Black Lagoon

May 17, 2015

Tired of the same ol’ life? Tired of the mundane everyday routine? Tired of what life is supposed to be about as dictated by society and culture? Well, I guess most of us have been brought up to believe in such and to enter the rat race. Go to college. Get a degree. Graduate. Find a job. Get paid. Work for life. Then die. Forgive me if I have omitted a lot in between but really, I don’t think you want to be bored over such unrelated details. Because when you really find out the dark truth of humans and how they run things, are you able to face the system? Are you willing to drop all your ideals and what you believed for and step into the dark side? Well, if you have lost faith in humanity in general, then I am sure you will find yourself comfortable with Black Lagoon. A place where death is only a heartbeat away and survival hinges on every miniscule decision to make. So are you willing to take the plunge and join the legions of those who do not follow the norms of society but their guts and instincts for survival? For our main character in this anime, he doesn’t really have much of a choice. Forced into a situation beyond his control, what has a normal salaryman got to do when even his own company abandons him in a pirate hijacking attempt? Time to kick out those sugar coated beliefs and join these guys. Who cares anyway? For all you know, it might have been the best decision ever made.

Episode 1
Rokuro Okajima couldn’t have wished for a more eventful life. A lowly salaryman, often kicked around by his superiors. Oh yeah. Harsh reality. And then the ship he is on got hijacked by pirates. They take an important CD from him and although the ship goes free with conditions, he is taken hostage. Yeah. Life sucks. Dutch contacts Balalaika that they’ve got the goods. Asashi Industries, the company that Rock (our salaryman’s given nickname) works, learns about this and they’re discussing about how the Russian mafia is gaining ground in the waters of South East Asia for illegal trade and such. Because the CD hasn’t reached them yet, they find this is a good opportunity to take it back because it would be scandalous if its contents are revealed. This case has been left to Kageyama to handle. Every action he takes, he will be responsible. Dutch isn’t happy that Revy has taken this Japanese guy as hostage. Her intention is to make extra cash and hold him for ransom. However Dutch wonders if she is going to be the negotiator or has their telephone number or even a bank account to transfer the money. She becomes upset and starts shooting. Thank God the shots missed. Dutch takes him up for a smoke. He talks to him that they are just delivery boys and are in the midst of a delivery. They have their priorities and although the things they do may be in foul of the law, it’s what they do for a living. Rock starts to have sympathy for the pirates because Dutch feels more trustworthy than his corporate colleagues. They stop by a town made up of mercenaries, hookers, junkies and convicts. Yeah. Everyone has a gun. Rock learns their other ‘different’ member, Benny is from a college in Florida but went into trouble with the FBI and mafia for playing with fire. That’s when Revy saved him. Because Revy mocks his drinking skills, Rock takes up the challenge. Don’t underestimate his social drinking skills. Dutch learns from Balalaika that there is trouble coming their way. From a Chinese mafia she caught, Shinginan’s Wan Taikei has sent assassins to kill them.

Speaking of which, the mercenaries are here to kill them. They literally kill everyone in the pub! Of course Revy and co are still alive. She shows us why she is called Two Hand Revy as she jumps into action and pumps bullets into the mercenaries. She makes Lara Croft look like a baby. And she’s smiling. Eventually they flee the place and back to their ship. The mercenary captain is happy that there is someone they can go after. He has been looking for someone with full of fight. As Benny tries to contact Asashi Industries, Dutch tells Rock that they will be rendezvousing with Balalaika. If negotiations for his release don’t go well, they will leave him at some island. Rock isn’t happy and wants to be taken along. After they dragged him into this mess, there is no way he is going to be left stranded. Kageyama is on the line but he tells Rock that the CD no longer matters. It contains plans to build nuclear capabilities for a certain country. He wants him to disappear into the South China Seas. He will be promoted and everyone will be at his funeral. Goodbye. As Rock is reeling from the shock (I don’t think the vomiting is from the drinking hangover), an assault helicopter attacks them. It’s the captain. However he won’t easily kill them and will toy with them for a while. Rock becomes a coward and wants to get off instead of fighting back. This pisses off Revy a lot but the most frustrated one is Rock as his whole life everyone has been telling him what to do. He’s not going to take this suffering anymore.

Episode 2
Rock is visibly upset because he knows his company has sent mercenaries to kill him. Dutch and Benny start to ponder something strange. The helicopter could have made mincemeat out of them but instead is just following them at a distance. And then it stops dead in its tracks near a sunken ship. They soon realize that they have entered the mangrove waterways and ahead is a dead end. They’re trapped. The only way is back where they came from and this means facing them in a death match. Rock is panicking that they should call the police but he gets punched to cool his head. Nothing is solved if they’re panicking. Revy wonders if they should wait till they run out of fuel but knowing they are the mercenary type, they’ll come finish them. Rock then has an idea. Let’s play chicken. He might sound insane with his theory in making them fly but what else choice to they have? Making their way back, Revy fires the first shots so the captain fires back with heat seeking missiles. Rock fires the flare as chaff. Next, not only they use the sunken ship as a shield, it also serves as a platform for them to soar close to the helicopter in which Dutch unleashes his torpedoes. It hit captain right in the face! He got f*cked! Rock doing the middle finger to him for this victory! The ship might be messed up but at least everyone else is alright. Rock is out cold but he has that satisfied look on his face. When they meet up with Balalaika and hand over the disk, she hands it back to Kageyama and will talk about the details at the hotel. Rock won’t go back with his company because he was told he is already dead, right? So be it. Now that he is no longer an employee or hostage, where is he to go? Revy hints there is a sailor opening on a certain ship. I think he knows what it is. He’ll take it. And so Rock in his first pirate operation, trying to make a huge liner with polite gentleman words? They’re not going to listen till Revy fires her RPG and her fires her foul language! That’s the way. Kageyama returns to his home and from the looks of it, he doesn’t care about his family problems. Only about his stocks.

Episode 3
In the lawless city of Roanapur, our delivery boy pirates are having a day off. Dutch is making a call to somebody when he is approached by Chin. Seems Chin is trying to get him to deliver his goods for him again instead of working for Balalaika. However Dutch remembers an incident where his men pulled out. He notes Balalaika has more honour than him and he isn’t going to get a second chance with them. Chin will make him regret this. Dutch summons the crew as they have a job from Donnie Yen (as in that HK actor?) to receive some package from the Vietnamese military. Of course this is a trap laid out by Chin. As they hit the seas, Revy asks about Rock’s pathetic life at work. Well, doing what subordinates do. How the heck does he put up with that f*cked up life? Everyone does it. As for Revy, she’s been doing to same thing even before this. Killing, stealing and other bad things that are more than just f*cked up. Then 6 assault ships pull up from behind. They know what’s going on. First, Dutch hits the brakes so the front 2 assault ships flanking them fire at each other. Then Revy jumps from boat to boat and kills every single one of them! Freaking awesome! Did she input some cheat code to jump like that? Chin is seen packing his stuffs and trying to run away. Unfortunately Balalaika and her men are at his doorstep. She doesn’t look happy especially about the rumours spread about her. Later Dutch gets a call from Balalaika herself and Chin has told her everything. To make sure this doesn’t happen again, she lets him hear a ‘beautiful’ explosion setting off in the background. Yeah. Chin was tied up with explosives laced all over the room. Boom! She will have a job for him soon and will contact him. Dutch then treats his crew to drinks at a bar for today’s inconvenience. Up for it?

Episode 4
There is this flashback in between the scenes. A German submarine flees its fatherland at the end of World War II. Part of their delivery mission is to return a Japanese military back to his homeland and a lieutenant colonel to Batavia (Jakarta). Along the way, there is an ally ship the captain wants to sink but the lieutenant colonel doesn’t think it will have any effect on their fatherland. However the ally ship drops sea mines and it critically hit them. They sink to the bottom of the sea. The captain addresses his men and relieves them of their duties. He is sad that they won’t be able to bring the Japanese back as he has committed suicide. Then talking to the lieutenant colonel, he seems to be clinging onto a painting as he believes it will bring hope for the future of their country. The captain regrets for dying with a man like him. He continues to speak of the end of Hitler’s empire and this only serves to upset him. He cannot take it anymore and shoots the captain. Back in present time, Dutch is leading his crew to do some treasure hunting. Benny explains the history of a German U-boat being sunk just before it reached its destination by the allies. But any untold version has an officer with a painting forcing his way onboard. What does this mean? The painting is worth millions, right? A Spanish collector into Nazi art contracted them to find this painting believed to be lost. There is hope since a French telephone company was laying cables down the sea and discovered the wreckage. Since this area has lots of countries fighting over it, nobody can make an easy go for it. That’s where they come in. So put on your scuba gears because it’s diving time. At least for Revy and Rock. As Dutch and Benny hold the fort, they see a strange ship coming and seeking for their identity. They know there isn’t supposed to be any other ships on this route and feels something suspicious. They are actually the Nazi and won’t let anybody take their treasure. Benny spots them firing a missile as Dutch quickly speeds off. Hold on tight.

Episode 5
Dutch manages to avoid the missiles and stay clear at a safe distance. All they can do now is wait and watch. Revy and Rock enter the sunken submarine. There are bones everywhere. Of course. There is a part like as though everyone had a death match with each other. Revy could guess what happened (which it does). After the lieutenant colonel killed the captain, the other crew were devastated and came in. That mad guy continued killing them until he was shot dead. Rock finds the painting but Revy wants to go pick up valuable stuffs. This trip will be a waste if they don’t bring back other things worth the money. It’s too good for fish down here. Meanwhile the commander of those Nazi guys (he looks like a joker) is giving his speech to those descending down to retrieve the treasure. Yeah. They’re close to tears to die for their land. Such jokers. Uh huh. They’re even playing their anthem… Once Revy has returned with her loot, Rock seems to have a conscience for stealing from the dead. He thinks it is not right to steal medals of these people who earned it. You think she cares about that sh*t? Now it’s her turn to lecture Mr Priest about the harsh facts of life. These are just ‘things’. The only thing that makes it worth is its monetary value. Money is more powerful than God. She learnt it the hard way. She was beaten up by cops for something she didn’t do. Then she found out it wasn’t God she was supposed to cling on. It was money and guns. Because for some reason, God and love were always sold out. She also warns him that if he tells others about this story, she’ll kill him. The Nazis enter the submarine. What are they going to do? Isn’t it obvious? Kill them all! During the gunfire, Rock drops the painting and the Nazis get it and flee back up. Revy and Rock chase them and since they don’t know who they’re up against, the ship prepares to fire back. If not for Rock pulling her back down, she could have been dead. The Nazis think the grave robbers are dead and go away. Dutch picks them up and although they’re not happy those skinheads got one up against them, this isn’t over yet. They’re going to turn this Nazi party into a bloody party.

Episode 6
Our crew are wondering somebody must be filthy rich to sponsor those Nazis with lots of sophisticated weapons just for a painting. It’s like their employer too. So while the Nazis are drunk and let their guard down, Dutch and Revy ride their little raft up to their ship and start killing everybody! No mercy! Revy is pissed. Don’t mess with her. They can’t. Because they’re dead. I think they’re all drunk to even fight back because the duo are just super fast. Revy is even going to kill the innocent ship crew. She doesn’t care about those not relevant to it all. Dutch had to stop her. He lectures her about using her emotions to shoot. It is fine if she decides on that but if she screws up, he will die too and in no f*cking hell way he is going to let that happen. He thinks something must have happened with Rock because she is always like that with new guys. The same happened when they picked up Benny. With Revy back in her groove, she kills off some dumb big wrestler Nazi who is jus yapping how great his golden gun is. Just one bullet enough for the job. Meanwhile the commander calls his boss and from the sound of it, the boss isn’t panicking and knows he has lost. Then here comes Dutch. Game over. The boss praises Dutch and it seems he is the one who hired them too to make them clash. Dutch knows that it is not the painting that is important but what is inside. At the end of the war, the Nazis pooled all their resources, gathered their capital and created a file with all their signature and account numbers. They are placed into 4 paintings as they escaped Berlin. That painting is the last piece. Even if Dutch throws it back into the sea, the boss doesn’t need it as he is already financially successful. The commander is upset he has been used and betrayed but as told, he should have known better. Dutch and the boss exchange ‘pleasantries’ before the call is ended. See you in hell. With Revy coming in, she wants to make a bet. She throws the commander a gun. He takes it and is about to kill himself but chickens out and fires back at them. Nothing. Not loaded. They knew it. They are all the same. No balls. Time to finish this sh*t. Blam! As they take a smoke while waiting to be retrieved, Revy talks to Dutch about Rock. He belongs to the other side. He is not like them. She cannot partner a guy like him.

Episode 7
Dutch makes Rock run several errands with Revy. But will they get along? Not his problem. So as they go from places to places, they finally stop at the church. Even the sisters are so badass they carry guns. What religion do you believe in? They are supposed to get their stocks but it seems only a grenade launcher is not available. Revy is not pleased and whips out her gun and has a standoff with Sister Eda. Meanwhile Rock is just calm, sipping his tea and talking to old Sister Yolanda. He might seem being casual but he seems to be hinting the church has been doing something illegal under the radar. Something about illegal drug trade routes. Because the mafia hasn’t found the culprit yet, it could mean there is a blind spot in a place where they shouldn’t have to look. Like a religious connection and proper NGO members. Rock also has very keen observation on their activity like how the weapons leaving and entering this place doesn’t match up. He hints their company and Balalaika’s might be on friendly terms but it doesn’t mean they’re working together. Yolanda is impressed and passes him. They’ll give him the launcher. Yolanda commends Dutch for having a good eye and that Revy could learn a thing from him instead of swinging her gun around to get what she wants. At the food stalls, Revy is still sucking and you know why. Rock says he won’t apologize anymore. There is nothing to apologize. This riles her up. She points her gun. He dares her. She fires. But his hand was fast enough to grab her hand and thus miss. He fights back and has had enough. He tells her off that she is supposed to be a wild pirate but turns out to be a greedy person who scavenges from dead bodies. All she thinks is about money and does she have no pride? Sure, he doesn’t understand her life. But how much this she understand his? There is always suffering in life and since she has no intention of understanding that, she turns into a tragic heroine. That is the most cowardly thing about her. Go ahead, kill him. It will be proof of that. She lands a big punch in his face. He makes her remember why he is here. His bosses conveniently cut away his life to protect their money and place to eat. When she picked him up, he felt something blew through him. Something snapped. His rat race life was meaningless. It all doesn’t matter now. She taught him that. Now she is acting like the ones who betrayed him. It descends into a children’s argument when the local police picks them up. They’re on the take too and they don’t care what they do as long as they do it in places that cannot be seen. So it’s to the station for some paper work. Revy asks Rock which side he is on. The place where he is standing. Nowhere else.

Episode 8
The job this time is to hand over a kid, Garcia Lovelace to some Colombian mafiaso buyer at a designated point. Since Revy’s temper is bad for baby-sitting (Garcia just throws food at her), I guess it is Rock’s job. At first Rock might seem not to believe Garcia and thinks he is making up stories but he is just trying to ascertain things and get more info. Seems Garcia is from one of the 13 famous families in South America. His dad is doing well in his plantations till mafia came to buy land because it was found to have rare earth. He refused and that’s when they threatened and caused trouble on his farms. He continued to resist and this is where Garcia got kidnapped. He is the only son and heir to the family. Rock suggests Dutch wait a little while before handing him to the mafia because from the information they have and Garcia’s, the cartel was lying and this means trouble. Dutch doesn’t understand something. If they have got the kid, they could have demanded a ransom and accomplished their goal instead of keeping it a secret and selling him off. Revy’s answer: They’re upset and for revenge. Dutch is going to put a little insurance on their package and calls Balalaika for help. Dutch wonders if the Lovelace household would spend personal resources to deal with this hostage situation. Rock says they only have resources to only hire a maid. Finally. The maid has come! Roberta is at Roanapur asking the locals if they know whereabouts of her fellow countrymen. Garcia explains Roberta is a klutz and was never good at anything. But he knows she is hell stronger than all of them. Revy couldn’t believe as she laughs her ass off while badmouthing all the jokes she can think of. As Garcia lacks friends, Roberta often played with him and he loved to play arm wrestling because he always won. But one day he saw her true strength. That day when the mafia came to harass his father again and they were playing arm wrestling, it was like Roberta knew they were coming and steeled herself. She was so strong he couldn’t budge. He realized she always lost to him on purpose. There is a reason why she acts like a weak maid. Meanwhile Balalaika has obtained some information on the fallen Lovelace family. She can feel trouble coming because she knows that look in Roberta’s eyes are that of a soldier. Roberta is in the bar when the Colombian mafia of the Mainsarera cartel walks in. You looking for them? They laugh when she says she wanted them to find her. But they won’t be having the last laugh because she takes out her umbrella and starts shooting.

Episode 9
So sorry for Garcia who had to see the red light district of Roanapur. Not a sight for kids. He is sure Roberta will come save him and while Revy won’t do the same for Rock if he gets kidnapped, despite their character, Rock feels they are worth it to stick around. They just walk into the bar when the action starts. Roberta blasting away the baddies with her shotgun hidden in her umbrella and using her hard suitcase metal as shield. Cool! See them fly! Uhm, didn’t the bar master recently remodelled this place? Our Lagoon guys are caught in the crossfire and Dutch wants to leave Garcia here since they don’t want to get involved and there is no more money in this. Too bad the exit is being blocked by the gunfight. The cartel realizes the kid is here instead of being delivered. Garcia and Roberta reunite but the kid is afraid after seeing her killer moves. He never knew she could kill a person. Roberta and Rock’s eyes meet. She is going to kill him but Garcia doesn’t want her to fire. That is when Revy takes Garcia as hostage and tells her to back down and if she stops shooting, she’ll get her master back home in one piece instead of seeing his brains splattered on the floor. Roberta has decided. She recites some Spanish poem which is the family’s creed. She fires her RPG and Revy almost takes a direct hit but she is out cold and has a concussion. Dutch takes her and run. Garcia pleads to Rock to take him too. He doesn’t like this Roberta. Those words shock her. The cartel remembers who she is. She was from the Colombian Revolutionary Army and every drug cartel to Interpol has been on her trail since. They’re going to kill her and get that fat bounty reward. No can’t do. Because Roberta drops all the grenades from her skirt! OMFG! She keeps it there?! Enough for the place to blow up. Rock has a feeling she is not dead and can feel she is coming for them. It’s like she is a killer robot from the future. Only difference is that Schwarzenegger isn’t here. Haha. So funny that you can’t even laugh! Better believe it. Because here she comes out from the fire! The entire bar is destroyed and the best part is that her outfit is still clean and pressed! Balalaika knows there is trouble and summons her entire Russian mafia to war. They owe Dutch that much and need to repay the favour. Roberta is hot on their heels. She even has the strength to grab Dutch’s hand with an iron grip while driving! Rock, better wake Revy up! Even if her radiator was shot, she can find another car and come crashing to wherever they are! Truly fearsome! And if cars don’t work, she runs after them on foot! Fear the killer maid! Now you believe she is a robot from the future?!

Episode 10
I don’t even know how Roberta can defy physics doing all that stuffs while the car is moving but what the heck, it’s cool! After the car crashes, Revy wakes up. She’s grumpy. Why not? She missed all that action. Thankfully the maid is still alive for her to go give some payback. The women faceoff. Roberta says the taboo word that makes Revy tick: You’re a coward. And so begins another great gunfight although Revy got hit once. While our guys are reduced the balls-less cowards staying inside the car, the safest place for now since the ladies are tearing up the pier. Really. Dutch even joked they won’t get out of this no matter how many lives they have. Garcia gets out to yell to Roberta and give her motivation to win. The fighting continues till they are exhausted and at point blank in each other’s face. Balalaika and her men arrive and she tells them to stop wasting their energy. Since they won’t let up, she orders her snipers to shoot away their guns. A friendly reminder. She is not asking them. This is an order. Garcia wants Roberta to come home. Balalaika starts revealing Roberta’s bloodied past as a hardcore terrorist much to her dismay and Garcia’s surprise. Roberta didn’t want to deceive him but there are some truths that are better off not known. She joined the revolutionary as she really believed revolution would come. Therefore she went from places to place and killed anyone including women and children for her ideals. In the end she found out they were just guarding the cocaine fields for the mafia and the revolutionary worked with the cartels. She was disillusioned and left the army. She was picked up by her late father’s friend who is no other than Garcia’s father. Garcia doesn’t care for all that. Roberta is her family. That terrorist is dead and buried somewhere along the way and has nothing to do with this Roberta he knows. Everybody is going to settle for this happy ending but not Revy. She won’t put up with this sh*t. It’s settled. They’ll fight to their hearts content without weapons. Roberta tricks her with the oldest trick in the book: Your shoelaces are untied. Then a swift uppercut to her chin. And the fist fight begins. The guys are taking bets but Rock wants to stop them. Can he? Go ahead. If you can. At least you have to hand it to him he had the balls to go try. Like the wuss he is, he backs down when the angry girls tell him to stay the f*ck out. They’re not done with each other yet. Many cigars later (from Balalaika anyway), is this fight ever going to end? It’s getting boring. A final punch to each other and they’re out. It’s a draw. Garcia picks up Roberta and won’t let anyone help because she is his house maid. Roberta has a final request and wants him to pick up her glasses. Why need it even though it is fake? It is what she needs to become the Roberta he knows. Rock is curious about Balalaika’s mafia. They seem like from the military with those sharp skills. They are ex-military from Russia’s special forces and have enough experience and killing machine mentality and whatever it takes to survive hell.

Episode 11
Dutch and co have got an emergency job from one of their usual clients, Mr Chang. It all began when some dumb Bulgarian tried to make a quick buck in selling weapons in his territory. Of course he was given some ‘warning’ but greatly misunderstood it as a crazy joke. What they got from him is a suitcase containing papers of a terrorist group, Protectors of the Islamic Front (POTIF). These guys are the ones responsible for the bombing of a US embassy in Roanapur. So Chang went to tell that group that they dropped something but before he could tell what it would cost them, they were attacked. Soon, his office got bombed. Now here is the job. Dutch will leave for Basilan in the Philippines to deliver this suitcase to his CIA contacts. There will be another 4 groups leaving at the same time to various destinations as insurance. Before the talk can end, Revy spots a few guys outside. Oh sh*t! They’re firing the RPG! Get down! Looks like Dutch can’t get out of this deal since he will have to bear the repair cost. Revy and Chang go guns akimbo to make a clear path. Meanwhile Ibraha and Masahiro Takenaka from POTIF are discussing the possible routes that the suitcase will go. Takenaka is relying on his intuition on where it will be. As he waits at the airport, a fellow Japanese tourist thinks he looks familiar. He pretends to be an often mistaken popular Japanese comedian but in actual fact his face is on the police’s wanted list. POTIF’s boat crew is seen chasing after our Lagoon guys. Dutch will be the decoy while Revy and Rock take the suitcase to the destination. So when Takenaka receives report of Dutch’s movements, his guts feeling tell him it is not possible and the rendezvous point will be in Basilan. Revy and Rock reach the island by day time and it seems Takenaka contacts them first and he plays it very cool and smooth like as though he is their contact. However he messes up on the password so Revy knows he is fake. They start shooting at each other but Rock got kidnapped. That’s when all the militants start descending on Revy. Too much to handle? Shenhua and Leigharch who are the real contacts help pick her up. Revy wants to finish the job but their mission is to send her to the base. Revy reminds them Rock is the one holding the papers and it means they’ll be ‘dancing’ before their boss if they come empty handed. You know what this means. The girls hate each other so much that they’re ready to slice the other’s head off. Just don’t bloodied the jeep, okay? Rock is taken back to the military’s base and it seems the suitcase is empty. Takenaka is going to have a long slow interrogation with him but Rock has his mouth sealed tightly.

Episode 12
The Japs talk about how similar and yet different they are, their beliefs and everything. Ibraha cannot stand anymore of this idle talk that doesn’t go anywhere and threatens Rock to reveal the documents. Takenaka continues telling some revolutionary story about some guy who continued preaching to change the world even if nobody listened. He never stopped because he gambled his life on this back then. Since Rock doesn’t say a word, Takenaka gives him until tomorrow morning before being taken to the firing squad. Ibraha disagrees because every second counts. Takenaka says he is just a delivery boy and has no reason to be loyal. Otherwise, they can just find the other woman. Speaking of Revy, she and Shenhua are staking outside their camp. Ready for some action? Soon Ibraha confronts Takenaka that Rock is the real key because the other duds are fakes. He thinks Takenaka is trying to change the subject but he tells him that the squad they sent in to hunt for Revy hasn’t reported back yet. Why take so long? It only can mean one thing. She hasn’t been found. Oh, you don’t have to. Here she is. Revy shooting them down like flies and Shenhua slicing and mincing everyone like meat. They bust in to save Rock and escape. Leigharch is their getaway driver but I think the Irish can only drive in such a speedy and reckless manner when he is high on drugs. Yeah. Something about Liverpool and Klingons. Don’t ask. Just drive! The girls are having fun and think the enemies are easy since Rock didn’t break. Yeah. Nobody gives a sh*t on how depressed he is.

Revy and Shenhua even play a game to see who to take out the chasing pack. Shenhua won and we see how cool this chick slicing off everyone’s head with her machete strung to a rope. Of course it’s Revy’s turn to shoot. There goes Leigharch hallucinating some nudist beach and Playboy playmates. They are safely through the DMZ as impatient Ibraha becomes blinded by his goal and orders his men to go after them (which is of course like a death wish). Takenaka tries to calm him down and whatever he is doing won’t bring his son back (must have died in some conflict in the Middle East). They have a job to do. Ibraha is still upset about bringing down America and since he isn’t thinking rationally anymore, Takenaka shoots him and orders the enemy to retreat and regroup to another base. When Revy and co reach the delivery point, Rock remembers the briefcase. He left it behind! Don’t worry. The important papers are in Revy’s cleavage! Just a little sweaty. Shenhua and Rock are in shock. Why the heck did they have to go save this wuss kid if she had it along? Or else they wouldn’t have come. The CIA guys give their thanks to them after retrieving it and they tell her about some police chief back at Buffalo Hill. Revy is no happy to hear it. They hope she doesn’t misunderstand since their job is to destroy enemies of the State and not paid to chase criminals as well. With Revy now in foul mood, when Rock wants to thank her, she takes it out on him that she’ll never pull this sh*t for him again and if he wants to be saved next time, he better pray to God.

The Second Barrage

After that unsatisfying ending, which isn’t really an ending if you look it at anyhow, justice is served with another season. After taking just a season’s break, we’re back with more action, blood, gunshots and violence. That is why we watch this show, right?

Episode 13
Sergeant Boris from Hotel Moscow (Balalaika’s main company) calls Rock to inform their scheduled meeting is off. Dutch and Revy can tell it could be those murders. There have been 6 murdered Russian corpses found and it is like somebody is trying to target Hotel Moscow. Balalaika is in a meeting with the rest of the factions that hold a fragile balance over Roanapur, Chang, Verrochio and Abrego. Balalaika isn’t agreeing to this cooperation so Chang mentions that a couple of his agents were hit too. They think it is some outside force and decide to send out a warning together to prevent bloodshed. Balalaika is only here to send a clear message on their stand: Hotel Moscow will show no mercy for those against them. Revy and Rock are at the bar discussing about this. There is a bounty of $50,000 offered by Balalaika but the problem is they don’t know who it is. Because they will know if it’s an outsider. Since they don’t it means somebody is protecting it. Eda comes in and after a few insults to Revy, she lets them know that this place is going to be a great gathering of mafia and free lance assassins. Also, this morning a bar of Hotel Moscow is bombed and another subordinate killed, you bet pissed Balalaika is going to war. She is at the site as the local police tells her a statement from a witness who barely survived. A pair of young twins in fancy clothes came in and took out a business card believed to be from Balalaika’s company and claimed they meet guests on her behalf. Later when Balalaika’s collectors came into the place, one of the twins wanted to play with them. The collectors instantly recognize them when he took out an axe. He was clobbered. His sister took out a machine gun and started shooting everyone with no survivors. They seem to enjoy this. Also, although they were Caucasian, they weren’t speaking English and greeted each other in weird words. The twins, Hansel and Gretel are back at their place and their supposed employers and babysitters aren’t happy they’re draining blood out from a corpse, which just makes everything totally sick. Of course the incestuous twins don’t like to be scolded even if they’re always smiling. Balalaika calls Rock for his opinion on those strange words. At first he couldn’t put his finger on it, that it could be European. When he remembers Dracula, he clearly remembers it has something to do with vampires. So now you know why the twins love blood so much, eh?

Episode 14
The twins pack up and leave. They seem ‘happy’. After Balalaika realizes the kids are from Romania, everything starts to fall into place. First she nabs some video porn guy, Rowan and he almost sh*t in his pants as he gave them 250 kiddie porn videos featuring Romanian twins. As I understand, the twins were sold to the black market by institutions that couldn’t afford them after the Romanian revolution. As children of a dead dictator, they were made into toys for sick perverts. Something like finishing off their victims as a form of amusement was part of it. Balalaika proposes to Chang to team up and teach those guys a lesson. It seems Verrochio is the one behind this mess because he is panicking and beating up his subordinate to a pulp when he suggests to make it look like they took care of the guys who messed with this city. And then the twins show up. Macaroni before borscht? Time to party. Eda calls Revy as the game is about to begin. Chang and his men surround Verrochio’s place but the party has already started. This party is going to get quite chaotic. The twins after slaughtering everybody make a run for it. Chang’s men were unfortunate to get in the crossfire. Only Chang was skilful enough to avoid their gunfire. Meanwhile all the bounty hunters are waiting at designated spots in hoping to catch their target. However Eda senses something amiss because Balalaika, the one with the biggest grudge isn’t here. With Revy they discuss the possible places where they could be. When a sedan car believed to be carrying the twins, they start firing all they’ve got. They realized they’ve been fooled when the twins turn out to be local orphans in disguised. The real twins paid them off to impersonate them and they paid the price. As they are traversing through the dark alleys, Balalaika’s men are already in position as they attack and retreat to lead the twins to a predetermined location. All is going well till Eda shows up before the twins. Gretel asks how much the bounty is on their head and offers to give all of the money they took from Verrochio’s office in exchange that she never saw them. Eda is going to give into temptation when Revy tells her not to panic. They’ll take all the rewards and kill them! Once Balalaika knows Eda and Revy are disrupting their plan, she gives the green light to crush them.

Episode 15
As the gunfight starts, the Russian guys are here and start firing. Both sides are forced to retreat. The twins plan to confuse the Russians and split up. When only one of the twins is seen chasing, Balalaika could tell what is going on and wants her men to continue with the plan, play their game of being confused and into thinking they have the upper hand. Revy and Eda start blaming each other for the screw up. But after realizing they didn’t make a single cent out of this, they split up and go home. Suddenly Gretel pops up from the darkness and holds Eda hostage. She’s been waiting for this moment for her to be alone. She wants her to be their getaway after her brother kills Balalaika. Speaking of which, there he is confronting her. Although he couldn’t kill a single man he chased, he starts mocking the ones he previously killed. She is not cowed and in fact wants him to apologize for his mischief before he dies. She makes him kneel when a sniper shoots his knee. He is about to throw his axe but his hand was shot off. Balalaika would love to torture him to death on behalf of her fallen comrades but that is not to her taste. She will just watch him die. The Lagoon guys become the getaway for Gretel as she has them him a lot. Rock babysits her as she sings to him in an angelic voice. She can tell he is a good person. It isn’t long before Dutch gets a call from Balalaika. You know what this means, right? They got to do what they’ve got to do. Balalaika has got the Vietnam navy sealing the routes to the south seas so their only chance of escape is going to Bighorn Elroy. Gretel talks to Rock about their twisted and tormented past. They and the other orphans became slaves for the secret police. They realize something when they had to kill other orphans. The adults were laughing. They were laughing. They thought this was how the world works and so they went on a killing spree. Kill or be killed. Rock wonders if she is sad if her brother is dead. She isn’t and she takes out her wig. Hansel is Gretel? Or is it the other way round? Or they’re both? Anyhow, they’re always together and eternal. Rock is so sad to hear all this that he hugs her and believes there is still happiness in this world for her. As a reward, she shows her scarred body (or offer him kiddie sex?!) and this makes Rock sick. He couldn’t take it. Now it is Revy’s turn to babysit her and she isn’t showing any sympathy as she punches her. She warns she will kill her if she screws with him. Benny had to console Rock and tell him the hard facts. There will be no happy ending for the twins. After Dutch hands over Gretel to Elroy, he shoots her right in the head. Sorry. Hotel Moscow paid him well. His son is in South Africa and has cancer. He knows it will be the end of his job. It was his last anyway. He is tired of walking the tightrope. Dutch wants a canvas to cover the corpse but Rock doesn’t think it is needed. She looks fine sleeping and watching the sky and sea.

Episode 16
Janet Bhai AKA Jane seems to be in trouble with the gangsters. After they shoot her computer guy, they tell her to get it done within 48 hours. Then I guess the next day, stress got to her so she dumps the PC monitor on one of the guards and makes her escape. Meanwhile Revy thought the church had air-conditioner in this heat wave. Too bad it’s spoiled. Thus she and Eda start complaining and b*tching about things. Till Jane knocks on their door to plead for help as she is not from this town. But Eda will not help her till the gangsters led by Mr Elvis start firing a warning shot. It almost hit Eda and destroyed Revy’s alcohol glass. Pissed? Yeah. The heat must have got to their heads. They start firing and Elvis and his men won’t let up either. Lobos who is with Elvis tries to calm things down that this is a misunderstanding but the girls don’t give a sh*t and continue exchanging gunfire. Even the new young amateur priest, Ricardo AKA Rico joins in with his machine gun as well as Yolanda with her golden gun! Elvis and his men are forced to retreat. As they hear Jane out, she explains those guys are from some cartel and hired her to make counterfeit money. The problem stems from their different taste in making the fake money. Jane goes on ranting about the technical stuffs and her passion of being a perfectionist of making counterfeit money that just pisses off impatient Eda and Revy. Real trouble began when she went over the deadline and they shot her operator who was supposed to manage online information to the other members. All their efforts were wasted. Though she wants out of here, she’s in luck that Revy is her getaway girl but the price she offers for selling the counterfeit plates do not interest them. Try looking elsewhere. Before Jane leaves, Eda strikes a deal with her for a place she could stay for a meagre donation money. Meanwhile Elvis is in hospital and he can’t wait to get back to Florida after this sh*t is done. He has his man, Russell the cowboy to handle it. Russell walks into the bar to recruit people to capture Jane alive (he knows where she is staying). Among the mercenaries include Shenhua, Frederica Sawyer the Cleaner and a couple of new faces, Claude Torchweaver and Rotton the Wizard. After seeing each other’s weapons, they all go out to get the job done. Well, the bill is on Russell, right? Yeah, they’re making fun of this cowboy. Eda, Revy and Rock are waiting outside Jane’s inn. Eda is sure something interesting will happen.

Episode 17
As they wait, Eda explains the scenario that is going to happen. A bunch of scoundrels will be looking for Jane in this inn. They’ll start firing into the room but of course it will be the next room that Jane is in as Eda leaked some false information. The gunfire will startle her as she goes out to check. When she sees a bunch of guys before her, she’ll lock back the door. The room she is in is bulletproof, although it will only hold for a while. Once the baddies bust in, they’ll find the room empty. Because Jane would have seen ‘signs that will guide her to escape death’. Revy and Rock don’t buy her story and are going home. Suddenly Jane is seen running past them. So it actually happened, huh? Since the baddies are hot on her tail, Eda tries to make a deal with her if she wants to be saved. No choice, Jane is forced to accept her deal. The baddies confront Eda and tell her Jane is their prey but she shoots them seeing this is her million dollar job. Rock becomes the best getaway driver while the ladies exchange gunfire with the chasing pack. Shenhua and some of the mercenaries realize who they’re dealing with. They want Russell to increase their reward many times fold or else he can just use his men to get the job done. Eda is confident that Jane’s getaway will be Dutch’s torpedo boat but as Rock points out, it is not in the dock. Her perfect plan is ruined… Seems Dutch and Benny are away for an emergency job. Lobos calls Dutch to apologize for the misunderstanding of his fellow countryman who doesn’t know about the law of this place. Jane is locking herself in the storeroom trying to get access to her bank account but thanks to the layer of security, she is unsuccessful. The baddies are outside the office and thought they could do an ambush. But Revy and Eda are ready for them and another gunfight begins. Too bad their car got destroyed in the process. Rock tries to take Jane to escape via backdoor but Sawyer is waiting for them. Jane is freaking scared sh*t. Who wouldn’t when someone swings her chainsaw like that! I don’t know how long the metal cabinet can hold out. Jane runs off on her own but encounters Claude. This guy loves burning things down. So back in she comes. Revy comes to their rescue to chase away Sawyer as Rock and Jane make their escape to the rooftop. If it is not bad that Eda is using their weapons to be sold, Claude is burning the dock exit. Burn! The worst possible timing when Revy faces off with Shenhua. She cooks up a plan with Eda to draw out Shenhua. Rock and Jane are on the roof. What’s his plan now? He’s thinking about it.

Episode 18
Eda is unsure if she has shot Shenhua. When she takes a peep out of the window, her neck got wrapped by Shenhua’s ropes. This is just a distraction so Sawyer could run up to the roof and then cut the ladders. Revy goes after her and Shenhua knows Eda is just buying time to delay the inevitable. But Revy didn’t go after Sawyer. She went around the other side while Eda was distracting her to attack. Although Revy got hit by some of her daggers, Eda was able to pump some bullets into Shenhua and let the Taiwanese free fall downwards. Dutch is rushing back and he is freaking pissed to see his dock being destroyed. Sawyer confronts trapped Rock and Jane. What now? Rock is trying to lead her to a certain place to step where the wood is weak and she’ll drop down. However Sawyer starts ranting about her cleaning job and missing the spot she I supposed to step. The fire below makes some high octane explode. This causes Sawyer to drop her voice machine. Once she realizes it is gone, she panics and throws a tantrum! She throws away her chainsaw and sits there depressed… That’s it? So they don’t need Eda and Revy coming to her rescue even if they’re this late? But the dock is crumbling. Then Wizard pops up making his grand introduction but Revy just shoots him. That’s it for him?! Revy and co survive the collapsed dock. Dutch just arrived as they jump onto his boat but some of the baddies made it on board. Wizard survives thanks to his bullet proof vest. Shenhua is alive too but barely. With such wounds, she knows she has not long to live. Wizard becomes a gentleman and picks her up to see a doctor. They see Sawyer alive too and do the same.

Elvis has become impatient and wants to summon his army but Lobos warns him about starting a war with the Chinese and Russians on this land. Dutch turns his boat into a rodeo ride to fling some of the baddies off while Revy and Eda hold on tight. Jane is taken to Benny’s room and she is disheartened to find her bag is missing. Her very important PC is in it. Without it she can’t do anything. As the data of plates is uploaded on the web, all that is left is to collect some data around the world and create it. Because her comrade is dead and the password changes every day, she can’t get it out. Rock says they’ve been paid by the church. The problem is Eda. If she ever finds out the plates are gone, you don’t know how scary she’ll be… Jane wants to use Benny’s computer but he won’t let anybody use it. Unless he himself is doing it then it is a different story. Revy faces off with Claude while Eda takes on Russell who is trying to destroy the engine room. Because Claude’s flamethrower is blocking Revy’s vision, she wants another rodeo ride. In great timing, Claude is thrown off as Revy puts a bullet into him. He explodes in the sky like a rocketman. Russell surrenders and laments how he will contact Elvis. Eda assures Lobos will take care of it. And him. Russell believes he has seen Eda somewhere before in Washington DC. He thinks she was with some senator discussing about some deal. Eda denies all that and then hints she is from the CIA and shoots him. Benny breaks the code and wants his reward. A great passionate kiss from Jane!!! OMFG! The most f*cking romantic scene ever in this series!!! I guess computer nerds get attracted to each other, she calling him cute and sexy. Want a second round? With everything fine now, they are soon approaching the port and Eda believes everything is all right with the world. Yeah. There’s always a God when it goes your way.

Episode 19
Rock is going back to Japan. No, it’s not like he missed his old home or got kicked out. It’s business. With Revy, Rock is Balalaika’s translator (English and Japanese, not Russian) as she speaks to a local yakuza as she intends to setup a base in Tokyo. The head of the Washimine group, Tsugio Bando agrees to cooperate seeing that they want to expand their power too and despise the Kousa Council. Balalaika demonstrates by blowing up one of Kousa’s clubs. As Rock and Revy chill out, Rock is in a dilemma about his own country. It is a place he knows well but yet he doesn’t fit in. His family doesn’t get along and he is like the black sheep. For once Revy sounded like she cared. I mean, she tells him to go see his parents since he is here because there will come a time he won’t see them anymore. He made it this far without stealing or killing and it is not like he is arrested or something. At the shooting gallery, the stall owner accuses Revy of cheating and refuses to give her prize. She starts scolding in English! A fight could have erupted if not for Ginji Matsuzaki stepping in. Revy doesn’t give a sh*t and is ready to fight him till Yukio suggests everyone to cool down with a drink. Rock seconds that. I suppose Revy must be disgusted seeing Rock and Yukio in their typical polite Japanese conversation. Meanwhile Hotel Moscow raids and kills several Kousa guys. They didn’t know what hit them. Balalaika is seen talking to one of the Russian bosses, Laptev in the area and she isn’t fond in cleaning up his sh*t. He threatens her but you think a corrupted bastard like him can scare her? Bando goes to talk to Ginji who is manning a stall at the festivals. Better than selling drugs and women, right? They talk about the old times when they had influence. The previous head of Washimine and Kousa took each other as brothers, the reason they came this far. Now that they’re gone, things haven’t been going well. They’re left behind only because of their sense of obligation. Bando reveals he sought the help of the Russians and wants Ginji to come back and take up his sword again. However Ginji doesn’t feel a shred of justice in what he is doing. While Rock goes to see his parents, Revy shows off her shooting skills to a group of young neighbourhood boys. Heck, her English accent is so thick that I can’t hear a damn thing she’s saying. She even teaches them how to die like real instead of those you see on TV! And Rock was watching it all… You know she is very embarrassed when she threatens to cut his balls and feed it to him if he ever says this to Dutch or Benny. And oh, he didn’t get to see his parents since they weren’t in.

Episode 20
Bando and Balalaika’s side are in another discussion. Because Kousa is a big group, they need to move into the next gear. Balalaika is going to do the ultimate of kidnapping Kousa’s head, which doesn’t sit well with Bando and co since all they want is just to ease the pressure of them but she’ll create a mess that will be hard for them to clean up. Balalaika reminds him that they are taking all the risks so the decision making is not in his hands. One of Bando’s wild subordinates, Chaka realizes who Revy is. He tries to flirt with her but she doesn’t give a sh*t. When Rock comes by to tell her to go back to Balalaika, he gets beaten up for interrupting. Revy just stood there until Chaka’s men come to stop everything. Revy and Rock knew about the former’s inaction because Chaka was trying to lead her to draw her gun as he had his hand on his all the time. Rock happens to bump into Yukio again. They generally talk about their families and choices. Yukio gets a call from Ginji that Bando is at their home. When Rock hears this and learns her surname is Washimine, the dots suddenly connect. She goes home to find Bando talking to Ginji about some peacekeeping council finding out about this and they’ll be thrown out of the region. Ever since their head passed on, their group wasn’t allowed to have a head unless of a direct descendent. This means Yukio is the only choice. As Bando leaves, he knows a car is tailing him and then a panic call from Yoshida that the Russians are going all out because they bombed a car in front of a police station when a Kousa guy turned himself in. Rock is very worried about the situation and asks Balalaika what if the group abandons their promise. They’ll just kill them all if it comes to that. The world will still turn. Next morning, Bando prepares his stuffs and leaves. Yoshida knows what this means and couldn’t contain his emotions. Bando throws him his gold watch and wants him to see Ginji (who is the acting head of the group) for their next move. Bando sees Balalaika and is going to kill her but obviously he was never a match. She has Rock translate bluntly to him the truth that all she wants is destruction and domination. Nothing else interests her. Rock feels sick seeing and hearing that. War is inevitable. Yukio talks to Ginji that she can’t run away from this. She will do what she has to do. If they accept her on equal terms, she will go. She asks Ginji if he would protect her and he swears his loyalty on that.

Episode 21
Balalaika was once set to enter the Olympics but she had to take part in the war at Afghanistan. After losing her second in command and the disbandment of Soviet Union, she and her little band of military continued to return to their own active military duty. Yukio is picked up by her yakuza gang from school (shocking her poor friend Maki). She initiates the next move against the Russians. They are prepared to not go down without a bloody fight. Tonight will be Ginji’s first job. Laptev is running scared when the yakuza starts firing into the restaurant. Ginji comes in to slice all his bodyguards. The sword is faster than the gun. Because Laptev the chicken couldn’t speak Japanese, he is deemed useless to find Balalaika’s whereabouts as Ginji cuts him. Meanwhile Rock is very worried about Yukio and wants to go save her after seeing how Balalaika works. However Revy points out their position and that despite this is Japan, how different is this place from Roanapur? Eventually she hints that she is his bodyguard for this job and will ‘do what his master wishes’. When Yukio and Yoshida get back home, they see Chaka and his men waiting for them. Chaka kills Yoshida and claims they won’t take sides that won’t make a profit. Whoever it is, if they have Yukio as a present, nothing bad will happen to them. Yukio tries to run but bumps into one of them. He gets mad and beats her up! Chaka then beats him up for messing with the ‘present’. By the time Rock and Revy arrive, only Yoshida’s dead body is on the floor. They don’t think Hotel Moscow did this because Yukio would have been dead too. Ginji just returned and almost sliced Revy but sensed she had no gunpowder. He goes off on his own but Rock deduces this must have been some doing by their own men. They kidnapped Yukio knowing Ginji will come rescue her even though it is a trap. Based on the footprints, there are many of them. Ginji might not stand a chance alone but what if he has a gunslinger by his side? And so they hijack a car and head to the bowling centre where Yukio is held captive. Ginji doesn’t understand why Rock is doing this. He believes she doesn’t belong to this side and hates it when kids who should grow up normally can’t.

Episode 22
Ginji and Revy turn up in a cool fashion to slaughter those cowards. Chaka must be having a fun time sending his scared men into the fight while he escapes with Yukio. But he slips down the stairs due to some cleaning detergent. Courtesy of Rock. He knocks him out with a bowling pin and takes Yukio along with him. Nobody gets out alive as Revy kills everybody in this hell. Some of Chaka’s men are fed up with him so he shoots and kills them. Revy is disgusted of his ways but Chaka wants to have a gunfight with her. She plays dirty and kicks him first and won’t fight a third-rate guy like him. She leads him to where Ginji is waiting. Chaka thinks his gun is faster but Ginji’s sword slices the bullet and then he cuts off his hands and pushes him into the pool. How can you swim without them? Meanwhile Yukio corrects Rock’s misunderstanding that she has been dragged into all this. In fact, she is the centre of it. Now that she has succeeded to become deputy of the Washimine group, he is her enemy. Yukio continues explaining the position her group is in and the reason she chose this life instead of being forced into it just to keep the order. Rock argues Bando and Ginji fought to keep her out of this life and forced to live with a burden she doesn’t have to carry but Yukio believes all this would not have happened had she stood there sooner. The more he argues, then she just snaps back at him he can say all that because he is staying in the twilight. What else can she do but fight for them? Rock remembers Revy’s story and feels nothing has changed. He is powerless before her. Yukio asks him about his stand now. He might be seeking something for his life outside Japan but the way she looks at it, he isn’t returning to the normality of the sun or sinking deeper into the darkness. He is just hesitating in between. If he wants to save her then do it. Save her group too. He can’t right? It’s because he doesn’t actually want to save her. If he sees her die, then he loses the very last of his memories of Japan. To choose something is to leave something behind. He doesn’t want to lose anything or those he has thrown away. He wants to cling on to everything he yearns. If that’s the case, what can he save? Who can he protect? Can’t answer that back, can’t he? She should be in the same place as him but can’t help feel angry and jealous. That’s why she hates him. Once Chaka is drowned, Revy is impressed how Ginji cut the bullet. She wants him to show it to her again but Ginji stops her because he owes them both. But he hints if they’re unlucky, they’ll fight the next time. After Ginji takes Yukio, she hopes they will never meet again. Balalaika orders her men to begin the operation of eliminating everybody from Washimine.

Episode 23
Hotel Moscow begins eliminating all those from Washimine. They’re dropping like flies. Yukio goes to see Kousa’s head and it seems he doesn’t plan to make her succeed even though he set the conditions long ago. He is more concerned how she will deal with the Russians. The negotiations end when it goes nowhere. They know seeking the peacekeeping council to mediate is no use because everyone is consumed with greed. Justice is dead. They are going to create their own opportunity with their own hands. Yukio and Ginji rob a bank and escape in a van resembling the Russian’s to have the police go hot on their tail. Yukio deduces Balalaika’s fighting style isn’t like the mafia but the military. How could she have entered the country with so many weapons? By ship. Rock and Revy get another job request. Balalaika is going to talk to Kousa now. Reflecting on Yukio’s words, Rock couldn’t take it anymore. He suggests she shouldn’t ally with Kousa and should destroy them instead of Washimine as this group is already weakened. Balalaika reminds him of his position as a translator. Since he is persistent, she pins him down and points her gun right in his face. She talks about justice and that his is as rotten as hers. Revy has already drawn her guns but Boris is pointing his at her. Everyone better calm down because who knows how much longer Revy’s finger is going to give way. It’s becoming tense. Rock tries to persuade that Balalaika has nothing to lose but apparently to her it isn’t enough. He then says this entire thing is his hobby and that he is just like her. This makes her laugh like mad. Was it funny? At least this makes her put her gun away and lets him park her car. Revy then scolds the hell out of him that they were damn lucky that she put her gun away. Revy would have shot him if she didn’t know him better. Rock then has her accompany him back to his town. He says he is already dead. Roanapur is a city of the dead unlike this city which is of the living. Therefore to a dead man, this is like a mirage. He came here not to go back but to forget. She thinks he’ll regret it but he finished that a year ago but didn’t have the resolve. He believes he has it now. Those neighbourhood kids spot Revy and want her to show her shooting skills again. She pulls out her real gun and shoots the can until it becomes nothing! Scared the sh*t out of you, kids? Yukio requests a more powerful gun so Ginji gives her some Russian model with big bullets and fires like a machine gun.

Episode 24
Ginji intends to go fight Balalaika one on one. Right before the meeting, Balalaika talks to Rock that this will be their last job. After this a Moscow agent will take it from here. But Rock has something to request of her. He wants her to completely crush Washimine until it has no chance of revival. At first she is surprised to hear this but realizes that this way Yukio will be free from her group and go back to her normal life. Quite the good villain he has become? Balalaika initiates her meeting with the Kousa head. She requests to see his bodyguard’s guns. After looking at the second one, she becomes very appalled they are using this kind of weapon and thus the deal is off. She kills them. The rest of the council in the house are also killed. The police who are surrounding the house barge in after hearing the shots. They cannot touch Balalaika since she is a foreigner and from the embassy. She tells Rock to deliver a message to Yukio that Hotel Moscow will cease all attacks from now. He is shocked to hear that Yukio may be trying to establish her base and her remaining members at Roanapur. Revy takes Rock and rides away before the police could catch them. When the international investigator arrives, he laments the police didn’t arrest Balalaika or take any identification of her since she is a big fish and one of the powerful people at the top in Moscow. Rock wants to go tell Yukio that the war is over but Revy won’t allow him since the place is going to be quarantined and they’re tight on their departure schedule. Suddenly a van rams into them. Don’t worry. They’re okay. It is Yukio. She fires several warning shots at Rock and wants him to come along with her to Balalaika’s base. Gee, you can say this guy got kidnapped by a high school girl.

Yukio talks to Rock about her Roanapur wish. It was just a passing one. As long she and Ginji are here, Washimine will still exist. Rock wonders why she keeps coming back to this life. If she carries on, only massacre awaits. Balalaika packs up and returns to her ship. Operation is over and they’re going back to Roanapur. Revy hijacks a truck to chase them. When the vehicle chase is over, it is time for the ultimate showdown. Ginji and Revy begin their face off while Rock tries to convince Yukio that she isn’t bound by this obligation. And then it starts, Revy’s gunshots either misses or swift Ginji cuts some of them in half. Having fun? Rock laments that there was a way she would have avoided ending up like Balalaika and thought she would chose it. However he was mistaken. She isn’t here to save face as yakuza but struggled against being absorbed by the night. He wants her to tell Ginji to drop his sword and run away together. And become wanderers again? It feels like a joke. He doesn’t think it is. It is where the real her is. Although Ginji cuts one of Revy’s gun, he makes a blunder and was too slow. Revy pumps a bullet into his head although the price she paid was his sword stuck into her knee. As Rock pulls it out and treats the wound, Yukio is sad things turned out this way. She will end it all now. She picks up Ginji’s sword and pierces her own throat. I wonder if Rock will be traumatized after seeing this. Now that they are back in Japan, Rock has this bitter look but life has to go on. Revy is drinking with Eda and the latter is interested if she had made any progress with Rock. She is not in the mood to tell. Eda calls for her to die but Revy insists villains like them don’t die easily.

Omake

2-3 minute specials when you buy the DVDs. No blood, no violence. Just plain silly nonsense to laugh out loud.

Special 1
Rock is worried. Because with a high school setting he is worried what the other characters will be. Let’s say everyone is badass. Revy the gangster anego as expected. Roberta might look like the most polite of them all till you realize how she is juggling her knives… Then there is Balalaika the badass teacher, Dutch the badass gardener and Benny who is playing truant to go trolling over the internet back home.

Special 2
Magical girl Revy?! The world is going to end… She bugs Rock to use her. Have any grudges lately? This guy just wants to be left alone but she continues bugging her. So Rock mentions about how Balalaika stole his lunch money or something. Revy didn’t use her magic wand. She uses her guns and blasts everything away! Who needs magic when you can solve things with guns! Think that is over? Revy remembers Rock has money problems. Here you go! Where did she get them? From the bank! Oh no… Poor Rock is arrested and looks like is magical maid Roberta here to the rescue. Or not.

Special 3
The melancholy of Balalaika. She is such a stressed mother of naughty twins, Hansel and Gretel. Make that devilish twins. She has to apologize to the headmaster for their doing of burning a classmate’s hair with bug spray, apologize to Roberta for turning Garcia into a traumatic wimp wetting his bed all over again (because they wanted to play doctor like grownups do) and when she thought they look innocent in their sleep, she sees caged cats and a book on how to make shamisen… Stress levels rising… The next morning, the same naughtiness. She’s gotten so used to it that it’s just normal.

Special 4
What’s this?! Gender bender arc?! Rock is freaking shocked to find himself turned into a woman with big boobs. You know what this means. Our guys like Dutch and Benny are turned feminine and the ladies like Balalaika are just bloody handsome. Mind boggling question: Are Hansel and Gretel the same or different even if they switch genders? When Rock sees Revy as herself, he is so relieved. Till she pulls down her pants to prove that she is a guy! More womanly screams from him… And oh, Roberta the butler serving her oujo-sama, Garcia? Okay, this does it. You can change everybody but don’t mess with the maid!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Special 5
Time for scary story telling. But you know our guys will sound anything but scary. Like Balalaika’s running out of supply in Afghanistan story or Revy’s blunder story or even Yukio’s painful story (toe nail flapping like a toilet seat, that is). Gretel did sound like a genuine horror story with the build-up and all but in the end the rest were just too dumb to get it. Finally there is Rock. Ah yes. They think his is nothing. But as he slowly delves about the girl in a red skirt and how everyone hears this story will meet their fate in 3 days, everyone really starts getting scared! Even if Rock admits this is all just made up, it is too scary for them now! And Balalaika is the scardiest of them all since she needs some company to go to night toilet.

Special 6
Time to turn back the clock again. Rock and co are little kids. Yeah. Revy the brat, Benny have this bully victim looks, Dutch ran away so we don’t know what he looks like and this sexy seductive vixen can you guess who she is? YOLANDA!!! Then Eda must be the cheerleader… We’ve also got Balalaika a cute loli but the most surprising one is Boris who is totally a handsome teen character! This tough ass military dude is such a handsome kid?! Yeah, he claims he was teased for this looks and underwent military training to toughen himself up. And the rest lament all that good looks went to waste…

Special 7
Yukio wants Maki to do a manzai comedy for their school festival. Maki is being told how to do such manzai the yakuza way (since Yukio belongs to a yakuza family). It starts off normally till it reaches the retorting part, the idiot is beaten up for real with metal knuckles! Oh sh*t! Real bloody violence! Maki thinks Yukio is going to do her in since she is getting ready for the part. Come that day, Yukio is bloodied and stretchered into the ambulance since panicky Maki didn’t want to be done in first and grabbed the crowbar in the middle of the routine. Then those yakuza guys start bringing out the knives and guns. They all got arrested. Maki too. Revy and Balalaika want to form a manzai trio with Rock. Sorry, he passes.

Roberta’s Blood Trail

I guess you can’t leave out the best character of the series. Yes. The maid gets her own mini arc series in the form of OVA episodes. Who wouldn’t want to see this Terminator rip off the heads and balls of those who bring harm to her family? That’s right. Don’t mess with the maid.

Episode 25
There is a short scene during the Vietnam War whereby an American soldier is protecting a little girl, the sole survivor of a massacred village from his other uncouth mates. In present time in Venezuela, a bombing rocks some political ceremony. Among the dead is Garcia’s father and poor kid is left crying about his father’s death. Roberta is mad that she cannot tell him the truth because she too walked down that path. We see her teething in anger and as hinted, call it what she wants, it sounds like revenge to me. Back at Roanapur, Rock is still depressed. Can’t get over Yukio’s case. Yeah. He keeps a picture of her in his wallet. Heck, he doesn’t even mind it getting stolen till Revy brought it back. There is word that a certain maid is back at Roanapur. All sides mobilize their teams to go find her. At the bar as Revy exchanges information with the Columbian side, suddenly the maid walks in! But wait. That’s not Roberta. Despite her similar talking fashion like her, this petite maid, Fabiola Iglesias wants Revy and Rock to come with her to the hotel where Garcia is waiting for them. One of the guys holds her up (because she is that short) and as they tease her whatsoever, she got enough of the charade. A hidden knife in her shoe as she stabs that guys balls!!! OMFG!!!!!! THAT GOTTA HURT!!!!!!! The rest of the guys point their guns at her but Revy seems to be itching for something interesting to happen. She purposely drops a bottle to distract everyone. Fabiola instantly goes into action mode. Wow! See her shoot, kick, somersault her way busting those useless guys. Awesome! Does she have some sort of cheat code on? Even when the Columbian guys call for artillery backup and destroy the bar, they still cannot best and are left running with tails between their legs! OMFG! That’s why you can never beat a maid!!! Dutch and Benny pick them up as they head to the hotel. Fabiola explains there are currently 5 maids employed including herself by the family. She is assigned to protect Garcia as Roberta who is her matron is currently missing.

At the hotel, Chang is seen talking to Garcia. He begins explaining about that terrorist bombing which was ironically setup by those who didn’t want to see the liberal politicians gain power. There was something suspicious about it as they had no means or reasons to create a bombing of that scale. The police acted as if the case is closed. That is when some airborne forces, MVR called them that they had found out something. They went through the staff list of those participated in the ceremony and went missing after the explosion. There are 6 names who were also from the military personal affiliated with the General Directorate of Military Intelligence. They left the agency 2 months prior to the incident like as though they were planning something and were employed as security of the venue on the day of the bombing. There is another photo that shows them together in Caracas 6 months ago when an officer accidentally took it while investigating another different case. The leader of the suspicious 6, Marcos Jose Luciendes was found dead. It is assumed Roberta did this. The rest are foreigners and Colonel Simon Dickens from NSA was also subsequently found dead. But we see clips of him being tortured to death by Roberta to extract information and doesn’t care if she makes war with that nation. Witnesses say she travelled to Roanapur after that. Speaking of which, she has just arrived at the bar and is asking for all the places to visit before starting a war. Dutch turns down whatever job they’re offering because this isn’t about the money anymore. They dealt with this crazy maid once and hell they aren’t going to do it again. However it seems they are not requesting Lagoon’s help. They want only Rock to help track Roberta down. And that guy looks awfully surprised that he has to do it. Even we wonder if he has the guts and balls to pull something this big off.

Episode 26
Dutch and Revy are still against this because Roberta is up against Uncle Sam and his allies. Chang suggests they return to Venezuela and let them handle this. Dutch doesn’t believe he is this charitable even though as Chang says what may come isn’t going to do their town any good. Besides, unlike others, Rock is someone that is seen to have a neutral position, not harmful to others and won’t complicate the situation. After they leave, Dutch tells Rock that in the event if Roberta and the US army clash, they get out. No buts about it. Back in his room, Rock is doing a lot of serious thinking. He calls Dutch to ask about the incident that had Balalaika owing him a favour. It’s going to be a long story. After so much thinking (this includes many beers, many cigarettes and writing all the possible scenarios all over the wall – I think you can call this art), he concludes it might be a 3 way battle between Roberta, the US and the Columbian revolutionary army, FARC. But he still has a hard time putting the rest of pieces of the puzzle together. Revy talks to Eda about the current situation and she sits up after hearing the US agency involving in this. Next morning, Rock and Benny go around with Garcia and Fabiola to ask for information. First stop, that bar owner. Bumming around in an inflatable pool? With chicks? Yeah, his business establishment is destroyed. So is the brothel above it. At first he was reluctant to answer Rock but after seeing his pitiful face, on condition that he doesn’t want to be involved, he reveals Roberta asking for all the shops with items necessary for war. She was also chugging down anti-depressant pills like popcorn. She had this mad killer eyes. They go all over town talking to people of the shops Roberta supposedly visited but were not entertained. Fabiola is not happy they were rejected and made no headway. It’s no surprise. She’s dressed like that crazy maid, surely people aren’t going to entertain them. Fabiola wants to get things going themselves but Garcia notes they can’t do it themselves. It becomes a talk of Fabiola’s past how she grew up in the poor slums of Caracas and self taught herself capoeira as self defence. Eda talks to Yolanda about the turf tussle between NSA and CIA to expand their control over espionage movements.

Chang is hosting a party for all the triad heads to discuss about the situation and reveal the big clash between Roberta and USA. This is part of the scenario that Rock has come up. Those who aren’t aware of how serious while treat it like a joke. Balalaika will be interested when she learns the US military is involved because her comrades were trained to match them. The Colombians will react differently because they want to maintain their relationship with FARC and will go after Roberta’s head. Chang reminds them this place was never on the agenda of world leaders because they kept outside for out of it. If they start to intervene, nothing will be left. The biggest problem for Rock now is Roberta’s location. Where could she be? We see Roberta praying hard to the Lord. A guy thinks she is already on overdose and should stop taking the pills. As for her revenge, she believes she will shoulder the sins of her master and Garcia but he doesn’t think she cannot compensate for the past no matter how much she repents even if she drives herself to ruin. She is going crazy and about to shoot but her partner, Richie Leroy tells her to stop before she puts a bullet in him. He wonders who she was talking to. I guess she’s already hallucinating. Revy gives Rock another pep talk. Something about guns and bullets. If Rock is the bullet, he is the unpredictable silver bullet. But if he misses, the monster will devour him.

Fabiola is caught with her pants down. While Garcia is asleep, she sneaks off to have a dip in the pool (they are currently staying at Chang’s yacht mansion). Then Revy came. Embarrassed? This time they are going to revisit all those places but Revy is tagging along. At a gun shop, the old owner mentions Roberta didn’t come to look for a weapon. Instead, she already had one. An antique Spanish rifle. She wanted it refurbished. Garcia and Fabiola recognize it as one of the family guns decorating their banquet hall. The other place she went is gunpowder for the rifle. That fat guy is freaking scared to see the maid again. After calming down, he mentions that Roberta didn’t come but a guy who is working as a broker or tip-off. He has a hard time remembering without his drugs… Better remember or you want Revy to shove that gun up his ass? Meanwhile Chang goes to the church to get more information from an agent (Eda in a voiceover). She tells him the group of people Roberta is after. This SOCOM or JCS unit is called Gray Fox Command Group. They are positioned all over Roanapur standing by in motels disguised as backpackers to carry out advanced political selections under NSA. Eda wants Chang to reveal his countermeasure but he wonders if their trust between them is only this far. Calling her company a dog of the US government, she warns him that although his organization can bring individuals and companies down, theirs can annihilate an entire country. Think of them as a multi-headed Hydra. Finally the fat guy remembers Leroy’s name. Rock and Revy make haste because he is the final piece in the puzzle who is directly involved with Roberta.

Episode 27
Revy threatens Leroy to reveal Roberta’s location. After that, Rock drives like a mad driver rushing there. Revy knows they can’t make it in time and calls for backup. Yeah, she calls Shenhua that she will get paid to kill. Hey… Sawyer and Wizard playing video games? Meanwhile the US army on standby also decide to make their move. The place is deserted and they expect a bloodbath. Similarly, the Colombian side is also here. They cut off the electricity and sneak in. But the US army is more tactical, lacing bomb traps to kill many of the Columbian guys. Then they bomb big holes in the wall to escape. Once on the rooftop, they spot Roberta across. The gunfire begins. Roberta is pumping powerful shots enough to take a chip off the wall. Rock and co arrive too late. The party has started. Rock reminds Garcia that Dutch told him to withdraw here but if he wants to go on, he will join in. Garcia will not back out since he needs to bring Roberta home. Rock gives Garcia a letter for him to open later. Everyone goes off while Rock remains in his car. He is not the fighting type. While Roberta has a field day slaughtering the soldiers, so do Revy and co. One of the soldiers is barely breathing so Fabiola translates to the rest as he reveals the US army’s position and thus where Roberta is. Once he is done, Revy shoots and kills him. This shocking scene has Fabiola pointing her gun at her for doing such a cruel thing. She is close to losing it but ironically Garcia is cooler. He calms her down that even though this town is corrupt and everybody dancing with death, she needs to act what she believes is right. Then only they can return home together. Rock is deducing what is going on. He knows the US army is trapped and cannot escape Roberta’s slaughter. He wants to save them but is waiting for a syndicate to join in. Only then he can move. He gets a call from Chang reminding him to get out now but of course Rock can’t since he has his obligations. Chang proceeds to lecture him about hypocrisy and everyone being pawns on the chessboard which makes Rock mad and calling him a cruel mother*cker. Chang once was like him and upheld justice with passion and pride with the Hong Kong police but then he learnt about the hypocrisy and all. You can figure out the rest. Anyhow, it is Rock’s call. Do as he pleases.

The US soldiers and Columbian guys run into each other and start firing. Revy and co join in to slaughter them all to let Garcia and Fabiola go ahead. However they stumble on another army unit. Fabiola stalls them to let Garcia move on. She might have been done for if not for Wizard waltzing into the scene and ranting some passionate yet corny. However he took too long and Sawyer cut them all down with her chainsaw!!! WTF?! They were actually listening to him?! In a building, Garcia hides thinking the enemy is coming. However it is Roberta making her way up. Once Garcia sees the anti-depressant bottle, he immediately knows it is her but the army unit is here. Roberta fights the soldiers and her fists are powerful enough to crush their skulls into a bloody pulp! But when she faces off with Alberto Camarasa, he overwhelms her as he knows all her move. He pins her down and explains he had so many chances to kill her but didn’t. Although he is from the Cuban Special Naval Missions Formation, he is acting on the orders of FARC’s commander. He wants her to come back with him. The organization still needs her. Even if she is to live a simple life as a maid, she cannot resist the smell of the blood. Garcia at this point and hiding while overhearing all this. Roberta agrees with him that that place is boring and her master’s death was a good opportunity to return. Even so, she doubts the commander will not forgive her for her betrayal. Camarasa says he is powerful enough that the organization listens to him.

In this weird twisted scene, it turns Roberta on and they make out with their tongue!!! WTF?! I don’t know how Garcia is feeling right now but I know it isn’t good. He’s a strong kid for trying to hold in his sanity. Roberta wants him to take off her pants but he tells her to do it herself. As she slowly reaches for her belt, she shoots a hidden mini gun in it. She returns to her insane self and tells him she will never join him or others because they serve the same master. She will never serve that swindler again. There is only one person who can control her. That person whom she is willing to die for. He is Garcia and only for his sake she shall pursue and kill the enemy. She’s beating him to a bloody pulp beyond recognition… Again I don’t know how Garcia feels. Honoured that she is loyal to him but at the same time wants her to stop the mindless beating. Finally he yells out to her to stop. At this point, Roberta is shocked to see him. Her scream is enough to echo throughout the entire town. She fears she has seen her ugly side. What has been seen cannot be unseen. So devastating that Garcia just collapses and becomes paralyzed although his conscious is still much intact. Roberta panics over what to do. So much so, she starts seeing visions of that guy who blames her she hallucinates him to avoid this from happening. He explains how she killed him 7 years ago after ripping his family photo. It was one of her little emotional wounds remaining. Had she continued her maid life with Garcia, it could have been healed but ruined that chance. How can she be forgiven then? She accuses him that he follows her around so she can never forget. Now she becomes crazy thinking he wants to get rid of her so badly and that this Garcia is just an illusion. The real one is waiting back at the mansion for her return. She is going to prove it by shooting this illusion boy.

Episode 28
Thanks to the American soldiers intervening and rescuing Garcia, Roberta is forced to back down. When Revy and co arrive, Shenhua wants to strike first. But she learns the true meaning of fear when Roberta grabs her machete with her teeth and breaks it! OMG!!!!! Look at Shenhua’s fearful face! Sawyer tries to cut her down but her chainsaw breaks! OMFG!!!! JUST HOW FREAKING TOUGH IS THIS WOMAN????!!!! They’re paralyzed with fear and are about to meet their fate when Wizard comes in with his cool pose to take her down. He gets kicked in the balls!!! This guy is a real joker! Wait a minute. His balls didn’t break?! Fabiola tries to talk to Roberta but seeing how broken she is thinking Garcia is still back at the mansion, she too breaks down. Garcia wakes up with the American soldiers. He starts going crazy but they calm him down. They think he is a kid who got caught in the crossfire and it is their policy to not bring harm to children so rest assured they will protect him. However Garcia pulls a gun from a nearby body. Although he is restrained, Major Shane Caxton tells them to lower their gun. Garcia explains they are the ones who ruined his family and killed his father. Now another person is also ruined. Shane gives him a gun and tells him to decide because he has the right to revenge. Garcia remembers showing his father some hidden picture and because he failed to spot certain things, he thought his friend was a liar. But father soon points them all out and explains the need to look from all angles. Could the person Rock is waiting for is Eda? Nah. She’s just here to tell him about the things he ordered this morning have arrived. The syndicate Rock is waiting for to take action is Hotel Moscow and despite their late appearance, Balalaika and her men are already in position. Balalaika calls Shane to inform that Roberta is close by. True enough the mad maid hops down to attack. After seeing Garcia, she promises to make him tea once she kills all the enemy. She retreats after the soldiers fire back.

Rock explains to Eda about his plan and scenario. Because the US soldiers will have their ground operations compromised, they lack the resources to go back to their original position and that is where he comes in and provides them with those stuffs. Due to their pride, they will not back out. Then there is this back story he heard from Dutch about Balalaika’s gratefulness to him. There was a time Chang and Balalaika fought over the control of Roanapur and it ended in a stalemate. When they face off, Chang shot her in the guts and she fell into the sea. Dutch picked her up. Therefore she is greatly indebted to him for giving her another chance to strike back at Chang. Also, Chang seems to be deliberately giving openings for her to strike back. Then he mentions about the need to get a backer. Something about Chang and his triads are the ones holding true power in Roanapur and the true overlord that is pulling strings behind Chang’s back is the person he is after. Rock then calls Dutch who is not happy on what he is doing. But Rock says that they have been commissioned for work by a US government agency and this is a legitimate job for Lagoon. Their job is to get rid of the troublemakers and if they take them out as courier, another troublemaker will leave as well. Someone gets to put an end to this turmoil and they’ll be the ones enjoying it. Dutch knows what he is getting at but will hear no more of it and hangs up. Shortly, Chang calls him for a job. I guess he can’t escape. Revy and Shenhua are ready to ambush the Americans. Suddenly they are shot in the arm as warning. Hotel Moscow warns them not to interfere as this war is theirs. The next shot will be in their head. Garcia shows the letter from Rock to the soldiers. It contains a map of their getaway.

Balalaika contacts Shane again. Something about the wars they have fought in. Despite different setting and location (the Russians were in Afghanistan while the veteran Americans were in Vietnam), she feels their unit has fallen to a point that they have to depend on gangster duels rather than genuine warfare. She wants him to remember the sense of honour, the discipline and power they maintain. Shane spots Roberta riding up on the opposite street. He puts Balalaika on hold and has his men ready to fire. However Balalaika orders her men to take out Roberta. They used up all their ammunition but do you think that killed her? Your guess is as good as mine. Shane commends her for pulling off such a feat but she seems to be upset about not being in the same unit as them. He guesses that she was discharged from the military with some illness. She reveals during the war she saved a child from the refugee camp and the mass media saw her. Thus she was deprived of her military position in that arbitrary discharge. She tells him to quickly leave the island. Dutch is furious. Not only he has to take the American soldiers with Garcia and Fabiola, seems that the stuffs Rock ordered were all sorts of international passes and IDs for their trip to get them to the Golden Triangle. And with Chang commissioning them for the job… Well, they’re in this sh*t now. Chang’s subordinate praises him of his plan. To deal with Balalaika, he invited that cowardly Japanese and he already pulled off this much. If the Americans leave the island, that maid will soon follow.

And as we have predicted it, Roberta is still alive and boards a plane. The person sitting next to her is Eda. Seems she is the one who planted the ticket, did some arrangements to let her get through the airport security, etc. Otherwise, you’d think she had it this easy up till now? Roberta really wants to kill her but Eda calms her down and says she is trying to help her catch those American soldiers. As gratitude, Roberta will give her a painless death at the end of it. Revy talks to Fabiola that they may have to rely on her using her gun since her arm is out of action. Then there is this Fabiola’s deduction of Revy’s mindset of Rock. Something like she views him as some sort of ideal and at the same time not wanting to get too close to him or she’ll lose that fascination. In a way, she sought salvation for herself through him. She views they are different. Revy is brought up in a rough family unlike hers. Fabiola’s dad was a frugal worker while mom never tolerated sinful deeds. One time she stole something, she was beaten up by her. Violence indeed but she felt her love and affection. Rock talks to Garcia about their next stage in plan. Now that they have all the actors on stage, he is the golden key. Oh Rock, that evil scheming look on his face. You’re turning into a rotten apple…

Episode 29
Rock gives Garcia a gun and wants him to use it. When he does, it will mark the end of the game. Later Garcia dives into the river and pulls Fabiola with him. No, they’re not going to drown. Just cool their heads. Garcia has decided. He will not hesitate anymore and is done being manipulated. He believes what Roberta is looking for is atonement for her past sins. Fabiola believes Roberta will not recover and turn out worse than before. Even so Garcia will go rescue her even if it’s by himself. Seeing his resolve, Fabiola will see it through with him. Meanwhile Revy is pissed after Fabiola’s little lecture. She can’t believe about their family love ideology that will save the day. Because back in those days, nobody protected her. She was beaten up and raped by a police officer before she killed him. Shane talks to Garcia and notices that gun was the one he tried to shoot him with back in Roanapur. Garcia decides to hear Shane’s side of the story. Fabiola isn’t pleased that Rock pre-meditated this entire thing but Rock is just eliminating all possible variable factors aside luck. Something about textbook gambling. Once they reach the Golden Triangle, the soldiers head off with the kids. In the dense of the jungle, they split into several teams as they make their way. They see strange cylinder rods around. Garcia knows that Roberta is here (she’s using the musket to shoot them as bullet). The little factory amidst the drug fields, there is no life whatsoever. And they come to realize it because there are corpses everywhere. Yup. Roberta is here. It’s like she knows the soldiers have arrived and goes into action. She even takes the last remaining hostage of the factory in attempts to bait them.

No matter how careful they are or the experience they have during Vietnam war, Roberta is always a step ahead, picking them off one by one. Even when she is injured like having shot in the leg, she still continues moving. Heck, even the lost of a few fingers don’t bother her! Hate and revenge overcome pain? That’s really madness. After Roberta kills an entire unit, she communicates back to Shane that she is going to get them all. To her shock, she hears Garcia’s voice to come meet him. Rock and Revy talk about what is to happen. Rock explains the entire scenario from why Chang allowed him to leave Roanapur despite his disobedience. When Balalaika realized what Chang was doing, she let Roberta escaped easily. Chang’s objective isn’t just to hide Roanapur from the rest of the world but destroy the American military investigation. As this place is the source of drugs production, Roanapur is the distribution centre. Chang made Roberta attack the US military and planned to prevent US investigators from entering Golden Triangle. Revy thinks this is his revenge against Roanapur. Rock continues that he was helpless to anybody who went down the path of destruction for that city. But this time he will end that misfortune. Revy is not convinced by his sh*t especially when he left the rosy life and come walk the dark side and punches him. When Roberta and Garcia meet, she is not pleased Shane is with them. She explains she cannot tell what is not real or not anymore. She doesn’t know if this Garcia is the real deal. She keeps seeing dead people (this is not Sixth Sense!). Heck, she doesn’t even know if she is alive. Garcia tells her revenge is not important to him. But she doesn’t agree. Because of them, they have caused them pain and taken everything for her. Garcia lets her know that no matter who she punishes, her sins cannot be absolved. Therefore it is not her job to end this but his. He takes the gun and shoots Shane. Now everything will end. Roberta cannot believe this. Her master will not do such a thing. It shouldn’t turn out this way. Nobody will be saved this way.

Garcia points his gun at her and says if she believes in him, the bullet that he is about to shoot will not kill her. She will not die no matter what. After seeing everything thrown at her, I really think she WILL NEVER die! They both shoot at the same time. Roberta is shock that he is still alive. Well, I’m sure she missed his vital organ. And what did I tell you? Roberta still lives. He runs towards her and hugs and kisses her! OMG! I wish that was me… On second thought… Now that everything is over, Roberta is still furious that Shane is alive. Garcia says he was shot him once and died. So are they. There are no victors here but sins. He will carry them with her. From now on, he’ll support her so let’s live together like before. By daybreak, Rock sees the soldiers carrying a few corpses and the injured ones back. He is happy this is the best outcome. But Fabiola is not happy. She points the gun at Rock and claims he was very lucky. Then she shoots him. Turns out the bullets were empty. They’re done dealing with people like him. Rock believes despite all that, he managed to win one thing. Meanwhile Eda is seen on the phone with some director of the CIA. They talk about some meeting with the US president and NSA about making the borders clearer at the next meeting and on top of that the CIA is getting custody and rights of everything. Few months later, Rock realizes nothing in Roanapur changed a bit. But as Dutch tells him, the value of money and guns decide everything. Rock deduces somebody somewhere on this planet went beyond him. In the end, he still can’t save anybody. Garcia and his maids are back at his mansion. Roberta is in a wheelchair and lost a few limbs. They greet Shane and his children as they visit. Revy wonders if Rock is still looking at Roanapur painfully with those living eyes. But if he chose this way, the only way is to become the dead. Maybe someday. But he feels now is not the time.

Bloody Lagoon…
Well, what can I say? What more can I say? In terms of this anime itself, this series is pretty amazing. It is a wonder why I have not picked it up earlier a few years ago despite I know it was around. I wonder whose approval I was waiting to watch this. Maybe I wasn’t ready to handle it. Oh, who cares, if you are not the soft type and the kind who isn’t naive and staying innocent about the world, this is one of those series that you must see. It opens your eyes to the dark side of human beings and what they will do all in the name of money, power and other greedy desires. And to ‘reward’ you for that, they put in lots of action and blood for your viewing pleasure. Thanks to all the dead people in the anime all for our enjoyment and entertainment.

Action is definitely the biggest draw and plus point of this series. You stay and watch this series because of all the violence, blood, gore, and whatever aggression this series throws at you. Each episode doesn’t disappoint because of the wild and perfect execution of the action. You can tell that these hard bitten and hard boiled characters are no strangers to dicing with death and aren’t afraid to stare it right in the face. From guns blazing akimbo style to sword slicing and even fist fights, you’ll either be smiling with glee at all the brutality and blood or cringe at how violent and gory those scenes will be as they burn into your cranium. Yes. Blood splattering everywhere, limbs flying all over the place, deaths guaranteed in almost every episode and the body count of those unimportant extras you would care less about racking up just to satisfy our inner lust for blood. Aren’t we as bad as those guys, eh?

The series is nicely divided into small mini arcs so the flow of it is smooth and doesn’t drag on too long and overstay its welcome. My only grouse for the Second Barrage was that Dutch and Benny were really reduced to minor characters and do not have decent screen time. It is like they have been casted aside and not important and just make short appearances just to tell us that they are around. It was mostly Rock and Revy as well as Balalaika. I feel that the second season was building Balalaika up and revealing her true colours as a villainess of the series (since the yakuza arc takes up the most number of episodes and half of the second season). But the kind of villain who will not meet her doom soon and gets away with it.

As for the characters, there are so many of them but yet so little. You have this dilemma of whether to root or hate them. Each of the main and supporting characters have their own distinct and unique personality and thus it makes them quite likeable despite you know what they do are not. Heck, everyone you see here has some sort of moral issues. If you compare your standards of society to them. But then again, who cares? Some of the characters like Revy and Balalaika have their tragic past but we don’t delve deep enough and just the surface. I mean, since it is already ancient that it is old news that nobody cares. Do you care? Can you change fate? Guess so.

For a person like Rock, I suppose he is the most conflicted and confused person in this series. Because he is caught between a rock and a hard place (pun not intended). For a salaryman like him to suddenly be shoved into this deadly world of survival, it is pretty odd to see him still breathing right at the end. He really is the odd one out in a place like Roanapur. Normally guys like him become a corpse after a while. Thus you can say he is one very lucky son of a gun. Of course it is partly thanks to his Lagoon Company. As the series progresses, you can see Rock becoming bitter and frustrated the more he learns the workings of the world. It’s one big sh*t up place. It is not that he doesn’t know it when he is doing his previous job. Roanapur is just like the same like everywhere else. Only difference it is not masked or sugar coated with artificial fakeness. So I suppose the turning point is when Yukio killed herself. That was a really tragic arc because they never get to face off with Balalaika but got a rematch with Revy instead. In the end, it’s like all that Rock has worked towards for ended up a big waste. Not to say that Rock is perfect too and what Yukio said to him is true. Therefore I surmise that if Rock needs to change something, he needs to be more proactive. You fight fire with fire. And thus in Roberta’s Blood Trail, we see him turn into some sort of villain and playing that part like a pro while Chang and Balalaika take a back seat. And of course sadly in the end, as he learns, he is nothing but an individual. You can’t save anybody. Will this make or break him? Only time will tell.

I don’t know what the deal is with Revy’s relationship with Rock because in the first season she was like somebody who doesn’t like Rock, viewing him as a useless new member. There are many instances they are paired together for missions and she even revealing certain parts of her past. But all that suddenly changes in Second Barrage. Suddenly it is like he has become her partner because she really looks out for him and protects him (not in the knight in shining armour kind of way, that is). It is like something happened in between to suddenly turn Revy into one who places her trust in Rock unlike the character we see her in the first season who doesn’t give a f*cks about him and willing to shoot him anytime. But I noticed that there are many faces to Revy. You see the serious Revy, the sh*t killer Revy mode (you don’t want to mess with this one – those dead eyes will scare the sh*t out of you) and surprisingly there is a silly Revy look. Silly Revy? For example, there was this one time Revy was observing Balalaika editing some porn stuff, and she put up that really unbelievably silly face just watching it.

Of course my favourite character has to be Roberta. In addition to be a maid, I think she is one of the best, in terms of being super indestructible maid ever in all maid characters in anime. I know it is freaking unbelievable that whatever you do to her, she comes back stronger like as though all your puny attacks were nothing. It’s like she has got all the cheat codes activated and no one can touch her. Not only she could hide so many things in her black hole apron or her mind is installed with all the killer techniques that you would never think of or the impossible moves she makes or like as though she can read your mind and know where you are and what you do next, also it is like there is some sort of spell that makes enemies miss and waste all the barrage of bullets if they’re just firing from 3 feet away. So how can you kill this maid? You can’t! Once she sets her mind on you, you better start praying to your God. Because not even He can save you. I really want her as my maid. Garcia you lucky bastard! Oops. I hope I didn’t earn her wrath for insulting her master that she is so loyal to.

My little complain is that despite her mini OVA arc named after her, she hardly makes any appearances in the first half. Because I was expecting to see Roberta going mad and just killing everybody in the way. I mean, that is why they call it Roberta’s Blood Trail, right? Even a little more disappointing was, she wasn’t in her maid outfit during her revenge run but dressed somewhat like Revy. Except for the final episode during that jungle warfare (maybe she doesn’t want to let mosquitoes bite). I know from the looks of it she can manoeuvre better but from what I observed, even when she is clothed as a maid, she moves even faster than those useless gangsters. Makes no difference. She should have just put them on for the entire time. Heck, it’s not like people don’t recognize her without her maid outfit, right? So I guess that is why we have Fabiola substituting her for the maid appearance.

Other characters are okay too. If I had to pick my next favourite character, it would be Shenhua. Somehow I just love the way she speaks with an accent. It’s funny. It’s amusing. Then she coolly slices off everyone’s head with her machete. Sawyer is not bad too because this goth girl likes sawing up things and it makes that girl from Lollipop Chainsaw looking more like a slutty wuss. The funniest character award goes to Wizard because as far as I can see, all his appearances end up in some sort of comedic fashion, if not something that isn’t really important. I suppose this guy thinks style is more important so when he starts posing or something, by that time, the action is over. Yeah, you don’t get to see him in action and wonder what the heck is his special ability. To pose? Some other hardcore characters like Eda, Chang, Balalaika and Dutch are cool by the way they fight although I would have loved to see more of Dutch-Revy combo. Revy-Eda combo isn’t bad either. But sometimes I feel that she likes teasing and mocking Revy a lot just to piss her off. Eda just like the rest is a mysterious lot since she puts up lots of facade and you don’t really know her true colour. Is she a double agent or something?

Others that aren’t so ‘impactful’ like Benny and Leigharch because they don’t have fighting abilities. Like Leigharch you wonder what happens to this hallucinating dude after his only appearance in the Philippines arc. Speaking of Benny, I also wonder what happened to his romance with Jane. I caught a glimpse of photos of her on his workplace so there must be something romantic going on, right? Alright, who cares about romance in this series anyway? As long as you love blood and violence, you’ll be fine. That’s this series’ romance ;p. Then there are those who appear only for that arc and never seen again like Takenaka and Rico (Jane as well). You wonder what their fates are. Maybe they’re not that important after all. Of course those like the Romanian twins, Yukio and Ginji met their tragic end so there is nothing more to say about them.

As you can see that there is no discrimination when it comes to the dark side of human beings. There is no short of many people from various nations and nationalities shown in this anime. It is like a big melting pot of different culture and people. Take the Lagoon guys for example. With Rock as the typical Japanese guy sticking out like a sore thumb, Revy is an American Chinese while Benny is a Jew. Dutch can be safely assumed to be an American black (I believed it was mentioned he served in the Vietnam war too). Then you have Russians, Italians, Hong Kong and South American people running the show in Roanapur. Even small minor characters are made known their nationalities like Jane an Indian, Shenhua the Taiwanese and Leigharch an Irish. Even the ‘antagonists’ are a colourful bunch ranging from German Nazis, Islamic extremists in the Philippines to Japanese yakuzas. So as you can see Roanapur and this anime particular is very international! Heck, when you have nuns doing shady things in the name of God, you know this world is already so screwed up. Yeah. Money is their religion. Now ever wonder why the US greenback has the word “In God We Trust” printed on it?

Having said that, this brings me to a point that I have been pondering. What kind of language do they speak to communicate? I didn’t actually think of this till Rock being a translator for Balalaika in Japan. Of course everyone is speaking flawless Japanese for the sake of this anime’s convenience but during the stint in Japan, it just feels weird that you know, Rock and Balalaika may be speaking a different language although what we hear is conveniently in Japanese. So when Rock is translating the English for the sake of translation, it just feels odd. I mean, Balalaika as we hear her speak usually in Japanese and can communicate with Rock, right? Thus this shows that in actuality they may be talking a different language instead of the Japanese we are hearing. Because if Balalaika can speak Japanese like how we hear her communicate with Rock, there isn’t a need for him to be a translator in the first place. Unless it was all a show. Besides, everyone’s English sounds like they have that Japanese trying to speak English accent. Especially with Revy who is so heavily accented or mumbling her English words, it is ironic that I can actually hear her Japanese much clearer and concise compared to her speaking just a few English words! Therefore this language thingy although is just a minor issue, sometimes confuses me if the characters really do speak a certain language.

Bad influence. You see everyone smoking a cigarette in the opening credits. Even Rock pops one in his mouth like it is candy. Smoking is cool, right? Yeah. We all know the dangers of smoking but I suppose when you have people who do shady jobs, smoking is the least of your concerns of what is good or bad. Just like how we assume people with tattoos are part of some criminal organization, probably smoking cigarettes here could mean the same thing. Don’t even mention about Balalaika who is mostly seen with a cigar like as though it is part of her face. I guess big bad bosses can afford better smoking alternatives.

Red Fraction by MELL is the only opening theme. It is featured in all seasons. This hard rock piece is definitely suitable for the pace of this anime. With tough badass lyrics to go with, it gets you into the mood of what to expecting while watching the episode. And sometimes maybe you want to sing along too? As for the ending theme, it is a very eerie yet sad sounding instrumental, Don’t Look Behind by Edison. It isn’t anyhing much actually. The suspense of the eeriness doesn’t turn into something climatic in the end. Oddly we see the ending credits animation as Revy drops all her arsenal while walking on the shore and when it ends, she points at us with her shotgun that is only left in her hands. Although this ending theme is the main one for the first and second season, The World Of Midnight by Minako Obata is the special ending theme sung totally in English for the Romanian twins’ arc. It is a sad church choir-like piece with only voices covering the song. Sad but yet sounds so angelic beautiful. For the final episode of the second season, the hard rock techno piece of Peach Headz Addiction by Breath Frequency gives a fitting finale to the season. The ending theme for Roberta’s Blood Trail is a version of America’s Civil War marching tune, When Johnny Comes Marching Home. Oddly the animation shows pictures of Balalaika’s past and maybe that is why this version sounds a bit Russian-like.

I don’t really want to touch about the dark side of human beings and comparing the ones you see here and the reality of living in society because we’re just about the same. I can go on for paragraphs and pages about it and even write a thesis. Because it is endless. The true colours of humanity’s dark side are deeper and scarier than the deepest parts of the ocean or even hell itself. So for everything that you see in this anime that is supposedly morally wrong, let me just say that there is no clear cut to what constitutes to be wrong or right. You can be both or neither. A very big grey area. It all depends on your stereotypes, bias and prejudices of everything. Therefore there is no love lost when you see something less palatable happening here (especially murders and killings). No holds barred. Because trust is the biggest issue for everyone and the only thing that you can trust is your guts. It’s your only ‘friend’ for survival to let you see tomorrow’s sunrise.

Watching this anime doesn’t make me want to give in to my dark side or throw away my day job and become a pirate and do shady delivery jobs. Hey, I’m an otaku and a dreamer. All those fancy stuffs of doing great in everything are just in my head. Even before watching this anime, I already knew about the inequalities in life although I am not sure if I can say that I am lucky not to have experienced very terrible discrimination in my life. Not that I can change anything either. Because really, who cares? Hah. Looks like I’ve got some bad influence already from this anime. Sure, keep this anime away from your little kids but still, eventually nobody can escape from the clutches of life. It is only the question of sooner or later. So you see people, we can’t stay innocent and pure like virgins for the rest of our lives. We lost our virginty since coming into this world because life has already got us all f*cked up since the day we were born. And I hope you are praying to the right God…

Mezzo

October 20, 2012

If you have some dangerous job that needs to be done, don’t worry. There is an agency that deals with hazardous tasks. People, meet the Danger Service Agency or DSA for short. Or if you haven’t, at least watch the anime Mezzo. Hehe… The tiny group of trio that consists of the combat specialist lady that shoots first and asks questions later, Mikura Suzuki, the semi-bald ex-cop and ramen lover, Kenichi Kurokawa and the point-hair android and technical Tomohisa Harada, will just do about anything if you pay the right price. No job is too big or too small as long as you pay up because after all, the higher the danger, the more money in it, right? Plus, where do you find people who loves taking on dangerous jobs and enjoy doing it? If you like your anime with violence and action, then you should check this one out. Period. Mikura is the main reason why you adrenaline junkies should see this show and easily earn a spot in the top 10 kickass girls in your list. Simply because, this hot chick kicks ass! Enough said.

Episode 1
A guy named Asano is making a deal with a group of mercenaries known as Black Scissors. Nearby, Asami Igarashi is being bullied and harassed by her friends who are extorting money from her. She resists when the wall comes collapsing and a human is sent flying through. The bullies get scared and run away. Mikura is seen busting the butts of Black Scissors. She’s firing her gun away, she’s kicking their ass away (to the point it breaks their balls! OMG! OUCH!). Man, they’re flying through the walls! Her colleague Harada is trying to get the drug in the barber pole cylinder from them when Kurokawa calls them to finish the job quick since the police are coming. So the duo not only bust their way out and down from the building, they also save Asami and leave a goodbye present for Black Scissors. An angel bomb that goes BOOM! Wow. This chick kicks butt. Awesome! Cool! Kurokawa is having a haircut at Chiyoki Mugiyama’s barber (why does a baldy need a haircut?). He realizes those Black Scissors dudes were his men and messed a transaction of some unapproved drug. Oh sh*t. Better pay for the cost of their funeral. Good for him, Mugiyama decides to let it slide. Well, perhaps Mikura asking for leniency did the trick. The trio go see their employer Kisami who tells them the drug is fake. Mikura isn’t happy she called them useless but Kisami says they need to hurry with the real drug because Asano intends to kill somebody. Flashback time. Fifteen years ago, Asano was a pathology intern along with the girl he secretly loved, Misaki. The sad part is, Misaki seems to have chosen his friend, Takizawa who already is dating another girl. Asano could put up with that and even lent him money to go on dates. But the last straw came when Misaki was murdered and all evidence points to Takizawa. However that dude went missing. The cops couldn’t find him and the statute limitation that this case will expire is closing in. So why Asano is acting now is probably he has found Takizawa who has lost memories of his past due to early age Alzheimer. Asano wants to use the drug to regain Takizawa’s memories and confess his motive before the statue expires. Kisami doesn’t want Asano to be a killer no matter his reasons. Mikura thought everything would be solved if she just kill the guy but remember, they’re no assassins. Kisami will pay double the bounty and see how the guys’ face lit up? Yeah, money makes the world go round. Now see how they rush and get the job done. Money, money, money! Time is money!

Outside Asano’s apartment, seems no one is answering. No problem. Misaki pumps a couple of shells into the door! WTF?! He isn’t in but they notice the place still warm so he must have just left. Kurokawa sees a shocking picture on the PC. Mikura and Harada see Asano leaving but he exchange gunshots instead. Enough to blow this place apart! Eventually he manages to get away. Asano sees Takizawa who is now a homeless hermit in an abandoned building. He wants him to drink the drug when Mikura shoots and destroys the tube. How did they find this place? Well, before they went up his apartment, they placed a tracker on his car. Harada tries to convince him not to be hasty but Asano says he knows Takizawa’s intentions all along and wants him to regain his memories and make him atone his sins. It will be useless if he kills him without remembering his past. He wasn’t just two-timing Misaki but embezzled research funds too. Not only that, he made Misaki an accomplice to sneak out specimens of a famous musician Paul Lennon (as in that John and Paul?!) to sell at an auction. Despite reluctant, Misaki agreed to help out seeing she loved him. At this point, Mikura just wants to kill that bastard for being the enemy of women. Unfortunately she accidentally kicks Kurokawa’s balls! I hope it’s not broken. Hopefully nothing affected too. Back to the story, Takizawa was soon discovered by his head because somebody ratted him out. He thought it was Misaki who vehemently denied it was her. He didn’t believe her and thought she wanted to protect herself and in that instant, killed her. Asano switched the specimens with someone else so all Takizawa sold was just of those of an ordinary person. Harada quips he should’ve stolen Misaki instead. Well if he did, she wouldn’t have died.

Kurosawa calls out to Misaki saying that she is the only one who can stop this now. Mikura is worried she may have kicked his balls too hard. Then Misaki pops up. She is Kisami. I should’ve guessed the reverse in their names. Kurokawa knew because of the photo he saw back on the PC. The trio couldn’t believe their eyes. Are they seeing things? Is this hypnotism? Is there an explanation? Asano is reduced to tears upon seeing her and she notes he wasted 15 years of his life just for her. They both reconcile as Misaki tells him to forget about her and love somebody else. Of course he doesn’t need to fall in love again. Now this is the unbelievable part. When the first morning rays shine in, Misaki becomes transparent and disappears. Oh sh*t! She’s really a ghost?! Well, this place is the pathology lab after all. Suddenly Asano gets shot. Takizawa is not happy everyone is trying to make a fool out of him. His memories returned or he has been playing dumb all along? The delicate structures collapse and everyone starts falling. Takizawa falls to his death while Kurokawa and Harada hang on albeit in an embarrassing position. Mikura has got Asano but she can’t hold on any longer. Asano wants her to release him so that he can go to where Misaki is. However she refuses because she doesn’t want him to make Misaki any sadder. In a big gamble, Mikura drops down and in precise accuracy, fires her gun into the gas pipe. The great impact of the explosion pushes them into the room in the opposite building. Phew. Cool! Back in their base, a sniper named Kazuto targets the trio.

Episode 2
We see Mikura facing off with Kazuto. Due to her little mistake, Kazuto gets away. Back at DSA, they’re contemplating why is he targeting Kurokawa but the baldy doesn’t want to think so much and watch his favourite idol, the weather forecast girl, Aiko Hasegawa (OMG! It’s the voice of Mamiko Noto!). Aiko is having a rough time too because her boss is telling her off to do a better job. Well, she predicted wrongly. It’s raining instead of clear skies. So much so some guy named Leon the Rain Main even notes her forecasting going off. Then he collapses and wants her to shelter him at her place. That was so uncool. And when he is recuperating in her place, he got this cheek that she got the guts to let a stranger in. Well, you didn’t want her leaving you out in the rain, right? Is the frying pan enough to defend yourself, Aiko? However he mentions he understood something when he walked into this room despite her lack of skills. Tokyo has been raining for 4 days as Kurokawa watches his idol. Mikura suddenly splashes a pail of water on him as a reminder to fix the damn leaks! He notices Mikura having a lipstick. So does she like some guy?! This dangerous woman?! Or maybe she just wants to put some on make-up. Harada then informs them Aiko is here. For real?! She is here to seek their help to find Leon. She shows him a picture and from the way things are said, he is not human. The photo is undoctored. Aiko understands why he loves the rain, dark places and always gazing at the sky. Well, Mikura thought she has one heck of an imagination. Does it come with the job? Aiko fears Leon is being chased and may have been abducted. Kurokawa gladly accepts the case. You know why lah. So why is Mikura having a haircut at Mugiyama? Well, at the edge of the photo there is a profile of Black Scissors so where else to start looking? Seems Mugiyama and his men are taking Leon under their protection (because Leon requested it) but Mugiyama isn’t going to reveal it to them. Mugiyama gets a call from one of his subordinates. Looks like they got done in by someone stronger. And in that short distraction, Mugiyama and his men got tied up by the trio who are now on their way there. Leon is being confronted by his pursuer whom we shall call Mr Magician as he wants Leon to hand that thing over. Mikura gives him a good kick that sends him clinging on to the edge of the window. As they’re about to pick up Leon and escape, Mr Magician fights back. Now Mikura has got a taste of her own medicine. How does it feel? What’s it like to get strongly kick and flying a few blocks away? Damn right he isn’t human. Plus, when she fires at him, he stops the bullets with his water. Mikura believes Kurokawa will do something and before Mr Magician could make his next move, a large refrigerator lands on his head courtesy from Kurokawa. Wow. Alien or no alien, nobody can withstand that kind of drop.

The trio bring Leon away and has him explain. He thought they wouldn’t believe him but seriously, he should try them. He explains the rain in Tokyo is being controlled by this little rock he has, which is also what Mr Magician is targeting. If they to activate this before the shooting stars come, not only Tokyo but the entire planet will be flooded. So this is a world domination tool? How do you dominate when all humans are drowned? Wait a minute. Leon was thinking of world domination? So what made him hesitate? Love? Haha. Oh. Maybe. Except Kurokawa, the rest still don’t believe this alien and thinks he’s a psycho. Leon will gladly show them their true form. Look how Mikura is looking forward to it. But we’ll never know how he looks like but we can just imagine since we hear the blokes scream in horror. That scary, huh? Aiko who is waiting for Leon, seems to have been kidnapped by Mr Magician who then busts into their car. He materializes a drop of blood and warns Leon if he doesn’t stop the bleeding, Aiko will die. So about that rock thing he wants, Mikura has it as she snatched it from Leon and dares him to get it. She leaves it to the rest to look for Aiko. They think she is nearby since she was just kidnapped and can’t be hid faraway. They find her bleeding in the warehouse and looks like only her wrist is bleeding. One handkerchief will do the job just fine. Seems she knows who Leon is because Mr Magician told her. She wants to believe the person she loves no matter what he looks like. They need to stop this rain now as the shooting star is approaching. But Leon says Mikura has it. Kurokawa notes she was just bluffing and the real one is with him. Speaking of them, though Mr Magician pins Mikura down, this was close enough for Mikura to stab her lipstick into his eye and fire a couple of point blank shots into that dude. She’s proud that Earth’s women are stronger? She maybe lah.

Leon uses the rock to stop the rain and they say their goodbyes. Leon has to go and though he doesn’t know when he’ll return, he’ll definitely return to see her. Hope it’s not a million light years later. Aiko doesn’t want to be alone so he gives her a rock that doesn’t exist on this planet. This way he’ll always be with her. Screw that. Why give a rock when he should give himself to her? Oh well, even aliens have their own reasons. I’m sure Kurokawa finds it all an emotional drama. As they look up at the shooting star, they look back to find Leon had already vanished. Well, better not tell this to anyone. Heck nobody will believe it too. Meanwhile Kazuto notes how he will kill Kurokawa next time. He remembers as he pulled the trigger, Mikura was sharp enough to kick the baldy away. Then she chased him but ran out of bullets. Aiko reports snow falling on Tokyo. No wonder it’s getting cold. Mikura brings Asami back to DSA since she was waiting for her while Mikura was doing her errands. Looks like she wants to be their disciple. Serious? And bringing to them live on their TV screen, Aiko thanks DSA for everything and that she is doing fine.

Episode 3
Asami sees a guy, Hosokawa asking his men, Hanishi to do something with this suitcase right in the middle of broad daylight in the streets.  Later Hosokawa is at DSA and wants the guys to do a simple delivery of this suitcase. Since he pays upfront 50%, they’ll accept it right away, not even asking the contents. While Mikura and Harada are delivering it (Mikura is having a blast with her karaoke microphone), Asami visits DSA looking for Mikura but only sees Kurokawa (I guess he turned her down of joining the agency last time). She decides to wait till they return (Kurokawa even quipping it might take them years to come back!). Because he looks silly talking to himself while taciturn Asami just sat and ate her ramen, he turns on the TV to see the news that someone has stolen a suitcase containing dangerous bacteria in it. Guess which suitcase is that? Asami instantly recognizes it. Kurokawa deduces the suitcase Hosokawa brought in was plastered with stickers so as not to make it recognizable. Furthermore, the scientist warns it should be kept in refrigerated places because if the bacteria spread, it will be deadly. You know that the Black Plague is, right? He is about to call Mikura when Kazuto gets ready to pull another attempt. However he backs off when Asami thought she saw something shiny opposite. Harada is driving along when a truck seemingly tries to slam them. He thought he was just changing lanes without signalling. But when the truck pulls ahead, Hanishi pops out from the back door and starts shooting at them. Now do you believe? Harada steps on the pedal to get ahead of it so Mikura could fire several shots and let the truck crash. Kurokawa finally connects with them and tells them about the bacteria they’re carrying. It isn’t long before they have to be on the run again since the truck is hot on their tail again. This time when their car comes out of the tunnel, Mikura takes advantage of the light at the end of the tunnel to blind their vision and put them out of commission. But they’re not out yet because Hosokawa comes by, disappointed at Hanishi’s failure and will come along with him this time.

At a distance, their car breaks down as Mikura shows them the news update. Seems they have been suspected of stealing the bacteria. I guess they got scared of who should carry the suitcase and before they know it, I can’t believe they didn’t even sense Hanishi sneaking up and stealing the suitcase. Mikura goes after him but to her surprise sees Hosokawa as the culprit. Hanishi grabs her as Mikura asks for the balance payment. Her life is at stake and she’s asking for money? Just like any bad guy (and as Mikura also quipped), Hosokawa reveals his plans that there is a country who wants to buy the bacteria. So making them do the delivery is just a decoy for the cops. After making them criminals, all they need to do is to ‘steal’ it back. With Harada driving his car into the picture, Mikura swiftly kicks her way out faster than the guys could pull their gun trigger! Hosokawa gets into the truck and another chase ensues. His business dealings with some foreigner on the phone have to be cut short since he needs to deal with the pesky duo. I wonder how many more shots Harada’s car can take. It’s a miracle it’s still running. The bonnet is blown up and though Harada can’t see a damn thing, Hosokawa was probably too distracted with it to notice Mikura jumping in from the top. Then she lets loose her microphone at maximum volume. Thank goodness there were no avalanches caused. Once they stop the truck driver, Hanishi shots the suitcase off Mikura’s hands. Oh no. Is the suitcase malfunctioning? Is this the end for human kind? Hanishi tries to escape himself but his truck soon crashes into the river. It’s Kurokawa in a refrigerated truck firing back at the coward and he has brought along Asami. On the way home, Kurokawa explains how he thought of it all after watching the news. Kurokawa also credits Asami for helping and that it is okay for her to come to DSA once in a while. The baddies are tied up in the truck and the malfunctioning suitcase next to them. At least this will keep them quiet and shiver in fear. Asami fawns over Mikura for being a cool heroine. She starts calling her master and thought of singing together on her microphone. She forgot to reduce the volume, didn’t she?

Episode 4
Mikura out on a date?! SERIOUS?! So the guys head over to Mugiyama to do a job (not because baldy wants a haircut). Seems there’s this guy, Taneri who is crying over his wife whom he thinks is having an affair. Yeah, she hasn’t talk to him for the last 3 days. And since Taneri has once taken good care of Mugiyama, I guess Kurokawa and Harada have to accept this case. So they are staking outside the mansion in this affair investigation and Harada is not too pleased. I guess he has to follow since he trashed the car. So Taneri’s wife comes out. Man, she’s a blonde bombshell! Totally wasted on that old geezer. They tail her to the subway but lose her since Kurokawa is an old guy who has a hard time even catching his breath and Harada getting punched by a feisty female who mistakes him as a pervert (he accidentally touched her boobs in this crowded station). The guys take a break at a pasta restaurant and it seems Kazuto is in the next table ready to poison their food. However they see the blonde and resume their tailing. Saved from another death, eh? This time they follow her to a nightclub called Stray Cat. They bump into Asami who wants to follow them since she is bored (and wants to be a heroine like Mikura). The bouncer stops Harada from entering because a minor is following him. Harada tells Asami that she can’t follow him in and explains if she dies, it’ll make Mikura sad. Inside Stray Cat, Harada sees the blonde talking to a man. Is this the guy she is supposed to be having an affair with? He snaps a shot but can’t have this feeling he has seen him somewhere. Then he got distracted when he bumps into the girl who punched him at the subway. It’s a small world, eh? The blonde and the guy leave so Harada tries to follow them but starts firing random shots! The patrons panic as they leave. Reuniting with Kurokawa and Asami, they see the duo getting into the taxi. Before it speeds off, Harada plants a tracer on it. With the police coming in, they better make a run and say their goodbye to Asami. She sees Kazuto following them as he breaks off a tree branch. He is sharpening it into a spike and gets ready to go into action when Mikura stumbles in front of him (she dropped her coin). I guess he has to abandon his plan once more. What a waste after sharpening that branch so fine.

Kurokawa and Harada disguise themselves. They already look so odd but wearing these funny clothes make them even stand out more! They follow the tracer to an abandoned factory. Oh. The taxi driver’s shot dead. Then they realized they have fallen into that guy’s trap since he knew they were following them and baited them here. Holding them up inside the building, he finds out Taneri hired them but thinks of them as mere private investigators. He is going to kill them so Harada notes how he switched it in 3 days because Taneri did mention his wife didn’t listen to what he said for 3 days. To prevent any slip ups, she didn’t talk on purpose. Then he points out the blonde is actually an android. Harada now recognizes this guy as Roid Andou. He sells robots to wealth women and makes a fortune out of it. Andou isn’t happy they know his identity is busted when Kurokawa throws his fake afro at him. The distraction allows Harada to throw a knife into his hand. Andou orders the android to kill them. Harada realizes the robot is going to self destruct (steam coming out from any hole of her head?). So the duo cooperate and pull off mind blowing stunts that only Mikura could’ve done it herself to throw the android out of the window in time before it goes boom. Harada wonders what Andou’s objective was but Kurokawa is more concerned if they made any money out of this. To their surprise, they see Andou knocked out outside and the culprit is Mikura! Well, that dude did a mistake by attacking her and got what he deserved in her reflex. She thinks he might have mistaken her for this thing. This thing? Looks like the Taneri’s real wife! And dead too. Mikura thought Andou is a baddie and asks for permission to beat him up. Funny girl. They make him spill details that Taneri’s wife was his customer and wanted her own copy so she can have all the affairs she wanted. Then he got this idea to kill her and use her android to steal secrets Taneri’s industry. The kind of information that could be sold to the highest bidder. Andou curses he was this close in pulling it off so Kurokawa tells them to blame Taneri for sending them since they are here to investigate. As for Mikura, why is she here? Seems she got into some complications (to put it in another way: A fight) with the person she’s supposed to meet and wandered here. But she couldn’t care anymore so Kurokawa suggests getting some ramen. Again?

Episode 5
This is Mikura’s story when the guys were playing private investigators. Seems she dolled herself up to meet a friend she hasn’t seen in a long time, Sakura Sakurada. Hey! Isn’t that the woman who punched Harada? So it wasn’t a date with a guy, huh? Excited at seeing each other when they meet, Sakura suggests going to Stray Cat. They’re taking the subway and when the train is about to arrive, Sakura gets prepared to push her into the rail when Harada bumps into her and she punches him. Mikura thought that ‘pervert’ looked a lot like Harada. At Stray Cat, they talk about the last time they saw each other. They were street kids running from the cops because they’ve just hurt one. Kurokawa who was a cop them confronted them so Mikura held him down for Sakura to escape. Sakura wants to go make a call and leaves her lighter which is actually a bomb on the chair. Of course this is where she bumps into Harada again but when she sees Mikura not at her place and some guy shooting randomly, she panics and tries to diffuse the lighter. Mikura seems to have gone to the toilet so Sakura takes her and escape this mayhem. At the park, Sakura continues her story how after they got separated, she still couldn’t do anything on her own. She was almost gang raped when a lady and her MIBs killed her rapists, saved her and took her under her care. Taking a break, Mikura decides to buy some corn but a coin slipped out of her hands, bringing her to a close encounter with Kazuto who eventually abandoned his plans. After having their fill of the corn, Mikura asks about Sakura’s caretaker. She replies they were murdered. Mikura then heads to the public toilet and Sakura following closely behind. She thought she saw Harada (in those odd outfits) but that dude flees with Kurokawa upon seeing that violent b*tch. Inside the toilet, Sakura had some intentions with her knife and Mikura but decides not to go ahead.

At the end of the day, Sakura wants Mikura to accompany her to a place: The abandoned factory. As Mikura looks around, she knows Sakura has thrown her lighter at her and kicks it away. Mikura has known she wanted to kill her ever since at Stray Cat. During the shooting incident, she saw Harada sprinting out and when she returned to Sakura, she saw her trying to diffuse her lighter. Plus, after not seeing each other for 3 odd years, Sakura has never asked anything about her which means she already knew about her when they met and pretended that everything was coincidence. She shows a picture of her caretaker, Momomi Momoi, daughter of Momokichi Momoi, the owner of Peach Twisters which has gone bankrupt. Mikura recognizes her as a psycho woman. Sakura says Mikura was the one that killed her. Flashback reveals a violent and action packed duel between both women at a bowling alley. Momomi was equally crazy as Mikura. Shots fired, blood flying, bodies everywhere. In the end Mikura bested and killed her. Sakura blames Mikura for abandoning her because she was waiting for her to show up all the time. By the time she had forgotten about her, she suddenly took away her most important person. Oh. Those 2 were dating? Sakura is going to finish her off with her knives but she is no match for Mikura’s super human strength. So much so a knife is accidentally stabbed through her chest. Mikura wants to save her but Sakura thought she wanted them both to die together. Since it has come to this, Sakura reveals something interesting. Mikura is the daughter of Momokichi and that Momomi is her sister. She did a lot of digging to find that and not even Momokichi himself knew. She thinks they both have the same eyes, probably why she was attracted to Momomi. Then she runs off to kill herself. Though Mikura chased after her, she bumped into Andou who thought she’s a detective. He attacks but she kicks him unconscious. So when the robot explosion occurred, it fell right onto where Sakura is. She thought the robot looked like Momomi and that she came for her. Then BOOM! The fragments of the explosion also bust open an oil drum that Taneri’s real wife was dumped into. Mikura is saddened at the events that has happened and that’s when she comes into Kurokawa and Harada and it ends with that ramen suggestion.

Episode 6
Harada and Mikura are browsing some shops with androids when Manon Asakura recognizes Harada. He isn’t happy to this old classmate of his (she claims she is his old girlfriend) as she learns Harada is into hardware rather than software of androids. She thought she would like to see love develop AI software but he claims he has not talent in that area and leaves with Mikura. Besides Mikura teasing him about his girlfriend, she wonders why he isn’t into software. Well, developing AI software according to him doesn’t make money. Back at DSA, Mikura sees a TV report that Manon who was inaugurated into Asakura Technics Corporation went missing the other day. She goes to see Harada to get more juicy details about his ‘girlfriend’. Then she sees a memory chip labelled with her name. Maybe there are ‘memorable pictures’ in it. However he asserts it is M-Anon and not Manon. Suspicious… Harada then goes out to buy some parts. Flashback time. He remembers Manon being an intelligent girl in school. Wait. That would even be an understatement. In short, he was secretly in love with this cool beauty but knows he is out of her league. But his friends put him up to ask her out for a date because they want to see him get rejected. Surprisingly, Manon agrees to go out with him! That easy? Yeah, his pals can’t even believe it. If it was that easy to ask her out, they should have done it themselves. Too bad losers. So Harada and Manon start their first date and it is puzzling that she only rides his bike even though she only has 4 hours to herself. The next day in school, Manon coldly ignores Harada. His buddies tease him his dream didn’t last. But later it is revealed that she wants to keep both school and private lives separated. Since she is a model student, she has a reputation to maintain. Harada understands so while the duo maintain their distance at school, they have fun together just about every day. He asks why she chose him but she too doesn’t know the answer. Do you need an answer when you’re in love? Back in reality, Mikura spots the dropped memory chip and gets this sneaky idea to view what is inside it.

Harada is outside when he sees Asami. Surprisingly she accompanies him instead of wanting to be with her heroine. Harada learns her parents are always busy and that she is always alone. He offers to record her fingerprint for some entry thingy so when she presses his cheek with her index finger, it reminded him how he and Manon often did that to each other. More nostalgic memories. So their date went a step further as they rode the Ferris wheel and they even kissed. Harada thought he saw Manon’s eyes flashing. As he sends her back, Manon becomes unresponsive. Stopping at the roadside to see what is wrong with her, suddenly he realizes Manon is an android. She is identifying herself as M-Anon 9993 from Asakura Technics Research Facility and to be returned to the nearest branch immediately. Harada did so and inside the lab he meets Manon’s father. He brings him to see the real Manon who reveals that today they’re supposed to break up and end the experiment. Still confused, they show him M-Anon’s body inside a capsule. This is the ‘Manon’ that he is seeing. Since she didn’t return within the curfew time of 4 hours, her battery ran out. Manon never expected that she would go beyond her calculations. The father and daughter are glad that their AI experiment has reached this stage whereby they could interact on an emotional level with humans. Manon’s father proceeds to boot up Manon’s personality on a monitor so she interacts with Harada like usual. It’s odd that the android has more emotions and memories than her real counterpart. She is happy of the times spent with Harada. Harada wonders if she is the real Manon but even so he has always thought her as a human. Harada gets pissed off when the father and daughter continue to talk about making androids that are just like humans. He didn’t like how his emotions were being toyed. In his rampage he starts destroying the place! I don’t know a kid like him could cause the entire place to catch fire. M-Anon couldn’t understand why he was destroying her. He too doesn’t know why as he sits alone and confused in the midst of the burning lab. He tried to save her but too late. The only thing salvaged was her memory chip. Police surround the place and Kurokawa arrested him. In present time, Mikura is disappointed that this memory chip cannot be loaded and needs to be used on a special computer. She was expecting some dirty pictures?! Kurokawa notes it’s data that gives an android its character, personality and memories. Asami catches Harada off guard when he asks if he and Mikura are dating. He denies. Of course not. She thinks they don’t look compatible. Haha. Then she asks about him building androids. It’s not that she’s interested but she says she’s somewhat scared of them. Yeah, Harada had one experience with it and knows how ‘scary’ it is.

Episode 7
Asami’s bullies force her to enter an old rundown mansion to take a photo of a ghost. Wait a minute. Take a picture of a ghost? Why don’t they get it themselves then? Poor Asami makes her way in only to see a big pro wrestler-like gangster guy beating up the elder owner, Ouya. Before Ouya collapses, he calls his wife over the failed ‘negotiations’. Asami picks up the phone and tells the wife what is happening. She thought she saw a girl in white. Creepy! Thankfully Ouya is rushed to hospital and his wife is grateful to her. She reveals her friends made her take a picture of a ghost so they mention this place is to be torn down and it’s not strange to have such rumours going around. The other residents have already relocated but a group of thugs are being stubborn and have turned this to their advantage. Asami knows a group of people who do dangerous things and can handle things in their place. Guess who? And so Kurokawa accepts this easy job to oust gangsters from an old building and heads to the hospital to talk to the pair for more details. And to of course negotiate the price. It’s all about the money. The rest survey the old mansion and Asami wonders about that girl in white. Harada starting to freak out. Even more, Mikura says she see a girl in the window. CREEPY!!!

Back at DSA, they have gathered some information about the thugs that are made up of Baba (the boss), Kira (the big pro-wrestler guy) and other members that include Sakaguchi and Ouki. Harada needs to plant a tapping bug in their place so Mikura comes up with a crazy idea. She infiltrates the place (getting gross at how messy the place it – like the inside of Kurokawa’s head. Haha!) and poses as a massage girl promoting the opening of her new store. So I guess when Baba couldn’t feel her massage, he starts feeling her butt. That’s when he got kicked. Better be careful. The wall could crumble any minute. His goons come in but they’re no match for her except for Kira. Too big and strong for her kicks to have any effect. She is swung around the place. She manages to place the bug and make her exit by jumping out from the window. While she’s falling, she thought she saw the girl in white. Then using a grappling hook to slide down to her comrades waiting below and speed away. Well, it’s amazing the building is still standing seeing Baba just went trigger happy with his machine gun. And now that this has happened, DSA can’t get close to them since they’re on high alert. But it’s Kurokawa’s turn to hatch a plan. Mikura waits outside the place as the massage girl so mad Baba sends Kira and Sakaguchi to get her. She leads them to a dead end whereby it’s a trap for the cops to corner and arrest them for whatever criminal charges. Seems Kurokawa called his ‘old buddy’ the district police chief, Senzou Omabari. Ouya thanks them for a good job. He thinks with the muscle men out of the way, they can negotiate with the rest. Him? Negotiate with gangsters? He will pay their money and complete the contract. They see Asami staring at the building. She wonders about the girl.

Despite their involvement is over, Harada continues to tap the place since he feels something is wrong. Baba is upset his men got arrested so he accidentally breaks the wall and discovers something horrifying. Somebody (looks like Ouya) destroys the tap and Harada thought his machine was spoiled. Asami is by herself at the place when she picks up the girl’s stuffed bunny and follows her. Mikura wonders when will that girl’s family move so Kurokawa mentions the building is deserted and the thugs are only occupying it. Then it hit Mikura. There’s something wrong about that girl. She didn’t look alive. Yeah, took you long enough. She’s got a bad feeling about this and rushes there. Asami bumps into Ouya and his wife. When she says she wants to return this bunny to the girl, the couple turn into their true colours. They are going to kill her for knowing. Know what? They think she’s threatening them. Threat what? Asami runs and hides inside the gangsters’ room. She is shocked to see their dead body. Ouya reveals his plan to kill the thugs and tried to find a way since that big guy posed a big problem. Mikura arrives just in time to kick that old guy off his balance. Then everybody saw another horrifying thing. The decomposed body of that girl in white behind the broken wall. The couple went crazy, accusing her for coming out and that she’s a bad child. In the aftermath as they pay their respects to the dead girl on the site, Kurokawa explains that the room the thugs were residing used to be Ouya and his wife’s room. Before tearing it down, they wanted to dispose the body but the gangsters settled in. So when the wall crumbled, she was discovered. Asami feels sad for the girl and thought she could do something for her like being her friend. Wondering why she was killed, Kurokawa mentions the couple was very strict and tend to apply harsh punishments. Then it went awry and by accident they killed her. Harada is relieved that he can’t see the girl though he still can’t believe everything. And Kurokawa notes that humans are still scarier than ghosts. So true.

Episode 8
At Makura Research Laboratories, scientist Makura is being persuaded to do some research on antibody reaction to a new type of deadly virus. How? He’ll get paid more. Yeah, find a suitable person and he’ll start the experiments immediately. Asami’s bullies mock and push her down for her failure to get the picture. Mikura saw everything and Asami is happy upon seeing her. However Mikura tells her what is the point if she doesn’t get up on her own. She leaves without lending a hand. On her way back, she gets a ticket for some virtual experience. She tells it to the DSA guys about wanting to be a volunteer but I guess Kurokawa was just mouthing his mouth off before he realizes he has hurt Asami’s feelings. Mikura on her way home from an errand sees the guys consoling Asami at a park. Then back at DSA, she sees the ticket and decides to take up the volunteer job. Makura is more than happy to have her as a volunteer as she is put to sleep in some machine. The other scientists start the dream experiment. Because Makura saw some awesome data, he thought of doing some alterations giving excuses that they need some data to counter if dreams become nightmares. So Mikura is having a weird dream. Harada in a suit late for work and Kurokawa obsessed about bread instead of ramen. Definitely strange. Then she finds herself running away from ninjas, wolves that turn into ninjas. This is not the elegant castle life she wanted. Then Kazuto (now a samurai) tries to slash her with his sword. She got scratched and in real life, she also bleeds. That’s when the system goes out of control and becomes unresponsive. Now the scientists are panicking. Harada, Kurokawa and Asami are at the gates of the lab when Harada mentions he forgot to bring the ticket along. So how? Sneak in! They are baffled to see the ticket on the table. Did it teleport itself here? Haha. Nice one. Then they see the commotion in the next room and Mikura being plugged to a machine. Makura explains about his experiment system thingy. Well, there was nothing wrong when they advertised for volunteers. Note: Was. Though she isn’t in any form of danger, it seems she can’t come back to reality. Asami decides to bring her back by diving into her dream. I don’t understand the explanation about switching this and that and must adhere to some settings or else Mikura will be exposed to additional danger, thus why Asami is the only one who could go in.

Mikura finds herself tied up S&M style while the police chief turns into a tentacle monster to tentacle rape her! Then comes her saviour… Warrior Princess Asami! Huh? She thought she saw Harada the knight in shining armour but it’s just a decoy to tentacle rape her too! Seems Harada is trying to hijack the system. The guys aren’t happy when they learn Makura has turned a deadly virus into an enemy and made defenceless Mikura fight it as a guinea pig. She volunteered? They’re not going to buy that crap. And since Asami’s consciousness is tied with Mikura, they can’t bring her back now. Yeah, all you can do is watch. Kurokawa remembers consoling Asami since she wanted to be strong like Mikura. He suggested holding a good luck charm. A gun?! Asami and Mikura are running towards the exit but stumble upon Mugiyama and his Black Scissors underlings. Mikura couldn’t kick her way out and Mugiyama is going to give her a barber haircut. Sorry man, she prefers the beauty salon. Haha! Asami couldn’t believe she got separated from Mikura and is hiding in fear. Then she sees Kurokawa and Harada opposite and sees his hand gesture. Then a real gun is in her hands as she sums up her courage to fire a couple of shots before Mugiyama could seal Mikura’s fate. In the aftermath, Kurokawa and co are seen walking out of the ruined lab. He mentions giving Asami a loaded gun and when she started firing, it destroyed the system. Well, I guess it’s okay since Mikura and Asami came back alive. That Makura guy may have a hard time losing his livelihood but he deserves it for trying to make a profit by running experiments with live subjects. Mikura and Asami could not remember a single thing from the dream so Mikura notes this virtual experience is meaningless if she can’t remember a thing. She doesn’t even remember the panic the lab was in since she was too dazed. But she did note she wants to take a peek into Kurokawa’s dream. Asami cautions her she better not because she’ll regret it. I have a feeling she’s right!

Episode 9
A serial murderer in a clown suit just killed his victim as he watches Mikura takes down a target. Kurokawa sees Omabari to get some bullets and the chief doesn’t seem to like him but has to oblige because I guess Kurokawa may have saved his ass once too often. News are rife that this serial killer named Mahito is going around killing his victim and leaving a message of what number they are. The police are getting hammered due to their inefficiency and Omabari is having a hard time handling the press. Asami learns that Kurokawa and Omabari are ex-colleagues and the helped them out in all sorts of areas. Seems Kurokawa isn’t part of the force as he was fired due to some misconduct. At least that’s how Mikura puts it. Then they receive a client. He is Hiroshi Otokawa and shows a message he got. He is going to be another one of Mahito’s victims. Though he thinks it’s just a bad joke, he wants to play safe and hires them to be his bodyguard for a week. So as Mikura accompanies him, she is appalled he has no plans whatsoever and wherever they go it seems like a date. So when her time is up, she just goes. Meanwhile Harada gets a call from Asami. She wants him to come to her place. Seems Asami has got a message from Mahito too and is quite scared. However Harada laughs it off as a prank. I don’t think she’s joking. She wants to hire him as her bodyguard! Just to sooth her anxiety, he hacks the phone to discover where the message was sent. Though, Asami would’ve preferred him to be her bodyguard. It’s much easier that way, right? They trace it to an abandoned building and as Harada notes if the police can’t catch him and he can, it means this is just an imposter, right? However they see a dead body inside the room. Asami sees Mahito’s message on the door and this really isn’t a prank. Harada wants her to get home because if the police get here, it’ll be messy. Harada somehow got caught and was released by Omabari since he knows Kurokawa. However the chief relays a message through him to warn Kurokawa not to be sneaky behind his back. So the trio sit down and talk about what just happened. They notice something strange about that message. Instead of the usual “You are victim number five”, it was written “He was number five”. It’s like as though they are leaving a message to others. It can’t be Asami since she is unable to do hacking. So this could mean the message was intended for DSA? But since they’re not defenders of justice nor is there any money in it, Kurokawa has no reason to oblige. But for Mikura, she just wants to kick somebody’s ass.

Mikura goes do her bodyguard job and tells Otokawa she wants to end this job right now. He is shocked because he thought the deal was for a week as he planned to seduce her for that period. Oops. Harada and Kurokawa continue to discuss about the recent murder. They note all the victims were scumbags. Maybe this Mahito guy is some dark crusader of justice? Then Kurokawa realizes something odd. If that guy who just got killed is number five and Otokawa is number six, shouldn’t Otokawa get killed first since he got the message earlier than the fifth guy? Plus, the handphone that was sent to Asami, it was never on scene of the dead guy. Mikura calls the guys to tell them she has turned down the bodyguard job. When she returns to Otokawa, he drops dead! How can somebody just got killed in the middle of the crowd just like that?! Mikura sees a shady character and goes after him. Harada and Kurokawa rush on site and from witnesses’ information, they have an idea where Mikura went. The clown figure leads Mikura into the building and she almost got sliced by a giant axe. Inside a room, pictures of the victims distracted her and the clown tied a noose around her neck. She takes out her gun and he dares her to shoot. Unfortunately, it’s a dud. However he is upset she can’t execute him and will have to kill her and find some other who can kill him. Meanwhile Harada notes that the dead Otokawa is actually a robot and that the real one is… Yup, you guessed it. That clown = Otokawa = Mahito. Seems Otokawa is playing a game to see who can execute who first. He got bored with this world but suicide seemed boring and would like to die by somebody’s hands. He laments that death penalty in this country has become illegal and all those he executed were just scums. He wanted to be executed by a cute girl like her and saw her the other night. He’s talking about wanting to get killed by others. I’m sure if he lets Mikura down, she’ll kill him. So what’s he talking about? Kurokawa fires a shot to snap the noose while Harada pins that psycho down. Otokawa dares her to kill him but all she did was punched him in the face (and lost a few teeth). Even if it kills her, she won’t kill him and wants him to rot in prison for the rest of his life. Is she sure about that? Later Kurokawa confronts Omabari about the duds and the latter is quite apologetic. To make things up, he gives him more bullets so I guess Kurokawa lets him off the hook. Pleasure doing business with ‘ya.

Episode 10
The famous Diamond Eyes mummy is being exhibit in Japan. With jewels eyes and teeth, you know it’s going to be a target of thieves, right? However there is this curse going around that all those involved with the mummy died in mysterious ways. Harada and Mikura don’t really believe about the curse but it seems Kurokawa has taken up the job to transfer the mummy. Have they learnt anything from that escort job with the virus last time? Seems the sheikh, Furahre Nabacola hired Kurokawa for the job. He doesn’t deny about the rumours of the curse that people had died mysteriously. But all transports in Japan have rejected them and DSA is his only hope left. So to say, they are going to shoulder the curse too? Furahre mentions their country is poor and makes their income via exhibits around the world. Japan is the first of many stops and if this fails, you can see where this is going. Since other treasures are being transported through normal channels, DSA will take a different route so if anything happens to them, the media won’t get a lead on them and that anything could be erased. Blunt, but that’s the truth. Kurokawa is going to reject the job, mentioning the things he is not good dealing with (including blonde, tight bodied pheromone wives!). However Furahre gives him a cheque. Wow! How many zeroes are there?! I guess even Mikura is hyped up to challenge the mummy’s curse. Meanwhile Kazuto gets a haircut at Mugiyama. Seems the barber wants him to finish the job within this week as there’s no turning back now. As DSA discuss the routes to take, suddenly Kurokawa gets intense stomach pain. Must be the ramen. Wait! Is this the mummy’s curse? Don’t say it is! After being wheeled off into the ambulance, Harada drives there to visit him but a black cat crosses his path. He swerves to avoid and the brakes are not working. Into the river! See, that’s what you get for rubbishing curses. Mikura and Asami are walking along when the metal signboard almost fell on them! What was it again about transporting that dried potato, girl? Once the gang are back together, Kurokawa mentions something strange about the ramen he ate that gave him the crams. It seems it was from the store that was promoting its ramen and when he went back to file a complaint, the store never existed. Is this the curse working? This only pumps up Mikura to challenge that mummy.

On the day they are transporting the mummy, because the crate is heavy (the mummy is loaded with jewels. What do you expect?) Kurokawa and Harada lost balance. Thank goodness the mummy is alright. Could’ve been cursed by the Pharaoh, eh? But Mikura is showing no respect and kicks the coffin! Moments later, the truck they’re supposed to transport the mummy blows up! OMG! If they were slightly faster or that incident didn’t happen, they could’ve been roasted. The curse is heating up. But it seems a few baddies aren’t happy things didn’t go their way. Transporting it in another truck, Kurokawa seems to be praying real hard to God. Was he a believer? His fear gets even worse upon thinking Mikura who is at the back with the mummy, giving that dried potato a lecture! Dead people don’t talk back, right? Suddenly several cars pull up alongside and they fire at them. The chase is so intense that the coffin broke from its strap. Though Mikura is not amused, she says she’ll still protect it since it’s her job. Harada tries to out manoeuvre the cars but eventually the truck crashes on his side. The guys are being held up as the baddies transport the mummy to their own truck. They are glad Mikura is hiding pretty well but are baffled because usually at this point, she’ll just kick ass. The baddie reveals that the curse was fake and they used it to their advantage to warn people to lay off the mummy as they plan to steal it. So every ‘curse’ that has happened to far was done by them but they were so lucky that it had to come down to this. Oh sh*t! Come to think of it, they weren’t bad luck, they were lucky to escape by the skin of their teeth! Now he’s going to kill them. Before anything else could happen, Mikura busts out of the coffin and does some serious kick ass! She’s wearing the Pharaoh’s garb! OMG! Your saviour Goddess has arrived! Mikura mentions the mummy ‘told’ her that someone was targeting them. The mummy what? That’s why they trade places and she wore his garb. The baddie still hasn’t given up yet and is about to pull the trigger on them. However the gun backfired and exploded in his hands! It’s curse for him but luck for our trio. The mummy is safely transported and Omabari (whose force was in charge of transporting the other treasures) isn’t pleased Furahre had hired DSA secretly to transport that mummy. But Kurokawa puts it, all is well and ends well since they both completed their job. Before DSA parts with the mummy, Mikura mentions how it was the mummy who saved them. If Harada and Kurokawa had not dropped the mummy then, Mikura could’ve been blown up as she was in the truck. And then when the gun backfired on the baddie, can’t say it’s all coincidence, no? She apologizes for calling it a dried potato. Well, at least she’s showing some respect. As DSA head back, Kazuto prepares to make his move on them.

Episode 11
Kazuto charges towards Kurokawa but Harada pushes the old guy out of the way because he saw a body falling off a building. Woah! Somebody just committed suicide and almost took Kurokawa with him. Kazuto withdraws but Mikura spots him and goes after him. She wants to know why Kurokawa is being targeted but he ignores her. She got distracted by the phone ring and the next thing she knows, he is gone. Next day, Asami sends a video because she was worried about them. Mikura teases Harada that Asami likes him. Meanwhile Kurokawa sees the young boss of a yakuza clan. Seems there is this serial killer called Phantom who has been going around those who received his mail. Doesn’t this sound familiar? Four of the five have already been killed and the last one is the young’s boss father. And all those killed seems to be quite important people. It is mentioned that the killer is so skilled no one has ever seen his face with the exception of some girlfriend of one of the victims. She was with him when he was killed by couldn’t take the trauma and killed herself. So what the young boss wants isn’t a bodyguard. Heck, yakuzas needing bodyguard? They want him to die in their boss’ place. Oh sh*t! Or at least be a decoy so that he can catch this Phantom killer. What about using a robot as a dummy. No good. Tried before but the real one got killed instead. Mikura happily wants to go with this case because if they fail, their reputation will be tarnished. So… Who is the one who is going to be ‘killed’? Looks like Kurokawa got the honour. So screwed. Kurokawa disguises as the yakuza boss while the hospital is heavily guarded with his men. Mikura is the nurse while Harada sets up cameras everywhere. The real boss is at the top floor but it seems the killer knows about it and makes his move. An unregistered presence is detected so everyone goes on alert. However a gunshot is heard and it seems the real one got killed. Harada suspects something amiss. If the killer is on the roof, then who is this one right on this floor? Turns out to be Kazuto as he strangles Kurokawa with a wire. Harada saves him in time while Mikura goes after him. They fight but he clearly overwhelms her. However he doesn’t kill her and leaves. Mikura has most of her energy drained and collapses. The guys run up to the rooftop to see the yakuza cornering another one of their men (he was the one by the boss’ side). Is he the culprit? However he goes crazy and blows himself up with the grenade.

The young boss holds a funeral but it is a mock one because the real one is somewhere else. The one who died was just a body double. So a decoy to fool a decoy? Well, DSA got compensated anyway. Harada and Kurokawa talk about the victims of Phantom. Kurokawa mentions about the development of LCD screens and those who were killed were involved in its making. The person whom this was stolen from is Yuuichirou Ozuma. Harada thinks he has heard his name before and does a search. It turns out to be the guy who jumped down the building. He was a famous programmer and was also the client. Harada is baffled why Phantom wasn’t detected on the cameras. Then he realized something. Learning the circumstances the victims were killed, the victims didn’t take precautions and the location of someone close is unknown, Harada goes on a massive internet search and finds Phantom. It is some sort of virus that applies hypnotism to whoever looks at the screen of the handphone. Ozuma was the one who made the vaccine which destroyed it but with his level of skills, making a stronger version for handphone video isn’t a problem. Even if the person is dead, the order execution programme is still activated. Since mail is sent indiscriminately to anyone close to the target and a personal judgement is made, if the person is dead, the order is forgotten. But if the person is alive, then the order is to kill. Thus there is no person named Phantom. The murderers are those who saw the mail and got controlled. This makes the controlled person believe he is Phantom and after mission accomplish, he will kill himself to leave no traces of evidence. So that’s why when the bodyguard killed the fake yakuza boss, he killed himself as he didn’t know it was just a body double and thought he had accomplished his mission. Kurokawa calls the young boss to inform him not to let anyone close to the real boss answer his handphone. However it fell on deaf ears as he doesn’t give a damn. Soon, the yakuza who was guarding the real boss fell victim to this Phantom programme and kills him before jumping out of the window to commit suicide. And the young boss couldn’t believe it. For DSA, they’ve got no obligations to continue since the yakuza got what they deserved. Mugiyama and his men surround Kazuto over his failure. However he beats the goons up and gets close enough to threaten him. He assures he will settle this.

Episode 12
A short flashback sees Kazuto killing his father for killing his mother. With nowhere to go and out in the streets, he is picked up by Mugiyama who likes his cold emotionless eyes. Mikura gives Asami some basic martial arts lessons. She seems fine doing the basic punches. Mikura accompanies Kurokawa to the ramen shop since she is worried about him as the events have become more dangerous. True enough, her sixth sense kicks in and she pushes Kurokawa down as Kazuto fires randomly into the shop. The duo run out the back and they thought they got the better of Kazuto but it’s the opposite. Kazuto seems to have the advantage but something is making him hesitate. This allows Kurokawa to fire a shot to wound his arm and make their escape. Mugiyama’s henchman has observed everything and reports back that Kazuto was hesitant in firing not only to Kurokawa but Mikura as well. Since it is obvious Kurokawa is being targeted, Mikura goes out to do errands for him (what else? Ramen). However several tough guys approach her and want her to come along. Like hell she’s going to listen. Don’t think their big and tough looks are enough to intimidate her. She knocks them out instead! It took Mugiyama’s henchman to stun her out with a taser. The others realize Mikura is late and feel something is wrong. She is in fact being tied up in a strait jacket at Mugiyama’s place. He’s going to give her a nice shave and he’s just letting her sit here till somebody gets the job done. Mugiyama’s henchman calls Kazuto to say he has made his job easier and to finish it. Kazuto makes a move and he doesn’t like his work to be interfered. That guy is suspicious that for a skilled assassin to drag a job this long, has he fallen for that DSA girl? Kazuto shoots and kills him! Omabari seems to be having an affair with his daughter’s friend, Aya. Suddenly Kurokawa barges his way through all those policemen stopping him. It’s no use trying to hide Aya since Kurokawa’s a sharp old dude. So that chief has to order his men to stand back. Kurokawa is here to collect some cool ammo from him. After concluding their business, it seems Omabari’s business with Aya has also concluded because the girl has lost her mood. He is furious and can’t leave it to that barber anymore. Kurokawa and Harada are driving along. The old guy has a feeling Mikura was target so it would be easier to kill him. It’s obvious when the bodyguard is out of the way, right? In that case, they will have to strike first.

Asami didn’t like sitting and waiting around the office and do nothing despite being assured by Harada. Thinking she needs to help out, she rushes out. She sees Mikura’s handphone lying outside Mugiyama’s barber. Wait a minute. It was lying there all day right under their noses and nobody notices it or picks it up?! Asami peeks through the door gaps and to her horror sees Mikura tied up in the seat. Mikura is asking if Mugiyama has a grudge against Kurokawa. I’m sure he does but he just says it’s his job. Asami needs to save her now and barges in with a beautiful flying kick. Mugiyama thought this cute little girl is harmless and I suppose let his guard down but she lands him a kick in his crotch! Ouch! She remembered those kicking lessons well, eh? So the tables are turned and Mugiyama now gets tied up while the girls rush off. At an abandoned building, Kurokawa and Kazuto play cat and mouse. Kazuto thought he had fired his bullets into him when it turns out to be an inflatable decoy. The guys corner him and want him to spill the details but his mouth his zipped. Kazuto drops his submachine gun but wounds Harada with his hidden knife. Then he chases Kurokawa to the rooftop. He thought he got shot but it seems it is Mikura who shot Kazuto’s shoulder. Since he couldn’t sit quietly, a struggle ensues as both Mikura and Kazuto fall off the ledge. If not for the grappling hook, they could have plunged to their deaths. However the hook isn’t going to hold on so Kazuto kicks Mikura into a storey floor before he plummets down. Kurokawa gets a call from Asami. I’m sure she’s not just calling to see if he is alright. Well, there’s something big happening on the news. Seems the police have moved in on a country-wide arrest on Black Scissors and DSA which is a part of its group that has been responsible for contract assassinations. Hey, those are the mugs of the DSA trio. Why is only Mikura has her eyes blacked out? The police have raided Mugiyama’s place and detain that barber. So the real crook behind it all is of course Omabari, who relishes at this great opportunity.

Episode 13
Thanks to the tarpaulin, Kazuto got some soft landing. Since the police has surrounded DSA, Kurokawa needs to head back to check on things while Harada stays back to find Mikura. Well, Harada says he’ll be fine and this little injury is nothing. Yeah, he just doesn’t want to worry others and once he enters the lift, he collapses due to loss of blood. Asami is hiding in Harada’s robot workshop when he police and Omabari comes in to search. The chief gets a call that Mugiyama has escaped from transit and orders a hunt for that barber while leaving minimal men to guard the place. Omabari has also hired a pair of dirty and crooked cops who would do anything (even if it’s illegal) as long as there is money. They are Akudou and Kose and Omabari wants Kurokawa dead before he spreads any scandals about him. Kurokawa is a few blocks away from DSA but Akudou confronts him. Prior to that, he told Asami to find some button and press it. The entire office exploded! Boom! The explosion distracts Akudou and gives Kurokawa enough time to speed off to fetch Asami sliding down the garbage chute. So why was there a bomb in the place? Well, they fixed it as part of a joke if the building was ever surrounded and never thought of using it this way. Besides, the office is supposed to be rocked a little and not come collapsing down! Tells you about the materials of the structure, eh? Old… Mikura sees Kazuto lying unconscious and notes how lucky he is. Maybe she shouldn’t have said that because the metal pipes start falling. Mikura uses her own body to shield Kazuto. Once Kazuto is awake, she borrows his handphone to call an ambulance. Though she can’t forgive him for targeting Kurokawa, he did save her and needs to repay that. Kazuto suddenly throws his knife. But this is to lure out Kose who is here not to arrest them. Kose fires his gun at Mikura but this time Kazuto uses his body to shield her. Mikura pump some bullets into Kose’s guts. The last word Kazuto said to Mikura was his name. Kose still had enough strength to pick up his gun and target Mikura but is shot dead by Kurokawa who came back in time. Then they hear Asami’s scream. She has found Harada’s body in the elevator. Thankfully, he’s not dead. Since Asami’s parents are away overseas for the month, she allows them to take refuge at her home since she considers them her friends. As for their arrest warrants, Kurokawa says they’ll have to get to the root of this and show who among them is the true crook.

Omabari isn’t thrilled that Kose is dead after paying so much and wants Akudou to kill that baldy. No need to repeat because Akudou will do it for revenge. Omabari gets a call from Aya. Seems she is an idol and in a meet-the-fans session. She received a bomb threat on this place so Omabari decides to show off his power by putting his entire force on standby at her session (among them is Mugiyama in disguise). Halfway through suddenly the big screens display Aya and Omabari’s steamy private affair. All the fan boys must be shocked! Aya slaps Omabari because she’s screwed. Omabari isn’t pleased to learn Kurokawa and Mikura are the ones who put up that video and orders his men to arrest them. However the otakus are not going to let the chief get away since he sullied their Aya. Police chief or not, they beat him up! Feel the power of the otakus! Kurokawa and Mikura run into Akudou. The duo put their hands up despite knowing he is not here to arrest them. In a blink of an eye, Mikura swiftly pushes Kurokawa away (Akudou’s shot barely just scraped past him), picks up her gun and fire back to disarm Akudou and do some cool kung fu kicks before getting thrown into the lamp post. Kurokawa has got his gun so Akudou can do nothing but let them escape. However the police have cordoned the area off to isolate them and Akudou relishes hunting them down. The duo tease Akudou by hiding in the Ferris wheel carriage. Akudou fires away when the carriage comes down. It’s amazing Kurokawa didn’t hit when he busts out of the carriage just like that (the carriage was made of steel, I guess). The distraction was supposed to trap him inside but Akudou pulled Mikura with her and she’s hanging on the ledge of the carriage as it continues to rise. Kurokawa races to the control room to reverse the Ferris wheel’s direction. The jerk has Mikura fall off. At this point both sides pull the trigger but Mikura is faster and more accurate and nails it right in his forehead. She is hanging by a wire. Omabari wakes up after all that beating and wonders why all his men are out cold. Then he realizes Mugiyama behind and the barber is going to make this seal face return to the cold freezing ocean. Safe to say, he got what’s coming.

In the aftermath, Asami’s bullies continue to extort her for money. However this time she isn’t going to quietly give in. This time she could say no and fight back! Oh yeah! Show those bullies where they stand! Maybe she’s the new Mikura in the making because she’s saying her trademark lines of not living long enough to eat dinner if you’re like this or like that. Mugiyama’s business is back but the customers will have to make do with the decimated building. Fancy an open air haircut? As for DSA, their new ‘office’ is temporarily based at the park. It’s getting cold… I wonder how they salvaged the large “DSA” neon lights signboard. Then Mikura has a vision that they’ll be having a dangerous job soon. That’s what they do, right?

Mezzo Forte

Prior to the TV series, a double episode OVA called Mezzo Forte was released back in 2001 and is actually a prequel. Maybe I should have seen this first but heck, it never hurts to see the TV series sequel and then go back for a little retro. This OVA tells the story of DSA and their run in with the mob boss of Momokichi who owns a professional baseball team and her psycho daughter, Momomi. No wonder there were some clips in that episode with Sakura that looked like as though there was another episode made (and the drawing seemed slightly different too). And here it was. So what happens when you’re a danger service agent and get yourself into even more danger with the mob? Furthermore, things go very much awry. Hell yeah, not even God can help you. That’s why you’ve got to rely on yourself.

Episode 1
Momokichi and Momomi watch a game of baseball since he is the owner of the Peach Twisters baseball team. Later at the car park, Momokichi beats up the ineffective pitcher till the bat breaks while his daughter finishes him off with several gun shots. Game over. The DSA trio are delivering a life-like female robot to some shady guys (they’re going to use ‘her’ for prostitution of course). While checking the goods, Harada and Mikura get body searched and one of the guys searches Mikura too far by having his hands all over her body and gets a super slap. Meanwhile Kurokawa who has his car parked outside meets an ex-colleague. Seems he is not happy about his book that has revealed about the corruption in the force. Although the police and Kurokawa are no saint, he did this since he got fired and well, it’s making lots of money. Be prepared for volume 2! The shady guys are not going to live up to the deal to pay up so they’re going to kill the duo. Good thing they never trusted them so they started backtracking and countdown. Eh? Nothing happens? Actually it’s supposed to be Kurokawa’s cue but he’s currently being harassed by the officer. Eventually he manages to push the button and this sends the robot bloating before exploding the entire room. Harada and Mikura jump out the window and into Kurokawa’s car. The baddies also jump down and are going to give their piece of sh*t to them. There are holes in the car now. Mikura takes out her gun and starts firing. Now there are even more holes in the car. Kurokawa steps on the pedal to make their escape.

Back at DSA, the trio are having a nice nabe courtesy of Kurokawa’s royalties. They are being visited by a client Emoto who called yesterday. Momokichi’s bodyguard, Hirooka tells Momomi that her herbal doctor is here. However he wants to know why the dead bodies of the team’s baseball coaches are floating in her pool. Seems they tried to sell her to a gossip magazine and she killed them. Like father, like daughter. She’s not even fazed! She thinks it’s hell of a normal since papa does this all the time. Heck, he’s got about 17 women and he’s interested with someone else’s wife. Humans… Soon Momomi and her dad are having a bowling game of their own at their own alley. Harada and Mikura are close by as their target is Momokichi. They try to drug his drink via mechanical ladybug with laxative but it’s not going too well. Hirooka spots the ‘bug’ and swats it away. Though it is destroyed, the laxative fortunately fell into Momokichi’s drink. Soon that guy is running to the toilets to take a dump. This is where Mikura and Harada jump in from the ceiling to put that guy to sleep and drag him out through the ceiling. Man, how heavy is this dude? So as they drag him, his ring fell off and well, down the air wells and all, it had to land directly to where his bodyguards are standing guard outside the toilet. They know something is wrong. One of them confronts the duo (still dragging the fat guy) and wants him back. Okay. Okay? Yeah, throw it back to him. Hah! He can’t even carry! So blam! Mikura fights him and in the struggle to put him to sleep, Harada accidentally injects himself. Goodnight. This is no time to catch 40 winks! The bodyguard dares Mikura to steal the boss away and guess what? She just shoots through him! Shoot first, don’t talk. But when he falls, he crashes down through the ceiling, right in the middle of Momomi’s game. It’s either he is heavy or the ceiling’s structure is too weak. Oh, the fat daddy comes following too.

Momomi and Mikura’s eyes met and it’s as though they’ve got a feeling they’ve seen each other before through their visions. Then the cool action starts with Mikura fighting and pounding all the bodyguards, breaking their necks, limbs and balls with her twists, turns and kicks. Momomi uses her shotgun to fire away and doesn’t care if she hits her own men. Hirooka stops her since he doesn’t want her to kill the boss. Since Mikura is out of bullets and options, she starts getting panicky and wonders where the hell that old baldy is. Oh look. Here he comes. Crashing his car into the alley! They got enough time to put Momokichi’s body in the boot and Mikura time to do bowling with the bomb bowling ball. Strike! But she’s not doing it for fun. Remember when the ball goes to the end and back of the lane, where would it resurface? That’s right. Since the bodyguards are too busy firing away at the car, they didn’t see it come back up. Then BOOM! Our DSA trio must have one hell of a ride. From inside the alley to outside the sewers. Hey, the car is still running! Mikura wakes up in a hotel and it seems she likes Kurokawa?! Then they proceed to make love and once he is done, it’s Harada’s turn but she’s not too happy doing it with this guy. Turns out it is just a ‘nightmare’. Kurokawa and Harada are confronting Emoto about the lack of information that put them in danger. Well, they specialize in dangerous jobs, right? Well yeah, they’d prefer to stay out of danger too. Emoto wants to see Momokichi and imagine Kurokawa and Harada’s surprise when they learn who their target is. I see they know him by name and not by looks, eh? But Emoto can’t pay the other half of the deal. Because Momokichi’s dead. Crap.

Episode 2
Momomi isn’t happy the bodyguards were useless and failed to stop the kidnapping. She borrows a gun and shoots them all! And if any of them is still breathing, the other men will shoot him dead! Harada and Kurokawa know they are in big sh*t as they bury Momokichi’s body. They know about Momomi’s reputation as a psycho b*tch and have to do something about it quick since she uses her crimes to cover up her big businesses. Mikura has an idea since they don’t know Momokichi is dead and can use that to their advantage. However the guys aren’t too fond about it even if Mikura ‘threatens’ she’ll quit. Though Emoto was tied up, he manages to free himself and hold up the trio with a gun. He says he is a hit man hired by Momokichi a while ago. After burying in a sure place nobody will ever find Momokichi’s body, they talk it out at a diner. Emoto mentions about the cases whereby baseball players were murdered. Kurokawa remembers that unsolved case when he was still in the police force (and have long flowing hair!) and pursued it with a passion. Emoto admits he was the one who killed them all. About a year ago he retired as a hit man and Momokichi gave him lots of parting gifts as appreciation. The problem is Momomi. Due to her suspicious nature, she thought he would betray the organization and wanted to kill him. That’s why he asked their help to kidnap her father. At least as insurance till he escapes overseas. But that doesn’t seem to be happening now. He wants them to go along with Mikura’s plan. Otherwise he’ll kill them and only leave Mikura alive (because she shares his same view). Got your backs against the wall, eh? Suddenly the shady perverted duo show up. Fate to meet them here? They throw Emoto out of the place. First thing Mikura asks is about the payment. Maybe they’ll pay for their funeral. But being perverts they are, Mikura distracts them with a naked woman call. The oldest trick in the book and they fell for it. They stick the knives into their hands! OMG! Bloody! When the trio get out, they Emoto’s is nowhere to be found.

Momomi dreams about her father telling her to be nice to Mikura because they’re both ‘the same’. They get a ransom letter that wants Momomi to do the exchange herself in 3 days. Millions of dollars in exchange for her father’s life. Looking at the disc that comes with the letter, it shows Momokichi telling them to do what they are being told. A tough guy like him getting subordinated? DSA must be truly fearsome or his age is showing. However Momomi isn’t going to give in yet and will use this time to stall and run background checks on the kidnapper. Mikura goes out of the office in pretence to buy food (she’s sick of ramen and they have orders to stay in since they might be targeted). But this is a ploy to meet Emoto at his place. Meanwhile Kurokawa and that ex-colleague are watching a movie together. Heck, Kurokawa is blackmailing him for some information in exchange he won’t put into his next book about his gay relationship with the chief! Outside, Kurokawa is being attacked by a couple of Momomi’s men. They pry his fingernails to make him talk! Ouch! They let down their guard since they think he is injured and willing to talk but Kurokawa shows why he is a hard-bitten cop and puts the bullets back in them. No mercy! Kurokawa rushes back and calls Harada what happened and thinks if Momomi plans to double cross them, she’ll have to think again. Emoto gives the other half of the money to Mikura. He thought holding it back after Momokichi’s death was childish but if he gave them then, he is afraid the guys will take and run. Mikura says she believes they will not betray her. But nevertheless she’ll put it in her personal account. Sneaky, sneaky. As she leaves, Momomi and her men just came up the elevator. It’s time for some super human action with Mikura’s punch sending a guy blasting through the wall!!! Momomi however shocks her out with a taser. Kurokawa returns to see his office bombed. Luckily Harada was hiding in his workshop which the baddies didn’t find and is safe.

Momomi beats up Mikura but she’s not getting an answer. Mikura can’t fight back due to still being groggy after the taser attack. Momomi is about to carve her face when she gets a call from Kurokawa. He wants an exchange for Mikura with Momokichi. Of course. And they’ll meet at the baseball stadium. The reason why Momomi was able to find details about them was thanks to the perverted duo. They reported them to her after their meeting at the diner. Since they have 8 hours to go, Momomi allows them to use the balance of their time to ‘efficiently’ do whatever they want with Mikura. Oh sh*t! It can’t be! They rape her! At the stadium, both sides meet and race opposite to retrieve what they want. Momomi of course has dirty tricks up their sleeve as she has Hirooka arrange some hit men to take them out. However Hirooka kills the hit men! When Momomi is reunited with her dad, he is acting strange. I mean, he says he doesn’t like violence. Of course he is actually a robot and Momomi is still unaware. Harada is supposed to push to button to detonate but I guess some programming somewhere was off so Momokichi starts running instead. The DSA trio bump into the perverted duo with Momomi and her dad. Momomi wastes no time in letting a few bullets fly into Mikura. Wait a minute. She went down that easily and the guys aren’t worried? Suddenly the car comes barging onto the scene and out comes Mikura! The one who was shot was just an android. Kurokawa mentions due to an ex-member of theirs helping them to get in, they substituted Mikura with a double before her interrogation. This means the perverted duo raped the android! Felt so real, eh? So the final showdown as both ladies fire at each other. The shots accidentally hit Momokichi and in the end Momomi got shot. Momomi realizes her dad is an android and that she lost to this trash girl. She swears she will kill her in the next world. For now, sleep tight. Good riddance for that psycho woman.

Emoto appears and shows his true identity: Hirooka. The gang know it was him since when he entered their office, they did a body scan and the result was his bones didn’t match of those of an old man. Hirooka is going to kill them but Mikura expected this. Seems he needed to use them as a third party to kill them and after that he’ll take over the business with his own strategies. Momokichi doesn’t know how to run a baseball business and those DSA guys don’t know about him. Easy, right? Well, Harada says he doesn’t know about them too. Momokichi’s malfunction indicates his self-destruction mode is activating. The body explodes and sends Hirooka flying up into the air. Man on fire! Then he lands right in the middle of the baseball field and probably his own grave. Is that where they buried Momokichi’s real body?! Damn! The trio are still alive. Lamenting they didn’t get the ransom. Lamenting the car will be scraped. Lamenting if the authorities will find Momokichi’s body. Well, even if they do, they were careful not to leave behind any clues. The perverted duo are fed up they’ve always get the short end of the stick. They are going to put the trio out of commission and are confident since they don’t have guns or weapons. Suddenly the car comes crashing down on them. Splat and flat! In the aftermath, looks like their office will cost a lot to be repaired. They might be out of business for a while when Mikura sees another vision that will have them rake in big bucks. Well guys. Should you take up the offer?

If You Aren’t Kickass Enough, You Won’t Be Alive To Eat Dinner…
Okay… So it was pretty much an enjoyable affair. Firstly, the action did not disappoint. I would rate them four stars out of five. However I wish I could say this for all the action and choreographed bits but some action sequences felt like they were poorly done. When I saw the first cool action scene in which Mikura was busting the balls of those Black Scissors guys, I knew I was going to love the intense action that the series has to offer. However in some subsequent episodes like the one that involves the alien and the car chase for the escort mission (for both escorts), it feels ‘weak’ and not convincing to make me feel the excitement that Mikura gives whenever she goes into fighting mode. Yeah, in terms of addiction, action here is like sex. Oops. More on this dirty topic later. The OVA it seems as compared to the TV series is grittier, violent, bloodier and much gorier. It’s what you expect from an OVA production that can’t be shown on normal television. Heck, this show isn’t for kids in the first place. So be warned. Get ready to see holes through body parts and blood flying all over the place. It’s a dog eat dog world and a dangerous place so the violence here reflects the kind of hostility that the characters will have to go through in their jobs and daily lives. Negotiation isn’t part of this world’s vocabulary. If you want to get something done, you have got to get down and dirty. I guess with this show having lots of violence, there are lots of deaths too but they are mostly on other minor characters for that episode and it’s a good thing that our DSA ‘heroes’ time isn’t up yet although they have stared many times at the face of death (and got out of it). That’s what you call survival if you have got what it takes to continue breathing in this dangerous place.

The DSA trio could take on any kind of jobs no matter how absurd it is so much so I thought they were really pushing it when they put in the first few couple of episodes a job that involves a ghost and an alien! Unbelievable! I mean, I thought it would be just the most dangerous and precarious tasks that no other humans would even want to take on (not even Gintama’s Yorozuya would) but putting in ghosts, an alien and eventually androids into the case? Really out of this world. And with DSA coming out tops in the end (or at least they succeeded in their mission one way or another – but whether getting paid or not is a different story), I thought, man, what is next for these guys to conquer? How about monsters like vampires or werewolves? Then they can even move on to God! Yeah, at this rate, I still think Mikura can face up to God or any kind of demigods and kick their ass without feeling repentant. Well, that Pharaoh’s case was the closest one to a God but it didn’t count since they weren’t fighting against it. Yeah, nothing can stop them if they put their mind and skills to it. Of course with lots of luck. But the worst kind of creatures that DSA has to put up with is of course humans. They come in all sorts of bad, psychotic attitude and crazy personality so that’s why when the baddies bite the dust, you don’t feel for them and in fact, root for DSA to beat the crap out of them.

The second amusing thing is the interaction between the DSA trio. You should also pay attention to the lines they say as some of them are witty. They might seem like a bunch of ragtags put together but they have this deep trust and bond, the reason why they work well together and get to pull off their dangerous jobs. Mikura the action woman is the kind of strong and tough girl you don’t want to mess with because she rather beat you up rather than listen to reasoning. Though she may seem more brawn than brains, she isn’t exactly stupid and as I put it, rather naive from the workings of society and the world. But I guess that is okay since nobody can best her when she is in top form as she does it her way. Just give her a gun and she’ll be a mean lean machine. If not gun, then her kicks will do. But better to have a gun lah. Something about the team leader Kurokawa that I find amusing. It’s the way he talks. How should I put it, it’s like in his speech he likes to make puns of certain words and some words he says it too fast like as though there is no full stop in between. If he wasn’t a policeman, I bet he could make a good comedian. If not, a good ramen tester. He knows the best ramen in the world. Wait, no. Hell, every ramen is good to him! I don’t know how this guy gets his information but once he has some dirt on you, you’re going to be at his mercy for the rest of your life. For Harada, he’s got his good points and funny parts too. To me, he may the least interesting out of the DSA trio, but without this blonde, the team won’t feel complete. Asami may not be part of DSA but her motivation to be as strong as Mikura and her little help outs do save the skin of the DSA trio at crucial times. Whether it is official or not, Asami is a valuable asset to DSA. Maybe she’ll have a chance of joining after she graduates from school? I mean, DSA is already made up of weirdoes, what is an elementary school girl into the mix? Right, don’t want to make it weirder, eh? Besides, it’s not like Asami doesn’t know the danger she is getting into when she gets involves with DSA, right? So it’s a good thing she learns a few life lessons or two and in the end, doesn’t let her bullies walk all over her. This Mugiyama is a strange guy too. The way he acts makes you wonder if he is an ally or enemy. Maybe it’s just his obsession that he likes to ‘trim’ people especially if they fail or upset him. Omabari when he first appeared, I knew there was more to him than meets the eye and that he would be hiding something. I was right when he turned out to be the biggest crook. Heck, a lot of people here are villains. Even the DSA trio aren’t angels either, you know? With a face that looks like a bad guy and strands of moustache that resembles whiskers, don’t you think that’s enough a giveaway to consider this guy as the villain?

There were a few things from this series that I didn’t comprehend. Maybe I wasn’t paying attention (because all I am interested in was Mikura busting people’s ass). For instance, about Kazuto. So we’ve got this mysterious killer who is targeting Kurokawa. His presence is like a teaser to us, making us wonder why he is out for that baldy. I’m sure Kurokawa has stepped on a lot of feet during his time at DSA and in the police force but that’s another story. The odd thing is that Kazuto hesitates in killing his target. It’s like everything must go well if he is to execute his target. And if there is a slight interruption to his plan, he abandons it. In this case, how can he ever get the job done? That’s why he’s stalling to kill Kurokawa right till the very end. So what is the cause of his hesitation? Does he really have a heart for Mikura? It may not be obvious but it’s the only possible reason why he couldn’t get his job done after so long. No wonder Mugiyama ran out of patience since I guess the big time crook police chief hired him to get rid of Kurokawa and he contracted his prized hunter to do the job. Well, don’t take it so personal. After all, it’s only business. So when Kazuto kicked the bucket, it was like nothing. He’s just gone. Don’t feel any major impact whatsoever. Like as though if they had put in an unnamed and unimportant assassin character, the flow of the story will still progress. Another thing that remained unsolved is Mikura’s link with Momomi as sisters. Is it true what Sakura said? Even in the OVA there is this small but not obvious hint why they are both ‘the same’. I thought it was worth exploring like how they dedicated an episode to Harada’s past but I guess we won’t see any focused episodes of how Mikura really ended up in DSA or Kurokawa’s time at the force. So what happened to Manon’s case? I thought that girl popped back up in Harada’s life? Unless it was just a cue for his flashback story. I also thought there would be some explanation about Mikura’s odd ability to see short visions of the future. Perhaps this little sixth sense is working like a double edged sword. It gets her out of trouble and it drags her into it too (because we all know Mikura’s kickass character).

I think they try to put in a little romance factor but it’s not something overwhelming. Heck, who has time for romance in this action flick? Anyway we’re not too sure if Mikura likes Kurokawa. Because it is hinted vaguely in the OVA but it might just be a dream of hers. Though she doesn’t display any affection that a young teenage girl would when she is in love with a guy, perhaps the reason if she ever shows them (which she did not) is probably she looks up to him as a father figure. But I too can be mistaken about that since Mikura calls Kurokawa, “Ossan” which loosely translate as “Pops”. But you call most old guys by this name too, right? It is more obviously hinted that Harada has a crush on Mikura but it was never really pursued. During the time when he played private investigator with Kurokawa, Harada just got depressed whenever Mikura’s name is brought up or thoughts that connected to her. As for Asami, maybe Mikura is right that the little girl does like Harada since there are a couple of hints to indicate this. Unless she just looks up to him just like how she looks up to Mikura as her model to be stronger. Hope she doesn’t take after her attitude too.

Now on to the fanservice part. Since the TV series was produced in 2003, I wouldn’t really say that fanservice would be a very questionable subject. Unless you get real turned on with a dangerous girl in tight orange body hugging outfit with a gun in hand. I don’t even actually notice if there is any except for the scene between Omabari and Aya. Even so, it is nothing I would consider explicit. That short tentacle rape scene actually didn’t go anywhere so you can’t really consider it as one. The opening credits animation with certain scenes of Mikura and Asami in different outfits has more fanservice elements but like I said, it’s nothing explicit. However as for the OVA, now I understand why it was classified as hentai. For the version that I watched, in addition to frontal nudity, there are actually hentai and sex scenes towards the end of the episode! Unfortunately I regret to say that now those explicit scenes have been burnt into my cranium and it would take years before forget about it. Maybe this is a blessing in disguise because it reinforces my preferences that I still do not like hentai animes. Ecchi fanservice in the name of comedy, okay. But hardcore hentai? That’s a big no.

As for the drawing and art, no doubt it is in the fashion of the early year 2000’s, being the cyberpunk theme, I acknowledge that some of the characters do look weird. I mean, Harada himself is already looking weird due to his ‘armadillo hairstyle’, but some of the other characters I think they just look non-human. For example, Momokichi I thought he looked like a big fat Chinese vampire! Heck, his skin tone is grey so I thought he must be made of metal! Then there’s the father of that young yakuza boss, I thought he was a green toad! Well, his face definitely looked like one. As for Mugiyama, I thought he looked like a cross between a zombie, vampire and Captain Jack Sparrow! Serious! Then for the ladies, there is something odd about their looks. Maybe it’s just me or do they have a broad jawbone? Because of that whenever the ladies, even Mikura and Asami look at a certain angle, it makes them look weird. Oh, and with their big anime eyes, it makes them look odder. The TV series’ art is more polished compared to the OVA and in the former, Mikura has tied up her hair into twintails which in a way makes her look less ‘green’ despite she’s still the tough kickass chick in both. Her twintails may make her look more kiddie-like but I feel her short hair length in the OVA makes her look like a rookie. Both the opening and ending themes (Suki Mami Mai Tai and Mitsu respectively) are sung by Barnabys and they are hard rock. Very much suiting the pace of this action genre.

So my overall verdict for this show is that you just watch it for the pure fast paced and physics defying action. Not for the storyline, plot or character development. Since the episodes’ story serve as standalone, I don’t think you’d be missing important anything if you don’t watch it in chronological order. Safe to say (oh, the irony), as long as danger keeps knocking on the door, DSA will do what is necessary to see their way out. If danger was a beautiful woman, would you marry her? Well, if you dare take the risk to dice with death, maybe you’ll be able to stick around long enough to eat dinner. By the way, I’ve got this feeling that I’m going to hurl if I see somebody eating ramen…

Deadman Wonderland

May 12, 2012

When you get caught for a crime, you get arrested, go to trial, if convicted, you go to prison. End of story? Well, not in Deadman Wonderland. It isn’t as simple as that as there is more than meets the eye for prisoners who are locked up in this prison. They’re not just rotting their sinful lives away in a cell or making car plates, you know.

In a future where a major earthquake has sunk 3/4 of Tokyo, Deadman Wonderland is Japan’s largest and privately owned prison facility built on ground zero itself. It operates like a circus, amusement park and tourist attraction so the public can come in and watch inmates, especially those on death row do embarrassing performances to their amusement. I mean, these are criminals, right? What better way than to shame them by putting up such carnival acts for the pleasure of the common people. Besides, no amount of repent will make this hardcore criminals atone for their sins. But what will human rights activists say about this? What happens an innocent and framed person is put behind these walls? On the outside, it may seem like an ordinary prison but deep down, there are lots of shocking dark secrets that may have you think that this is much worse than modern slavery. One such kid, Ganta Igarashi, is going to find out the hard way, the hard realities of life…

Episode 1
Ganta and his friends, Mimi and Yamakatsu are discussing about their upcoming school trip to Deadman Wonderland. Are we excited to head to the so called amusement park yet? Ganta has been living a pretty normal life though he is one of the many citizens affected by the great earthquake, resulting him in having no memories of the tragedy 10 years ago. As class resumes, Ganta spots a caped person floating outside the window. Before he knows it, the perpetrator unleashes a terrible blast decimating the classroom. Ganta wakes up in the pitch black darkness and to his horror sees the decapitated heads of Mimi. The villain, as Ganta identifies as Red Man, suddenly sticks some red crystal into his chest. Next time Ganta opens his eyes, he is in hospital but the police are arresting him for the massacre of his classmates. He is the only survivor. Of course everything is happening so fast and he is in shock of the developments. Not to worry. Court-appointed attorney, Tsunenaga Tamaki offers to help him out the best he can. The trial goes on but in the end, Ganta is found guilty and is sentenced to death. Ganta goes berserk and claims his innocence but was beaten up by a couple of fathers of his dead classmates. Though restrained by the cops, they show him a footage as evidence whereby cocky Ganta himself was planning his classmates’ massacre. Was that really him? It’s hard to say no. Off he goes to Deadman Wonderland, still shocked at his life turned upside-down. As part of the new inmates at the prison, they are given the low-down on what to expect in this prison by the head security chief, Makina. The first thing the other prisoners ask this strict, no-nonsense prison guard enforcer is how big her tits. “G-cup!” she says with confidence. I guess if you’re going to be on this job, you cannot be embarrassed with anything and expect those scums to ask such things. Another prison, Yoh Takami bumps into Ganta. He apologizes but Makina tells him to return what Yoh stole though the latter denies anything. In an instant, Makina slashes right across his body! Perhaps an example to expect the harsh reality they’ll be facing in this prison?

Later Makina and Tamaki are having a discussion about Ganta’s death sentence today. She thinks the plan is absurd and that they should just let him be and he’ll die before he knows it. But Tamaki asks her about what she would do when receiving presents. Of course, open it. And Tamaki hates waiting and wants his presents. Ganta is having it real hard adjusting to life. Reflecting everything that has happened so fast. His good times with his friends, the sudden trial, people pelting him with eggs and wishing his death. He wish he is dead. Suddenly a girl with white hair and thick mittens jump down and would be more than happy to kill him. Instinctively, Ganta avoids her iron rod swings. This girl, Shiro tells him that his reactions mean he doesn’t want to die. Ganta is dumbfounded she knows his name when a bunch of thugs come to mock Ganta about his massacre. But they are beaten up by Shiro who believes Ganta didn’t kill them. Suddenly there’s an explosion on the top structure. It is going to crash down on them. Ganta’s is determined to live to avenge his friends’ death when suddenly his chest starts glowing red. Using his reflexes, he uses his blood to blast the falling structure. Meanwhile Tamaki, who is also the promoter of Deadman Wonderland is looking through Ganta’s profile and notes he is unfortunate to have met Wretched Egg and lived to tell. He has 2 options for Ganta: Suffer and die or live and become his toy. Elsewhere, Makina and her team corner a death row prisoner taking another prisoner hostage. The hostage taker is in a panic, demanding some candy as he is out of Cast Points (currency used in this prison). What to do? Makina orders to do nothing and stall for time. Shortly, that guy starts bleeding internally and falls dead. Makina notes that is his death sentence. Ganta finds himself in one piece in the aftermath and Shiro is alive and fine too. The airhead girl starts talking about eating snacks together because they are friends. I guess he can’t stay gloomy forever so he agrees.

Episode 2
Tamaki talks to Makina about the failure in Ganta’s death sentence accident. He considers that failure a real success. Makina is not amused and wonders what this promoter sees in that kid. In the infirmary, Ganta is getting treated by the nurse, Rei Takashima. She advises him to eat his candy if he is to survive which was supposed to be in his beg when he first arrived. But Ganta didn’t find any. Ganta sees Yoh recuperating in the infirmary ward. Shiro drops in to invite Ganta to participate in this afternoon’s Dog Race Show, an athletic obstacle course in which the winner received 100,000 Cast Points. Later Yoh is seen informing Tamaki about Ganta’s participation. Ganta, Shiro and Yoh are preparing to enter the race with other participants by warming up at the backstage. Suddenly, Kouzuji Kazumasa and his underlings come in to instil some fear in the prisoners. They are to let this violent ex-Taekwondo guy win or die. Kouzuji gets violent on Yoh when he smiles wrongly. He also overheard Ganta’s crazy comment and also gets rough. No choice, Ganta plays by his rules even if they seem unfair and this earns him the right to live longer. Because Shiro is being an airhead and ignoring him, Kouzuji is ready to punch that whore’s face but is stopped in time by Makina. It’s time for the race. Ganta remembers reading the booklet of the prison rules and finds out the importance of the candy. He has to eat one every 3 days or else the poison in the collar (every inmate has this) will be released and kill him. And each candy costs 100,000 Cast Points. Man, he better win this. As the obstacle race starts, Ganta gets firsthand view of the horror obstacle course. Prisoners can really die on this race! It’s like Death Race but minus the cars! See them get slashed into half, jump to their death, electrocuted and getting shot by arrows. The crowd really loves seeing blood, eh? Shiro and Ganta are lucky to have gotten this far and the former is like having fun all the way, even to a point getting in Ganta’s way. I guess it’s the sweet bread consolation prize that Shiro is motivated to get. Kouzuji plays dirty by using his underlings as shield. In the final stage, Ganta, Kouzuji and Shiro are the final participants. Only one winner will walk away with the Cast Points. The rule of this final is simple. Whoever holds on to the black Deadman ball in this battle royale at the end of time wins. It’s no easy feat since the floors will be collapsing. And there are sharp spikes underneath. So a series of catch begins and Kouzuji starts playing mind games with Ganta hoping he will succumb to his supremacy. Ganta finally has had enough of this and tells him off if he wants to kill him, then do so. Till then he will live by his own rules. In the dying seconds, Kouzuji slides off the floor to his death. Shiro is having the ball and clinging on by her feet. Ganta sees her bruised body and realized that she had been protecting him throughout the course instead of being a nuisance. Shiro falls off and tosses the ball to him but he grabs Shiro’s hand instead, saving her. In the end, there is no winner and the displeased crowd starts booing and throwing their stuffs. Ganta laments his fate that he will be executed soon since he won’t have enough cash to buy the candy.

Episode 3
Tamaki is having a discussion with some committee. They didn’t like how he turned the event into a public massacre. He reminds them he is in charge here and to just cough up enough funds to keep Wretched Egg locked up here. Ganta is in his cell when he finds out Yoh is his cellmate. He gives Ganta his first candy seeing he feels guilty in crashing into him then and making him lose it. Ganta is very grateful and he better be because Yoh went through lots of trouble to get that. Plus, he notes the race’s difficulty and could’ve died if he had entered. You can say that injury by Kouzuji was somewhat a blessing in disguise. Also, he is Tamaki’s lackey in watching over Ganta. Ganta tastes the candy and finds it horrible. Just like reality, eh? Tamaki gets a call that the Mother Goose system is down. The place is in a mess and Wretched Egg has escaped. He wants everyone to do whatever it takes before Wretched Egg cracks a smile. While Ganta is eating ice cream with Yoh, he suddenly sees the Red Man who unleashes a super whirlwind that it could cut off your limbs! Ganta also gets some cuts but revenge is on his mind. Without thinking, he materializes his blood and shoots at him but nothing happens. Then Red Man escapes, Ganta collapses and Yoh couldn’t believe what he just saw. Ganta wakes up in the infirmary feeling okay with Shiro next to him. He overheard the next bed talking about a person whom Ganta thinks is Red Man. They think he is being locked away in G-Block. Makina confers with her team about Ganta’s strange display of powers. Seeing that their pride rests on maintaining peace and order within the walls of this prison, she wants him captured alive and quickly. She authorizes the use of Necro Macro and the lockdown of the prison. Yoh talks to Tamaki about what just happened. Tamaki notes the Red Man has been safely captured and throws him lots of Cast Points cards to shut him up and as reward. Ganta hears the announcement that he is wanted at the security room. But he has not time as he is rushing to G-Block. Does he know where that is? Luckily he bumps into Yoh who tells him there is no G-Block as all blocks are from A to F only. Shiro knows a secret passage so Ganta pesters her to tell. She suddenly starts getting upset and seals her lips. Necro Macro arrives on scene and is targeting Ganta so he pleads for Shiro’s help. She agrees and lets them through a small air passageway. Thank goodness they got away in time before they got fried by the blast! In a dark place, Necro Macro is still after them. They see a sign on the wall that tells them this is G-Block. It really exists, huh? Necro Macro goes out of control and attacks them. Makina and her team lost the machine’s signal and she fears it may have gone to an area which she has no control over. Ganta apologizes for getting them both into trouble. Upset Shiro kicks away the machine while berating Ganta an idiot. She is upset that Ganta continued to mention he killed all his friends. That’s because Shiro is his friend. Now you get it? So that’s why she’s so upset? The Necro Macro revives and grabs Shiro. Ganta wants to save her but it seems he couldn’t call forth his blood powers like before. Plus, he is too weak. Suddenly somebody slices and destroys the machine with ease.

Episode 4
Ganta thinks this guy is the Red Man and charges. But that guy pulls out a sword made out of blood from his arm. He recognizes Ganta as Woodpecker and wants to know when he is going to use his Branch of Sin. He feels disappointed and walks away. Ganta realizes he needs to use his blood power and with his determination, whips up a powerful blood ball and throws it at him, breaking his ribs. Now that guy is pumped up. Introducing himself as Kiyomasa Senji AKA Crow, he wants to have fun with Ganta and lunges at him. Fortunately Shiro stops him dead in his tracks so as not to pick on Ganta. Senji gets embarrassed upon seeing Shiro and tries to cover her up with his shirt. Ganta realizes he is not Red Man. Suddenly guards surround them and shoot tranquilizers. Makina is upset that there is no trace of Necro Macro’s wreckage or the prisoners so she is going to see the director personally. By the rules, she has to go through the promoter but she doesn’t care if she gets disciplined because it’s her job to maintain order, not to follow rules. Yoh and Shiro are taken away separately and detained elsewhere. Yoh asks about G-Block but is confused about Deadman, Branch of Sin and blood manipulation powers. To make things worse for Yoh, the guards confiscate all his Cast Points cards. So much for that. Senji is being examined by Rei and she thinks of cancelling tomorrow’s match due to his broken bones. But he tears up the place and threatens to kill her if she does that. Ganta is strapped down in a lab and is shocked to see Tamaki. He introduces himself as Deadman Wonderland’s promoter and will use any trick in the book to get Branch of Sin users here. So yup. That video of Ganta planning to kill his classmates was made up. Ganta’s blood is boiling but Tamaki continues to mock him. The rest warn Tamaki not to overdo it or else he won’t be able to participate in tomorrow’s experiment, Corpse Carnival. What experiment? Tamaki explains that Ganta, nicknamed Woodpecker will be up against Crow in tomorrow’s battle-to-the-death between Branch of Sin users. Winners get so much Cast Points that Dog Race Shows won’t matter anymore. Ganta isn’t going to follow his wish but Tamaki says if he does, he may just get to meet his classmates’ murderer one day, Wretched Egg or Red Man as he is known to Ganta. Tamaki continues that carriers of the Branch of Sin infection began appearing 10 years ago after the Red Hole incident so this experiment allows them to release their special powers to their limits. Then he forces Ganta to watch the blood curling gory and violent Corpse Carnival promo video (he can’t blink!).

Episode 5
Even if Ganta loses and dies, he’ll still be valuable because parts of his body will become useful as samples. See all the other samples in the room? Freaky lab! Makina tries to see the director but is stopped by a pair of loyal guards outside. She insists so they point their sword at her neck. She backs down. Ganta and Senji meet at the Corpse Carnival birdcage stage with several ‘guests’ (cartoon icons?) watching with glee. Ganta fires several blood projections but Senji slices them away. It is apparent he hasn’t mastered them yet. Then he starts feeling cold. Obviously. He shot out too much blood, didn’t he? He starts feeling scared as Senji moves into serious mode and shows he is serious in killing him by slicing the tree with ease. Ganta gets cut here and there and is lying in shock on the floor. Then he remembers Shiro. She is his childhood friend. Meanwhile Shiro wants to go save Ganta quick because he is weak. Despite that, she notes one thing awesome about him. No matter how bad things are, he gets back up. Senji is totally disappointed that yesterday’s fight may just be a fluke. Ganta gets up staggering. Though he is scared and in pain, he isn’t going down with a fight. He materializes a blood ball and shoots it straight up to drop a structure on Senji. Though Senji easily slices it away, it’s just a distraction so Ganta could get up close to him and fire a blood ball point blank at his chest. Pow! Senji is knocked out. Ganta wins the match and thinks Senji isn’t such a bad guy after all because he was giving him a high-five after the match. In his room, a programme called Corpse Carnival Post Game Show airs on TV. It is a penalty game for the Corpse Carnival loser. Senji is tied to a chair while Rei starts a slot machine. On Senji’s cue to stop, the slots state “Right Eye”. This means Rei and her team are going to extract his right eye now. Oh sh*t! Warning: Watching this scene may make you throw up because it is f*cking gross even though most parts are censored out!!! I can even feel the pain of Senji’s right eye being extracted!!! AAAAAAARGH!!! Meanwhile Yoh manage to get more information about G-Block and returns to the area with Shiro. Yoh uses silly Shiro as a distraction to fight the guards but he gets more than he bargained for when he sees her destroys an entire tower! Is that her blood on fire?!

Episode 6
Yoh makes his getaway while the prison team cleans up the mess. Ganta hears a commotion outside his room. He sees a young girl, Minatsuki pleading to a weird guy, Masu not to eat her flowers. Ganta offers him his food but it’s not enough. He wants more. Minatsuki takes Ganta and hide in her flower filled room. They talk about this sick place especially the recent post game show they saw. Minatsuki gets close to Ganta, making him fluster. Then she undresses herself to show the scars on her back. She tells him about her violent father when she lost mom to the Red Hole incident. One day the beating got out of hand, before she knew it, unknowingly she used her blood powers to kill him. Her brother never believed her blood powers could kill their dad so cruelly and did everything he could to protect her but she ultimately ended up here. Ganta tells her they should escape from this place and will protect her so she doesn’t have to use her Branch of Sin. Their escape ends in failure as the guards round them up and tells them to save it for tomorrow. Ganta doesn’t seem to know yet. Tomorrow’s Corpse Carnival pits Woodpecker against Humming Bird, which is Minatsuki. Meanwhile Tamaki is talking to the director in his dark room. The director isn’t amused of yet another Corpse Carnival taking place and reminds Tamaki that Deadman Wonderland is a birdcage he built for himself and not his dream land. But Tamaki says the show must go on. Ganta and Minatsuki step into the ring. At first he couldn’t fight her but as soon Minatsuki takes off her earrings, Ganta feels a whiplash. Minatsuki suddenly has a change in character and becomes a violent sadistic b*tch. Seems all that goody-two-shoes act was just pretend because she loves to see his depressing face. It makes her climax. The match is interrupted when Yoh, dressed as a guard starts knocking on the glass. Yoh is Minatsuki’s brother. Seeing the audience is giving out a good reaction, Tamaki allows Yoh to enter the stage to add to the drama. Though Yoh couldn’t believe his sister is a Branch of Sin user, he still wants them to escape. He has accumulated lots of Cast Points to buy her freedom.

Minatsuki knows her brother is a fool and tries to pin the blame on Ganta for tricking her. Yoh steps up to protect her. Minatsuki is prepared to whip them both till the bone when Yoh mentions this is how she killed dad. When Yoh came home, he saw concerned dad approaching naked Minatsuki. In his rage, he tried to kill him. He thought he did but realized it was Minatsuki’s Branch of Sin instead. He also realized too late that dad never laid a hand on her. He never believed in such powers till he witnessed it firsthand. He tells her she doesn’t need to lie anymore. But Minatsuki gets upset because she can’t climax without seeing the depression of others. She beats up Yoh while trying to tell Ganta her brother isn’t all that good either (especially the bumping into him part which wasn’t just an accident). Even so, Ganta replies Yoh believed she was innocent, saved up for her release and even protected him. Minatsuki calls him a liar, a hypocrite and attacks him. Ganta can’t fight back because she is using Yoh as a shield. Minatsuki tells about her mom, which in fact isn’t really a mother. When the Red Hole incident happened and shook the place, Minatsuki was pinned down. The first mom did was to take her plants and run, leaving stunned Minatsuki trapped. Ganta continues to fire his shots but they all missed. Actually it’s part of his plan so that one of them ricocheted to hit her. With Yoh out of the way, Minatsuki binds Ganta’s hands. Ganta coolly walks towards her and tells her off that just because she was betrayed and lied to once, she lied and hurt everyone. Isn’t that making her more miserable? He head butts her unconscious. Man, he must have a very hard head. The audience are disappointed because they want to see more blood and death but Ganta shows them his middle finger and to shut the f*ck up because he had already won. Wow. Where did he learn that badass attitude so fast? The director notes Ganta is an interesting boy wonders if Shiro is awake. He wants her to make his wish come true since the lullaby is stopping.

Episode 7
What’s this? The director and Shiro in some blood fight? Killing continuously and dying perpetually? Huh? Yoh and Ganta are at the infirmary. Yoh recounts how he saved his trapped sister and made it a point to protect her. Suddenly a slight tremor rocks the place. Yoh holds up a cabinet from falling on his sister. The siblings talk to each other while Ganta remembers about Shiro. Meanwhile the director is defeated as Shiro notes about the activation of Mother Goose system again. She wants to know the continuation of the lullaby but the director there won’t be any because she is an abandoned egg. Then Shiro dons the mask and cape and she looks like Red Man! Holy sh*t!!! The prison guards are tending to the wounded prisoners. Ganta talks to Senji when they hear a commotion from Minatsuki’s room. She doesn’t like her sister-complex brother following her everywhere and throws a flowerpot at Ganta for peeking. It hit Senji instead. Ganta remembers his childhood days with Shiro. The one whereby Shiro is sick and tired of all those needles and experiments. Ganta cheered her up with some super action hero called Ace Man. She just got to call him and he’ll come save you. Shiro wasn’t amused and breaks the toy. Outside, Ganta is being attacked by a dog. If not for Shiro jumping out from the window and landing on the dog like a gymnast, he could’ve been a goner. Tamaki learns from Rei that the red crystal in his chest is a capsule of femtomachines. An aggregation called Nameless Worm. Though nothing much is known, they at least know those from the Kanto region where the anomaly occurred became infected with the Branch of Sin. She doesn’t have enough technology to generate Nameless Worm materials since she has no way of examining its source: Wretched Egg, who is completely the director’s toy. Ganta remembers the post game show and tries to get Cast Points to free her. However he runs into Karako Koshio and takes a punch in the gut. Yoh runs into Tamaki with a super monk named Azuma Genkaku. Tamaki reminds him that Cast Points work differently in G-Block. This means all the points he saved up are for nothing. He becomes enraged so Genkaku fires his air guitar at him. Ganta wakes up in a lair belonging to a group called Scar Chain, an anti-management society. He meets their leader Nagi Kengamine and is offered to join them. Their goal is to destroy this absurd birdcage and they need as many allies as possible. But Ganta needs to stop the penalty game. Oh, it’s running now. Minatsuki tries to act tough but couldn’t hide her fear. Nagi sends a signal via a transmitter in his tooth. And it seems the slot machine reads “Hair”. WTF?! Why do they have that option? Rei is upset she got a useless piece. Minatsuki is so relieved. Genkaku crashes into the lair and knocks out Karako. He is going to kill them all. Ganta shoots a blood ball but it disappears before it could reach him.

Episode 8
Before Genkaku could kill Ganta, Shiro jumps in, breaking his guitar. He cancels tonight’s performance and goes away. Ganta is brought to meet the other members of Scar Chain. He is also introduced to Bundou Rokuro, the intelligence officer of Scar Chain and the one who saved Minatsuki during the penalty game. Most of the members are puzzled about Shiro in this block because if she’s not a Deadman, how did she end up here? Her answer is that she has always been living here. Meanwhile Makina and her assistant suit up, preparing to sneak in and steal Tamaki’s secret data. Every year they have a week long inspection to show the public that the prison meets the country’s safety standards. They will use this period to do their illegal raid as everything shuts down during inspection week and even that promoter can’t leave sensitive data lying around. Nagi and Karako convey their plan of a mass Deadman breakout during the week but as noted, the Undertakers (special enforcement anti-Deadman troops under Tamaki like Genkaku) will be a real problem. Ganta informs them about Branch of Sin not working on them but Rokuro shows them a video that Ganta simply missed. That wasn’t how Ganta remembered happened. Everyone laughs at Ganta so he gets pissed off that they are pretty slacking for a team wanting to break out. He is not going to join them and leaves with Shiro. Elsewhere, seems Tamaki is playing bowling with the director’s head! So Deadman Wonderland has become his, eh? Ganta talks to Senji and the latter isn’t pleased he fought an Undertaker. He wants in on the action next time. Ganta learns more about Nagi. Seems Nagi was forced to fight his wife in Corpse Carnival. He lost on purpose and in the penalty game lost his voice. However Tamaki went back on his words and wanted to penalize his wife too. They tried to escape but she was killed by Genkaku.

Ganta goes to find Nagi and apologizes for not knowing anything. Ganta understands he wants revenge just like how he wishes one against Red Man. But Nagi corrects him that he isn’t out for revenge. He has no time because he wants to bring down this place and be free. He wants to hold the baby his wife bore before she died. That’s why he has no time for revenge. That night Ganta thinks about Nagi’s words. He asks what Shiro wants to do. What do you think? Eat lots of snacks and ride the Ferris wheel. Genkaku gets a new guitar while couldn’t help think who the hell that Shiro is. Then Rokuro comes up to him and everything is within his calculations. Oh no. A rat? Ganta returns to Scar Chain and seeks to join them. Shiro wants to be by Ganta’s side but he has Shiro wait in the room till everything is over as promised. Karako cheers up Shiro with a little advice on love. Like she understands. As long Shiro loves Ganta, everything is okay. Nagi continues to go over the plan with his members. It’s not a jailbreak that they’re aiming for but a data chip containing evidence of Tamaki’s illegal operations. They need to leak this out to the real world. With Nagi and Rokuro seizing the control room, the rest will be split into 2 groups to create confusion before riding up the freight elevator. Nagi and Rokuro start off well, dispatching the guards in the control room while the rest being to cross the bridge. Seeing it has weight censors, they cross over by walking on one of the member’s blood in which he uses as a walking net. But the weight is too overwhelming and it breaks. Necro Macro is activated and fires some kind of acid that burns right through your bones! Karako stays behind to hold up the falling bridge so that the rest can cross over. She tosses the data to Ganta and places her hopes in him. Now he’s holding a big responsibility.

Episode 9
Karako remembers how she was a loner in this group till Nagi appointed her as his second-in-command because he believes she is more than just a strong fighter, someone who knows there’s a friend by her side each time she hears the bell on her neck ring. Karako isn’t going down yet. She coats her body with blood, which serves as a defensive shield. Then she pummels Necro Macro till it explodes. Ganta and co have reached the elevator but find no resistance. They just need to wait for Nagi and Rokuro to activate it. Speaking of them, Nagi sees a little girl, Hibana Daida. He thinks this nice girl is lost. Seriously, in this place? Nagi wants Rokuro to activate the elevator but the latter shows his true colours that this isn’t going to happen. Undertaker Hibana takes out a big massive sectioned sword and whips Nagi. His Branch of Sin of explosive isn’t working on her. He realizes that Rokuro was the one who edited the video of Ganta’s blood missing Genkaku. Rokuro explains about Worm Eater, which instantly oxidizes the Nameless Worm that lives inside the Branch of Sin users. This means when a Branch of Sin hits an Undertaker’s weapon, it dissipates. Hibana continues to pound Nagi, as far as scrapping his skin off! She thinks it’s just punishment and that pain builds character. However Nagi tells her she is no lady as she proclaims and just a little girl because proper ladies aren’t vulgar, twisted, rotten and pathetic like what she is doing now. This snaps Hibana as she remembers how her mom tortured her with devices for the slightest mistake. So it’s no surprise she punished her own mother by killing her. What landed her here was the massacre of her kindergarten friends, in which she still insisted that she was just punishing them. Hibana randomly swings her sword till it chops off Nagi’s arm! He throws the arm at Hibana as distraction while he shoves Rokuro’s head into the wall (I guess he was bored that’s why he wasn’t paying attention). Hibana wasn’t paying attention to Nagi’s chopped off arm because he uses the explosive blood in it to knock her out. Nagi uses his last ounce of strength to activate the elevator. Everyone had a nice time joking riding it up till they realize Genkaku and the guards are waiting for them and starts shooting them. Rokuro tells Nagi that he has no chance of winning because it’s his job to make it so. Besides, why do you think Tamaki played along with his crap? He could’ve easily wiped them all out a long time ago. Nagi uses the transmitter in his teeth to relay a message back to his lair. Shiro goes to the lair because she can’t sleep but sees a strange boy. Ganta witnesses in horror one by one his comrades getting butchered. He is about to be done in by Genkaku but an Undertaker reminds him it’s time so they leave. Ganta and only 3 Scar Chain members are left. Suddenly Shiro jumps in, takes the data chip from Ganta’s hand, throws it into a burning room with highly inflammable content, shuts the door and BOOM! So big the explosion that it dented the door. Why didn’t she get away from the door? Was she holding it back? Well, it wasn’t broken.

Episode 10
Contrary to Shiro’s question if Ganta he is okay, he is not. In fact, he is so mad that she destroyed their only hope. He punches her for being a nuisance and doesn’t want to see her face again. Regrouping back in the lair with the other members, they are surprised to see Karako returning alive. Karako isn’t going to give up yet though they’ve lost the chip. The inspection isn’t done yet and all they need is 1 of them to get outside and demonstrate their Branch of Sin to the inspectors. They think Karako should be their new leader but she feels Nagi is still alive because Genkaku won’t kill him. Speaking of which, he is tied up and Genkaku is trying to coax him to join the Undertakers. Elsewhere Makina and her assistant are trying to download all they can from Tamaki’s computer. However that guy unexpectedly returns. They hide nearby and see Major Aohi from the Defence Ministry. Aohi wants to know about the production’s developments so Tamaki lets him know they’re still researching on how to synthesize the Nameless Worm. Aohi doesn’t want to end up with copies of uncontrollable monsters but as Tamaki puts it, if you eat the poison, you might as well eat the plate. So they’re way past the point of no return. Makina realizes the list of prisoners she saw in Tamaki’s computer. Scar Chain are discussing if they were being toyed from the start. The think of hiring a strong fighter. Ganta feeling guilty over his failure volunteers but Karako thinks they can’t afford any more slip ups. When Rokuro comes in, he is clearly upset about the leaked plan. The one about the bomb in the data chip. It was supposed to blow them all away so someone must have found out about it that’s why they’re all still standing here. Yeah, there is no data in that chip. Ganta realized Shiro was trying to help them all along and he jumped the gun. As the guards come in, Rokuro lets them know they are all hostages till Nagi changes his mind.

Genkaku continues to inject drugs but Nagi perseveres and not giving in. Genkaku makes him remember how he massacred his troops after he killed his wife (Genkaku was hiding in fear, witnessing everything. And having an erection watching all that). Nagi doesn’t remember so Genkaku knows he has already lost it. Crazy Rokuro is going to execute one by one the Scar Chain members till Nagi gives in and the first one up is Ganta. While admitting he was the one who edited Ganta’s video and framing him at his trial, he introduces a couple of Undertakers and their sick past and heinous criminal activities, they are going to kill him when Senji slices them both in half! Yeah, he’s looking for a piece of Undertaker action. He realized he just killed the strongest ones. So much for some potential Undertaker action. No choice, he makes do with the small fries. The Scar Chain members fight their way out and since the guards have Worm Eater in their weapon, Senji’s blood sword isn’t working. But that’s not a problem because he uses his supersonic blade faster than the speed of sound, blasting through the air pressure to slice and break through the Worm Eater. Rokuro is feeling the pinch because his perfect calculations are now naught. Karako wishes Senji to join them but he refuses because he thinks there is no difference being on the outside either. Both worlds are just as crazy and messed up. And about their stance of banding together their strength, he tells them off that if they aren’t strong enough, they shouldn’t bare their fangs. Shiro trudges her way back to her room, upset that she was just trying to help Ganta. All she did was listened to that strange boy’s advice. He heard over the transmission from Nagi about the bomb in the chip and relayed it to Shiro. She’s eating cookies all alone and crying. When suddenly that strange boy shows up. He has a hard time remembering his own name. He finally remembers. Toto Sakigami AKA Mockingbird. Shiro isn’t thrilled to meet him but he assures he won’t do anything bad to her.

Episode 11
Ganta must be really thinking how weak he is. So weak that he seeks Senji’s help to train him to be strong enough and punch this pathetic self of his. I guess Senji couldn’t refuse after seeing all that pathetic tears. Meanwhile Shiro still feels empty in her heart even though she says she couldn’t care less about Ganta anymore. Really? Toto is like fanning the fire, saying how weak and irresponsible humans are. They like putting the blame on others and let them suffer. Shiro asserts she still hates Ganta and goes off to find and punch him. Karako and the other survivors move out. Seems Karako lied to Ganta about their meeting time and planned on leaving him out. She remembers Nagi showed her a picture of his daughter in his locket. However there is no picture in it but Karako played along that she could see the picture of his child. Senji feels Ganta’s bullets are too weak and needs to break the sound barrier to stand a chance. He takes all his candy and smashes them except for one. He wants him to penetrate his defence and shoot this candy. If he can’t do it faster than the speed of sound, his death sentence will be carried out right here. Ganta shoots but none of them are good. The place is looking like a butchered scene with lots of blood. Toto interrupts their training as he is looking for Shiro. As said by Senji, Toto is supposedly the strongest Deadman around. Toto gets close to Senji, licking his blood and would have done the same to Ganta if Senji didn’t warn him about their training session. Genkaku seems to have a new toy of his own. Nagi like a mad Incredible Hulk, is smashing the skull of a prison guard! Shiro drops in among the guards and it seems she is a little drunk (perhaps from the sweets). Karako disguised as a guard panics seeing this girl here and tries to get her away. However Genkaku recognizes Karako’s kansai accent anywhere, kicks off her mask and restrains her.

Senji tells Ganta to go seeing at this rate he won’t have enough blood to last. Ganta makes a final shot that not only pierces through the candy but destroys the mirror. That is the shot Senji wants Ganta to remember. Suddenly Genkaku appears on the screen to tell everyone he’s got Shiro and Karako in custody. He gives them a choice to either continue with their escape or save them. Either way, they’ll still die. While the rest had no choice but to soldier on, Ganta is on his way to save them. He thought the rest think he is weak that’s why he left them out. He runs into several guards but Minatsuki repays her debt by killing them all. She won’t join them in the jail break (because she has to take care of her brother who is still injured) and points to the direction of the Undertaker’s base. Ganta thanks her and is on his way. When Ganta arrives, he shoots his smaller and sharper blood shot. So fast and powerful that the guards are sent flying away! Shiro still tries to act tough but eventually rushes to Ganta’s side. However Hibana’s sword breaks her leg. Genkaku will have them see the gig of despair and behind the door sits Nagi. Looks calm. Well, that’s not a good thing. Karako goes up to him and tries to remind him about his kid but he tells her there is no picture in the locket and that Genkaku killed his wife and daughter who was still in the womb. Nagi tried to plead with Tamaki but he was shown his baby in a lab tube like an experiment sample instead. That’s when his rage built up. That’s when he started hating everyone who lives. He couldn’t accept the fact his wife and child are dead. In his despair, his blood bombs blow up the place as Genkaku relishes in Nagi becoming his ideal evil.

Episode 12
Aohi is disappointed that with the end of the inspection, everything is back to square one. He thinks Tamaki as the one behind the bloodshed but as he puts it, Deadman Wonderland is a place that is neither good nor bad. Just a microcosm of society. Behind the beautiful music, rages the ugliest people. He is just a facilitator paving a path for those insane people to earn their freedom. Nagi goes on a killing spree. See how he ripped the guts out of the guards!!! Karako laments she couldn’t protect Nagi, a weak person. A totally opposite person Ganta thought as. Nagi is aiming for Shiro so Ganta protects her, using his body and gets beaten to a pulp. Ganta still have the strength to give his heroic speech like he hates seeing his friends getting killed, the irony of Nagi’s words about having no time for revenge and that he still has light because he’s too ashamed to see what’s important in front of him. The sound of Karako’s bell helps him regains his sanity. Ganta stands firm in protecting Shiro when suddenly he collapses. It’s not that he ran out of blood. Rather, he hasn’t eaten his candy. Death sentence is inching closer. Karako slaps Nagi to his senses and hugs him. But it’s not going to be a fairytale ending yet because Genkaku stabs through Karako’s chest but she’s still alive. Ganta fires his best shot at Genkaku but it isn’t working. Genkaku reminds Nagi he is supposed to be a demon who loathes everyone and saves them via death. He purposely missed Karako’s vital organs so that Nagi could kill her himself as salvation. However Nagi feels not the need to do so because his friends are his salvation. Since Nagi isn’t the murderous tool he is, Genkaku fires a blast from his guitar right through Nagi. Man, it’s a big hole through his gut! Not only that, he starts killing all the guards and wounding Hibana. Flashback time. This is why Genkaku is always talking about salvation, saving others. When he was young and lived at a temple (I thought he looked so much like Naruto’s Gaara), he was often beaten up by his temple mates. The master monk thought he always went out to town and picked a fight. Genkaku has always pondered about enlightenment and salvation seeing the irony of human’s suffering. Then during the Red Hole incident that caused great damage to the temple, he saw how peaceful a dead cat was and realized. He killed his bullies and realized that death is the ultimate salvation.

Meanwhile Hibana who is getting away from that mad scene bumps into Toto. She doesn’t know who this boy is and starts attacking him. But it’s a grave mistake because Toto kills her with the supersonic move he copied from Senji. Ganta still feels the weakling he is and his chest is glowing in red. Genkaku continues to rant about the word consisting of nothing but terror and oppression. He will continue his salvation till somebody comes to save him. Shiro’s leg suddenly heals. She stands up and is about to turn into a mad killer but Ganta this time will do the honours. Funny red marks appear all over Ganta (just like with Shiro) as he blasts Genkaku with the most powerful blast he has ever made. So powerful, it blasted a hole right through the ceiling! Nagi quotes that he will be Genkaku’s guide to hell. I guess he’ll be his salvation. Nagi in his dying breath gives Ganta his candy seeing he doesn’t need it anymore. Karako and a couple of Scar Chain members escape the island. Ganta stays back with Shiro seeing he can’t leave his friends behind. He apologizes for hitting her but she doesn’t mind it because it doesn’t hurt anymore. Friends again? You bet. Besides, Shiro is happy she gets to see the Ferris wheel. Ganta cries in her bosoms. It’s not because the candy tastes bitter. Tamaki loathes the uselessness of Genkaku’s team. Makina wonders if a few death row inmates have escaped seeing he doesn’t look so good. He denies and instead says none has ever under her watch. He is just getting used to his new position as the director seeing the previous one died without naming a successor. Makina plans to interrogate Ganta and Yoh on their whereabouts for the past 11 days and will use any means to do so. Tamaki gives the green light for her to do whatever she wishes. Makina meets up with her assistant who has picked a suitable one from the promoter’s list of normal prisoners. On the rooftop, Shiro hums a nostalgic song made by Ganta’s mom. He wants her to stop seeing it was the song the Red Man sang during the massacre. He wonders how he knew the song. Oh Ganta. It’s just right under your nose… So close yet so far…

OVA
The OVA is Senji-focused and takes place 2 years after the devastating effects of the Red Hole incident. Everywhere is much lawless and chaotic. People are confused trying to get their lives back. Some turned to a life of crime. Senji, a policeman is using his Branch of Sin to slice up petty criminals. He would’ve killed if not for his elderly superior telling him not to. Back at the base, Senji gets into a brawl with other cops whom he thinks leaked the info. His other pals try to gently remind him about staying out of trouble but I guess a tough guy like him isn’t going to learn it the easy way. While at the market, Senji spots a kid he knows, Izuru being chased by a pair of ruffians from a local gang called Goreless Peace. They are trying to teach Izuru a lesson for stealing from their turf when Senji uses his Branch of Sin to slice a deep cut over one of their chest. Though the ruffians live, they run away but promise to be back. Senji takes Izuru back to his sister, Hinata. She slaps the kid for trying to steal again. We can see Senji has feelings for Hinata, the way his body language is reacting. Hinata is remaining positive due to the events that have happened and trying to live life normally with the rest. As Senji leaves that evening, he is surrounded by Goreless Peace members. Their leader, Keigo Ugachi wants Senji to join them to tune and rebuild the world from scratch and filled it with beautiful melodies. He wants a peaceful world without bloodshed and even if it means taking out a kid is necessary, he’ll do what it takes. Yeah, the irony. Keigo continues his persuasion about being tied down to his policeman job with a stupid boss and selfish colleagues. But Senji isn’t interested in his crap though Keigo surprises him by coming close to him without him noticing and managing to avoid his slices with ease. Senji spits on his shoe as his final answer but Keigo is sure they’ll meet again. That night, Senji’s superior had a talk. Senji believes this world is full of sh*t no matter how many people they arrest it’ll still be the same. That’s why there is nothing wrong with idiots cleaning it up that sh*t. Keigo contacts his superior, Akatsuki, noting the interesting man Senji is and that he is of their kind.

Next day, Senji sees fire coming from Hinata’s place. When he arrives, he sees everyone massacred. Hinata is dead. Izuru barely holding on to his last breath. But eventually he dies. In his agonizing scream, Senji sees the mark of Goreless Peace on the handkerchief in Izuru’s hands. Somebody is going to pay. Senji calls his superior to say he is going to massacre everyone in Goreless Peace. Not as a policeman but as himself. His superior and his pals need to take action before it’s too late. Senji arrives right in the middle of Keigo’s dinner. He thinks he has accepted his invitation and admits her got rid of the things that are holding him back. After all that ranting, Senji just tells him he is here to kill him. His superior and pals arrive on scene to take out the small fries. Senji chases after Keigo but it’s a trap. Senji gets trapped in his blood of web like a helpless bug. Yes, he is also a Branch of Sin user. Keigo tortures him and couldn’t stand his pathetic cries because he heard so many of them during the massacre. The melodies he intends to fill the world are the ones filled with silence. No matter how angry Senji is or even if he breaks through the web, he finds himself back to square one and trapped again. Senji’s superior comes in only to be caught. Keigo crushes him. Senji is so mad that his knife enlarges big and long enough to stab through Keigo’s shoulder. He is about to kill him when his superior ekes out a voice telling him to stop. He can’t kill because he isn’t that kind of person. Senji further enlarges his sword to scare the sh*t out of Keigo’s pants. Probably he hasn’t learnt to control it yet so he passes out due to lack of blood. In the aftermath, Akatsuki gets news that Keigo has been arrested and notes Senji will be sorry that he chose to rise against him. Deadman Wonderland is in the midst of construction but the police guys aren’t convinced that things will change even if they cover it up with something shiny. So it’s back to work as usual for them.

Deadman Walking…
Oh, that wasn’t really much of an ending. It feels like everything was just at a halfway point. Maybe not. Perhaps not even a tenth of the way there. Of course it feels unsatisfying that everything ended so abruptly without any solution in sight. There are so many developments left unfinished and unexplained so I think if they really give the green light to make a sequel, I’m sure we’ll see lots more of it. The real reason behind the Red Hole incident, the deep and dark secret that Tamaki has been holding, the list of prisoners Makina has obtained from the promoter, the experiments Tamaki has been conducting and selling to the military, the real motive why the director built this prison as his cage and how it turned into a big showcase of prisoners, the mystery of why Branch of Sin users are able to control their blood as weapons, the Corpse Carnival, what happened to Yoh and Minatsuki, what will be of Rokuro’s fate, who the hell is Toto and yes, above all the most tantalizing one would be the mystery behind Shiro as Wretched Egg and Red Man. Why did she massacre Ganta’s classmate. Or is she really the Red Man? The only similarity that confirms it is that creepy smirk. How did she end up in Deadman Wonderland? Is it really her ‘home’?

The story flows quickly from Ganta being framed and earning a spot in Deadman Wonderland, the way things work around the prison, to the thought-to-be-never-existed G-Block to the Corpse Carnival and finally the rebellion by Scar Chain. However a dozen of episodes aren’t enough to do justice to all the plot because running a prison isn’t just as easy like it seems although Tamaki is like a big child who never grows up. Look at all the toys in his room. Behind that eternal sly smile lies something deeper. Something more sinister. Something darker. He has got his own personal and ulterior motive and I doubt that succeeding and becoming the director isn’t the end of his goal. But I guess he has got to be a very busy man because in addition to just running the prison, he has got to go round looking for people who contain Branch of Sin, frame them and put them in as candidates for Corpse Carnival for his amusement as well as the others. Probably he’s got too much time on his hands that he could even create the Undertakers and toy along with Scar Chain’s plot. Why not turn every prisoner into his Undertakers then? Must be some tough sh*t training they have to pass that I didn’t get. Makina is certainly the no nonsense woman guys will never want to mess with. No matter how big her tits are. Think twice before you make a move. Don’t even think about it. She’ll slash you before you even have time to reconsider. She is the kind of person who is fit to take charge and control of a prison ward. It’s a good thing that she strongly upholds her believe in maintaining order in the prison. If she was given more liberty in her control, Deadman Wonderland would be rid of any kind of dirty fanfare. No Corpse Carnival whatsoever. Just plain boring prison. Yeah, where would the fun be? But still, don’t mess with her.

I don’t know about Ganta. From the start he is portrayed to be someone who is weak. Someone who tries very hard to stand up against all that he believes in. In the end, he too realizes how pathetically weak he is and has always relied on the aid of Shiro to rescue his butt. But it’s a good sign for him because it means the only way for him to survive or even have a chance to achieve his goal is to get stronger. With more practice of his blood shots, I’m sure he’ll pull off more devastating and awesome moves. Just hope he just doesn’t get anaemia and shoot out too much blood till he dies. He needs a faster way to regenerate his blood. I can’t wait to see his reaction if he ever finds out Shiro as Red Man. As for Shiro, she is definitely not only the most mysterious character but the most airheaded one as well. There were many signs to indicate that Shiro isn’t just an ordinary prisoner of Deadman Wonderland. For instance, she has no prisoner number. She pops out from just about anywhere. For a moment, I was even thinking that she might be a ghost! But heck, people can actually touch, see and hear her so I guess that isn’t possible. But then again… The only problem with Shiro is that she doesn’t really know how to convey what she wants to say in words. That is what makes her a happy-go-lucky airhead. For example the bomb that was hidden as the data chip. Ganta wouldn’t have gotten so mad and pissed off or even go so far as to slap her if she had just said everything was a trap to kill them. We didn’t hear her say that there was a bomb in the chip. We didn’t hear her say anything about the ruse. She just said she did this all for Ganta because he is weak. Maybe even if she did tell him about it, there is a chance Ganta won’t believe her but at least it should have opened that kid’s eyes.

I’m not sure why Senji wants to stay in G-Block to continue being a fighter for Corpse Carnival. Has he really given up on the outside world even if it’s both the same inside this prison? From my perspective, he is strong enough to slice everyone through if he really wanted to get out. The OVA on him was a good episode featuring his past but it did little to let us know how he ended up in the deepest parts of the prison. Now with an eye-patch over his right eye, sometimes I thought he looked a bit like Bleach’s Zaraki. He nearly has the attitude to match it. Something about the Corpse Carnival bugs me. If the fighters are supposed to fight to the death, wouldn’t that mean that there are lots of dead fighters by now? Even if many do not die and simply lost, does it mean that Rei’s lab is filled with lots of body parts? This means lots of crippled Branch of Sin users, right? Perhaps there are more of such users than shown. Maybe running into hundreds. So that’s why it seems that those especially from Scar Chain just had one or two body parts taken away. Doesn’t seem much, right? Feels like they’ve been through Corpse Carnival just a handful of times. And survived. And why are the contestants named after birds? So if the best Deadman is just a Mockingbird, who is the grand phoenix, if there is any? Speaking of Scar Chain, I find them a really odd bunch of oddballs. Really. It feels like the group came from all walks of life. If you noticed some of its members, it includes a granny with a katana, a pregnant woman and a wheelchair ridden guy. It makes you wonder if they are really hardcore criminals. But then again, everyone here is a Branch of Sin user and it is a big possibility they have been framed for a crime they did not commit just like Ganta.

One of the biggest complaints and grumbles I have for this series is the total darkness of the scenes. No, not the gory action or blood. Some of the scenes are purposely darkened so much so you can’t see a damn thing and it is very annoying. I was trying to strain my eyes real hard trying to glimpse what is going on through the darkness without adjusting the brightness and contrast of my screen because from past experiences, I know it won’t make any difference. So if you’re going to watch this show, just beware that there will be lots and lots of dark scenes in each episode that will really make you want to expand your eyeballs. Oh sh*t. Just saying about eyeballs made me remember about that horrendous right eye extracting scene!!!! Yikes!!! I’m never going to watch that episode ever again!!!

Also be warned that if you’re watching this show, you should have expected lots of gore, violence and blood. You could have even guessed it from the name of the series that this is no walk in the park. I won’t go so far as to say that you will really want to puke by seeing brains get smashed, guts getting pulled out or limbs getting cut off but if you’re a weak-hearted person, it’s best to stay away from this show. Maybe I’m quite numb myself after seeing lots of violence (thanks to the TV news. Yeah, thanks. That helped a lot) so I don’t really feel that it is thaaaaaaaaat violent. Okay, maybe it is. But still it is manageable for me. What do you expect? In nearly every episode, somebody gets killed whether it’s a minor prisoner or the guards. Yeah. Life is really cheap. So cheap that it makes you think why the heck they spend a fortune putting up flashy shows and keeping the prisoners here. Oh yeah, I forgot. It’s like a show business. On a trivial note, the end of each episode is narrated by Makina in a gloomy, bleak and hopeless tone, which is befitting of the series’ setting.

Kana Hanazawa as Shiro here feels like she is the prisoner version of Kobato. Get what I mean? Okay, maybe it’s because I lumped them in as both characters are somewhat airheads. Romi Paku as Ganta, I thought she was like voicing a weaker version of Bleach’s Hitsugaya or Fullmetal Alchemist’s Edward. Junichi Suwabe’s cool and calm voice fits Tamaki because the character lacks other emotions in his speech so you are unable to tell what really goes on in his mind. You can recognize his voice from Prince Of Tennis’ Atobe and Kuroshitsuji’s Undertaker. Other casts include Takako Honda as Makina (Hone Onna in Jigoku Shoujo), Masayuki Katou as Senji (Matoma in Shigofumi), Daisuke Ono as Nagi (Koizumi in Suzumiya Haruhi No Yuutsu), Kumiko Itou as Karako, Jun Fukuyama as Rokuro (Lelouch in Code Geass), Miyuki Sawashiro as Toto (Shinkurou in Kurenai), Iori Nomizu as Minatsuki (Nymph in Sora No Otoshimono), Yuuki Kaji as Yoh (Subaru in Ro-Kyu-Bu) and Toshiyuki Morikawa as Genkaku (Naraku in Inu Yasha). The opening theme is totally a hard rock piece sung in English, One Reason by Fade. It’s the kind of song that tells you what to expect from this kind of show. But for the ending theme, Shiny Shiny by NIRGILIS left me wondering if this kind of dance pop music should be suitable for this violent and dark genre.

A deeper aspect that this show tries to tell us is who are the real villains. Prisoners may be sent to prison and forced to do acts that are embarrassing and equally inhumane. Our pleasure at their expense. We cry for their blood seeing them in life or death performances. So does it really make us different from the criminals? Ganta sure learn the hard way. Not so fun now being on the prison inside, eh? See how the spectators jeered and booed when there was no clear winner at the end of the Dog Race even if they have seen every other single darn prisoner getting killed. Aren’t we any different than our bloodthirsty ancestral savages, no? The only difference is that they have already done something wrong and convicted by the law. We haven’t. Yet. So what gives us the right to visit the prison like as though it’s one huge theme park attraction just to laugh at the silliness just because they did some bad stuff in their lives. Who hasn’t done something bad in their lives before? Tiny or big, a bad deed is still a bad deed. That’s why Deadman Wonderland is a place full of irony whether you are the prisoners, the staffs working in it or just a visiting visitor. Everyone is just plain sick. And the yearly inspection just to check everything is in accordance with the humans right thingy? Give me a break. You can’t even fool a newborn with that argument. I think if everybody really wants to see blood, Corpse Carnival would be legalized live through your TV channel. Hey, anything with possible with humans. Why? Simple. Because we can!

Just remember that if you are going to do the crime, be prepared to do the time. It is sad that throughout the ages, humans don’t really learn from their lesson. That’s why we continue to fight each other over the centuries over trivial things. In that sense, that is what makes us humans too. If Apocalypse descends on us now and we survive, there is a big chance that humanity will take a big step backwards. Building the biggest prison won’t do because Earth itself is a prison for us human beings. But the saddest case would be those who are framed and forced to do time for a crime they never commit only to be cleared of their name decades later. Or never. Their entire lives wasted in that instant. No money or points could buy you freedom. That would be very much a bitter pill or candy to swallow. I’m glad my chocolate still tastes sugary sweet… :)

Gantz

October 1, 2011

Because of the live-action film that came out early in 2011, it was one of the few reasons why I decided to take a look at its anime version that came out way back in 2004, Gantz. Though I have never watched the movie, but the main reason why I decided to try out this sci-fi action series was because of the newspaper review on the movie. In a nutshell, it said that the movie was a much ‘tamer’ affair compared to the anime. True enough, without even watching the film version, I could say that the anime series is definitely only for mature audiences considering the amount of blood, gore, graphic violence, partial nudity and strong/crude language that it has to offer. And yeah, at a certain point, it even had sex scenes. Yeow! Definitely not kids’ stuff for sure.

The basic premise of the movie and anime are the same. People who died in an unnatural way are given a second shot at life by being transported to a mysterious apartment containing a black sphere called Gantz. They are forced to hunt aliens for the sake of their own survival within a given amount of time frame. And even with sophisticated suits and weaponry that normal science can’t explain, taking down aliens doesn’t seem to be an easy job. Playing first-person or third-person shooter games seem like child’s play. And while Gantz itself is mysterious, intriguing and incomprehensible, the hunters who are forced to play this sick game have to learn to adapt quickly or else they’d really die for good. Yeah, unlike in video games where you normally have 3 lives, you only live twice here. At least in this anime. And if you find that some of the elements and reasoning here hard to accept, well it’s up to us individuals. Like killing aliens for points. For what? Well, Gantz’s thinking isn’t something everyone can understand.

Episode 1
Cocky and always looking down on the world, Kei Kurono is in a class lesson. He starts fantasizing and undressing all the females including his teacher. His classmate spots his erection and soon everyone teases him. On his way home, Kei takes the subway only to be bugged by an old lady asking for directions. He then sees a familiar face standing next to him. He is Masaru Katou, his childhood friend. Suddenly a smelly homeless drunkard slips and falls onto the rail tracks. Nobody helped him and could only watch. Plus, they even have those apathy comments about him and that others would come to his rescue. Katou couldn’t take it anymore and dives down to save the unconscious drunkard. He shouts for help but the people only returned with their stares. He spots Kei and recognizes him. With the feeling that the world is staring at him, Kei goes down to help as he thinks he’s happy Katou recognized him. The drunkard is heavy as they use up most of their energy to push him up, in which they finally do. Then the train comes. Katou says to run thinking that the train will fully stop at the other end. However it seems this train isn’t stopping. The train closes in and before they know it, both their heads are sent flying! GROSS!!! And the public either scream in fear or have the cheek to even take pictures. WTF?! Soon after, there are no traces of Kei and Katou’s body at the scene. However, Kei and Katou surprisingly find themselves alive but in a room with a big black sphere in the middle and a few other colourful oddballs. They’re supposedly people who have died to. Where is this place? Is this Heaven? Are they really alive? Kei and Katou spot Tokyo Tower outside the glass but were being told nobody could leave this place or even touch the walls. They introduce each other and the motley gang include teacher Masashi Yamada, old cancer patient Gorou Suzuki, gloomy but scary looking Jouichiro Nishi, an arrogant pretty boy, a pair of yakuzas and a dog. Katou remembers the time he used to play tag with Kei and the rest and something made him look up to Kei and wanted to be like him. Seriously? I don’t think you want to if you know his cocky sarcasm inner thoughts. Suddenly they receive another ‘newbie’. Wow. You should see the Sphere reconstructing this babe from the inside out! Unconscious, she clings on to Kei as Katou notice that she has slit her wrists. I’m sure the guys are pretty interested in her seeing that she’s the only female here. Not to mention, totally naked! Then one of the yakuza picks her up to another room and warns them not to come in. Yup, he’s going to rape her. She starts yelling and Katou couldn’t take it anymore and confronts him. Katou is so mad that he strangles the yakuza and would’ve killed him if not interrupted by some funny happy Good Morning song. That song seems to be coming out from Gantz.

Episode 2
I don’t know why the dog was even trying to rape her. It could’ve gotten worse if Katou didn’t lend her his coat. Back to Gantz, they start seeing messages to kill a certain Negi Seijin (literally, Spring Onion Alien -WTF?!). It even has characteristics shown like it’s smelly, strong and loves… Spring onions. Gantz opens to reveal cool weaponry and they are shocked to see a man in foetal position inside. Nishi seems to know what he is doing and putting on the tight black suit. Soon everyone in the room slowly disappears to the outside. As they trudge along, Nishi tells them there are criminal aliens in hiding and disguise. Everyone is scouted by the Japanese Government Secret Agency to go on alien hunting. A kill is worth ten million Yen! Kei doesn’t believe but Nishi mentions he has been approached by someone before his death. Kei starts to remember the old lady. Suzuki doesn’t believe all this and goes off on his own. Along the way he thinks of starting anew his politician life when suddenly a ray from the sky hits directly on his head. HIS HEAD SPLATTERED INTO BLOODY BITS!!! F*CK!!! GORY!!! The rest find the Negi Seijin. Seems like a dork eating spring onions. The yakuzas, blondie and Yamada start bullying and hunting down to poor helpless alien. Kei, Katou and the girl spot them and went after them. Kei is jealous that the girl seems to be paying more attention to Katou and notices she takes a liking for him. Once they cornered the alien, the 4 start blasting him mercilessly till his limbs come off! Katou starts crying because he felt guilty he couldn’t save the alien but the blondie calls him a hypocrite. They notice a passer-by but realize that they must be dead because that person couldn’t see them or what had just happened. Suddenly a giant Negi Seijin (probably the father), comes up behind Blondie and rips his body apart!!! Another bloody death! Woah. Looks like an alien version of Incredible Hulk. He’s very mad. How mad? He’s crying tears of blood! He grabs one of the yakuzas in his sharp grip when that yakuza tries to act tough and fight back. Who’s the weak one now? Yamada panics and fires a shot at their direction. This results in that yakuza’s inner organs exploding out in bits. Eww!!!

Episode 3
Yamada and the other yakuza start firing their guns but the alien slashes off their arms! The yakuza fires several shot to take the alien out with the other arm he’s got before collapsing. But that’s not enough as the behemoth rises and confronts Katou. That guy is still crying that he couldn’t save everyone! I don’t know about this ‘shouting and crying contest’ because both of them are speaking in different language. Are you sure that alien could understand you? Katou points a gun at him but couldn’t shoot. Kei tells him to fire but the lady tells Kei to do it instead. Yeah, easy to say. Couldn’t do it either, eh? The alien attacks as Katou avoids his claws and causes him to fall off the slope. The alien turns to the duo and chases them. The lady blames Kei for causing Katou’s death. The chase stops when the alien is hit by the car (the passengers couldn’t see what they hit). But he got up again and the chase begins. As they run, Kei remembers the ‘coolness’ he was when he was a kid. Nobody could catch him. They are cornered at a dead-end when Kei thinks back the reason he was cool back then was because he wasn’t afraid of anything. He charges towards the alien, slides underneath him and lets himself be the bait to get chased. Katou is still alive and seen lying on the slope when he spots Kei being chased. As Kei continues to think about his past, his suit powers up as he is able to leap a great distance but crashes below. The alien catches up and has him in his grasp but before he could slice Kei, Katou grabs the alien in hopes of buying time for him to run. The alien attacks and injures Kei. Seeing his friend giving up on life, Kei gets furious and his suit once again powers up to give him superhuman powers. Strong enough to break the alien’s arm! Then he takes out his anger by turning him into a punching bag. By this time the alien has had enough and wishes for forgiveness. Hey, he just spoke a human sentence. But he is suddenly being bound by Nishi. He is going to let Kei have this kill and tells him to fire his gun at the alien, which of course will outright kill him.

Episode 4
Kei couldn’t pull the trigger so Nishi mocks him and tries to make him do it. Nishi adds that he is just the same as him and derives excitement from watching others die. Though Kei denies, he gives spot-on examples during time Kei got killed at the subway and other people just watched and how it’s human nature to want to see others die like hoping of dead bodies on the news. Since Kei can’t do it, Nishi uses his trap gun and sends the alien into the sky. He differentiates the gun that they have and the one Kei has will kill but his is to send away though he doesn’t know where. Nishi continues that they can go home and have to go back to that room. The lady lets loose a scream after seeing Katou’s life slip away. However Nishi says that as long as you’re alive and return to that room, every damage taken will be repaired. Dead people stay dead. Kei and the girl desperately try to wake Katou up but he’s not responding. Soon everyone gets teleported back to the room. Kei and the girl are devastated over Katou’s death as Nishi teases her that she’s in love with him. The other survivor who returned seems to be the dog. Because Katou isn’t technically dead, he too is teleported back to the room much to the relief of his pals. Nishi orders Gantz to give their score. Seems it’s like making wise cracks and have its own comments of the performance of the survivors. Wagging tail too much (dog), walking around without panties for too long (the girl whom Gantz calls Big Tits), almost died and what the hell comment (Katou), having too much erection from staring at Big Tits (Kei). Everyone scores zero except for Nishi who scores a meagre 3 points, bringing his tally to 90 points. A note says he will be done with 10 more points. The rest want Nishi to explain their situation since he knows quite a bit so he agrees as long he knows it. Nishi is a normal junior high school student and came to this place a year ago. Things have been happening repetitively like tonight. A number of people who’re supposed to have died are brought to this room. If they die, they get replaced. He has seen lots of people come and go and even crazier nights that this. He survived them all. Nishi goes up to Gantz and shows them the list of dead people and those at the bottoms are the recent dead ones. He says Kei is different than the rest because he knew the importance of the suit and put it on. Katou gets upset why he didn’t tell them in the first place and this wouldn’t have happened. His reply is that the target lets its guard down while they’re getting killed. Plus, he doesn’t care who lives or dies. He calls Katou the biggest hypocrite. He answers their question about whether they’re alive. He says yes as the people who are on the verge of death come here. His theory is that though their real bodies are dead, in here they’re like copies of a fax. He warns them if they return home, they better not tell anyone about this because nobody will believe them. He turns himself invisible and walks out of the door. Next morning, Kei sees himself lying in bed in his room, thinking all this was just a dream. He sees the TV news reporting Suzuki’s loss with his fight with cancer and Yamada’s scooter collided with a truck. Then he sees a report about a pair of high school students that went missing after saving a homeless drunkard in the subway. His worse fears realized when he sees the black suit on his chair. Yup, he isn’t dreaming.

Episode 5
Kei still finds it hard to believe that he is alive back in the real world. Nishi’s words of not telling to everyone else still rings in his head. After Nishi left, the trio are able to get out of the apartment and hail a cab home (now people can see them). Kei borrows the lady his school clothes (since he’s wearing the suit). When they drop her off, Katou asks for her name (why is he blushing). She is Kei Kishimoto. Wait a minute. Another person named Kei? Kishimoto lies around her house and answers a phone call. However it seems her mom on the other line is talking to her as though she’s a different person, saying her daughter’s in hospital unconscious and all. Katou gets an earful from her aunt who is reluctant to take care of her late brother’s children. She soon goes out with her own children. Katou and his little brother, Ayumu watches the news and the latter notices his damaged umbrella at the site and wonders why it’s there in the first place. Kei is in school and his classmate Matsumura tells him his problem of paying protection money. Like Kei cares. Then the delinquent Yonekura comes to collect his money but he doesn’t have any. Yonekura then makes a deal if Matsumura tags Kei, he’ll get all the money from Kei instead. The selfish otaku bastard did so and left Kei in his sh*t place. Yonekura ups the protection money to 50 grand and wants him to bring it to him after school. He is brought to the head of the gang, Tachibana. A senior karate guy approaches them. Acting tough, he wants Tachibana to stop picking on his juniors and return all the money he extorted. However all that toughness was fake because he gets beaten up real badly by Tachibana. So much so Tachibana extracts a couple of teeth from him to add to his sickening collection! Then he turns his attention to Kei, who is paralyzed in fear. He starts beating him up and Kei could do nothing since the suit he’s wearing underneath isn’t working. I’m not sure why at this moment, he starts thinking of dirty thoughts of Kishimoto. As he lies close to being dead, he has an erection (WTF?!). I’m not sure how this works but the suit powers up and Kei suddenly felt confident. He stands up and grabs Tachibana’s fist in his iron grip. After a while, he loosens his grip. Tachibana retaliates by throwing a punch but it backfires and not only loses a tooth but 3 teeth! Wow! It’s like he hit an iron wall! Kei, exuding cockiness now acts tough as he coolly walks away. When he returns, he sees Kishimoto sleeping outside his doorstep.

Episode 6
Kishimoto wakes up but catches Kei staring at her boobs. However she isn’t alarmed. She’s here to return a book he dropped when he lent his jacket. She then leaves but changes her mind and comes into his room to drink and even finish his dinner. After that, she leaves but soon comes knocking on his door again wondering if his place accepts ‘pets’. When Kei realized she is referring to herself, he gets shocked but nevertheless accepts her in. Kei must be feeling lucky, eh? Yeah, she even wants to take a shower. Dream come true for this pervert. But I guess to cool down, he goes out to buy some snacks at the convenience store. Along the way, he sees a bunch of biker gangsters beating up and stripping a guy who told them off for being noisy while his helpless son watched on. One of the gangsters, Tetsuo is a family man as he soon returns to his equally gangster wife and forces himself on her. Meanwhile Katou notices a bruise over Ayumu’s neck. He knows that his aunt abuses him but Ayumu doesn’t mind since they’ve suddenly intruded in her life so this is expected. Kishimoto’s mind is filled with Nishi’s words about being dead or alive and fax copies while she soaks herself in the bath. Then when Kei returns, they watch the TV and soon it’s bed time. Since Kei has no extra futon, she accepts sharing the same bed. Wow. Kei’s mind must be going crazy. He’s really sweating and starting to fantasize that this is his chance to rise into adulthood. Yeah, he bought condoms from the store in expectation of this. So lights off as Kishimoto takes off most of her clothes so as not to wrinkle it. However Kei notices something wrong because she just went to sleep. Then I guess he got the guts to even say that something should happen in this kind of situation: Sex. But Kishimoto gives him a best answer: “I’m your pet. You don’t have sex with your pet”. Haha! Spot on! Kei isn’t giving up yet and replies he once had a dog when he lived with his parents and hugged and kissed it. Kishimoto allows him to do so and the fondling begins. While he’s having a good time, suddenly she starts saying when she was a child, she was energetic and had lots of scars on her body. Including her recently slit wrist. However they’re all gone. When she returned to her home, she saw herself there! She wonders who she is and that there’s no place for her, no home for her to return. She starts crying and apologizing so Kei stops his immoral act. Yeah, lost your chance to lose your virginity, eh? Morning comes, the news is still reporting the mysterious subway disappearance of the 2 high school kids and the only clue is a broken umbrella and porn mag (oh, that Kei). Nishi is at the library doing research as he wonders when the next call will be.

Episode 7
Katou and Ayumu are being punished by their aunt with no breakfast because Ayumu accidentally dirtied her carpet. When she starts getting physical, Katou grabs her hand though he tries to remain cool and wants her never to hit Ayumu again. Kei and Kishimoto are buying groceries. Kei is shocked to see that old lady asking for directions and she is also the cashier. He takes Kishimoto and run back to his place. He tells her that this is a sign that Gantz is calling them again. He gives her his black suit to try and practice and soon leaves for school. Kishimoto wants him to accompany her after school back to her house as she wants to ascertain what her other self is doing. In other scenes, we see the Tetsuo working at a construction site with his biker gangsters-cum-colleagues. A granny and her grandson, Ryouta holding up a train ticket queue due to a few blunders. When Katou goes to school, he sees a classmate being surrounded by bullies. He gives that stare so the bullies take off. The bullies are discussing in the toilet about taking Katou out when a senior gay boxing club member, Onizuka gets interested in Katou. He wants to f*ck his ass. One of the bullies confidently goes to warn Katou about getting his ass f*cked. After school, Katou angrily barges into the toilet, locks the cubicle Onizuka is taking a dump and starts bashing his face till it’s all bloodied!!! He gets even more violent each time thinking about poor Ayumu and being abused by her aunt. Eventually Onizuka is beaten to a pulp as Katou leaves, leaving the other bullies shocked and terrified. Kei and Kishimoto are at a bookstore. We see a lady, Sei Sakuraoka talking to another female and knows she’s being stalked because of her instincts and goes talk to her. Also, a couple of girls spying on a pretty boy model Masanobu Houjou. Masanobu also knows he’s being stalked by a Sadako-like character and heads to one of the girls and is willing to pay if she borrows a bike. She gets ecstatic and persuades her brother for it. Kei and Kishimoto spy outside the latter’s house and they see the other Kishimoto coming out. But she walks pass by them like as though they do not exist. Kishimoto becomes disheartened. Other scenes see Ryouta and her grandma riding in a car to see the former’s mom, Tetsuo going out for a ride and to buy milk and Katou’s fist is trembling back home.

Episode 8
Kishimoto remembers how she was her mom’s favourite and had high expectations to study high. But when she failed, not only her mom cast her aside and called her stupid, her sister Shiori becomes her new favourite. She got so depressed that she slit her wrist. In reality, Kishimoto tells Kei about this and how she has been living all for her mom and being a good girl. But after what has happened, she don’t know what her other self will do and decides that she will live for herself from now onwards. When she starts saying that she’ll love him, Kei gets excited and thinks it is him (he is thanking the stars he still has his condoms). But all that happiness turns to disappointment when Kishimoto says she’ll confess to Katou, the guy she loves. Ayumu notices Katou up and he can tell something is wrong. He says hitting someone is wrong even if you’re stronger. He wishes for him not to die because he wants to live together with him. Tetsuo is out with his buddies when suddenly rival gangsters surround them. He realizes this is a trap. Nishi gets that feeling that Gantz will be calling them soon and thinks it’s about time. Kei isn’t giving up Kishimoto yet and gets this idea to massage her stiff shoulders so that he could fondle her boobs!!! Sicko! Suddenly they start disappearing to that room along with Katou. Kishimoto ditches Kei to go to Katou’s side. Jealous again, eh? Elsewhere Masanobu realizes the pillion rider is the stalker and wants her to get off but she isn’t going to do that. As the highway is jammed, he stops next up to grandma and Ryouta’s car. A sleepy truck driver rams into them and the vehicles go up in explosion. Tetsuo and his gang are fighting a losing turf war battle against the rival. Tetsuo gets stabbed. When he opens his eyes, he sees his buddies in the Gantz room. Along with them grandma, Ryouta, Masanobu and the stalker. As newcomers, they are confused and puzzled. Kei and the rest could only watch and notice how it’s like their first time. The gangsters see Kishimoto’s big tits and decide to take turns to f*ck her. She hides behind Katou. Kei tries to be a hero and tells them to stop but he froze in fear when the gangster returns a scary stare. Ryouta starts crying inconsolably so Katou decides to tell everything he knows, much to Nishi’s dismay. Of course the gangsters don’t believe him and laugh him off. Doesn’t this remind them of their first time too? Then Gantz plays that funny song again and words appear on it, reiterating that they’re dead and their new lives are up to by him. Then it shows them a picture of their next target: Suzuki Seijin. Hmm… Even have characteristics and favourite things too? The weapons draw out as the newbies have a look and are thrilled by its realism. Katou continues to tell them the importance of the suit. Nishi is upset that he gave away everything so Katou replies he wants to survive with everybody. Kei starts panicking because the pack with his name, doesn’t have a suit. He remembers he left it behind in his room. Oh sh*t!

Episode 9
Katou tells the newcomers to put on the suit but each have their own reason not to don it. Tetsuo confronts Katou about him being the leader or something and shoots him down about giving orders. While Kishimoto goes to change, the biker gangsters go peep on her and couldn’t hold it in anymore. They’re going to rape her but could you believe it? That bloody dog beat them to it?! Katou realizes what’s happening but before he could say a thing, Tetsuo reprimands them for doing this kind of stuff. But they tell him off to stop acting like their leader. Finally everyone except the biker gangster trio put on the suits. I wonder how the dog did it. Nishi then realizes Kei hasn’t put his on yet and taunts him. Yeah, after all this time, Kei’s got some problem saying it to Katou he forgot his suit and when he’s got the courage, Katou is interrupted with something. Kei thinks of taking one of the biker gangster’s suits but gets scared on the thought he may get beaten up. Katou then asks one of them to borrow Kei his suit but he isn’t going to. Though he’s not wearing but it’s his. But Nishi mentions that another person’s suit is only a set of clothes and that everyone here are rivals for survival. Kei starts to panic that he is dead meat. Because Nishi is reluctant to reveal anything further, he continues to mock everybody by giving his own views on what he thinks of them. For instance, Katou is a hypocrite and a violence impulse person (remember the time, when he grabbed the yakuza by the neck?). Kishimoto is a useless person and only relies on Katou, he thought Kei had potential but takes those words back and hopes he dies first (and die with dignity?!). Grandma and Ryouta are another bunch of pair that have no chance of survival and would most likely rely on somebody to survive (and it sure ain’t going to be him) and she spoils her grandson to satisfy herself. The biker gangsters are garbage to society and Masanobu just got the looks but the dumb kind. One of the gangsters couldn’t take it anymore and fires his weapon at Nishi, causing him to freeze. Katou realizes it’s a time lag. When the gangster is about to pound him, Nishi fires his gun at him. Shortly, that gangster’s head explodes!!! Pissed off Nishi tells he’ll kill anyone who points the gun at him or slows him down. He orders Gantz to start the mission now and soon everybody is transported outside. Kei nearly got run over by a truck when he sees robotic Suzuki Seijin with several alien birds in front of him.

Episode 10
I’m not sure what Kei is thinking but he thinks of changing the traffic light to red would make him stop? Obviously not. However, the alien just walked pass him. Kei points his gun but it’s only x-ray vision when he pulls the trigger. Kei notices one his bird is pecking on his shirt. The alien stops and asks him if he is Yuzo-kun. Of course he denies. But when Kei strikes the annoying bird of his sleeve, Suzuki Seijin gets upset and starts chasing him. Kei really runs for his life and regroups with the rest over a bridge. While the newcomers are either ‘amused’ with this Suzuki guy, Katou asks if he is dangerous. Kei warns the last time they fought with the Negi Seijin, they’re introduced to a little harmless one but another bigger threat came after them. Suddenly one of the birds gets killed. Suzuki Seijin gets angry and lets loose a deafening scream, causing Nishi to lose his invisibility (he’s the culprit who killed the bird). Nishi is obsessed in getting his final 10 points and fires at the alien but he is swift to avoid. Even if Nishi toggles his invisibility mode, Suzuki Seijin can still track him down till he is stranded in the river and even losing his gun. Nishi orders for someone to do something but the biker punks taunt him that they can’t do anything that they’re just trash. They continue to taunt him till Tetsuo punch him, Haruya. Tetsuo then says he blew off his pal’s head and wants him to apologize. If he does so, he is willing to help him. Kei disagrees about saving him because he badmouthed everyone. Tetsuo tells them that they don’t understand life (he has a kid, so he does). Though he doesn’t easily trust him, he’s going to die if nothing is done. He just wants a word of apology. When the alien gets close enough to fire another blast, Nishi punches him and sends him flying to the wall. Then he realizes his suit is leaking and is ruined. He yells for someone to help him. Tetsuo wants him to apologize but he remains stubborn and will not apologize for those who point a gun at him. The alien gets back on his feet to start chasing him with Nishi running in fear, still pleading for help. Katou decides to dive down and help him. He can apologize no matter how many times later but if he dies, they won’t find out about anything. He wants Kei to tell him how to use the suit (that is, to psyche up). Before he jumps down, he tells Kei that he is the person who wants to return home most (because of Ayumu).

Episode 11
However Katou is too late because Suzuki Seijin gives off another deafening scream that bursts Nishi’s eyeballs and ear drums! Nishi could still stand up as he yells somebody to kill this frickin’ alien. Suzuki Seijin turns his attention to Katou and submerges underwater. Katou draws his gun but Kei knows best that he can’t shoot due to his kind nature (like the last time with Negi Seijin). He starts shooting randomly in hopes of scaring him off as he carries Nishi off. Kishimoto pleads for someone to help Katou but the gangsters tell her to do it herself (yeah, why don’t she?). The biker gangster duo along with grandma and Ryouta decide to leave the scene and go home. Eventually she’s going to help him so Kei offers to help (is he trying to show off?). When Suzuki Seijin gets real close behind Katou and ready for another blast, Kei fires a gun but missed. Katou emerges from the water holding Suzuki Seijin in a strong bear hug. The stranglehold was too strong that an alien bird emerges out from Suzuki Seijin’s head. Kei uses this chance to send the alien bird away into the sky. Meanwhile a ray of light explodes one of the gangster’s head. Terrified Haruya, grandma and Ryouta run back to the rest and tell what happened. The rest gather around Nishi, barely breathing and in pain. They think something is wrong as the last time they were teleported back instantly. Katou thinks this isn’t over yet and that there may be another Suzuki Seijin. Using a tracker that Masanobu also had like Nishi, they are horrified to learn there is another one close by. Kei notices Nishi’s neck broken as the latter in a pitiful voice says how he didn’t hate anyone but rather how messed up society is. They learn how he killed himself by breaking his neck after jumping off the building to commit suicide. Kishimoto understands his situation well because they’re alike and wants him to live. Nishi starts calling for his mom, apologizing and being scared. He was just short of getting 100 points when he breathes his last breath.

Episode 12
Deducting from the recent events, they think if they leave a certain area in the map, they will die and that everyone has a bomb planted in their head. Katou is going to search for the other alien and wants Kei to stay here since he doesn’t have his suit. Kishimoto and Masanobu follow him. They also notice grandma and Ryouta have gone off on their own and will be going to search for them too. After they leave, Haruya holds Tetsuo and Kei to a ransom and wants them to do as they’re being told or else he’ll shoot them. The radar is ambiguous since it doesn’t distinguish foe or friend. Thankfully, they’re reunited with grandma and Ryouta but the next person they meet is Suzuki Seijin. There’s not only 1 of them, not 2, not 3, but 5 of them! Katou tells grandma to make a run for it. The aliens attack as Katou bear hugs 1 of them but the other aliens start blasting him! Kishimoto can’t pull the trigger (now does she understand why Katou can’t?) and gets blasted away while Masanobu just stood there like a rock. The alien bird that Katou is bear hugging emerges from the body and tries to make a run. Katou catches up to it and punches it unconscious. His suit then leaks and is ruined. The other aliens turn on him. Kishimoto manages to fire and kill one of them. Masanobu grabs another one and causes the bird to escape and run away. The others also escape. Then they see the bird Katou punched walking back to the body but died while it’s getting in. They realized that it’s probably trying to hunt grandma and Ryouta. They’re both hiding in a garage but the aliens have found them. Grandma tells Ryouta to run while she stays back to hold them off. Though Ryouta did make a run, he returns to his grandma who has taken quite beating from the blasts. They both embrace each other as the aliens prepare to blast them. Meanwhile Haruya has his hostages take them to an apartment (based on the radar readings from Kei). He wants Kei to enter the apartment and check it out for aliens. Upon entering the top floor, Kei panics when he sees several of the aliens coming out and in the middle room, a large bird man with his back facing towards him.

Episode 13
By the time Katou comes by, seems the alien are having a blasting party. Kishimoto and Masanobu plan to ambush them. When they fire their guns, it seems to have no effect. The aliens start turning on them. When they think they’re done for, the aliens’ head explode. Looks like it was some time lag thingy. Unfortunately grandma and Ryouta didn’t make it. Kei is being pestered by the aliens if he is Yuzo-kun. Annoyed, he answers yes this time. They start talking and laughing about happy things when an alien bird starts biting his neck. Kei tries to hold it in. Then he takes the bird away and gently puts it on the floor. But the aliens aren’t happy. As he walks towards the bird man, he accidentally steps on a little bird. Oh sh*t. The bird man approaches him so Kei pulls out a gun from underneath his shirt and fires but to no effect. He starts firing randomly but the alien and the final boss swiftly evade. Now it’s their turn to fire but luckily for Kei, the floor breaks as he falls through. The apartment starts collapsing and Kei uses all his strength to rush out. Katou and co reunite with them. Kei seems pretty confident that he ended everything by himself (now he’s bragging it). Suddenly the bird man grabs Haruya off into the sky and bites off his head! Then back on the ground, it confronts Kei. Katou realizes it is targeting Kei and wants him to run. However Kei is so pissed off that he is done running and is going to kill that f*cker. The bird man takes Kei on a night flight and tries to tear him apart. Not giving up without a fight, Kei pulls its mouth piece and causes him to be released. During his free fall, he pumps several shots into the bird man and eventually it explodes. Though, the hard landing on the roof might be quite painful. When everyone else catches up, they are relieved he is alright. Soon they are transported back to the room. Hey, that dog survived too. Where the heck has it been? Now it’s scoring time. Of course the dog scores zero (harsh comment from Gantz to “DO SOMETHING, DAMN IT!”). Kishimoto scores 10 while Katou obtains 5 and they deduce 5 points per kill and the more you kill, the more points earn and the higher chance of reaching 100 to be set free. Tetsuo (“biker dude with unpleasant face”) and that Sadako stalker (“disappear too much”) got zero each. Masanobu (“homo”) gets 10 points. The guys panic when they really think Masanobu is gay but of course he vehemently denies. Kei (“errand boy”) gets the largest score with 38 points. The survivors manage to leave the apartment as Katou mentions that they will eventually gather here in a few days’ time. Kishimoto asks Katou if he lives by himself but he replies with his little brother and relatives. She drops the idea and Kei feels all this sucks.

Episode 14
Kishimoto continues to live with Kei and they talk about Katou. Katou comes back from the store to see his aunt slapping and beating up Ayumu for causing another mess. He finds it hard to hold himself when she refuses to stop back and throws her to the cabinet. She kicks them out of the house. Kei is in school and starts fantasizing Kishimoto seducing him. Till his classmate teases him for getting an erection. Kishimoto is at the bookstore and sees Sei looking for a book she ordered but hasn’t arrived yet. Tetsuo tries to sell the gun to some guy for this month’s rental but since he doesn’t want it, he shoots him! He thinks he’s invincible. Katou and Ayumu move into a little apartment they rented. Ayumu seems happy. Katou goes to get some futons and spots a similar discarded white umbrella. He brings it home and carves Ayumu’s initials on it for him. Tetsuo is arguing with his wife because she is upset he didn’t come back last night and was unreachable. Plus, she thinks he’s fooling around with his biker pals and got a call from the construction company saying they didn’t turn up for work and had them fired. He even points the gun at her but she isn’t intimidated, thinking it’s a toy. Of course he puts it away when the baby starts crying. She tells him to get out. Kishimoto and Kei turn in for bed. Because she is constantly talking about Katou, Kei gets pissed off and tells her off to make up her mind. It’s like she’s always talking good about him but at the same time, she’s freeloading in his place. But he crossed the line when Kishimoto starts talking about how naive she is. She thinks Kei is also a great person and very much different from Katou. She apologizes and decides to move out. Tetsuo is being surrounded by rival gangsters. They’re going to pound on him when he takes out his gun. Pondering what the heck he is doing, he yells out to Gantz. A ray from the sky is fired at him. Tetsuo’s face is bleeding like mad when he gets a call from his wife before his head explodes. Remember Nishi’s words about telling this to those not involved in the game? Apparently as I found out, this is what happens: You die. So you’re really never ‘out’ of this game, eh?

Episode 15
Kei is upset that Kishimoto is gone but he gets a pleasant surprise because she comes knocking on his door. She hasn’t found a place to go. Would he reject her after showing him tears in her eyes? Oh heck, the next thing we see, HE’S F*CKING HER REAL HARD IN HOT STEAMY SEX!!! YEOW!!!! (Un)fortunately, that was just his what-if dream. Oh yeah. How could that been even possible. The real Kishimoto is wandering the streets and eating at a fast food joint herself. Kei thinks hard what he said to her last night when the doorbell rings for real. Thinking it’s her, he quickly opens the door but to his horror, sees that old lady! She’s here to tell him she took his advice and found that train station. It’s like she’s giving him a pinch of ironic sarcasm when she mentions to keep going and do his best. He then feels Gantz is going to make another call so he dons his suit and can’t wait to be transported so he could meet Kishimoto again. The usual suspects are transported back to the room and this time there are 9 newcomers (including Sei). The rest include a Buddhist monk, a foreigner judo guy, salaryman, hipster guy, afro guy, sci-fi guy, chubby gun otaku and a taciturn gun expert. Erm… Why is it every time the dog appears, it comes raping Kishimoto? Katou asks if she was with Kei. She lied and says yes but soon cries in his arms. The monk tells them this is a waiting place to determine if they go to Heaven or Hell and wants them to start praying. Kei tells him off that he’s wrong and that everyone isn’t dead but alive. Kei believes he can’t die yet because he hasn’t done important things yet (why do I have a feeling it’s about sex?). The monk takes defiance as a sign of not accepting you’re dead so he and the newbies start praying to Buddha. Katou tries to tell the rest what is going to happen next like Gantz singing and words appearing on it. Of course the newcomers don’t take him seriously till it really happens. Kei is ‘crying’ in the other room so Sei goes to talk to him. She wonders if she’s an otaku because he’s brother was one. Anyway, she knows he has just been ‘dumped’ and indicates that she likes him and she will help out if she needs anything. You what the first thing he asked? HE WANTS TO HAVE SEX!!! At first Sei was reluctant but gave in! They actually have sex in the middle of the hallway!!!! F*CK!!! They’re really doing it!!! Gantz lists 2 new alien targets: Ferocious Alien and Grumpy Alien. Yeah, they look like mean temple guardians. Time to suit up. Kishimoto takes hers to change but spots Kei and Sei in the middle of their unholy act and runs away. They shrug it off and continue f*cking! Well, at least they take it as a sign that they’re feeling alive because sex feels good! Hey, this isn’t turning into a hentai series, isn’t it?

Episode 16
Now Kishimoto’s head is filled with that sex scene. If she doesn’t care for him, why does she look so worried? The monk continues to tell everyone that Katou is a symbol of evil and not to be deceived when the latter tries to warn them and put on those suits. Kei (just finished his sex romp) doesn’t care if they die or not and just wants to kick alien butt. The sci-fi guy asks Katou several sci-fi theories and possibilities. Then they start disappearing. They see the timer now is 30 minutes longer, meaning they have half an hour more than their usual 60 minutes. Katou demonstrates the power of his suit. The judo guy decides to test out. His punches and kicks bear no effect. In the end only sci-fi guy and Sei put on the suits. The monk thinks those disappearing are going to hell but he too panics when he starts disappearing. Everyone is transported outside a temple. The salaryman guy isn’t going to believe all this crap and walks off. Following him are the monk and 2 others. Kei couldn’t be bothered with them. Of course when the salaryman walks out of range, his head explodes. One down. Katou tells them they can’t walk out of the area so they have no choice but to return to the temple gate. Elsewhere a pair of hooligans are beating up homeless people nearby. Reading the radar, the hunters need to get into the temple so Kei starts punching the temple gate to break it, much to the monk’s ire. With Kishimoto’s suggestion, Katou uses the x-ray gun to check if the statues guarding the gate are alive. To his horror, they see bones beneath it. So they’re fighting these behemoths? Big sh*t. Katou is going to fire the trap gun to send them away into the sky but Kei disagrees. He wants to shoot and kill them outright. After breaking the temple door and as he pulls the trigger, both statues start to move. Sh*t is starting very soon.

Episode 17
The hooligans splatter the brains of a homeless guy and are targeting another one. The gun otaku wants to go trigger happy but Kei wants to do the honours instead. Even if the statues are big, they’re swift to avoid the shot. Everyone rushes into the temple with the statues following suit. The monk trips and sprains his ankle. When the green one walks by, he thinks he’s safe but the red one targets him. The green one levitates the others and sends them crashing into the wall or ground. Kei manages to fire a shot and explodes the alien’s hand. Then they notice the monk is being targeted and everyone fires at the red statue’s direction but missed. The monk thinks his chanting stopped the menace but was soon squashed like a bug. RIP. The gang continue to fight the huge statues but they’re quick on their feet. They notice a homeless guy between the statues as Kei and Katou realize this is the drunkard that they saved at the subway. At this time, both statues stop moving like in some defensive mode so Kei and Katou decide to go save the guy. But the hooligans catch up and continue to taunt and mock the poor chap. I don’t know why but Kei and Katou are like hesitating and telling each other to fire to scare them off. Eventually it’s the gun otaku who goes crazy with the trigger. Of course the hooligans who aren’t part of the game think those explosions are just some fancy stuff and didn’t let it bother them. The gun otaku then targets the homeless guy. The statues start moving so one of the guys kick the gun otaku because he thinks he is making those statues upset. Yeah, if you want to shoot something, shoot those giants. The gun otaku nearly got squashed. The battle resumes. Kei thinks of shooting at their feet when they land. Seems they’re not only swift but smart too. Katou gets hit and he thinks he is done (snippets of Ayumu flashing through his head). Kei pulls off a cool sliding manoeuvre underneath the green statue and shoots its legs multiple times. Now he’s shooting like crazy! Seems to work. As for that homeless guy, he got bludgeoned to death.

Episode 18
It’s mind boggling that everyone stares in awe while Kei shoots like a crazy killer. And he’s loving it! Kei blasts the green statue’s legs and coolly walks away while its body tumbles. Then nails the final one in its head, killing it. His eyes seem to tell he really changed into a cold killer. This gives hopes to some of the guys as they rush to target the red one. Kei won’t give in so he charges alongside. In a swing of an arm, the red statue sends the gang flying away but Kei doesn’t easily give up. Everyone else cooperates and fire at the statue (including Katou). However even with its legs and arms damage, it still can move. Furthermore, it is predicting its move, especially Kei. Kei pulls off another daring move and lands on the statue while the rest fire at the other body parts. The statue then grabs Kei and he is going to be crushed. They plan to fire at other parts but the statue is smart, using Kei as a shield. Suddenly part of the statue’s head and other body parts explode. Courtesy of the taciturn gun freak sniping from afar. The statue falls, Kei is free and everyone rejoices in their victory. Kei walks back to the gang towards Sei, snubbing Katou and Kishimoto. The gun otaku revels in firing his weapon at the corpse while Sei asks Kei if it’s okay that they go out together once they return. He agrees. The hipster and afro guy follow the dog outside. They see another gold statue but a smaller one floating down to them. They think they can handle this one by themselves and do not need to call the rest. The hipster is overconfident as he takes it on. Back at the rest, they are shocked to see more of those gold statues in front of them.

Episode 19
Gantz eyes open. Judo guy gets upset and yells “F*CK YOU!!!” and charges straight and them all with his judo kicks to kill them all. Suddenly from the main temple, the mother of all statues emerges: A giant Buddha. Is this heaven or hell? Kei says that this Buddha is his and charges right up to it. He fires at the Buddha’s legs but finds his gun is too small to have any effect. And yeah, he got kicked away. Those without suits take on the smaller statues while the rest as Katou suggests help out Kei. However Kei is stubborn and insists this Buddha should be his and only his prey. The other guys are having a tough time taking out the smaller statues but are saved several times by sniper dude. A non-player, a woman named Yoshino Uehara is arguing with her partner (seems they’re trying to end an extra-marital affair) and enters the battlefield. Oblivious to what is happening, the rest are alarmed to see her in the path of Buddha’s foot. Kei recognizes her as his teacher. Katou, Masanobu and Kishimoto head over to hold the foot. And the couple are still arguing… It’s like watching the drama in pain, eh? Sadako surprisingly goes over to help hold the foot. Kei and Sei are preoccupied with a fast moving statue and they learn that the dog got killed. The statue then flees. When the ground starts to crack, Yoshino and the man run off. But the foot’s pressure has become too heavy for them to escape. It crushes them! Gasp! Thankfully because of their suits, they still survive. The Buddha seems to be targeting Kei and even manages to catch him (Buddha’s face is real pissed!). The rest fire at the Buddha’s legs but the effect to it is like mosquito bites. Kei manages to free himself after he fires several shots into its hand. The gun otaku is showing no mercy, killing a statue even if it begs for mercy. Then he got covered in its blood and he starts seeing terrifying visions. There are eyes everywhere. In panic, he rushes back to the rest but gets caught in Buddha’s palm. Katou tries to save him using his super jump but it’s too late, the Buddha bites off his head! Kei gets mad and psyches up, pulling up another daring move. Plunging straight into the Buddha’s forehead, he fires his shot point blank. The Buddha collapses and Kei appears out from it breathing real hard. Sei hugs him. Kishimoto holds Katou’s hand and says that as long Kei is around, they can go home. Masanobu checks his radar and is shocked to see 2 more targets and the time remaining is 30 minutes. Katou says that they have come this far to turn back and have got to finish this job. He adds that Gantz always attacks them in ways they can’t predict and they have to fight off all his attacks or they’ll never survive. He wants the group to be split into 2, making Masanobu the leader of the other group.

Episode 20
I’m just wondering why those without suits follow Masanobu’s team. I thought it should be more spread out. Katou’s group witness the corpse of the homeless drunkard who got killed in episode 20. Katou starts crying that they saved him for nothing and the kind of f*cked up world that they will return. Kei reminds him that he was the one who told him that he wants to return home the most. Then it hit him that he too wants to go home (for Sei?) unlike just now he thought he belonged in this place. They manage to find that fast statue but it’s still too quick for them. Thankfully the sniper takes it out. Masanobu’s group is inside the temple with lots of statues spewing inaudible words. He cautions those without suit to stay back but the judo guy goes up to one and starts punching. However the statue blocks and even breaks his hand! He is not giving up and knocks it down. He is to deliver the final blow but another statue kicks his head and breaks his neck! Damn his neck stretched! The rest are surrounded. Masanobu tells hipster and afro guy to make a dash outside to tell the others. With Sadako’s distraction, they manage to dash pass one of the statues and meet the rest. Masanobu and Sadako take on the other statues when the main golden statue with thousand arms comes up to them. By the time Katou’s team arrive, they are shocked to see Masanobu and Sadako’s body split into half! Sadako locked lips with Masanobu before they die. Kishimoto becomes distraught at the sight so Kei tells her to get a grip and promises her they will go home together. Katou becomes upset and fires at the main statue’s face. However its face regenerates like as though nothing happened. Kishimoto then see the statue discharge acid. She rushes over to protect Katou and tells Kei to protect him too. Her final thoughts are how she’s happy to be by Katou’s side. The acid splashes onto her body and dissolves her torso, splitting her body into half just like the other 2. Katou and Kei become very angry. Kei jumps over to the statue and fires several shots into its face till it explodes. However it regenerates and this time not only Kei’s feet dissolves but an arm is chopped off! Sei knows she can’t defeat this statue and wants Katou to tell what their next step is. Katou says to take Kei and retreat. He kisses Kishimoto and leaves her body. Sei manages to pull Kei’s body away before the statue splashes another round of acid. Taking refuge somewhere safe, Kei wants Katou to shoot and kill him because he’s already dying.

Episode 21
Katou fires on his leg and successfully stops the acid from further disintegrating. Katou wants Sei to take care of Kei while he rushes off back to the temple to try something. He takes the trap gun but a statue awakes and strangles him. The hipster and afro guy return wearing the suit and with weapons. They think they can sneak up on the statue from behind but it quickly slices off their hands! Sniper guy takes several shots at the statue but even to his surprise, it regenerates. The statue slices hipster and afro guy into several bits and fires a beam at sniper guy. He takes this chance to run but ultimately, he gets shot and it’s game over for him. The statue finds its way to Kei and Sei. Sei tells him to help take a book she ordered at the bookstore, Labyrinth and would like him to fall for her if she defeats it. Sei faces the statue and with her kickboxing background, she is able to dodge its swords. She manages to kick away one of them and splash the acid back on itself. Good thing it doesn’t regenerate. Sei is confident she can beat it but the statue’s beam fires right through her heart, killing her. Then when it goes away, Kei felt insulted that he isn’t worth killing. Katou psyches up and tears the strangling statue. He returns to Kei and is saddened over Sei’s death. After slapping Kei up (he thought he was dead too), he takes up a sword and goes off to find the statue. Confronting it, he thinks that sci-fi guy is dead since he sees his spectacles lying near the statue’s feet. Suddenly the statue says that he is Miyafuji (the sci-fi guy). He doesn’t remember how he got killed but it was when he was standing on the blood of the fallen temple guardians. Probably it killed him then by eating his brains. Katou doesn’t believe him and fires his gun. Miyafuji avoids and starts bragging he is powerful and that no one can defeat him. Katou learns how his gun works while avoiding Miyafuji’s beam. Unfortunately he got 1 of his arm ripped off. He manages to fire to gun to tie Miyafuji down and then send him to the sky. Elsewhere, Ayumu wakes up to find Katou not around so he goes out in the rain to go find him and to his dismay to no avail. While Miyafuji is being sent away, a green alien bursts out of the statue. It’s Miyafuji again and he’s not dead yet. Miyafuji punches Katou profusely like a punching bag. Thinking dearly of his brother, Katou uses all his strength to pick up the sword and slice away all of Miyafuji’s arms and his head. Just then, Miyafuji’s tail stabs Katou in the heart. In such awful timing, Katou dies just as the timer reaches zero. Kei is the only survivor that returned to the room. Gantz gives him 8 points and his tally is now 46. Angry Kei fires his gun at Gantz, ordering him to bring his pals back but it has no effect. Yeah, he lost his source for sex.

Episode 22
Two weeks have passed since the incident. Kei passes by that old lady sitting on a bench and ignores her. He also sees the clone Kishimoto coming by. The next few scenes set the ball rolling for the next stage. A good Samaritan, Daichi Nozaki gets washed away in the river after saving a child (the mom refuses to extend her hand to save him); A lady, Mika Kanda fighting off a stalker but gets stabbed; The bookstore manager, Giichi Furuta chases after a thief but gets hit by a car; That pair of hooligans who killed homeless people, Ryuuji Kajiura and Hajime Muroto are on the run from several MIBs but get shot in the end; A man being chased by debt collectors, Naozumi Saito so he jumps in the train’s path when there is no way out; Yoshino being chased by the wife of the man she has an affair with and gets stabbed. Kei readies himself and soon enough he gets transported to Gantz and sees new faces. Of course some of the familiar faces shock him like his teacher and the hooligans. Kei thinks back the things he did earlier like trying to get the book Sei ordered (it didn’t arrive yet), meeting Kishimoto’s clone. She got scared because she thinks he’s a stalker who not only knows her name but shares her first name. Yeah, he even told his story of how he liked this Kishimoto girl who looks like her and lives with him in his apartment but this Kishimoto doesn’t believe this creepy pervert. Yoshino wants Kei to explain but he finds it difficult. He even knows of her secret affair, surprising her a little. Kei tries to be like Katou and explain the workings of this world but as usual the rest do not believe him nor are they dead. Furuta decides to introduce themselves and how they died to get a better idea of what’s going on. There seems to be 3 who died from car accidents (the hooligans lied), 2 from stabbing, 1 from drowning and 2 from the train. Mika is unsure if she’s dead because when the stalker stabbed her, the book she had protected her (though it’s bloodied). Then Kei gets upset when Saito says he is relieved to be here so he grabs him by the collar and yells he has seen many of his friends died and they couldn’t come back no matter how much they wanted. He throws them an ultimatum, you believe me or not, but if they want to survive, then join him or else he can’t help you. So for now they agree to follow him when Gantz plays that Good Morning song again. Kei is pumped up for Gantz to show him the kind of alien that he is going to kill and rip apart. What’s this? Kurono Seijin? It’s him! Even the characteristics and quotes fit him. Oh sh*t!

Episode 23
Kei obviously think Gantz is setting him up (hey, he pointed his gun at him, right?). Kajiura and Muroto discuss among themselves that they’d play along with Kei before killing everyone as they think if they return alive, it’s like restarting their lives anew. However both of them also have this hidden intention to rid the other. Returning to the rest, Kajiura tries to play it cool and wants Kei to show them proof so they can believe him. Kei suddenly sees visions of Katou being beaten up by the hooligans and goes a little crazy. Likewise, the rest also see visions of their pursuers and attackers. Kei couldn’t take any more of this crap and fires his gun. Though it hit the wall, he realizes there is no time lag. Saito thinks he’s trying to kill them all and anything else he tries to say is deemed unbelievable. Except for Mika who still thinks they should believe Kei. Kajiura comes up with a conclusion that since they saw the power of the suit, they will put it on just in case while they keep watch on Kei. After they get dressed, they immediately get transported to the top of an adult entertainment building. Kei manages to wrest the gun from Muroto’s hand just before they transfer. I’m not sure why Kei has to point the gun at them while telling them to believe him. Who is going to? Furuta tries to be rational with him when Kei reveals those hooligans were the culprits who killed homeless people at the temple. Got any proof? Well, it’s like Gantz really has a grudge against Kei because all the neon signboards lit up saying Kei is a liar and a person who killed his friends. Thanks for that. Saito sees visions of his pursuers and goes crazy with the trigger. Kei uses this moment to escape. Kajiura and Muroto plan to hunt him. They shoot the elevator but Kei uses the suit’s power to escape. The rest continue to debate about their circumstances. Mika wants to believe Kei, Furuta trying to be the rational one, Daichi just observing while the rest are bent on taking down Kei to survive. As they barge into the room, Kei launches a surprise attack by throwing ice. Then he whacks Kajiura and Muroto with his cloth whip. Kei stops when Yoshino points her gun at him but she’s in a dilemma of what to do. Kajiura’s shows his true colours when he takes Mika hostage and if Kei continues to resist, he’ll have to hurt her.

Episode 24
Kei starts to hallucinate Mika as Kishimoto. He’s even hearing things from her like how it’s unfair everyone else died and only he survived. Mika tries to convince everyone that Gantz is the real villain and that Kajiura only wants to kill somebody. Kajiura takes the cloth whip and beats Mika up (luckily her suit protected her). Kei jumps in and takes Mika away to safety. On the way down, Mika said she dropped an important book, Labyrinth. Mentioning its first page contains a beautiful line “There is no labyrinth that you cannot get out”, she relates how she first met Sei at the bookstore. She hopes to repay her and wonders if she’s fine. Kei promises her to retrieve the book. He breaks the window and drops her out (the suit will protect her from the fall). Well, it beats flying down the stairs. Meanwhile the rest confront the hooligans and Furuta interrogates him if they really killed homeless people. Kajiura finally admits it, shocking the rest but Muroto puts up an Oscar-winning display that he was forced to kill against his will. Furuta tries to settle things via talk and shows them the bloodied Labyrinth book and even spouts that first page line. Yoshino pulls out her gun and points it at Kajiura. She feels remorse that she tried to kill her student and even if she returns, she won’t be able to live in peace. Kei has been eavesdropping the whole conversation, surprises Kajiura by jumping on him. However he too knows how to use the suit and hits Kei away. He then takes Yoshino as hostage and makes a run with Muroto. Nozaki asks Kei why he had come back when he had the perfect chance to escape so his reply is that he likes his teacher’s bra! The guys use the power of the suits to fly down the stairs. Yoshino regrets her action as she thinks Kei could’ve used this chance to escape instead of coming back to save her. Kajiura was slightly distracted, allowing Yoshino to pull a gun at him. This gave enough time for the rest to catch up. However they take refuge in the bar. Kei wants Furuta to be the leader since he himself isn’t good with those kind of things. He adds that he once had a cool leader who encouraged and unified them all but is already dead. When the guys barge in, they see Yoshino’s suit badly torn up and she badly beaten up. They see Muroto’s true colour as a cold blooded killer. Kajiura doesn’t feel the need of a hostage and tosses Yoshino back to Kei. In his arms, Yoshino knows Kei gets turned on watching her in class and was happy about it (?!). She apologizes before quickly making a dash to slash Kajiura’s forehead with a knife. Muroto shoots and kills Yoshino, laughing all the way. I don’t know why the rest are so shocked that they allow the baddies to walk away slowly and coolly. And they even miss when they fire! Outside, they are reunited with Mika. Kei returns the book to her and promises to protect her. Furuta continues to talk about Labyrinth so Saito can’t stand it anymore and wants to go on his own. He goes crazy and threatens to shoot.

Episode 25
Saito calls Furuta and egoist and that he doesn’t consider others in his talk. Furuta is upset so he decides to go confront the hooligans walk off. However the rest threaten Saito to help them out. Kajiura’s bleeding (he must really have lots of blood) allows him to be easily followed. Inside a cult centre, the hooligans chance upon a room filled with guns and bombs. As Kei and the rest enter the centre, they are ambushed by Kajiura from the top and Muroto from behind a counter. Nozaki is going to fire at Muroto but Furuta steps in the way as he wants to talk to him thinking he is an underage and just misled. He pleads to him to hand over his gun. Muroto obediently does so but shortly after pulls out a bazooka and fires behind Furuta at Nozaki. The explosion allows Kei to shoot at Kajiura, blowing off his arm. However the baddies run away. Though Nozaki is alright, seems Saito is the one who bear the brunt. Yeah, he’s in pieces. Furuta feels guilty and all this is his fault. He is going to end this as he picks up the gun and is going to deal with Muroto while he lets the rest handle the other one. Mika decides to follow him. Kei and Nozaki see Kajiura laughing like a mad man in a room filled with food. Kajiura says Gantz gave him something good and that he doesn’t feel any pain. His veins on his face are obviously protruding. Furuta and Mika see Muroto in a furnace place. Furuta points the gun at him so Muroto starts his innocent acting again. Kajiura and Muroto start singing the good morning radio song. In a surprise move, they both whip out their hidden gun and fire. Nozaki steps in front of Kei to protect him. Before he dies, he starts remembering who Kei is and warns him that the most dangerous one isn’t Gantz but humans. Furuta is also injured but is still breathing. Sadist Muroto plants a bomb in his mouth and ties the string around Mika’s neck. If she moves, his head will be blown off. To make things worse, Muroto starts hitting her and he’s enjoying every moment of it. Kei is super mad but Kajiura shows his back filled with grenades. Muroto says he is a saint compared to Kajiura because the latter is a psycho woman killer and likes to kill slowly. Kajiura also mentions he is a saint compared to Muroto because he only prefers to kill woman (though he claims Nozaki is the first guy he killed). Furuta couldn’t bear seeing Mika in pain so he on his own will pulls off the pin. Though he dies in the explosion, part of Muroto’s face is badly damaged. Yeah, it hurts like hell, doesn’t it? Kei hallucinates Kajiura as the thousand arm statue that killed Katou. The ‘statue’ mocks him so Kei gets psyched up as he kicks it away, kicking Kajiura as the mad guy detonates himself.

Episode 26
Kei lives but his suit is ruined. Mika tries to strangle Muroto but he manages to grab a gun and shoot at her. Kei arrives and gives his piece of mind while beating up Muroto in invisible mode. Mika is hanging on to her last breath as she feels guilty that Furuta died for him. She never thought people like him still exist, people who lived for the sake of others. She wants Kei to live on. Muroto strangles Kei from behind and breaks his stealth gear. He starts spouting his child abuse history how he was afraid of everything and that everyone will beat him up. Just like his mom who even broke his bones. He blames it on everybody and adults for making him kill. Kei lectures him back about that it doesn’t give him the right to kill and that he didn’t follow orders from Kajiura but just wanted to kill. Muroto replies about the wars in the world like Iraq and Palestine. Armies ordered and sent by the government to kill even though they don’t want to. To kill a terrorist, many innocent civilians are killed. People are murdered every day and that he is no different than the rest. However Kei says he hasn’t killed a single human and those he killed aren’t human anymore, including Kajiura. Kei says though he should’ve killed him earlier but he can’t because he made a promise to Katou and Furuta that they’d go back together as he is part of the group. Muroto doesn’t believe him and continues to beat him up. As he swings recklessly, the fire from the furnace burns Muroto. Kei understands Furuta’s words about the Labyrinth so he dives to push Muroto out of the flames. However he was just faking it because his suit is still working. Kei still has a final trick up his sleeve as he pulls the trap gun and sends Muroto away into the sky. Going up to Mika, she remembers who he is as she saw him at the subway. With 5 seconds remaining, poor Mika dies but Gantz pulls another cruel act as he stops time and transports Kei (carrying Mika on his back) back to the subway. He sees all the events being played over again. From the time Katou jumped down to save the drunkard to himself helping him out. Kei also sees Mika waiting at the platform, Nozaki and Furuta walking pass by. I’m not sure why the hell Kei did this but he went down on to the tracks. Then the train is seen approaching. He reflects the words of all his dead friends who encourage him to live on their behalf. Even that old lady thanks him about finding that train station and encourages him to do his best. So what can he do by himself? He faces the oncoming train and is adamant that he will not die. Gantz resumes the counter and as it reaches zero, Kei shapes his hand into a gun and ‘fires’ at the train. BANG! It’s morning and in Gantz’s apartment, the black sphere disappears.

Are You Still Game?
WTF?! WTF???!!! What kind of a crappy ending is that?! Even though that open ending leaves viewers to their discretion on Kei’s survival, I have to admit that the whole affair of this anime is rather engrossing and ‘addictive’. Yes, I was glued to the screen during those hunting sessions and you can say that I am one of those apathetic people who loves watching people die. Just to get things straight, I DO NOT enjoy watching others suffer and die. The fact that every major character dies except for Kei makes this one of the very few and rare animes whereby you don’t get a happy ending in which everyone goes home together laughing. Plus, I read that the author of this series had planned for everyone except Kei to die! The entire series is one big grim and dark affair. I mean, if you are hunting for aliens, you’d be nervous to do something that you are not familiar with. So partly the engrossing part that had my eyes stuck to the monitor is also you don’t feel relatively ‘safe’ for the characters. Death can strike at any moment and at any corner without prior warning. You’d be on your seat guessing ‘if it is going to be his/her turn to die’. I know that characters will die but the way they show them being vulnerable even if they’re cooperating together doesn’t help ease the tension. Even knowing that donning the suits will only help them so much as it too has its own limitations. Some may say the suits look weird, but if it saves your life, you better start wearing it for your own good. And the only reason I can think of why the suit is tight and nicely fits the respective person is for fanservice purposes… Okay, so it makes the guys look like they have the abs to flash too.

Kei as the main character, many would find him a moody and annoying guy who gets grumpy if he doesn’t get his regular porn (notice all his busty bikini babes pin-up posters on his room wall?). He changes from that kind of person to someone who is more responsible, mature and caring. He may not be perfect but at least he is more humane than some of the characters that show no remorse. Plus, he is the only character here that survives through the several hunting sessions. So if you don’t learn and adapt, you’re as god as dead meat. Katou is a good leader and many would feel that he is being ‘overshadowed’ by ‘too much of Kei time’. However Katou’s little behaviour has me wondering. If he really cares for the most useless people in the world and even cries for them, how come at times he seems to be a violent junkie and beats up those to a pulp without mercy? It feels like each time he enters this mode, he is like trying real hard to control this other version of him, as though he has a split personality. But notice he sheds less tears for the unfortunate as time goes by? Nishi is a character you’d love to hate because of his selfishness and couldn’t care less attitude. You can’t entirely blame him not only because of his past but because he has been through so much of this sh*t, you really get tired of it all. It’s natural too for newcomers not to believe the predicament they have just arrived so it all boils down to that individual on what he/she is going to do. I knew Nishi would die but I didn’t know it was that early. It isn’t even halfway and then he kicks the bucket. Some of the other characters are pretty annoying and useless so much so I just thought that they made up the numbers for ‘sacrifice’. For instance grandma and Ryouta. The spoilt kid is totally irritating whenever he wails and that pair don’t seem to contribute anything beneficial to the team (that I was hoping for) right up till their demise. The monk too is another annoying one. You can tell that his speech and actions have a hint of hypocrite in it. Good thing he died soon or else he could have been a major liability to the gang. And for other side characters, once the character related to them dies, you won’t know what’s going on anymore with them. For instance, Tetsuo’s wife and Ayumu. Speaking of more deaths, it is ‘interesting’ (not meant in a sadistic way) to see and know how some of the characters die in the real world before being transported to Gantz. However, I’m just wondering how Sei died (she rides a bike, so maybe a bike crash?) but for that statue aliens arc, we aren’t being told how any of the newcomers died. Heck, that arc has too many of them so instead of wasting time, maybe just jump straight into the action, eh? And that dog, it really mind boggles me how it survived all this time until the temple guardians. Luck ran out, huh?

As mentioned, Gantz is a pretty incomprehensible being. There are so many questions that you want to ask and know about this black sphere but you’d be disappointed at the end. So I guess to make up for this mystery part, they ‘distract’ you with the action sequences. Who is that guy inside the sphere? Why the heck is Gantz making and forcing dead participants to play in this deadly hunt? How does he select his participants? To where will those be sent away by the trap gun go to? Are they considered dead? On what basis does he gives the scoring? The apartment that Gantz is located, does the neighbours know about this room since well, Tokyo Tower is visible from its room. Has anybody else ever tried to enter this room during non-hunting sessions? Gantz spews sarcastic and cheeky comments from time to time that it makes you wonder if he really is enjoying all this. Maybe. At least in the final arc of the anime whereby he really wanted to see all the participants to kill each other! Another incomprehensible part of Gantz is that when he shows the hunters the aliens they are supposed to hunt. However in each time, there are much stronger aliens appearing later in addition to the ones shown. It’s like it’s part of his surprise to take them all out and wants to see who can realy survive the massacre. The old lady that bugged Kei for directions is also another enigma. At first I thought (and hoping) that she may have something to do with Gantz but at the end, there is no indication that she is related to the game whatsoever. Maybe she is just coincidence to Kei at certain time and place. I must admit that her persistence about asking for directions and even thanking Kei for it makes her creepy and a prime suspect to be related to Gantz. Then some unexplainable things like Kishimoto’s clone. If she has one, don’t you think the others too should also have? So again, how did this happen? Argh, too many questions and unexplained that makes me have a big headache right now. Sometimes I feel that the participants in Gantz’s world felt somewhat something similar to the Hollywood film, The Matrix. However I assure you that both are quite far from each other.

The action scenes may not be the best but coming from an age whereby computer and TV technology is just at its infant stages, they seem pretty reasonable. Another interesting thing is that some of the camera and angle views are from a first person’s perspective. So it’s like you’re looking through the eyes of a person, looking left and right, walking forward, etc. Also, some of the zooming in are smooth and you can really see the non-jerky animation when the view goes around. With the little mixing of CGI effects, you get this feel of a ‘3D’ effect, you know, it’s like when you put several card board layers in a theatre and the difference between the objects cast that kind of 3D effect. Also said earlier on about the amount gore. Each episode never fails to gross you out. Even during transporting scenes whereby you can see the body slowly disappearing from top to bottom and the innards like muscles and bones are clearly visible. If you’re not used to seeing bodies mashed up, parts splattered everywhere and blood soaking the scenario, you might want to prepare a barf bag in case you intend to continue to watch this series. Though this series is definitely all the elements for mature content, the part which throws you off is the mid-intermission because we hear a group of innocent and cheery children’s voices saying “Gantz!”. Hmm… Weird. Perhaps to ease all those tension? Nah. The opening theme, Super Shooter by Rip Slyme has rap elements in it. With half of the words in English and lines like “Die! Die! Die!”, “Beat you up” and “Live crazy”, you can tell what kind of show this is going to be. The ending theme by Bonnie Pink, Last Kiss is a slow piece with a hint of separation.

After finishing watching the series, I was a little interested to know a little more on the progress of the story. I went to the trusty site of Wikipedia to do a little browsing and as I read, the anime series covers only 1/4 of the manga that is currently on-going. Then there are much more shocking revelations that I probably wouldn’t have seen it coming (major spoilers ahead!). For instance, we have more characters (there’s a whole bunch that I am unfamiliar with on Wikipedia. Yeah, more people going to die), more tougher aliens to deal with, other bunch of Gantz players around the world, the resurrection of certain characters like Nishi and Katou (yeah, believe it!), vampires (that’s right, believe it!) and, wait for it, a full scale alien invasion called Katastrophe! Say what?! As far as I understand, Gantz isn’t related to this invading alien force and from where the manga is right now, all the participants of the game are freed and are using Gantz’s weaponry technology to battle against them. Because of this, I also get to know that by scoring 100 points, that participant is able to choose whether he/she wants to be free from the game. And as I have read, Kei manages to do so but he chooses to stay back and play the game because of the other option: To revive his dead pals. So that explains it. Man, that’s got to be a lot of killing. He’s surely a veteran at this stage. So even if God sends his angels on Apocalypse, I guess you don’t need a certain angel’s help because Kei is self-sufficient to kick ass and maybe does it in style. Shoot to kill! Well, with the events that are happening in the manga, I think I’ll just leave my enthusiasm for the series at where the anime ends. By the way, the final arc that Gantz wants Kurono Seijin to be killed is totally an anime-only filler arc. No wonder Gantz is acting unusual as ever. Which gives rise to that crappy ending… Sighs…

I still haven’t watched the live-action film as of to date but there is a sequel to the movie called Gantz: Perfect Answer. Deducting from the second title, I guess we’ll get some answers on what this whole thing is about. But then again, don’t get your hopes up. It’s Gantz you are dealing with. So yeah, when you die maybe this is a test to see if you are worthy of going to heaven, hell or another shot in life. If I ever do really get transported to such a room, I want to have a person like Kei and Katou around. Or at least someone who looks like them. Someone who can cover my ass if I am not good enough to take out aliens. I don’t play enough alien blasting or dragon slaying games to be ready for this. Or maybe I need a busty babe, just in case… And somehow I have developed a fear of taking trains now…

F*ck! This is one anime whereby you can judge a book by its cover. With a title like Panty And Stocking With Garterbelt, it’s not hard for everyone to think that this show is not for kids. Damn right! Parents, you don’t want your kids watching this show because it is filled with sexual innuendos, indecent jokes, shameless rip-offs, profanities, toilet humour and the likes so for those who really get offended by watching this kind of genre, please stay out. For those who wish to journey into it, do it at your own risk. Just remember to leave your brain in a safe place so as not to get corrupted or influenced before taking it back.

One very obvious difference about this series is the drawing and art. Not your usual anime style cute, wide-eye girls and handsome hunks. Yeah, blocky and kinda… Cartoonish. At first looks, in nobody’s right mind would you have thought that this is an anime. Nobody. In fact, everything here is so different and non-anime-like so much so you may have mistaken this to be an American cartoon! Indeed 99% of the show feels like an American production (though this series is produced by Gainax. Those guys who brought you weird shows like that Gurren Lagann series, Mahoromatic, FLCL and Abenobashi Mahou Shoutengai). The action and humour is so American-like. The characters are so Caucasian-like. The sounds effects that splatter across the screen like you see in comic books are in Roman alphabets and English. What’s more, all the music including the insert songs, opening and ending themes are in English. The only thing that makes this an anime besides the production house is that the main language spoken is Japanese. Even so, at times that put in some English in their sentences (usually profanity). It’s amazing this show even got past the censorships and be shown on TV.

So everybody is saying how this is a very ecchi version of Powerpuff Girls. No more the sweet little innocent kindergarten girls but grownup hardcore dirty ladies. Here is the brief synopsis. The city in focus is Daten City. No, not the City of Townsville, mind you. Just like any cities, crimes are bound to ‘flourish’. Like our titular characters, the Anarchy sisters, Panty and Stocking are fallen angels from Heaven. Say what? You heard that right. It’s Panty NOT Patty. It’s Stocking NOT Stockard. So how the heck did they become angels anyway? Their behaviour is so bad that they are kicked down to Earth for a redemption mission. But even so, will they learn? That’s because Panty’s mind is always filled with sex and men while Stocking’s head is nothing but munching away sweets and her gothic fashion. Bad role examples for angels. That pretty much says about them. You can add more if you wish. They live in a church with an afro priest named Garterbelt who is also their mentor. He gives them their missions but always gets annoyed by their f*cking behaviour (oops, first profanity of this blog). However he is not the one to talk as he too has his own weird fetish. You’ll find that out later. They have a little green dog called Chuck (at least he isn’t named after some underwear) which serves as a punching bag and retribution for all sorts of unfortunate events. Say, doesn’t Chuck closely resemble to a character in Invader Zim?

So basically the sisters’ mission is something like this. Going around in their jeep called See Through (what’s with all this underwear names?), they have to go around defeating ‘monsters of the week’ called Ghosts. They are born from men’s suffering and despair and you can easily spot them with their dark colour and red outlines. How do they do it? Well, Panty has this ability to materialize her panty into a gun while Stocking her, erm, stockings into twin swords. Yeah, taking their undies off makes it look like they’re doing some striptease show. Besides, this is the only time you’ll see the girls in hot sexy anime-style bishoujo drawing. Yeow! And that “Fly away now. Fly away~” background theme, it’s even catchier. Each time they defeat a Ghost, several number of coins called Heavens (depending on the difficulty and complexity of the Ghost) will drop as their reward. Collect enough and this will allow them to return back to Heaven. Seems like a long road. Do they even want to go back seeing all the men Panty can sleep with and all the desserts Stocking can stuff her face with? Oh by the way, another fun thing about each time a Ghost is defeated, a real paper mache model of the Ghost is made and filmed being exploded to bits! Boom! Come to think of it, can Daten City even survive the havoc that the sisters will wreck? They’re quite destructive, you know. So are they really angels?

Episode 1A: Honour Without Excretion And Humility
We are introduced to the characters and even seeing them in ‘action’. Not Ghost action. Yeah, Panty’s having her satisfaction in bed with some guy. Who knows how many she’s done in. And Stocking? Let’s hope she brushes her teeth after all that sugary treats. Anyway, the sisters are to investigate the case of people being swallowed by toilet. Yup. Here’s your toilet humour. What a way to start it off with a stinking bang. So Panty thought it is some plumber but ends up f*cking that guy. Ultimately Panty experiences of getting eaten by her own toilet bowl. The chaotic scenes that ensue sees everyone vomiting and puking whenever they come into contact with that stinking stench. What more, everyone is covered with sh*t. Ah, that’s how they’d probably feel about life. Just kidding. Oh yeah, it’s a Ghost who is behind all this. So the sh*t Ghost starts rampaging and covers everyone and everything with faeces while the stupid numerous police starts shooting at it knowing too well that their pee shooter bullets can’t harm a single thing. So leave it to Panty (covered in excretion) and Stocking to shoot and slash the Ghost for good. How many Heavens? Just one. Ah, sh*t.

Episode 1B: Death Race 2010
Panty is f*cking a new guy so much that she might be breaking Daytona’s record. Apparently she has no limit to reaching her climax because the guy reached orgasm many times fold! And I thought sexually active females should be able to climax faster and more. Anyway, there is some Ghost who is able to possess vehicles, speeding down throughout the city like nobody’s business. So it’s up to Panty (perhaps it’s best for her to leave her guy to find her new thrill) and Stocking to stop the speed demon. Of course, the useless police seem to just pile up all along the way. During the high speed adrenaline chase on the freeway, Panty’s panty got stuck on the Ghost so it’s going to be tough not to damage her precious pantsu. After possessing trucks to even trains, zooming pass clueless citizens, the crazy exhilarating chase comes to a climax when Panty gets back her special weapon and blows a point blank shot in the Ghost’s head, sending him to a grinding and crashing halt. So what does Panty learn from all this? That speed and stamina isn’t important but technique and elasticity is. Oh…

Episode 2A: The Buzz Of The Beehive
Panty and Stocking are sent to infiltrate Daten City High School to investigate a series of disappearance. They’re supposed to do it discreetly but end up entering so flashy that they attract attention. They also meet a geek boy who dresses somewhat similar to a Ghostbuster, Brief, and also an obnoxious current-queen and cheerleading club leader of the school, Barbie. With the sisters coming into the picture, Barbie’s popularity is in threat as she tries to sabotage them but it all backfires and ends up embarrassing herself. Brief who has a crush on Panty (it’s a one-sided crush by the way) offers to help out to look for Ghosts since well, he’s an occult freak. With jealousy running high, Barbie plans an ultimate attack on the sisters and it is revealed she herself is a Ghost and the one behind the disappearances. As expected. She fails and this releases all her slaves from her hypnotism. And what Panty is to do than to satisfy herself with those big and muscular rugby guys. I think she can do in the entire team.

Episode 2B: Sex And The Daten City
Panty and Stocking are living the life of celebrities seeing the release of the preview of their yet-to-be-released film. They’re really popular. Very. On the day of the premier, the announcer was saying something about their first movie but Panty isn’t happy because she did make a previous movie before. She proceeds to show to all those clueless blokes on screen live to the whole world. Well, turns out to be a porn video. However this threatens to end their high celebrity life so they go around the world and destroy every darn tape they could find. Amazingly, if this was so effective, we won’t be having issues of pirates and leaking anymore. But really, they did just that. From Egypt to war zones, that sex tape is just about anywhere lah. Ironically it could make her even more famous. If she could live with the fact of being a porn star. What’s the difference? Panty loves sex, right? In the end, they decide to keep the final copy for themselves. So on the day of the re-release of the movie, Panty gets cocky and even brags about editing out Stocking’s scene so much so she has no appearance at all. Hell hath no fury like a woman scorn so Stocking leaks the sex tape onto the internet. Yeah folks. Watch it on YouTube. If it’s still there, haha!

Episode 3A: Catfight Club
Panty accidentally ate Stocking’s pudding and they ended up in a huge argument. They aren’t seeing eye to eye. How will they do their mission? Beats me. Just do it separately. So they are to track down a pair of Ghost who are luring humans like some Red Riding Hood thingy. The sisters are united but their refusal to cooperate has the Ghost pair winning. They continue to fight among each other and ignore the Ghost but get a good pounding. As the Ghosts continue to mock them, that is when they have had it and decide to call a truce, team up and put a stop to the black-red menace once and for all. So it goes to show that they will only shine when they’re working together. It takes 2 to tango or clap hands.

Episode 3B: Pulp Addiction
This episode starts in a WWII-like D-Day gloomy atmosphere (only with lots of sex gags as motivation for those doomed soldiers). You know those soldiers in the boat knowing that they’re heading to their deaths once they reach land just to infiltrate the enemy on higher ground. Something about all this is General Scottie’s fault as we see the enemy in the form of tissue box and papers absorbing the army. So in present time, Garterbelt is having a hard time holding in all his… I’ll leave that to your imagination and has the sisters infiltrate a paper plant. They meet several sperm-like Ghosts who are causing shortage of tissue papers so that men can’t ‘relieve’ themselves as revenge. The crazy slut and choco mania couldn’t care less about their problems so they blast them all to smithereens like how they normally do. In the aftermath, the story of the doomed soldiers continues. Their penetration seems like a success when they are obstructed by some sort of plastic barrier. Uh… It occurred to me that this is a metaphor of ejaculation. You know those soldiers at sea are like sea man… Semen… Geddit? And even if they triumph over the tissues, now they’ve got condoms to deal with.

Episode 4A: Diet Syndrome
You know how girls love eating cakes but never like the idea of getting fat. Stocking never had that problem and it seems to be bugging her now. She goes on an intense diet but each time her hard work turns into despair because the more she refrains, the more weight she gains! Ironic? Then trying some reverse diet thing, the more she eats, the more she bloats up! Now she’s a big fat giant that resembles somewhat like that fat kid in South Park. She just keeps on growing and growing and growing. Panty learns that the cause of all this is a Ghost who is bend on making every girl in the world fat by eating her cakes just because she herself refuse to diet. So Stocking goes to get her revenge but finds her swords limping because her stocking has stretched out too much. So while the Ghost tries to escape, Panty fires a shot into that fat blob. Stocking resumes to her normal desired figure and continues to enjoy her cakes. Isn’t she worried about putting any more pounds? Better than going through that hell diet.

Episode 4B: High School Nudical
Daten City High School is holding a night lingerie run and the bored angels decide to join in. If a school can even hold this kind of event, imagine how low morality has fallen. Heck, even this show is so questionable. Yeah, just run the race in your underwear. Hey, isn’t that mysterious host Master G, Garterbelt in disguise? I’m sure he has his own ulterior motives for his fetish. Brief gets bullied by some other guys while Panty and Stocking thrills the crowd with their presence. Hey, they’re the new queens of the school, right? However their fun run is interrupted when a quick Ghost turns up eating everyone’s underwear. However the sisters have a tough time against the Ghost because their sacred weapons broke. Needing to find a substitute, Panty takes all the guys underwear to materialize into a gun but she finds them all useless. Too small, too twisted and too whatever unsatisfied reasons. Apparently you can tell a lot about a guy from his underwear. So the only one left is Brief’s and to Panty’s surprise, his guns are as big as a shotgun. And boom! There goes the panty thief blown up, covering the entire town with undies. And would you believe Master G’s advice about underwear soothes the soul sending the students into approval frenzy? But it seems on the news report he was arrested for being a suspicious person. Oh father, father, father, help us.

Episode 5A: The Runny
Everyone in Daten City has a new fad: Picking their own nose. Shock, eh? Hey, we’re guilty of doing it ourselves. Then there is this rich dude called Oscar who invites everyone for a party on board his blimp including Panty. In the party, Panty and Oscar get a room of their own and penetrated each other… Noses, that is. However Oscar turns out to be a Ghost and something about being with Panty makes his nose runny rather than hardened nose wax. Of course he has his nefarious plans of ramming the Moon using the guests’ nose bleeds (because everyone by this time has rubbed to hard). So leave it to the sisters to go into swinging high altitude action (the guests get a different kind of nose bleed after seeing Panty’s no-pantsu) blasting past Oscar’s Ghost flies and eventually the rich Ghost himself. I’m not sure about this part but the propulsion sent Stocking flying into the Moon which causes that satellite to sneeze as well. So Panty’s final words? Which hole do you get your thrill? I’m sure she’d get hers in any.

Episode 5B: Vomiting Point
This episode takes place at a neighbouring city of Daten City, Little Tokyo. Yeah, another gloomy slum city. But the drawing here takes another different turn. The characters here look like somewhat of those from Windy Tales or Mahaou Tsukai Taisetsu Na Koto: Natsu No Sora. Yeah, horrible. Terao is a struggling salesman and his weak demeanour doesn’t help as he gets a pep talk from his sales boss to improve. Even his colleagues badmouth and look down on him. Back home, his daughter is a big fan of Panty and Stocking and wishes to meet them. Yeah, you can see he is struggling to make ends meet for his family too. On the day Terao is supposed to attend his daughter’s birthday, his colleagues force him to join them in a drinking spree. They force him to drink glasses of beer till he can’t take it anymore and pukes. In that process, his vomit turns into a giant Ghost, flooding the city and causing everyone else to throw up. Panty and Stocking arrive to swiftly clean up the mess. Terao then pleads to come to his house for his daughter’s birthday. Why would a bunch of b*tches do that? But to show that they’re not that all black hearted, they leave their autographs in which Terao’s daughter frame it up on her desk. And for Terao, he is still the same struggling salesman. The gloominess never ends.

Episode 6: Les Diaboliques
Panty and Stocking’s popularity takes a dip because there is a new pair of hot sisters called Demon Sisters, Scanty and Kneesocks establishing themselves as the new popular queens with their strict regimes. It’s always about the ruuuuule (role your tongue for its effect). Plus, they are the mayor’s daughters. Aren’t they just evil rip-offs of the fallen angels? Who am I to say who is good and who is evil. What’s the difference anyway? They’re all f*cking b*tches. Oops. Sorry. The Demon Sisters also have a pet called Fastener which is of course Chuck’s counterpart. Ultimately Panty and Stocking couldn’t take any more of the humiliation and mocking and challenge them to just whatever. However the Demon Sisters beat them in every aspect. Hands down. Because of that, the Angel Sisters are banished to the lowest level of the school where the lowest of the lowest life form dwells. Who the heck can study in this kind of environment. Oh wait. School is for studying? With the help of Brief and some puny idiotic Ghost, the duo discover that the Demon Sisters are running some underground plant that manufactures fake Ghosts. Will they let their secret be blown? Oh yeah, even the Demon Sisters have their own menacing transformation scene. Hey, Scanty wears 2 panties?! I know, it’s for fanservice but it proves useful if you’re going to use 2 guns. As the girls prepare for a showdown, Chuck accidentally steals the stone that stabilizes the plant for making those artificial Ghosts. It ends up in Brief’s hands and a chase ensues. So what follows are action-packed scenes that has the counterparts fighting each other all over school. You’ll see windows smashed, furniture torn, toilet seats breaking as they try to outdo each other in a thrilling dog fight with all the bullets splaying into every nook and corner of the wall and the sharp edge of the swords slicing and dicing, slashing and hacking the wind, the air, the wall, anything you can name. It gets even exciting when Stocking and Kneesocks play a test of chicken in their respective vehicles, See Through and the ridiculously long luxury limo, G-String. Poor Brief gets caught in between and it’s amazing he is still breathing. The fright of his life. Then the Demon Sisters hold Brief to hostage. But the Angel Sisters don’t care about him, upsetting them about their f*cking attitude. So what about the rules? The rules that good guys are supposed to surrender when there’s an innocent party involved. What makes them think they are the good guys in the first place? “Rules are meant to be broken”, says Panty girl. It ends when Brief tosses them the stone and they blast it away to not only destroy the plant, but send the entire school on fire (poor guys who are taking a leak in the toilet got their dicks burnt) before it becomes a huge damn crater. This gives a whole new meaning for “school’s out”. Scanty and Kneesocks apologize to the mayor-cum-dad, Corset but he is not happy that they underestimated their enemy and failed. He sends them dropping down into some stinky toilet bowl lockup as punishment.

Episode 7A: Trans-whore-mers
Yeah, one of my favourite parodies and as usual, Panty and Stocking are in another argument while Brief tries to calm them down. Out of nowhere, that Autobot and Decepticon leaders land in the church about to begin their generations-long feud. They all got ‘disabled’ quickly when the sisters eat their power core. This causes them to turn into robots themselves. Each have their own set of robot followers as the feud escalates into an all-out and ridiculous war for who knows how long. From surprise assaults to silly decoys, you’re wondering what the heck they’re fighting for as their subordinates slowly get taken out. Meanwhile Brief tries to convince the heads of Optimus Prime and Megatron to stop the terror of robo-Panty and robo-Stocking. They must have misinterpreted his intentions because they decide to stop fighting each other (which is good news) and destroy the human race (which is bad news)! So now we know why Autobots and Decepticons can’t merge and live together as one because as seen in this case, they become Ghosts. Yeah, even robots from outer space can turn into one. Once again, it is up to Panty and Stocking to put aside their difference and work together to do what they do best together. Yeah, their transformation scene returns them back to their original self. The sisters are happy since they received a flood worth of Heavens but Garterbelt inspects and says they ain’t worth any sh*t because they are foreign Heaven coins. So yeah, the sisters continue their little feud and probably couldn’t care less about the impending doom that will befall on mankind. Isn’t that a giant Unicron just next to Earth?

Episode 7B: The Stripping
Garterbelt is mad that the sisters are wasting money like nobody’s business. Furthermore, their careless wrecking of the city has been causing them to fall in the red. They take up a challenge to earn 3 million in 3 days but it is easier said than done because they can’t just do a simply f*cking job right. Thinking about taking the easy way out to make money by gambling at a casino. Feeling lucky, eh? Yeah, they are indeed lucky, hitting the jackpot and could possibly their target soon. They really seem like they could put all those God of Gamblers to shame. Wanting to end their winning streak, the Demon Sisters disguise themselves as a croupier in a roulette game. As we know, it is rigged so the Angel Sisters are losing the winnings like water at each bet. Easy come, easy go. And if they don’t have the cash to splash, they have to strip their clothes and sell them. Are there any takers? Of course there are. Just look at all the perverted men behind waiting for a chance to grab a piece of their lingerie. Yeah, it’s like an auction too because their clothes bid are fetching a high price and ultimately the men are waiting to see their totally naked bodies, something that the Demon Sisters are planning as revenge for their humiliation. Because once they have no cent left, they will be automatically sucked and dumped out of the casino. Then on the final decisive bet, Panty’s sneeze (because it’s getting cold without the clothes) accidentally lands the roulette ball on the right number. They win and this causes the guys to go into despair. No more free show. This also causes some Ghost machine in the background to explode and flush out all the money it has been sucking. Another defeat for the Demon Sisters as they make their retreat. Back in the church, Garterbelt is pissed off that Panty is selling her sacred weapon online for 200 grand! Talk about dirty money. And Brief, he’s buying it to protect Panty’s panties. Maybe that’s just an excuse to own something belonging to her.

Episode 8A: … Of The Dead
It must be Panty and Stocking’s bad day because they are trapped in a police base with a few others (including Garterbelt) and the entire town is surrounded by zombies. No, not the one from Michael Jackson. The one that will turn you into a living dead if they manage to sink their teeth into your flesh. It is all part of Scanty and Kneesocks plan as usual as they are able to turn corpses into zombies. Not only that, they manage to make Ghosts out of zombies too. Now that is double the times to be undead. Since the Angel Sisters’ weapons have no effect on the zombies, they have to get some real ammo to blast the head off of those zombies. However the nearest so called weapon store turns out to be a sex items shop. Ah well. This will do. So along the way, we see the remaining survivors getting chewed and instantly turned into zombies and their brains getting splattered the very next. So it’s every man and himself or in the case of our angels, woman. I’m sure they’re trying to hint that being selfish isn’t a good sign so in the end, they too turn into zombies (they got bitten by Chuck). But unlike those mindless ones, they retain their sanity. Just that their bodies are now rotting and stinky. The Demon Sisters think their plan is going to be a success but they got a slap in their own faces because the zombies surround them and they got owned. I mean, if everybody else in town has become a zombie, don’t you think you should’ve run away instead of gloating in victory (which isn’t one by the way). Panty and Stocking decide to wait till morning because of the belief that they’ll turn back into normal. But when the sun rises, they’re still the same undead. Can we call this a happy ending?

Episode 8B: One Angry Ghost
Panty and Stocking are indicted in some sort of trial which pretty looks like a TV talk show called Judgement Day, hosted by Tom Croose, who is also the prosecution lawyer. No, that’s not a spelling error. But he certainly looks a lot like the real life celebrity. They are accused of murdering a friendly Ghost (not Casper by the way), making his Ghost wife inconsolable. All evidence points to them and they don’t really have a good alibi. As part of “your right to have a lawyer”, the sisters are to choose from a choice of 3: The oldest lawyer, the cheapest lawyer, or the lawyer with the highest IQ. They want to get out of this, right? Yeah, so choose the third one. Unfortunately, it turns out to be a monkey and his IQ is said to be the highest in monkey land. Bummer. Still acting like a monkey, though. They’ve been duped. So the sisters are made to provide evidence why people should believe that they aren’t the culprits but it wasn’t convincing enough so they are found guilty (they even had everyone putting in their votes) and put into some Iron Maiden device and are to be electrocuted. During the process, the monkey also gets electrocuted and this results into his IQ soaring sky high. Now he is an ace attorney! Don’t play play! Exuding confidence and grace, he tells everyone and provides evidence why the sisters couldn’t possibly be the murderers and ultimately the killer turns out to be the wife. It is revealed that the Demon Sisters were impersonating as Tom Croose and another host in another attempt to bring down the Angel Sisters. Of course they fail and escape so they leave it to their counterparts to clean up the mess. Since the judge is pleading them, I guess they have to go put on some show. Blam! There goes the Ghost. Now they’re really popular. And the monkey? After another round of electrocution (when it revealed the Demon Sisters), it returns to its original ooky, ooky self.

Episode 9A: If The Angels Wore Swimsuits
A beach episode as the Angel Sisters relax and attract the guys. Actually they’re supposed to be helping Garterbelt with his beach house. Unfortunately the Demon Sisters come crashing in because they’ve just bought the entire beach. This leads to both sides engaging in a beach volleyball match to determine who will control the beach. The losers will have to strip naked in front of the crowd. Well, no matter which side loses, the crowd will ‘win’, right? With their modesty on the line, both sides pull off fancy moves with equally fancy names. In the end, the angels won so the demons will have to live up to their end of the bargain. Being true to the baddies they are, they break their promise and turn the entire ocean marine life into Ghost to attack the beach while they themselves flee. The Ghosts wreak havoc on the beach by stripping everyone of their clothes. The guys really love that idea till those damn f*cking mini starfish and sea anemone stuck on the girls’ body as natural censors. Does Stocking really love the sensation of tentacles wrapping around her? Seems like it. As for Garterbelt, a huge whale wrecks his house. You can say that is one heck of a whale of a time.

Episode 9B: Ghost: The Phantom Of Daten City
The Angel Sisters are ‘staking out’ for some prospective guys to do them in. I’m sure Panty is the supreme expert as she can even tell by a single look what kind of man he’ll turn out to be, turning down choices suggested by Stocking. “He’ll opt for the missionary position so he can see your face when you orgasm”. Uhn… Oh those comments… Then Stocking spots a smelly (always farting) and rude Ghost who is trying to ask girls out but they ignore him because he stinks. However Stocking falls completely in love with him! Serious! Has love really come to Stocking? She’s a changed lady now as she dresses up nicely and even cooks for the Ghost guy on their date. However the Ghost guy is being a total bastard because he is unappreciative likes as though he is doing her a favour. Even so, Stocking remains loyal to him. Just like any other girl in love, they’d do anything to be with the guy she loves. Even if that includes abandoning her duty. Though she comes clean and tells her true identity and mission to that Ghost jerk, she decides to live her life as a woman rather than an angel and wants to elope. She’s willing to follow him to hell. For once that guy is sweating and panicking. On the day of the eloping, he tries to be concern but it turns out to be Panty in disguise. She’s going to exterminate him out of concern for her sister. Stocking arrives and she is hell bent on hurting Panty if she lays a finger on him. They argue about love when the Ghost feels repentant and gives Stocking a ring (shape of a dung?) and proposes to marry her. Stocking accepts but at that moment, the Ghost felt at ease and was able to move on to the next world. Stocking returns to her normal life and still keeps the ring.

Episode 10A: Inner Brief
Due to another one of the Demon Sisters’ traps, Panty and Stocking shrink into their mini sizes. Being small doesn’t mean that they’ll be good little girls. Instead they continue to be the naughty and destructive angels we all know as they end up inside Brief’s body and mess around with his brain, lungs and whatever organs they can get their hands on. I just wonder why they didn’t play with his balls. Haha. Anyway the effect of the shrinking is wearing off so they are threatening to blow out of Brief’s body if nothing is to be done. Yeah, have you ever seen a pregnant guy? Besides that movie Arnold stared in. There is one way, though. Garterbelt is going to do some intensive surgery on his arse! Oh sh*t! GAAAAAYYY!!! In the aftermath, the sisters freshen up themselves with a shower, not caring what happened to poor Brief who probably can’t use his butt for the next few months because he got screwed cukup-cukup. His butt must be hurting like hell. Yeah, this proves Garterbelt must be some sort of paedophile because he comments on his nice posterior.

Episode 10B: Chuck To The Future
In this short trilogy that is separated into several segments, Chuck is given a little taste of the limelight. In part 1, we see the usual fight between Chuck and Fastener but it’s usually the dumb former that gets disembowelled, mashed and there’s even a pyramid chart to show the pecking order of king Fastener at the top and loser Chuck at the very bottom. I don’t understand the end when Chuck ‘win’s by unzipping open Fastener’s mask and a little devil MIB lady runs away from inside. But Chuck gets run over by a car soon. Part 2 makes use of the zooming in and out and the circling effects as we see Chuck lying in bed all bandaged and kills a fly that annoyed him. This results in a bunch of flies attacking him. They fight and eventually roast Chuck inside a microwave oven. However Chuck regenerates back after that. Is this a Terminator parody? Part 3 left me scratching my head on what the hell it is all about. I think they’re trying to employ angles and visuals of psychological horror scenes like the black and white old video camera effects. So Chuck too has a male MIB devil inside him. When he spots his female counterpart (from Fastener), she kisses him and they end up having sex. At least that is what the shadow casted on the wall indicates.

Episode 10C: Help! We Are Angels
This is an MTV-like and worthy music video of the song, D City Rock Anarchy. Yeah, the quartet of the band singing and causing a mess and havoc everywhere they go. From backstage concerts to talk shows to hitching a ride in the desert to famous places all over the world. Behold everyone! Get ready for mayhem and anarchy! With Panty taking the lead vocals, Stocking on bass and Garterbelt on drums, it bugs me how the heck Chuck is going to handle the electric guitars. Oh well, don’t think too much. And Brief? Trouble always comes looking for him. Too bad for his short appearance. In its own right, I guess I could say that this video is quite cool. They even did parodies of several album covers like The Beatles, Nirvana and Lady Gaga. Hey, come to think of it, doesn’t the drawing look so much like Gorillaz? Of course there is a part that features them in their Japanese anime style art (the part Panty and Stocking are shown naked but the guitar or hair strategically covered those necessary areas, and sprouting angel wings). So in the end of it all in the video, everybody gets arrested for the ruckus and Panty gives the middle finger. What a way to end it with a bang. One thing I noticed in this entire episode and not just this part: There is no Ghost!

Episode 11A: Once Upon A Time In Garterbelt
The Angel Sisters get another lecturing for their f*cking attitude. But when he accidentally drops some sex toy, they become suspicious that he too has some secret activity going on behind their backs. Late that night, they tail him to a secret under-passageway to find evidence to get back at him. After miraculously getting through all those traps, they come across his diary. It details his life of crime and he has done every evil deed possible. Back then, he spots a Rastafan hairstyle. Garterbelt becomes a ruthless badass criminal as he makes his way up to the top of the ladder. He got everything. Money, power, women. Just like one bad deed deserves another, he gets killed. But God decided to give him a second chance and that is to become his missionary. Of course he would screw that idea off as he would prefer to drop into the depths of hell. However God has other plans for him. After getting zapped by His lightning (that’s where he got his afro), his life becomes a living hell when he is brought back throughout time from the dinosaur age to the early years of man and even those Biblical moments (it wasn’t Eve who ate the apple. It was Garterbelt!), each time barely escaping from the jaws of death. He went on to experience happiness and suffering throughout the ages and ultimately becomes a wise sage (though I feel he still has his quirks and fetish). By the end of the story, Panty and Stocking are heavily asleep so they decide to ditch their initial idea and go do something else. Yeah, and that story was just part 1! Who the hell cares about his past! At least not them. Either way, it shows that Garterbelt is some sort of cursed immortal, eh? After the sisters leave, turns out Garterbelt is hiding behind a picture in some bondage position wearing, uhm, garter belt. Something about his bondage is a secret method of judging himself. But why is he enjoying it? Masochist? Maybe living too long has got him some screws loose in his head.

Episode 11B: Nothing To Room
The camera angles for this episode is static so you’ll be watching the sisters talk nonchalantly away (because there is no action) from a single point of view in the messy living room. I think this is the episode that has the longest straight profanity streak. Anyway, the girls are reluctantly waiting for Garterbelt to cook them dinner. Yeah, why the heck did he wake them up hours before and up till now he still hasn’t finished. Must be some grand dinner, eh? The discussion involves Panty’s idea of making a pole to space so that they could reach Heaven, the guys they did in, getting tired of waiting so they ordered a hell lot of takeout orders so much so they got tired and hungry from all that talking. Then Brief comes by to pay a visit for some lunch party he was invited by Garterbelt. So nothing happening and back to more talk like the CD he bought, some TV drama and the reasons Garterbelt is doing all this may be for their appreciation (that’s why it’s taking so long). Then all the takeout orders arrive and now the room is filled to the brim with delicious food they ordered. But the sisters agree to wait for Garterbelt since well, they’ve been waiting for 9 f*cking hours on an empty stomach thinking that he may be really slaving away for their sake. So when Garterbelt really comes in with trays of food, he tells them that his afro was voted the best by some Afro Brotherhood Association thingy. He had is fill and is stuffed. He tells the dirty b*tches (that’s what he said!) to finish everything and not leave a crumb because all this food is a blessing from God. Yes people, do not waste your food. Brief makes a smart move by taking his leave when more takeout orders arrive. I thought the sisters wouldn’t give a sh*t and ignore stuffing everything but amazingly, the finished the whole damn thing! Now their bellies are bloated (though they didn’t become a giant like in the earlier episode). And they still can talk about making a return to Heaven with that pole and f*cking some guys. What else more to do but to talk when you’ve eaten full? And just like the previous episode, there isn’t any Ghost for the sisters to bust. Yeah, maybe they got tired of it once in a while.

Episode 12A: D.C. Confidential
This episode is mainly a recap episode from Scanty and Kneesock’s report to Corset. It is a summary of how those defeated Ghosts came from (they even had their own names) and the comments made from Corset. He did mention about wanting to find some kin of the Hell’s Monkey blood. I’m not too sure what is all that about except that it will bring chaos to Daten City. Corset is unhappy with the failures of the Demon Sisters so when he sees them indulging themselves all over in some food-fetish-cum-sexual-play instead of finding Hell’s Monkey blood, he sends them in for another stinky punishment. Then he sees footage of Garterbelt doing his ‘invasive surgery’ on Brief’s butt and he thinks he may have found it.

Episode 12B: Panty + Brief
After accumulating enough Heavens, the sisters are ready to return to Heaven. Seriously? They collected enough? Anyway only Stocking returns while Panty has to remain because of her slutty ways. Which is true because while Stocking is working destroying Ghosts, Panty is busy f*cking any guy she could find. Yeah, she wants to do in 1000 guys before returning to Heaven. No sex, no life? Yeah, this would put B Gata H Kei’s Yamada to shame. Panty is forced to repeat her duty so Brief feels happy that he gets to be her new partner. Not that she cares anyway as she goes round screwing up more guys to reach her goal. She is 1 guy short of her target when Brief gets a call to attend some party. Though he refuses, he thinks about Panty’s welfare and decides to attend and bring her along. Sure she is spoilt for choice but suddenly Brief is kidnapped and Garterbelt appears and warns her that a condition in her repeated task is to abstain from sex. So what about the other guys she had sex with? Anyway to prevent her from f*cking around, each time Panty thinks she is alone with a guy, you can bet that Garterbelt will be just around the corner to put a stop to her slutty ways. That’s why two’s a company, three’s a crowd. Then Panty spots a handsome guy through the aquarium tank. However he gets taken away. Then the mayor announces the marriage of his daughter to that handsome guy who is the son of the host of this party. However he refuses to marry out of convenience and points out that there is 1 girl he is in love with: Panty. She must be shell shock of what’s going on. If you haven’t realized it yet, that handsome kid is Brief while the bride is Scanty in disguise in another one of her failed traps. The Demon Sisters attack but Panty can’t effectively handle them since she is starting to lose her angelic powers. Brief takes Panty to escape as she realizes who he is. As they drive away from the city, See Through also starts failing for them in the middle of the woods. They notice an abandoned cabin and seek refuge inside. Just then, Panty okays with the fact to make Brief her 1000th man. She takes a good look at his face (man, he really does look good) and begin their intercourse. However Panty feels pain from his penetration. Garterbelt appears and explains about the reconstruction of her angel’s hymen called Virgin Revival Syndrome. In short, she can’t have sex anymore. Then Corset shows his face (seems he and Garterbelt know each other) and his happy that she unknowingly assisted in awakening the key. Well, the key is supposed to be Brief’s dick! Perhaps no wonder why Panty felt pain. The Demon Sisters mock Panty as a virgin angel who can’t have sex anymore. They take Brief and his key away. Panty losses all her powers and even her halo. See lah. F*ck around too much.

Episode 13A: Bitch Girls
It doesn’t help when Garterbelt tells Panty off that she isn’t a b*tchy angel, but just a normal b*tch and throws her out! Panty experiences lots of misfortune but she seems so pitiful that you don’t feel like laughing at her. Okay, I take that back. Then she sees the animals and people around her in sexual intercourse and couldn’t take it anymore. What follows next is a scene whereby Panty lives a happy and peaceful farm life in the mountains. All that tranquillity is shattered when a mountain gang attacks and massacres them (see how a farm worker got his organs splattered out!). Before the granny dies, she tells Panty that there is someone waiting for him and that b*tches are supposed to live a free life and the way she wants. Panty gets her resolve back as she rides through the havoc back to Daten City where Brief is being held atop Corset’s building in some sort of weird bondage of his with Brief’s dick. It is revealed that the gang assault and granny are still alive because it is just an act and all part of Garterbelt’s plan. Panty arrives at the top and tells Corset off in her b*tch talk about crushing anyone in her way and will do anything she wants. Corset mocks her and dares her to do it with Brief. She goes up to him to finish the job they started and says that though he is number 1000, he is number one. Corset panics as this causes the power inside Brief to be stable and orders the Demon Sisters to stop her. However Stocking reappears down from Heaven to prevent their intercourse from being interrupted again. She then throws the duo up into the sky because she couldn’t stand them f*cking in front of her eyes. That’s when Brief’s Key penetrates through Panty and hits her spot. You could say she’s finally experiencing Heaven with him. When she’s done with that, she joins Stocking in her fight.

Episode 13B: Bitch Girls: 2 Bitches
Brief also comes falling down but his Key landed directly into the keyhole. This activates the final form of Hell’s Monkey as the building starts to transform and open. An Ultimate Ghost also appears from it. How come it looks like some erected penis? They attack it but their sacred weapons are having no effect and it is spewing out smelly white liquid (?!). Corset transforms into his rippling muscle self and uses the Demon Sisters as his swords and fights Garterbelt in a sick bondage battle. Garterbelt tries to warn the Angel Sisters about Corset’s plan to use Hell’s Monkey to invade Heaven and thus causing Heaven and Earth to be overrun but demons and their rules. However the sisters can’t hear him and couldn’t be bothered with it. Corset then crushes Garterbelt’s heart and kills him (he even has his own paper mache explosion scene!). Brief is saddened by his death and ticks off Panty and Stocking’s attitude for not caring. However they tell him off and see an Express Black Card from Garterbelt’s afro. This allows them to buy unlimited supplies from Heaven. Then they tell Chuck to get serious as he transform into a large menacing beast giving the sisters a ride up the Ghost, in which Corset has merged himself with. At the top, they summoned a super cannon blaster and point it towards Corset. When they fire, they realize they faced it the wrong way. They just shoot Heaven! But that’s just a blessing in disguise because a real cut out of a sexy lower body torso in white panty and stockings appear from the clouds to step and crush Corset. The gate is closed and the city returns to normal. Brief’s dick also returns to normal. Garterbelt also comes back alive. Because he is an immortal, remember? He’s not allowed to die but he gets pissed off when he learns that they have used and max out his Black Card. Looks like they won’t be going back to Heaven for a while. Back at the church, Stocking asks Panty that their Heaven-sent weapons only work on Ghosts but not people. Wondering if it works on angels, Stocking suddenly stabs Panty in the head! OMG! She slices her into several pieces too! Stocking reveals a shocking fact: She is actually a demon! Then a piece of Corset appears indicating his plan to use pieces of Panty to make a trail to the neighbouring city and open Hell’s Gate there. Everyone stares at disbelief at this development (including the Demon Sisters) so Garterbelt tells Brief and Chuck to go forth and complete their mission. Yeah, perhaps it’s their to the frontlines. Brief And Chuck With Garterbelt. How does that sound?

Special: Panty And Stocking In Sanitary Belt
This 8 minute special is what you get when you buy the DVD, not Panty’s panties, okay. It consists of very short nonsensical and random clips that lasts from a few seconds and the most a minute. Some are hilarious, some downright dirty while some just plain gross. Check it out if you’re not fainthearted. The clips include Panty being invited to throw the first pitch of a major baseball game on live TV but she strips and shoves the baseball down her uterus instead (some Japanese pun of uterus and throwing the first pitch, I guess); Brief dating zombie Panty and as much as he loves her, she bites off his lips when he tried to kiss, chewed his head and swallowed him entirely before sh*tting him out in an instant; Garterbelt introducing some of the (in)famous places of Daten City but why does it feel like he’s going on a pedo patrol?; A Mario Bros game version featuring Chuck as the playable character who dies easily right at the start till the fourth try did he managed to win the level. Notice all the sexual innuendoes in the background? The panty clouds, tits mountain, blocks made up of ‘SEX’ on it, penis-like mushrooms and vibrator-like tunnels?; Newly born babies have their private parts cut off in a manufacturing factory to become popular snacks called Prickles! WTF?! F*CKING GROSS!!!; Garterbelt playing little figurines of Panty and Stocking on his nipple during bath time; Panty purposely cutting Stocking’s hair till she is bald after she accidentally sticks her gum on it so as revenge Stocking cuts off her head top and uses her blood as her new hair fashion; Panty and Stocking doing that transformation scene but it seems their movements are mannequin-like but they become broken and they end up getting swept away into the dust bin. Aren’t the clips all just sick?

Indecent Proportion / The Lord Of The Kinks / I Know Who You Did In Last Summer / Sex Toy Story / Dude, Where’s My Condom? / Sleep Impact / The Wizard Of Orgasm / Meet The F*ckers / Booty And The Beast / 69 (parody to 300)
The New Dirty Pair…
Oh gosh! Oh dear! Oh my God! What a twist at the end of the TV series! I never expected this. To be continued next season they say?! Well, so far I haven’t heard of anything so that cliff-hanger ending is definitely a shocker and unexpected. Well, at least to me. Even if there will be one, I’m expecting it’s going to be a bigger kickass and epic success that exceed expectations. Surprisingly, the overall series is quite enjoyable and fun. Yes! You heard me right! Even with all the sheer indecency, simplicity shallowness, shameless rip-offs, cussing, vulgarities, ridiculous exaggerations, WTF moments and mindless nonsense, those are probably the reasons why this series in its own right is quite entertaining. Of course, I left my brain somewhere else too. Depending on your beliefs, it is either you will love it or despise it. Some may go into culture shock for the distasteful and shameless portrayal about everything that is just so wrong. For me, I’m currently not a fan or avid follower of western cartoons at the moment (unless it’s Spongebob Squarepants) but to do so in the ubiquitous and saturated anime industry, it is really something different and unusual experience.

Due to the nature of the episodes, some of them end abruptly and do not have any subsequent effects in the next, making them somewhat independent of each other. It doesn’t really matter since it isn’t the plot that makes us the reason to watch this, right? ;p. So unless the final episode shocking revelation falls under this category, then I suppose there is nothing to worry about. But why am I feeling uneasy about it? Panty and Stocking being angels are questionable themselves due to their f*cked up attitudes. Sometimes you’d think that they are the devil themselves (which is what Stocking may seriously be). Scanty and Kneesocks as antagonists are equally as destructive and vile but being the baddies of the series, they have to lose, right? The onscreen chemistry between Panty and Brief was probably a short one. A one-sided love affair from the start. Panty still continues to call him Geek Boy and those nice words in the end were just probably to return his confidence and let her have her last fling. As for Garterbelt, he may look like the angels’ mentor but it’s quite ironic too that he has his distasteful habits. Like he is the one to preach, scolding four letter words at the girls (probably it’s the only way for them to really listen. Hey, can’t win them over with sweet words, eh?), a priest with bondage and shotacon fetish is unthinkable. Maybe that’s why he is cursed to do missionary work for God forever.

I’m not saying that the action is one of the greatest but due to the American-like production, it is sufficient and exaggerated enough to keep us glued to the seats. One thing I want to mention about the profanity spouted. While I notice that when the characters curse in Japanese, the English translated subtitle would no doubt put the four-letter ‘F’ word even if that word in Japanese doesn’t conjure up such a strong meaning. No doubt it may not be accurate, but think about it. There is an impact when that foul word is put in so if there is a streak of offensive lines, you’ll see lots of ‘F’ and ‘B’ words in it. Either you’ll find it offensive or darn funny (like yours truly). Another point is the bleeping and censor of some of the vulgar words. I noticed this. When that word is said in English, it isn’t beeped out but if it is in Japanese it is. Are they trying to say that Japanese viewers don’t really understand the word in English? Heck, even the four-letter word and its equivalent appear as words right across the screen! Sometimes repeatedly! So forgive me if my blog uses lots of those improper words. It’s for the impact. As for the names of the main characters, with many of them named after lingerie, I just wonder why none is named after a bra. Maybe a new character if there is ever a sequel?

All of the episode titles are parodies of some Hollywood movie, though some may not have any relevance to the episode plot itself. I’m sure you can spot some obvious once for instance from the old such as Back To The Future and the recent like Sex and the City and Death Race. Yeah, notice that I even come up with a few of my own for this heading? Oh great. Looks like I’m a little influenced. Of course in the series itself, there are many parody scenes from other movies or previous works of Gainax to look out for. Unless you’re a movie buff or have seen Gainax’s past productions and possibly (though not necessary) have a sharp eye, you may overlook them since it feels like blink-or-you’ll-miss-it. This includes cameo appearances of other characters from other animes.

Surprisingly the various background music which are a mix of techno, R&B, dance beat and pop sounds catchy enough. Yeah, turn on and up your bass effects and shake the house down. However after hearing briefly their original soundtrack, most of them sound really weird. So if you buy the album without thinking of its origins, you might think it’s some American artiste instead. The opening song, Theme For Panty & Stocking by Hoshina Anniversary lasts only 30 seconds! This is also the original length of the full song! The shortest opening theme that I have ever known! It got even shorter towards the end of the series. Not lasting more than 5 seconds. As said that the ending theme is in English, if you didn’t know if this ending theme was from this series, you might have mistaken Fallen Angel by Aimee B to be another American performer released via some American record label. Ironically, the full length song on the soundtrack lasts over 15 minutes! I did a little test-listening and found out its true length is only 4 and a half minutes. The remainder? Nothing! What a waste of ‘time’. Oddly in the ending credits animation, we see the Angel Sisters going through some sort of unfortunate events and suffering like being driven off the cliff, starving to death in the desert or being chained and sawed alive. Some sort of retribution after all they’ve done?

Sometimes I think that what they’re trying to exclaim is that panties and stockings are formidable weapons too in real life, if you know what I mean. Who would have thought that a few pieces of cloth could actually ‘disarm’ a man. Don’t underestimate them… This show may be a step in declining moral standards in our modern society today. But it’s something we have to accept seeing that the world has changed so much in a short span of time with technological advances providing easy information access and information overflow. So move over Powerpuff Girls, you’re too innocent way below your age to handle these hot improper stuffs anyway. We’ve got a new sexy crime-busting duo in town. Step aside Ghostbusters because people are definitely going to call them even if they end up destroying half the city. It’s time for Ichigo Kurosaki to retire as a substitute Shinigami and let the new pair take over the limelight. And for you normal citizens out there, looks like we have something new to fear besides the monsters. If they ever come to your city, please do lock your doors and windows and especially most important of all, keep your chastity safe.

Highschool Of The Dead

June 25, 2011

Imagine one morning when you wake up, you suddenly find a great portion of society have turned into flesh-eating zombies. What would be your first reaction? What would you do? I may not fancy horror series but can you actually mix the horror genre with fanservice? At least that is possible in Highschool Of The Dead. Don’t get the wrong idea. You’re not going to see the undead with panty shots or bouncy boobs. That would totally be horrible. So it goes to show that fanservice is best done on the beautiful and living. Oh wait. What am I talking about again?

Basically in this series, you’re going to see a small group of high school students fighting and smashing their way across hordes of ex-humans-turned-zombies while trying their best to survive this sudden destruction of their boring daily tranquil everyday lives. Sounds fun? Unless you are the characters in the series having to think fast on their feet for survival and having sleepless nights about it or else you’d be zombie food in no time. So be prepared for some fanservice along the way as well as the excessive blood and gore. Hey, there are plenty of zombies to kill. It’s like somebody unleash a cheat code of an endless wave of them. Yeah, not fun if you’re them.

Episode 1
Take our main protagonist, Takashi Komuro. Right at the start, he is having a bad day. His girlfriend, Rei Miyamoto once promised to marry him when they were young, has dumped him for his indecisiveness and is now going out with their best friend, Hisashi Igou. That’s just great. He gets an earful from genius childhood friend, Saya Takagi for being heartbroken, depressed and being stupid. Yeah, how bad can his day turn? Much worse as he’ll soon find out. I guess he was ‘lucky’ to skip class as he witness a weird bloodied guy comes dragging his feet to the school gates. The teachers think he is trying to be funny and gets rough with him. Before he knows it, he gets painfully bitten. Worse, he turns into a zombie and proceeds to bite the rest and that is how the ‘infection’ starts. Takashi has a bad premonition so he barges back into class to take Rei (after slapping her, that is) and Hisashi to flee. Things start to intensify when Rei calls her police dad but he doesn’t pick up. Then the announcement from the PA system that everybody needs to evacuate before the announcer is attacked by the zombies. This causes the entire school to fall into pandemonium as everyone panics and starts running away in a hysterical stampede. As the trio make their way to the top roof, Hisashi gets bitten by the zombie principal. Up on the roof, the see military helicopters zooming by and the nearby town in chaos. In no time, a big majority of the local citizens have fallen victim to an unknown outbreak. Just like vampires, when you are bitten by a zombie, you turn into one. And man, believe it when you see a big chunk of the school has turned into the undead in just a blink of an eye! With a temporary barricade, the trio seek refuge at the top but Hisashi knows he is going to turn into a zombie and wants Takashi to kill him before that happens. Too bad Hisashi turned into one so Takashi has no choice but to butcher his head, the only way to kill a zombie. Rei is upset over Takashi’s act and she even thought of getting bitten to be turned into one seeing Hisashi is no longer around! She starts blaming Takashi that he enjoys doing it out of jealousy that they’re dating. Takashi tells her that he is going away since she doesn’t need him. At that moment Rei realizes he is serious about facing the zombies and going to his death so she pleads for him to stay. You can’t blame her for being fickle minded, considering everything that has happened today. They both embrace for the first time, on a day when everything has ended. Yeah, what a way to steal your best friend’s girl after killing him.

Episode 2
We see other survivors like chubby otaku Kouta Hirano escaping together with Saya. If not for Saya’s foresight and intelligence, Hirano could’ve been a long goner. But somewhere in Saya’s heart, you can tell she’s a tsundere because she did mention she’d prefer to be stuck with Takashi rather than this fatty. Takashi and Rei sit around in a daze as Rei tries to contact her dad. Although she was connected, it seems that there is panic at the other end of the line. She is cut off. Busty school nurse Shizuka Marikawa is such an airhead that when zombies crash into the infirmary, an unfortunate student got bitten in her place. If not for the skilful head of the kendo club, Saeko Busujima, she could’ve been the bustiest zombie. Saeko also takes out that poor kid before he turns into one of them. At least he died a human. Saya should learn to thank her lucky stars that she’s with Hirano. He’s not just an otaku, but someone who is obsessed with guns. He improvises some of the lab equipment to make his own gun and manages to kill several zombies. Looks like he enjoys his newfound calling. On Takashi and Rei’s end, they use the water hose to temporarily blast away the zombies who are breaking through before charging their way down. Don’t worry. Rei won’t be playing t a damsel in distress role. She is from the spear club so she can fight as well as Takashi. Saya does a little experiment. Seems the zombies are sound sensitive (they lunge towards the nearest loudest sound) but do not have any feelings (they do not react when things are thrown at them). Hirano’s ammo is running low and Saya’s b*tching and complaining did nothing but to attract the zombies. She is cornered when Takashi-Rei and Saeko-Shizuka group arrive in time to smash the nearby zombies. As the rest introduce themselves, Saya becomes distraught and hysterical after all those bloody sight and after seeing her own self covered in them, she breaks down uncontrollably. While taking refuge in the teacher’s room, Takashi thinks that they need to make sure that their families are alright.  They can try and get out via Shizuka’s mini bus. Then they turn on the TV to see horrifying sights of the pandemic and the camera crew being attacked. Looks like the whole damn world is done for.

Episode 3
The gang discuss what this possible outbreak is. Remember the Spanish Flu and London’s Black Death? But you know, people don’t turn to zombies and infect others. So this has got to be some new phenomenon. They need to stick together and cooperate if they’re going to survive. As they make their way to the mini bus and being careful not to make loud sounds, they stumble upon a small group of surviving students being cornered and go to their aid. The hall is their only exit and is filled with mindless wandering zombies. To prove Saya’s theory, Takashi decides to use himself as bait by standing in the midst of the zombie sea. It is working as he throws a shoe away as distraction. As the zombies move towards the sound, the rest silently make their move. However one of the guy’s metal weapon accidentally hit the stair railings. The loud sound echoes throughout the hall as the zombies’ attention shifts. Now they have to make a dash for it. Then that guy got caught by the zombie so I guess his girlfriend would rather die with him than live without him as she rushes to his side and gets bitten. Everyone gets into the mini bus and is prepared to go when they hear sounds of other survivors rushing towards them. Let by the sadistic teacher, Kouichi Shidou, you can tell this guy is a villain. Looking like a cross between Kuroshitsuji’s Sebastian and Claude, he lets one of his student gets bitten by the zombie after he sprained his ankle! Oh sh*t! Rei isn’t happy that Takashi picked up this guy and warns he will regret it. Shizuka powers her bus as they escape from school. On the bus, some delinquent kid didn’t like Takashi and fights him but gets beaten up. This allows Shidou to propose that the group needs a leader to survive and proposes himself. Those who are with him are taken in awe of his smooth speech but Takashi and co aren’t convinced of his cult-like nature. Look at how the other students’ eyes are so fixated on him as though they’re under his hypnotism spell. Rei couldn’t stand him anymore and decides to leave the bus. Takashi goes after her but a bus filled with zombies nearly crashes into them. Rei and Takashi are trapped in a tunnel and separated from the rest. Takashi tells them to meet up at the police station at the east section before both sides go their own way. Seems the fire burned out the zombies in the bus. Takashi and Rei fight and subdue a biker zombie before taking his bike and riding through the eerily quiet streets.

Episode 4
What’s this?! Already a recap episode?! What are they trying to pull?! Anyone it isn’t a detailed one and just a brief one from how it all started to where they are. The story proper resumes in the second half of the episode. Takashi and Rei stumble upon a dead police patrol car and take their guns and ammo. They stop at a petrol station to refuel but have no matter so as Takashi try to break the register for cash, a hoodlum guy takes Rei hostage. He’s human but has gone crazy. Yeah, after bludgeoning his entire family including his little sister, how can he stay sane? He proceeds to caress Rei’s boobs and thinks of making her his woman and threatens Takashi to refuel the bike or he’ll kill her. Takashi does so but as that guy begins one of his crazy yelling, Takashi whips out the police gun and shoots his shoulder point blank. Their ruckus have already attracted the zombies so Takashi and Rei zoom off on the bike and leave that braces guy to get bitten. Pitiful to let another human die but in such circumstances, would you do the same thing too?

Episode 5
Rika Minami, one of the 2 expert snipers sniping out zombies on the runway and clearing the way for the airplane of VIPs to take off. Meanwhile Shidou continues his annoying cult preaching so Shizuka and the rest thinks of getting off this bus and away from this weirdo. I agree they should because I think he’s much scarier than those zombies. Shidou agrees to let them go but wants Shizuka to stay as she is a medic. Hirano fires a warning shot at him that he can kill living people too. Shizuka and co successfully alight from the bus. Takashi and Rei zoom pass a chaotic section as humans attack them for no reason. Yup, everything is going out of control. The bridge is jam packed as the police are preventing people from crossing over. The duo try another bridge but it is also blocked. They hear familiar shots and find Shizuka and co cornered by zombies. They dive in to help as Takashi throws Hirano his police gun so the fatty has a field day taking out the zombies. The day is getting dark, they can’t cross the river but need a place to stay. Shizuka mentions her friend’s place (Rika) close by as she has the keys to her place. Upon arrival, I’m sure everyone could sleep in peace since the place has a high fence and there is even a humvee too! But the place is filled with zombies inside. I guess they have no qualms in taking the offensive and slaughter the entire place.

Episode 6
After all that blood and gore, I guess we need a little refreshing view with some bath time fanservice. I hope the girls’ loud bathing folly won’t attract the zombies. As for the guys, they check out the owner’s closet and to Hirano’s happiness, it is filled with lots of guns! He sure knows his stuff well. They ponder what kind of person Shizuka’s friend is for her to be living in such a posh place and having all these guns. It’s a good thing Shizuka has this kind of person as her friend, eh? As they watch the TV, they see the chaos unfolding on the bridge. If the police isn’t having their hands full barricading it, there are a bunch of troublemakers sympathizing with the zombies staging a protest, blaming all this as some cover up thingy. The police chief warns the leader to back off but he continues to mock them. He then pulls out his gun and shoots him dead! It’s getting crazier by the second! Even back in the apartment too. With the girls’ clothes left to dry, they are left to wear sexy outfits for the time being. Saeko in a naked apron? Why is Shizuka and Rei acting like drunken people? Are they going through some menopause stage with their emotional state of being? Must be the recent events. Rei talks to Takashi about Hisashi so he gets pissed off for bringing up the past and comparing his faults with him. As they calm down, they get intimate with each other. That is interrupted when they hear a puppy barking below. They go outside to see their place swamped by zombies. Back at the bridge, the police order the bulldozer to bulldoze through the zombies. Then the chief shoots himself in the head.

Episode 7
As they watch from above how the surviving humans get bitten, Saeko suggests that they dim the lights so as not to attract other survivors. She assures them she is just telling them the facts of reality and hasn’t sunken that far. Then they witness a father and her daughter, Alice Maresato trying to take refuge in a house. The occupants are reluctant to take them in. When the father threatens to break the door down, they relent but it was just a ploy to stab him. Alice is shocked as she sees her father dying in his own pool of blood. Poor kid, she’s going to be very traumatic. This also attracts the zombies. Hirano snipes them while Takashi plans to rescue her on his bike. Takashi dashes his way across as Hirano provides the much needed cover. Finally he arrives and takes out the zombies closing in on Alice. The other girls prepare to load the necessary stuff into the humvee and get ready to leave. Can’t stay here forever, right? Takashi gives Alice and the dog, Zeke, a piggyback ride as they carefully trudge their way on the wall. One mistake and they’ll fall into the sea of hungry zombies. Suddenly Alice has to go to the toilet. Of all times, now? He allows her to let it go on him. What choice has he got? Better keep your footing and balance. Though the humvee cavalry is arriving, it seems like an eternity for them to get through the zombie horde. Saeko must be pretty confident standing on top while the vehicle barges its way through. Takashi and Alice hop on as the gang make their journey to find a way across the river.

Episode 8
We see that even onboard Air Force One, the American president is having a dilemma to unleash some attack. Too bad the First Lady and some of the crew are already zombies. Better hurry. Meanwhile as the humvee makes its way across the river, Hirano and Alice have gotten pretty close to each other. Hope he isn’t a lolicon. Alice sings her cute rendition of Row Your Boat while Hirano his bloody version. “Shoot, shoot, shoot your gun, kill them all now!” WTF?! Rei gets a little jealous to see Saeko sleeping closely to Takashi. What’s more, she’s drooling over his pants! When they reach the other side, the girls change into their clothes while Hirano teaches Takashi how to use a gun. They continue their journey and it seems there is nobody around. Not even zombies. How peaceful. All that comes crashing down when they see the undead in the next corner. Shizuka makes sudden turns at any corner to avoid the zombies. So much so she loses control after it slides on some blood and crashes into some barb wires. The Rei is thrown off and the humvee cannot start. Oh no. Zombies closing in. Takashi tries to fire his weapon but as an amateur misses. With Hirano’s guidance, he gets by. The numbers are going to overwhelm them so I don’t know how Takashi got this idea as he uses Rei’s boobs as recoil cushion when he fires his gun! Isn’t that painful? What’s more, her boobs are shaking like jelly! Saeko’s acrobatic moves are another mind blowing act. We see her gracefully in action as Takashi’s bullets zooms by just inches between her legs or boobs! WOW! Saya decides to help out and not be just a useless lip service whiner and goes crazy with the gun. But the numbers aren’t decreasing. Takashi and Saeko barge through the zombie wave intending to draw their attention away from the rest. However even after at a safe distance and no matter how loud noises they make, the zombies aren’t attracted to them and continue their march towards the humvee. Hirano plans to release only Alice to safety but she doesn’t want to be alone as his face brings back memories of a similar one when her dad died. In the nick of time, firemen from opposite the barb wire rescue them as it turns out that one of them is Saya’s mom. She happily reunites with her while Takashi and Saeko continue their run through the town to meet up with them.

Episode 9
Takashi and Saeko turn back to a bike shop to take an amphibious vehicle. They did a little experiment and find out that the zombies are not good when it comes to slopes or stairs. Plus, they seem to not cross the river and ‘lost interest’ in chasing them. They take refuge at a sandbank in the middle of it. Saeko got wet from that experiment and changes her clothes. She mentions about him looking at her as a woman and he asks if she has anyone she loves. Her reply is that she does. After a little rest, they resume their journey deep into the town. Takashi crashes the vehicle into the little fountain pond and makes the vehicle go round in circles as a ploy to distract the zombies. The duo get off as Saeko starts smacking her way through. She seems to be having lots of fun striking the zombies till she sees a kid zombie. She is frozen and paralyzed at its sight and could’ve been another victim if Takashi didn’t swiftly take it out with his gun. Seeking shelter at a shrine, Takashi tries to cheer gloomy Saeko up and successfully manages to break her into laughter. Portable toilet? Saeko starts telling her past. She had a guy she liked but never got a chance to confess to him as she thinks she isn’t good enough. Apparently she mentions about killing someone before. Long ago, some guy wanted to make a move on her but because she had her bokuto (wooden sword) with her, she broke his bones. However the point wasn’t the fact she violently defended herself from being raped. It was she didn’t hold herself back and enjoyed beating the crap out of him. That is the real her and was this way long before the zombies showed up. The reason why she froze back then was she remembered this and realized she hasn’t changed but gotten worse. Takashi holds her palm as they soon kiss. Next morning, it’s bright and sunny. Only the sight of those incoming zombies is spoiling the atmosphere. Looks like they need to make another run. Saeko is still feeling miserable so Takashi forcefully grabs her boobs. If she needs a reason, she’ll give her one but even how tainted she is, he’ll admire her as the best woman for as long as he lives and wants her to live with her sins as her true self. Erm… Is he serious about that admiring part? Well Takashi, looks like you’ve got to take responsibility for that now. Saeko thanks him and returns to her vicious self, coolly taking out all the zombies and enjoying every bit of it. Finally the duo manage to reunite with the rest at Saya’s huge mansion.

Episode 10
Rei is undergoing Shizuka’s painful ointment treatment. No thanks to that Takashi who used her boobs as recoiling cushion. Ouch. I hope she doesn’t need to go for breast surgery or further implants. Just kidding. Saya is fresh from her argument with mommy. Soon they learn they may have to leave this place because it won’t be long before electricity and water supply will be cut off. And it’ll be hard to maintain for a large mansion like this. The reason those supplies were available was because the army was sent (that helicopter incident) to defend those plants and the people there continued to work freely from zombies. But how long can they hold out? They have families too. Saya assembles her pals and throws them a decision they need to make: To join or split from this bigger and stronger group. Takashi commends how Saya’s parents are doing everything they can to help but Saya gets pissed off and snaps. She goes on ranting about their success in a sarcastic way so much so Takashi couldn’t take much more of her b*tching and grabs her by her collar and shakes her! He chides her that she is the only one who knows her family are safe. They then see Saya’s dad, Souichirou, the current family head and former lord of the Tokonosu, demonstrating to the other survivors about the tough reality of survival. One of his retainers got bitten while trying to rescue another. Though a noble effort, he isn’t a human now. Souichirou will fulfil his duty to his retainer and slices his head off. Hirano isn’t convinced since a sword can break when it hits the bone but Saeko counters with other factors which makes a sword ‘strong’. Upset Hirano chides Takashi for not being able to use a gun properly and runs away. Hirano is caught by the adults as they want him to give up the guns he is hoarding. He refuses and clings on tightly to them. Souichirou comes by and learns what is happening and Hirano reiterates he won’t hand them over no matter what since he has found something he is good at. He is unable to answer when Souichirou asks him the thing he is good at. That’s when Takashi steps in to say Hirano is good at protecting his daughter. All his other friends stood by him and praise his bravery. He even gets Saya’s approval as she mentions from her own mouth she was being protected by him unlike her dad (she has something against her parents?). Lastly, we still see that Shidou guy still around. He receives a report from his ‘follower’ about a chance of being taken in to the mansion. Despicable Shidou seems to have absolute control over his students, taking pictures of them in an orgy. What the?! And I was hoping he would’ve turned into a zombie now.

Episode 11
Can you believe it? Shidou still continues his dramatic speech to his mesmerized students while he lets that ‘follower’ get chewed by the zombies outside the bus (apparently his punishment for talking back). Meanwhile Saya gets into an argument with a group of adults who refuse to believe about this zombie thingy and are against the use of violence. So does getting loud and going crazy count? Saya discusses with Takashi and Hirano about people in denial and change and then acknowledges Takashi as their leader, surprising him. Souichirou is having a talk with Saeko. He gives her his sword and thinks Takashi has grown into a fine man though he is still hesitant. Then Takashi’s turn to talk to Rei (did she put camera straps to support her boobs?). The way Rei said things was like she now really loves him and wants to be by his side even if he loves other girls. What a total change of heart. I guess Takashi isn’t that all a jerk now when he first smashed Hisashi’s head, eh? Women, can’t understand them. Oops. Sorry. Later Takashi talks to Souichirou that he plans to go out to search for his parents and Rei’s. However Souichirou’s party will be moving out tomorrow so if he doesn’t return, Takashi says to assume that he’ll be staying put there. Saeko is ready to go on another journey with them (what’s with all the sexy clothes she always wear? “Do you always try to seduce everybody”?).  Suddenly Rei bursts into an angry rage. It seems Shidou and his students have legitimately entered the mansion. We see a brief history that Shidou is the son of a senator but to him his dad is just a noisy bastard that drove his mom to suicide. That’s when Shidou decided to leave the family and became a teacher. Then his dad ordered him to hold back Rei a year in school just because he had unpleasant ties with Rei’s dad. Rei lunges the bayonet at Shidou’s face. She blames him for making her dad suffer and the guilt he held. She had to hold it all in as she knew it was him who altered her grades and if the investigations went well, Shidou and his dad could’ve been arrested. She is going to kill him. Souichirou encourages her to do what she has to do so Shidou dares her. But Rei puts her bayonet away and claims he isn’t worth killing, upsetting Shidou very much. Have you ever seen his face contort that much before? Souichirou has Shidou and his students leave his estate immediately. Meanwhile a bunch of submarine guys pray to God for mercy as they receive orders to fire warheads. And from Nasa’s view from space, it’s like several countries firing missiles, destroying each other and bringing Armageddon. Hey, we don’t need Judgment Day to come, don’t we?

Episode 12
The missile war begins so much so we can see that familiar mushroom bomb smoke from outer space. Shizuka finally remembers Rika’s number and calls her. She is relieved her Special Assault Team friend is still alive but their joy is cut short when a sudden bright light engulfs the sky and cuts out all communications and anything that is electronic. So which means if you are driving a car powered by electronic, the brakes won’t be working. Like how Shidou’s bus crashes into the barricade and letting all the zombies through. Calm Saya explains the electromagnetic wave effect that fries anything that has a computer chip inside it. Souichirou commends her for being able to stay calm during this time of panic. Just then a swarm of zombies converge at the main gates. The workers close it, trying to hold them back but their numbers are overwhelming so much so the gate breaks. Let the hungry fest begin! Soon the zombie count increases as our heroes and other survivors defend themselves from the endless nightmare. Souichirou gets word that their neighbouring house hasn’t been attacked so he suggests that the survivors break through to that place. He tells Takashi to walk his own path and leaves his daughter in Hirano’s care. Saya know what this means but she gets a little slap from mommy that this decision hurts them too, it is what they want and that they have their own roles to play. Souichirou and his men start the offensive as Takashi’s head towards the garage to escape via another humvee. Though it is electromagnetic wave-proof, the mechanic is trying to repair it seeing that it is a little damaged. For the time being, the rest will have to defend the place. Once the humvee is up and running, the gang busts out and heads straight over the horizon. Souichirou and his wife’s fate are left hanging. But what are the chances when you’re being surrounded by zombies? Yeah, no regrets. Salute. Saya probably knew this was going to happen as she tries her best to remain her composure. Takashi and co continue their travel, with the usual zombie killing till their humvee can’t go on further. They reach outside a shopping mall.

OVA
There was an OVA episode released back in May 2011. Somehow it felt like a relaxed version because it lacks all those flesh-eating zombies. So if it doesn’t have that, what does it have then? Why, fanservice of course! Lasting approximately 16 minutes or so, we see Takashi’s narration of fighting and escaping zombies in the opening but he too gets distracted and fallen into the fanservice trap when he thinks about those erm, fanservice moments about the girls. So during their escape from the zombies, the gang ended up on a secluded little island with no other life forms in sight via little boat. Oddly there is a beach house filled with water supplies though no one is around. And yes, there are swimsuits too. Guys included. Get out of your tight clothes and let your bodies breathe! Disgustingly, Hirano put on a female school swimsuit. With the lack of food, the girls ‘force’ the guys to go hunting. Or else Shizuka’s boobs will shrink, according to her. Nope. Not her stomach. Takashi comes back empty handed while surprisingly Hirano has his net full of seafood catch. If it’s any consolation for Takashi, he and Zeke brought back some leafs to start fire. As they cook the fish, they suddenly smell something funny and as Shizuka point out, the leafs are actually hydrangea, supposedly gives hallucination when inhaled. Too late. I don’t know but how come every busty girl who hallucinates must get horny? Yeah, Shizuka and Rei start seducing Takashi. Even Saya. Something hot is raging inside her body! Saeko seems not to be affected by the smoke yet and takes Takashi to safety. But at a distance, I’m not sure if it’s her hallucination or her real desire because she wants to be his woman.

Meanwhile Shizuka and Saya start hugging each other because they see each other as Rika and mommy respectively. They proceed to do lots of skinship on each other. Back to Saeko, she starts kissing Takashi. But that’s not the end of it, Takashi pushes her down and, let’s say it really gets steamy from here. Morning comes, Saya realizes she is totally naked with Shizuka! Then to her horror, she spots Hirano doing something pleasant with a broomstick. Let’s say it was between his legs and moving in a systematic motion. The worse one has got to be Saeko. She’s not making out with Takashi actually. It’s Rei!!! HOLY SH*T! So once the gang realize their embarrassing folly, I’m sure it’s natural that they’re just sitting there in shock, reflecting if all this was just a bad nightmare. It isn’t. They really did it on each other. Suddenly Alice runs up to them saying that Takashi is in deep trouble. The disturbing part wasn’t the fact he is amazingly keeping 4 zombikini (zombie in bikini) babes from biting his flesh with all his limbs, but rather is still daydreaming that Rei, Saya, Saeko and Shizuka are doing something so perverted on him that he is going to cum!!!! I’m not sure if they want to let the zombies eat him or wake him up from his unsightly dream. I’m not sure if there is another OVA because as Alice presents in a slideshow form in the end, she’s saying how they discovered a tunnel that links to the mainland and that their fight will continue. Hey, where was she when the rest were engaging in such unholy act?

“The Zombies Are Coming…”
That’s it?! That is how it ended? Doesn’t feel like an ending! I can’t believe it was left hanging like this! It’s not over yet, really. It could have been quite a good series in my opinion if not for that half-assed ending that left a bad aftertaste in my mouth. Just like how the end quote perfectly summarizes the way the series ended: “This is the way the world ends. Not with a bang but with a whimper”. That’s right. What a wimpy ending. Anyway that quote was taken from a poem from T.S. Eliot, Hollow Men. Not that I have read it before or any of his works probably there’s a hidden meaning to it to say about us humans. Later I found out that the comic that this series is based on is currently ongoing. So I guess it’s better to end it there instead of putting in mindless fillers like a long running show that has everyone all vexed up.

For a horror genre, I was always on the edge of my seat for the entire duration of this series. It is not that I was scared out of my wits, but rather each time the zombies attack, it was nail-biting to see how the gang survives each fight. Of course we all know that our heroes will always make it through in the end but each of the assault from the zombies gave that dangerous feeling that they could be bitten the very next second. They may seem dull and like clones but they do give off that eerie feel. The subliminal message that this series is trying to say is probably the survival nature of humans. When faced with such a situation, we can see the true colours of our kind emerging. Some true leaders are born and some will turn to their dark side to do just about anything to survive. Then there are some that are willing to brave for changes and some unable to accept reality and shroud in their own world of denial. But even as we are now, are we no better than being mindless zombies? It makes us think of the many possibilities of the extinction of the human race and whether or not our own foolish doing is the cause of apocalypse. I wonder if those greenhouse and pollution effect has anything do with it.

You can’t help but root for Takashi and his gang. They may not be perfect but they rely on each other as they try and survive. Each of the characters has their own personalities, making the group quite fun. However because the series is too short, there isn’t enough time to appropriately flesh out the characters and how they will change as they further survive the carnage and pending apocalypse. We have short glimpses of Saeko’s past and Saya’s family but that doesn’t do much justice. Takashi has turned from someone who is indecisive into someone capable and reliable leader. I felt that Takashi and Rei’s relationship takes a back seat after halfway through. I felt that Rei didn’t really ‘stand out’ nor do anything significant other than her scorn for Shidou after reaching Saya’s mansion. Then again like I said, this series is too short for anything. Maybe I was having a wishful thinking hoping there will be some love polygon seeing that there were little hints of some budding romance. Uh, maybe this whole zombie thingy has got me crazy too. I have a feeling about Hirano’s character. I felt that as though the producers are telling us that otakus aren’t as useless as they seem. Saya may not be good at taking offensive but her intelligence proves vital. She isn’t a rich spoilt brat no more. But I couldn’t say the same for Shizuka because she’s still the busty airhead from start to finish. Hey, every group needs a bimbo like her. Who else provides a ‘good’ driver than her? Remember, everybody else is underage so they have no driving licence. Heck, you don’t need one now in this world. Come to think of it, don’t they look just like an RPG party? Takashi, Rei and Saeko for melee combat, Hirano the long range fighter, Shizuka the medic and Saya and Alice as supporting backup class such as mage and priestess. Don’t forget about Zeke as the mascot. Shidou is the creepiest non-zombie character and I’m not sure about his fate in the end when he crashed his bus. Did he get eaten or did he escape? I prefer and hope it is the former.

The characteristics of the zombie sometimes puzzle me. For instance their sensitivity to be attracted by sound. When Zeke was barking like mad against the hordes of zombies during its first appearance to protect Alice, why didn’t the zombies bite the puppy? Does it mean that they only bite humans? Then around the time Takashi and Saeko tried to distract the zombies from the rest and banged on the railing as loud as he could but the zombies continue their slogging towards the restless one. So this had me thinking that if you accidentally make a loud noise but slowly get away from the spot without panicking or being noisy, would you be able to evade the zombies? Just how come they know when to bite the human flesh if they lack all other senses? So if you play dead, are your chances of getting bitten lower? And why is it zombies can’t cross water? How can they tell when as mentioned they lack senses? Will they sink to the bottom? Yeah, might as well start living in the sea if you’re going to live a life free of zombies. Baffling but I guess that is what being a zombie means. Don’t try to understand them. Just kill them all! Bang, bang, bang, bang! Oops, sorry. Got carried away with Hirano’s modified overkill version.

The action of smashing zombies is definitely violent. But sometimes the action especially those involving riding vehicles can really be absurd. Take for instance the final escape scene from Saya’s estate. I’m not sure if Shizuka is that skilful in handling the humvee but can you believe it when she actually is able to tilt it and squeeze through the tiny opening of the barricade and zoom past it without error?! Wow. I’m speechless. And about Saeko’s ‘bullet time’ ability? I have no qualms about her excellent kendo skill and am confident that with her around, the gang will be in safe hands. But during the scene whereby she gracefully dodges her comrade’s bullets and continue her swinging like as though this is some sort of sophisticated art made my jaw dropped. Why not? This whole outbreak thingy was unexplainable in the first place so why not go all the way with the fanservice and violence. Yeah, who cares for the fanservice when you have zombies to fight. Probably to ‘relieve tension’ for viewers in between the bloody carnage? So perhaps that is why the girls still continue to choose to wear short skirts rather than long pants that may or may not be baggy and restrict their movements during fights. On a trivial note, each of the episode title has the word ‘dead’ in it. Dead on. Plus, it is a little creative to see how the title is being displayed as the episode starts after the opening credits, like being written with blood or on a signpost. Why do we need to be reminded of the episode title again right at the end just before the ending credits? This time in a more standard font. The next episode preview sounds like a cacophony of people speaking and shouting. It’s crazy. Besides, when everybody is talking, nobody is listening, right?

I don’t really have any qualms with the voice acting. Except for Takashi’s who is voiced by Junichi Suwabe (Atobe in Prince Of Tennis, Undertaker in Kuroshitsuji). Somehow I find his voice unsuitable as a high school student as he sounds more like a young adult. Noboyuki Hiyama as Hirano (Ikkaku in Bleach) proves to be quite fun when he gets loud or excited. Other casts include Marina Inoue as Rei (Kyoko in Skip Beat), Eri Kitamura as Saya (Ami in Toradora), Miyuki Sawashiro as Saeko (Shinku in Rozen Maiden), Yukari Fukui as Shizuka (Nia in Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann), Ayana Taketatsu as Alice (Azusa in K-ON!, Ako in KissxSis) and Kishou Taniyama as Shidou (Saten in Needless, Takeya in DearS). The voice acting of the other minor characters are also convincing as they portray the people in panic as they scream just seconds before they are devoured or the fear they faced when they are so close to the undead or being bitten. Truly scary. The opening theme, which is the same name as the series is a total hard rock piece sung by Kisida Kyodan & The Akebosi Rockets. The tune and lyrics are definitely befitting the pace of this series. However each of the ending themes is different though they are all sung by Maon Kurosaki. They may range from slow ballads to fast rock to pop beats, and even one totally in English. I may not be right but I feel that many of its lyrics have this lingering feeling of what has happened to the world whether it’s ‘wanting to be with you’ or ‘if time would stop like this’.

It’s just frightening and terrifying to think that if all six over billion of us humans are turned into zombies. And that number is to hit seven in no time. It’s just a daunting task for the survivors to put a bullet in each head or smack it off. I don’t think the world has produced that much ammo. This is one case where disrespecting the dead is okay. But will be being the dead really be better off? So if it does happen, what would I really do? What can we do? Blowing up the entire world with nuclear bombs may be a way to ‘clean up’ the world and start anew but that would be just the easy way out, don’t you think? As for me, erm… Maybe I better start playing and practising those Resident Evil games just in case.

Baccano

June 4, 2011

Hmm… Where should I start this story? How should I start this tale? Who are the main characters and what their roles are. No, it’s not that I’m trying to be a screenwriter or playwright, but after watching Baccano, you start to ponder those questions because a story with a fascinating plot and a hell lot of characters involved that includes a pair of thieves, alchemists, gangsters, mafia, Camorrista, hired killers, informants and even more, it may seem everything just came straight out from the movies.

The main story’s timeline is set in America during the 1930’s period but as we go along, we’ll learn that it is essentially split into 3 different year periods. The way the story is shown may be confusing and overwhelming at first because bits and pieces of the plot are shown from all over and just about anywhere. For the first few episodes, you may feel puzzled and baffled as the events do not make sense nor are they connected. But if you are patient, you will be rewarded as you go along and at the end when you put together all the jigsaw pieces, you’ll understand the big picture as a whole. Interesting. Due to the ‘messy’ back and forth snippets and clips of the story, I won’t really go into detail into each episode but only the important events that happened in chronological order. If I could remember them. For those wanting more information can go to good ol’ Wikipedia for details about the characters or Star Crossed Anime Blog for a summary of all the episodes.

As mentioned, the many characters of the series are the ones that make it colourful and lively. You could probably guess from the opening credits as they display the names of the characters that will appear throughout the series (17 of them). However I feel that there are more characters to that and the reason why they aren’t shown in the beginning as I feel it will be a dead giveaway to a certain little plot (I also noticed that those other ‘unshown’ characters are from the Daily Days  – an information company). It will be interesting to see how many of these characters come together as they set off events from one another. Also said earlier, it is set in the United States so the characters are of different nationality and not your typical Takashi or Haruka to begin with. Heck, you may be forgiven to think that this isn’t an anime production (the drawing and art isn’t that obvious to the conventional anime style) in the first place till they start speaking Japanese. Non-Japanese people speaking Japanese? Odd. Oh wait. This series is an oddity in its own way. Come to think of it, it would be even odd if it was dubbed in English and the characters speaking in American accent! Oh, my stereotype thinking of animes.  Anyway, here is a brief description of the main characters:

Isaac Dian and Miria Harvent – These pair of bungling and idiotic thieves are the reason why you should watch Baccano. They provide comic relief to the entire series with their eccentric and flowery talk. Even if they seem annoying (especially Miria sometimes being an echo to Isaac or confirming with him), they are a pair that will be very hard to hate but love so much so you can’t help but root for them. They also have a peculiar habit of stealing odd stuff (like the heavy museum door?) and you have got to love some of their reasoning to rob. Listen to this one, the reason why they rob from the rich isn’t because they want to be Robin Hood but rather to prevent internal fighting for inheritance! And they think they’re doing a hell of a noble duty. Oh yeah. Really love them alright… Just like how they’re depicted as cards in the opening animation, they’re a pair of jokers.
Maiza Avaro – The bespectacled bookkeeper of the Martillo family in Manhattan and the leader of original alchemist immortals.
Firo Prochainezo – A skilled fighter and a new addition to the Martillo family. Is seen close with his mentor Maiza most of the time.
Keith, Berga and Luck Gandor – The mafia brothers running a small business in Manhattan. Keith being the eldest and the leader, Berga the second-in-command and Luck the charming and social one responsible for plotting out strategies. Say, doesn’t Luck look very much like Bleach’s Aizen?
Szilard Quates – A dangerous old guy that one must not mess with if you know him well. One of the original alchemist immortals, Szilard seeks to recreate the immortal formula for his own nefarious ends.
Ennis – A homunculus created by Szilard via his cells (how he does it and even made a female one still boggles me). Initially a loyal servant of Szilard but develops her own emotions.
Ladd Russo – A sadistic hitman of the Russo family who enjoys and seeks thrill in killing people. You can tell he loves his ‘job’ very much as he even dances in the pool of blood of his fallen victims. In happiness.
Lua Klein – Ladd’s fiancee and the only reason she’s staying alive is because she is to be killed by Ladd’s hands. What?
Chane Laforet – The mute knife fighter and daughter of Huey Laforet, a traitor who is currently being imprisoned for treason.
Jacuzzi Splot – Though the leader of his own gangster, the most evident trait about him is that he is a cry-baby! When the going gets tough, he starts crying. But when his members are in danger, he will summon enough strength to fight for them. Has a large sword tattoo over his face.
Nice Holystone – Jacuzzi’s girlfriend and partner in crime and expert in the explosive area. She wears an eye-patch to hide the right eye she lost via an explosive experiment. That empty are is useful because she keeps her tiny bombs in it.
Eve Genoard – The daughter of a wealthy family with a quiet personality. She is searching for her missing older brother.
Dallas Genoard – Eve’s brother and a small time thug going around causing mischief with his small group after his family’s fortune were robbed by Isaac and Miria.
Czeslaw Meyer – A young boy and one of the original alchemist immortals. Due to a torture and painful experiment by his guardian, he doesn’t trust anyone and wants to devour other immortals to avoid being devoured, especially Maiza.

The timeline of the main story is split into 1930, 1931 and 1932. I also feel that 1711 is also an important date as this is where it all started. Though this date won’t be shown with such frequency in every episode (besides the halfway episode) and just sparingly. There are other years as well but they serve more as a prelude to these main ones.

1711 – Where it all began on the Advenna Avis ship
A group of around 3o alchemists managed to summon the devil and obtain an elixir for immortality. The devil imparts several conditions like they can only find each other using their real names (the logic for this still baffles me) and if they ever get tired of living, they can devour themselves by placing their right hand over the other’s head and wish from the heart ‘to eat’. That same right hand can also impart knowledge of the devoured to others. However the devil only gives the knowledge to make the elixir to Maiza and in the event if they want to recreate it, they will have to ask him. Maiza concludes that nobody else should acquire this elixir as it would bring disastrous results. Everyone agrees except Szilard. Because of that, Szilard starts devouring one by one the alchemists and ultimately Gret, Maiza’s brother whom Maiza has passed on half of the elixir’s knowledge. Though Szilard is thrown off the ship in a struggle, the surviving alchemists decide to scatter themselves throughout the world after realizing the threat they possess if they stayed together.

1930 – The new immortals
Szilard is successful in creating the elixir of immortality. I guess after 200 years, there has to be some reward for his patience, right? However his underling Barnes who was in charge of making the elixir, the building caught fire and he only managed to save 2 bottles. Worse, Barnes encounters Dallas and his thugs as they steal his precious cargo. Szilard devours Barnes and has Ennis to hunt down the responsible party. Firo bumps into Ennis and you could say he starts to fall for her because he goes to great lengths trying to return her sleeve button she dropped. So when Dallas and co are being rounded up back to Szilard, it seems the elixir isn’t with them anymore. Szilard instils some fear in Dallas and co by devouring one of his friends and soon makes them partial immortals (they cannot be killed and their wounds heal but will still die of old age) and has them to go look for the elixir. Meanwhile the elixir bottles are being passed around Manhattan, exchanging several hands a few times and making those possessors who drank it immortals. They include Isaac, Miria, the Gandor brothers, Firo and his Martillo family members (they drank it thinking it was alcohol to celebrate Firo’s entry into their family).

Eventually Szilard manages to find Maiza and confronts him. At this point, Szilard has already devoured 2/3 of the original immortals and is going to devour Maiza. Szilard for an old guy can move and attack faster compared to Maiza. Crippled Maiza could’ve been done for if Isaac and Miria’s ill timing didn’t cause a commotion (the car they stole slammed into Szilard). Szilard orders Ennis to rid of the thieves but her previous meeting with them has caused her to hesitate and obey his orders since Ennis have become friends with Isaac and Miria. Szilard saw her betrayal coming because that was how all his past creations turned out. Ennis teaches Firo how to devour Szilard and in that instant, Firo did exactly what he is supposed to do and ends Szilard’s life. Firo heals dying Ennis and confesses his love for her. Everyone continues their celebration and as for Dallas and his gang, the Gandor brothers decide to punish them for killing their comrades during their rounds to retrieve their elixir by cementing their bodies in an oil barrel and dumping them to the bottom of the Hudson River. Hey, they won’t really die for a long time, right?

1931 – Onboard the Flying Pussyfoot
This is where half of the characters will meet. The transcontinental train, the Flying Pussyfoot will be making its way across the States towards Manhattan. Isaac and Miria board the train to meet up with Ennis after their failed California gold digging. They meet and befriend Jacuzzi and Nice (their gang are onboard to steal the explosives in the cargo) along with Natalie, the wife of Senator Beriam, her daughter Mary and Czeslaw. Ladd and his gang in white suits (so that they could see the blood colour of their victims tainted on it. Sick!) and the Lemures, a group of loyal cult followers of Huey in black suits under the guise as an orchestra band with Chane also boards the train. Isaac and Miria tell scaredy cat Jacuzzi about some urban legend called Rail Tracer that devours the passengers on the train. Jacuzzi starts believing it and coincidentally the white black suits start to hijack the train. Both sides soon plunge the train into a bloody carnage. Seems the Lemures are holding Natalie and Mary to a hostage to get Beriam to release Huey. But that is just a ploy so that they can obtain the immortality elixir and would even get rid of Chane once their mission is done. When the hijack begins, the assistant conductor, Claire Stanfield (funny, he has a girl’s name?) decides to assume the role of the mysterious Rail Tracer and kill the black and white suit perpetrators while ensuring the safety of the other innocent passengers after he learns that his conductor mentor has been killed by them before the train journey began. Claire is a highly skilled assassin previously known as Vino, the reason why he moves so swiftly like a ghost, in and out and even under the train with much flexibility and mobility. He is also the adoptive brother of the Gandors.

Czeslaw meets Ladd and acts like an innocent kid though he wants him to kill everybody onboard. Ladd is sceptical and because Czeslaw thinks he is invincible, Ladd blows his brain to bits! But Czeslaw is an immortal and in no time regenerates. Unknown to them, Claire saw all these events unfolding. Ladd also comes into contact with Jacuzzi and co but decides to put his kill on hold he wants to get rid of the black suits first (Ladd wants to kill Jacuzzi’s gang for since his uncle’s men were attacked by them though Jacuzzi insisted it was retaliation for killing some of his). A stowaway, Rachel (from Daily Days) has a close encounter with Rail Tracer and freaks out when he whispers to close into her ear (you’ll find out much later the freaking thing he said was something about ticket inspection and her having a free ride). Czeslaw too has a close encounter with the Rail Tracer and since he revealed himself as an immortal, Claire proceeds to continue torturing Czeslaw by biting his fingers off and scrapping his hands off the tracks! Meanwhile Beriam visits Huey in prison and tries to convince him to tell his followers to back down. However Huey is confident that Chane is loyal to him as he telepathically communicates with her.

Apparently trains at that time don’t move so fast so it’s no surprise that even when someone is running or fighting on top of the coaches, they won’t fall off. Ladd fights Chane while Jacuzzi takes on a Lemure underling. Ladd and Chane’s fight isn’t progressing anywhere as both are equally matched. Till Claire pops up and decides to side with Chane after hearing their side of the story. Claire even proposes to Chane to marry her. He wants her to get off the train and carve her answer on the coach. Ladd fights Claire but makes Ladd ‘jump off’ the train when he pretends to hold Lua hostage. Jacuzzi wins his fight against Lemure since the latter was using a flame thrower that exploded when he fell onto the tracks. Isaac and Miria save Czeslaw from underneath the train (Czeslaw panicked when he saw Isaac’s wound heal and thought he was going to devour him) and in some crazy events, the trio are swung up via some rope and safety. Jacuzzi and Nice manage to unload the cargo into the river and Chane is seen floating atop one of them. Claire sees Chane’s answer wanting him to find her and she will do the same (though her intention is to kill him). When the train arrives at its destination, Isaac and Miria are happy to see Ennis. Because they forgot to get her a present, they give Czeslaw to her as her little brother. Czeslaw finally meets Maiza but couldn’t have the heart to devour him. Instead he cried and hugged him that he wanted to see him so much.

1932 – The search for Dallas
Eve is worried about her missing brother and enlists the help of the members of the Daily Days, Elean and Nicholas to help search. Also, the Runorata family are also searching for Dallas so the Don and head of the family has his subordinate Gustavo to go look for him. After learning that the Gandors may have something to do with Dallas’ disappearance, Gustavo kidnaps Eve in hopes of luring Dallas out. Of course due to the guard’s incompetency, Eve escapes and is rescued by Elean. Once she learns the Gandors may know something about Dallas, she storms over unheeding the dangers she may pose to herself. They are interrupted when Gustavo barges in and sprays bullets into the brothers. However they regenerate and beat him unconscious. Then Don arrives and shoots Gustavo in the head for doing several unnecessary stuff. Luck reveals Dallas being cemented at the bottom of the river so Don makes a deal with Eve that he will rescue Dallas in exchange for allowing him to examine Dallas in his lab (for his immortality thingy). By 1933, Eve watches the river being excavated.

Also in this time period, we see Nicholas and Elean along with Rachel relaying information to the president of Daily Days of what has happened during the events on the Flying Pussyfoot like how Rachel got her leg injury (after rescuing Jacuzzi and his gang) and the possible conflict between Gandors and Runoratas on Dallas’ case. The odd part about the president isn’t the fact that he always remain unseen behind his desk of mountain of books, but rather he knows lots about the information and situation even before his employees  could finish explaining. What’s more, he knows pretty much more about the details than his employees. It’s like as though he is the author of this story. Nah. This show can’t be breaking the fourth wall.

And on a short time trip into the future in 2001, we see Isaac and Miria continuing their robbing spree (stealing handphones to avoid the problem of kids never talking to their parents face to face anymore? Yeah, how considerate). Then it hit them that they looked the same over half a century ago. Their conclusion? They must have been born this way! Oh goodness! See why you got to love this pair! Yeah, it never occurred to them that they are immortals and perhaps not in the near future. Or forever.

The OVAs
Well, if you buy the DVD, there are 3 additional episodes that reveals a little more about some of the characters and the aftermath of some of the events. We have also this new character called Graham Spector. He’s another eccentric and psycho guy. Wearing a worker suit and wielding a large spanner as his weapon, this poetic guy wants to find out who injured Ladd and made him fall off the train (currently Ladd is serving his time in prison though he remains his actions to kill were in self defence). So a short flashback how Graham and Ladd met and fought. Though Ladd won, he spared Graham because he thinks they’re both alike. Yeah, birds of the same feathers. Graham plans to capture Jacuzzi and obtain the reward from the Russo family. And to draw him out, he kidnaps to kidnap Eve, which unknown to them is Chane. Before that, Chane has become friends with Jacuzzi and his gang, since they treat her very nicely. Graham leaves a note for Jacuzzi to turn up alone and to bring lots of money in which he did. However he just didn’t bring the money but notes that if he turns him in, he will get a huge bounty reward instead. Jacuzzi’s other pals turn up claiming that they didn’t contradict the note and walked here by themselves (“I walked all the way from Mexico and ended up here”?).

Elsewhere we see Claire meeting up with Rachel and Czeslaw (the latter revealing to the former about his immortality). Czeslaw really freaked out when he realizes Claire is that Rail Tracer! Claire wants Rachel to give advice to best way to confess to a girl (Chane). Claire obtains information from Nicholas (after threatening him) about Chane’s whereabouts and walks right into Graham’s warehouse in the middle of Chane and Graham’s fight. Claire ignores Graham and proposes to Chane once more. Chane is confused and unsure because the only person she loved was Huey though she was never sure he loved her back because he never said those 3 magic words. She also remembers how she traded her voice so that she will never betray him in exchange for his secrets. Graham fights Claire and is shocked to learn that he is the one who injured Ladd.  Graham backs down and leaves after acknowledging that only Ladd can beat him. Claire proposes to Chane again and to start off as friends. She nods a yes.

Other events we see such as Isaac, Miria, Firo, Maiza and the Martillo family making a huge domino and celebrating after its knockdown success, Natalie rewards Rachel with lots of money but she uses it to buy lots of train tickets but throws them all away to compensate her free rides (yeah, that Rail Tracer thingy must’ve traumatized her), Eve sees an empty barrel after its extraction from the river and a short flashback how Jacuzzi tattooed his face to cheer down and out Nice on the aftermath of the explosion that damaged her face . We also see the whereabouts of some of the original alchemist immortals like Elmer Albatross who visited Huey in prison as the latter wants Elmer to find and make Chane in which he doubts is possible; Sylvie Lumiere who was Gret’s girlfriend and the only one who drank the elixir much later in life. Currently she is working as a singer and wanted to devour Firo for Gret’s memories but concludes that it would be safe in Firo’s hands; Ronny Sukiart the reincarnation of the devil who has been asked by Elmer to watch over Maiza and is thankful he kept his promise to do so as a human and not a devil. However Ronny notes that he does so because he was merely curious to see how the events unfold.

The story never ends
Just like the early and final scenes on how the Daily Days vice president Gustav St. Germain and his little girl assistant Carol contemplating on where the story starts or ends, there will never be one simply because, it is fun that way. Say what? I just found out that the light novel in which the series is based on is still ongoing. As I skim through briefly the plot, it seems there will be more characters (especially the remaining alchemist immortals) and different stories in different timelines. There are also outcomes of some of the characters like Chane and Claire married and Jacuzzi and Nice having a great grandson.

Besides Isaac and Miria (whom are my personal favourites), Ladd, Graham and Claire are the other most interesting characters in this show because of their screwball personalities. Claire may be an ex-assassin but at times he too proves that inside he is human and falls in love. Just like Graham, you just got to love his smooth speeches. It’s mind blowing that he likes to use this scare tactic of putting his victim’s face close to the rail tracks while threatening them. However some of the characters didn’t really do much such as Lua. I felt her presence could really do without and that her only ‘role’ was a prelude and setting to make Ladd and herself fall off the train during the climax. So maybe her appearance in the opening credits was just a trick to keep viewers on their toes to wonder how each of them will play a significant role. I also find Keith and Berga to fall under this category since Luck is the one doing the talking most of the time on behalf of the brothers. Heck, Keith doesn’t even have a single line in this entire show!

There is a question that I am wondering. Can an immortal devour himself? You know, placing your own right hand over your own head and eat yourself. Not possible? So what happens if there is only 1 immortal left after the rest has been devoured? Ah, I found out that’s when the devil will eat up the last remaining one and obtain all the knowledge devoured by all of them along the way. Wait a minute, a devil needs to do this? I thought he is supposed to be omniscient in a way? Then about Dallas’ case at the end. If he wasn’t found to be in the barrel, what happened to him? Was he there in the first place?

One thing I want to mention is the amount of blood and gore in this show. If you are not used to seeing animated human flesh tearing up to their bones or body parts flying off in all directions and then coming back together in one piece like as though nothing happened, you may want to stand by a paper bag just in case. It is definitely very graphic and not intended for younger audiences. Heck, when you have mafia and gangsters in your story, it’s not like the producers had kindergarten kids in mind while they’re making this show. The next episode preview is narrated by Isaac and Miria and as usual, displays their idiocracy, much to our delight of course. The OVA’s narration is done by Graham and is equally poetic to his style of speaking. The odd thing that still bugs me is that on the final episode of the OVA, they still put “What’s next on Baccano” (a cue for the next episode preview), assuming that there are some more episodes to continue after that but as far as the series is concern, it ends there.

The opening theme is entitled Guns’ & Roses by Paradise Lunch. It is totally instrumental but it is very jazzy and catchy. Now I could understand why this show and Durarara!! have their opening animation so similar in terms of the main characters being introduced here and short clips of certain scenes being played in the middle of it. They’re both made by Brains Base and thus it is no wonder when I watched Durarara!! a year ago, I was wondering why there were so many Baccano trivia. Yeah, even Isaac and Miria made a cameo appearance there! Not only immortals, but crossing dimensional gates into other animes as well like Tsubasa Chronicle. Haha! The ending theme is Calling by Kaori Oda and is a slow ballad while the view is a gloomy track and which probably goes nowhere. Here you can probably see the full list of the main characters in the series.

Overall, I find the entire series to be very intriguing and interesting.  Even it was mystifying with the different timelines shown and the many characters, it was done in a good way that kept me glued to the screen all the way. It also made me read up a lot of info and do some reading up on the characters and their roles to better understand everything. If they ever produce a sequel and retain this format, I’d be willing to watch it. But don’t wait too long because I’m not an immortal.

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