. Poor girl runs away crying. The more she tells her predictions, the more Saiki believes she is the real deal. The reason why she transfers here is because she heard of another guy who has great psychic powers too and believes he is her soul mate. The way she describes him is definitely Saiki! It’s the more reason why he needs to stay out of her sight.

Episode 8B
With Saiki staying at home and using clairvoyance to peak, he learns Aiura has another ability to see people’s aura. So she sees the various auras like Kaidou’s squirrel, Hairo on fire and the biggest angelic aura of them all: Teruhashi! Saiki is done running so he decides to confront and tell her the truth. Suddenly she cannot see auras anymore. Saiki thinks he knows the trick. Because his aura is too big, it envelopes everyone else. So long she doesn’t see him from afar alone, his identity is safe. Just when Aiura thinks she has found her soul mate, that dude is Nendou. Damn…

Episode 8C
Saiki sees Yuuta getting bullied. He tells his mom and since she can’t do anything, he leaves it to Saiki to help thinking he is closer to him. Next day Saiki sees the same thing. Saiki transforms himself into their age to intervene. When the bullies run away, he learns that Yuuta was trying to become strong like his Cider Man and picked a fight with them! When the bullies return, Saiki stood there and just got punched. This shocks Yuuta as he sees a vision of Cider Man telling him that true strength and justice is also about apologizing. Yuuta does so and the bullies stop picking on him.

Episode 8D
Saiki realizes he is in a time loop. It seems after a few seconds, that scene will repeat itself again and again. To get out of this loop, he needs to clear his mind completely. Yeah, he looks like an idiot doing so. Although he is able to get out of that time loop, another one happens. This process goes on a while until a time loop of a child almost getting rammed by a truck. Saiki must time it precisely because too early or late will have fatal consequences. After 16,785 loops (OMG! As bad as that Haruhi episode!), he finally gets out. Nendou scares him when he repeated an earlier line.

Episode 8E
Teruhashi narrates how she is born as the cutest and hence it is not strange that everyone fawns over her. Somehow this is supposed to be a reminder why she likes plain guy Saiki as he is the only one who doesn’t fall for her charms. Yup, she needs him to be impressed by her beauty. Remember that goal? So to catch the elusive Saiki, she uses her charms to attract the men to look for him! Man, it’s a real man hunt if I must say! Unfortunately Saiki cannot be found. Teruhashi is disappointed but we see the real Saiki is invisible and standing right beside her! He also reminds us of all the other powers he has and has been living his entire life to hide them. It’s the reason he stays away from Teruhashi as she attracts people. She can fool others but not him!

Episode 9A
Kouki Sawakita is just a background character. Suddenly he gets called by Aiura. Is this his big break? After doing some weird stuffs on him, it looks like she is trying to find her soul mate and he isn’t it. Yeah, she has a list of people with the initials SK and is trying to narrow it down. Yumehara helps her and even theorizes how her soul mate might have a big aura that it is cancelling her ability to see the aura of others. Spot on. Their plan is to watch everyone leave school and if she can see the aura, it means that person is her soul mate. Saiki pretends to leave and then teleports back. The girls wait and wait and when Aiura could see the aura, she sees a death sign on Yumehara’s face. Yumehara falls off the rail but luckily Saiki teleports and saves her.

Episode 9B
Saiki tells the truth about himself to Aiura. She might not be able to believe at first but they have to solve Yumehara’s problem first. They make this incident look like a dream. Aiura walks home with Yumehara and a few mishaps happen along the way. It is thanks to Saiki’s clairvoyance that allowed them to escape death. Until a lorry almost crashing into them did the death sign on her face disappear. With that over, now Aiura is totally in love with Saiki.

Episode 9C
Saiki and friends attend a circus hosted by Chouno. I guess being a magician wasn’t enough. Yeah, to broaden his horizon. A mishap causes Chouno to be injured. Since the show must go on, he picks Saiki as his replacement. There is no way he would do that but with Chouno’s assistant also supporting his idea, everyone places their hopes on him. Saiki goes out there and uses a bit of his power to impress the crowd. He is about to leave when he is done but receives a premonition that there will be fire and many injured.

Episode 9D
Not wanting that to happen, Saiki stays put and substitutes the next circus act, thinking their act would case the fire. Yeah, everybody is going to be amazed at this talented clown doing everything. He even tames a lion who is hell bent on eating humans! Chouno returns from hospital since his injuries aren’t bad. Suddenly the ceiling collapses and there are some injured. They help them out and despite the circus ruined, Chouno still entertained them with his own magic tricks. Saiki believes everything would have turned out fine anyway even had he not intervened.

Episode 9E
Teruhashi is absent with a cold. Because of that, everybody is gloom and doom! Yeah, their sunshine is away. With everyone so worried, it doesn’t help with Kaidou theorizing she could be dying. Hence the rumours keep growing as well as everyone’s anxiety that she is dead! Heck, Hairo even screams to God to take him instead! With this annoyance, Saiki has no choice but to intervene. Using his telepathy to tell everyone Teruhashi has just a cold, he then teleports to Teruhashi’s room and knocks out her f*cking annoying brother who is bugging her in bed to take suppositories. Teruhashi is able to rest well and returns to school the next day. Everyone in school is happy. Except Mugami who has now caught her cold. Nobody cares about him…

Episode 10A
Grandpa is happy that Saiki is coming to visit. But when dad calls, he immediately hangs up. Another call but this doesn’t sound like Saiki and could be a scam. But grandpa still falls for it since the voice says he loves him. Yeah, he is told to leave money somewhere because he blew it on a mobile game. So grandpa quickly drives there. Luckily Saiki’s family just arrived and after hearing what happened, Saiki manages to stop grandpa. Now they have to trace the scammer. When another call is made, Saiki traces it but it leads him to a room with nobody and only a recorded voice on the voice. As he cannot trace who is behind this, there is only 1 person who can do this.

Episode 10B
The culprit is Kuusuke and it was all just a prank. Back home, Kuusuke seems to love trolling grandpa till the point of no return. Like trolling about the gift he is supposed to give him but gets distracted with something else. When grandma suggests visiting the festival, you bet grandpa is excited. But there is a problem: Their car can only fit 5 people and this means 1 of them must stay. Somehow they all decide grandpa should stay. More trolling from Kuusuke as he suggests Saiki sits on grandpa’s lap. I guess that’s it for him. With grandpa out, the rest get to go to the festivals.

Episode 10C
Saiki believes Kuusuke has an ulterior motive but the latter won’t say. Only if Saiki beats him in a shooting contest, he will tell. They try to restrain their powers as Kuusuke changes the rule that if he could hit this ugly teddy prize, he wins. But what the heck is this death raygun he is using?! Luckily Saiki shoots and deflects it and livens up the boring festival with its fireworks. Kuusuke then reveals he has graduated from college and has come home to stay here. As grandpa crawls out of bed, hell bent on going to the festival, he receives a call, grandma calls to say Kuusuke is living with them. I guess he died again. A week later, dad wants Saiki to head over to grandpa’s to send something Kuusuke forgot. When Saiki teleports there, he realizes the entire village has gone hi-tech!

Episode 10D
No doubt this is all Kuusuke’s doing and he has a lab here too. He explains it all started when an old woman couldn’t change her light bulb so he helped out via modern robotic technology. Talk about overkill. He shows grandpa in a power suit being able to do almost everything. But isn’t Kuusuke controlling him? Grandma is in an incubation tube that makes her younger! When Saiki returns the stuffs, grandpa accidentally smacks it away. Dropping out are the nefarious plans of Kuusuke to destroy Saiki via turning all the elderly in this village to obliterate him. Hence all the hi-tech machineries are just a ploy that will eventually have Kuusuke controlling them. Now that the cat’s out of the bag, what will he do? Run away!

Episode 10E
Just when Saiki picks a day that Mera doesn’t work in the café, here is Aiura showing up. He ignores her but we all know she wants to flirt with him. Toritsuka sees this and is jealous Saiki has got a girlfriend. Of course not. Toritsuka and Aiura are shocked to realize that the other has powers. So it becomes a strange contest to prove their power is the real deal. Saiki won’t take all of this and is about to leave but freaks out upon seeing a cockroach. Hence the duo get this weird idea whoever gets to kill the cockroach gets to be his sidekick. Too bad they are also scared in their own ways. In the end, it is the café master who swats it. So he is now Saiki’s sidekick?

Episode 11A
Holy sh*t! Nendou got a love letter from a girl?! NO, YOU’RE NOT DREAMING NOR IS THIS A PRANK! Heck, Nendou even thinks of rejecting her! Tracing back the events of how she really liked him, it seems he saved her from an oncoming baseball. Kaidou is trying to be a relationship master now? But he can’t even decently say the word kiss. When Hairo reads the letter properly, it seems this is not a love letter but a recruitment letter to join a baseball club. Damn…

Episode 11B
The gang try out the judo club. With the odd pairing, Saiki is forced to pair with the instructor. During the practice, Saiki manages to throw him down. This prompts him to think Saiki is the new judo champion for Japan. He is then made to fight Hairo and not wanting the attention to be on him, Saiki purposely loses but Hairo could see through his trick. Then another go, Saiki makes it look like he is serious of winning but in the last minute somehow turns the tables and loses. Now everyone thinks Hairo is the next judo champion. Nendou then goes to avenge Saiki and easily defeats Hairo. Damn, he is the new potential judo champion!

Episode 11C
Teruhashi visits Saiki’s place for New Year. Saiki knew she is coming and jams the intercom. However Kuusuke is here and lets her in. Saiki knows having Teruhashi and Kuusuke together will be a bad thing so for once he takes her out to the shrine. Too bad Kuusuke also tags along. Kuusuke asks if they’re dating and Teruhashi flusters. As she tries to be humble, Kuusuke drops the bomb that he is not complimenting her as he paints Saiki as a much better person and hence she is not good enough for him. Saiki knows Kuusuke is trying to cause trouble and uses his scowl to stop. Teruhashi is going to get back at Kuusuke so she cries ange