Wait… WHAT???!!! THERE’S STILL MORE???!!! I DIDN’T SEE THIS COMING!!! Really. I never knew there was going to be a third season of Ai Mai Mi – Surgical Friends! Just when I thought I was getting over and being rehabilitated of my drug addiction, they f*cking lured me back with this f*cking surprise! You mean bastards! I was almost clean from this piece of sh*t for such a long time (actually it was only 2 years ago, the second season aired) and how dare they drag me back with this sweet, sweet goodness that I love. Mmm… Welcome home to papa. I guess this third season is the right tonic and fix ever since Teekyuu ended. Oh yeah… I was never freed from those drugs anyway…

Episode 1
The casts are reading names of seiyuus representing parodies of football teams. One of them tells her off for making viewers wait for the start of the series but she gets punched in the mouth! Mai and Mi are jealous Ai is drawing manga again. So they make her stop by giving her cake? Yeah, she is traumatized. Ai sees Mai underdressed in this cold weather. She gives her scarf but apparently she wraps the wrong way. Realizing her birthday is next week, Ai is forced to give up her allowance to maintain her friendship as she promises to buy a new coat. Mai is happy Ai got her a new one and will treasure it. Mi gets jealous seeing how close they are and didn’t know they are into that kind of relationship. She kills herself by jumping out of the train.

Episode 2
Mi sees this kid, Takahiro threatening a manga store worker to bring out some virgin. The manager tries to defend her but gets teleported into a dolphin’s stomach! Mi reports this to Mai and they think he is going to initiate Plan S where all is killed except female virgins. Mi plans to kill him and strikes first but gets caught. He licks her and is happy she is still a virgin. Mi then talk about them who respected virgins. But he strayed so much that he knows hate girls who aren’t virgins. Remember, people who aren’t virgins deserve to live too! She then sucks him into a bottle trap. However he has powered up and cannot be contained as he defiles Mai and Mi. When Ai passes by, Takahiro leers at her for being a perfect virgin. She gets mad and slaps him. Defeated!

Episode 3
Mai asks Mi if she has any other friends other than her because they are always together. Don’t say Ai because she’s a minion! Mai’s twisted idea of not wanting to see a perfect Mi without friends has her lie that she’ll bring the most awesome friend for her to see tomorrow. On the way home, Mi bumps into Ponoka who agrees to give what she wants in exchange for 5 years of her life. So Mi is kneading the ingredients to make an ideal friend? While she is asleep, the blob comes alive and scares the sh*t out of her. It wants to be her friend but obviously she can’t be friends with this monster. She runs away while it chases her. So when Mai sees she has such a dangerous friend, she can’t help respect her.

Episode 4
Mi brings her hamster to school. Mai wants to touch it so much that she turns into an elongated human?! When Mi relents, Mai abuses it to the max and turns it into some food! The hamster then turns out to be some demon, Crastofeles who has been with war with heaven for 800 years. He reveals Mai to be the angel Shakalafy. When Ai enters, Crastofeles disappears. This has Mai ponder their past. They used to be comrades until his desire for ultimate power caused him to change and resulted in that war. Mi has no idea what she is talking about so Mi gets mad because she went through all that trouble of being reincarnated. Mi is sad her hamster is gone and thinks back of all the good times (sleeping with it too?!). Luckily Mi points out its body is still okay within the food. Crastofeles returns to haunt Ai and thinks it is Shakalafy’s weakness. But Ai senses a pervert staring at her and beats it up. And that is how humanity was saved.

Episode 5
Mi is blabbing about Elon Musk’s space programme but apparently Mai isn’t giving a damn. The girls are soaking in a hotspring. Suddenly a wolf is sucking its water followed by a sheep. Mi tries to torment and disrupt Ai’s manga work by boiling her, stuck an alien on her back and zap her under a heat ray that she can’t go to toilet. However Ai still manages to finish it. Mai and Mi are about to fight over their opinions of cats and dogs. Herald Ponoka to stop them because it is more important they consider themselves as the cutest. A scary fridge is at a funeral. It won’t open unless you smile at it… Smiling madly at a funeral? Ponoka introduces a game she deciphered on some alien manuscript. So to play Zaiiga you draw a circle, everyone stands in it facing their backs to each other, close your eyes and quietly walk away…

Episode 6
What’s this?! A somewhat serious episode! When Mi reveals her true name to be Minya Meinich, Ai got mad asserting this shouldn’t change their relationship. Here, have a doughnut. This brings back memories from 10 years ago. Mi was just a number (31) and had a senior (17 – nicknamed Nana) in some shady facility that trained assassins. Nana never thought of escaping because she had no family and even so all records were destroyed. In fact, after her family died, she was brought here. Suddenly they were called to eliminate some president. They are warned if they cannot escape without leaving an evidence, they must use a bomb. However the group is ambushed by a giant monster. The group is scared over their doom. Nana was brave enough to fight it, carve a star as a target on its forehead to summon Haniwa dolls to eliminate it. But victory is hollow as the ground caved in…

Episode 7
The story continues?! When Mi wakes up, she is glad that Nana is still alive. Although the rest of the team is dead. It seems they are trapped in some underground space with no way out. Nana becomes sad on the thought she has always lived herself the ways she is prepared to die. But now the time has come, she is scared. She is adamant in letting Mi live as she cuts open a portal for her to go through. Mi is shocked that Nana won’t follow. She wants to stay behind and blow herself up to cover all evidence. Mi is sad that they can’t fulfil their promise of eating doughnuts together but Nana is happy Mi gave her this nickname. After the portal closes, Nana can only Mi would live her life no matter how pathetic it is. Mi snaps out of this flashback, mocked by her friends if she has ever seen a doughnut before. Unknown to her, Nana is watching over as a spirit and notes she has grown up well. She now has her own world.

Episode 8
Ai is enjoying her takoyaki and comments how round it is like Earth. Mai is then startled. Is Earth round?! She has her inner voices debate about this. All seem to have those stupid flat Earth theories except for one but she was shut out quickly. Thus Mai corrects Ai that the Earth and takoyaki aren’t the same. In class, Mai goes to sleep and wets herself! Then comes in a strange dog to lick her urine?! Mi tries to stop it but it bites her crotch! Seems Mai knows Masajiro who is by the way a wolf. He is supposed to be some bed wetting prevention wolf. Is it working? Mi wants to be friends with it but gets her crotch bitten again. Is she defiled? One night as Mai sleeps as normal, the next morning she finds Masajiro gone but he left a letter. It states he comes from outer space and the reason he takes her urine is for samples to find a cure for a virus. He thanks her contribution and will never forget her kindness. Mai is so touched that now her eyes are getting wet.

Episode 9
Mi throws a paper airplane at Ai as prank. However Ai is not amused and gets rough with her! OMG! Have you seen Ai this genuinely mad?! She won’t accept their apology and looks like their accumulated bullying for 2 years have really gotten to her. If Ai seems different because she is. Ponoka explains she is the other Ai, Dark Ai. A separate personality born out of hatred for humans. So where is the real Ai? She is back home but has turned into some retarded goblin. The only way is to defeat Dark Ai. Mai and Mi face off with her but Mi gets owned. Kanako tries to make her remember about her friends and this was enough to banish the dark spirit. They might have won but it promises to be back. Ai has returned to normal and has no recollection of what happened. That’s why she is shocked to see her friends hugging her in pure happiness. Yeah, treat your friend better next time.

Episode 10
Mi is troubled. She thinks of going to make some kappa dish. Seeing a couple of them playing unguarded at the river, she attacks. However they beat her up instead. A llama greets Ai under her skirt so Mi gets violent strangling it. Since Ai is fine, Mi threatens the llama to purge its family if it does this again! While riding the bus, Ponoka is here to warn them this bus will soon be hijacked. Somehow she is drooling? True enough, several dolphins hijack it. Ponoka can’t do anything to help since they are from the future. Bye. So all the passengers are forced to wear dolphin mascots and protest to save this era’s dolphins. Mi is spared because they think her short legs means she is one of them. As Mi sees how Ai is pitifully doing the dolphin’s bidding, she can’t take this anymore and drops on the ground and does crazy protest. The dolphins are impressed and know they have finally been freed. One peace! To live with harmony with dolphins!

Episode 11
Mai and Mi are on a bus with popular seiyuu, Megumin. However that same day the papers published a scandal. All her fans fall into depression by vomiting or biting off their tongues! And Megumin doesn’t even give a f*ck! Mi is sad at this ‘mass execution’ but even shocker is that Mai knows about this scandal and yet she can put on a smile. Because this means they can all die together! Mai then turns into a… Unicorn?! She is going to kill Megumin with her horn! What is this lecturing about death isn’t a sad thing but a new departure and new salvation? This coming from a unicorn? And so on a pretence to get Megumin’s autograph, the unicorn can tell she isn’t a virgin by her handwriting and blows up her car! Mi won’t let this go further and beats the unicorn up till it turns back to Mai. Mai is regrets her actions but unapologetic Megumin remains a b*tch. Don’t touch me! This is when Mi slaps Megumin and says she was the one who broke the rules first. Megumi repents and both sides are sorry. Happy ending.

Episode 12
Ponoka introduces to Mai and Mi an inter-dimensional library in which a day in here is equal to a month in reality. The duo are happy to hang out as 2 days passed. They return to Ai with that smirking smile on their face to tell her that they have make her missed the deadline. However Ai slaps them for making her worry as they’ve been gone for only 3 days! So when the duo finally has a change in heart to help work on her manuscript, suddenly they heard a singing voice… Oh, it’s Ponoka to warn them about an asteroid going to hit Earth because they’ve angered some intelligent life form another planet. Hmm… Asteroid crashing into Earth? Are they parodying this episode with Fushigi Na Somera-chan’s final episode?! Lots of tears and regrets as Ponoka tries to evacuate them all with her truck. Why is Ai sorry about forcing them to help draw her manga? Subsequently Ai is back to herself as she makes her friends draw her manga. However they aren’t too enthusiastic about it seeing they are floating in space and lamenting Earth is gone! However Ai has gone nuts. She is in her own world dreaming of becoming a manga artist. Well then. See you again too… Somewhere around town…

Botched Surgery! No Insurance!
It never fails to disappoint. It would have been so epic nor would it made any difference had everyone died in the asteroid crash but they didn’t. It shows that as long as they are still living, there is a chance for more insanity. And Ai is already the first victim. Oh wait. She has always been a victim. So serve Mai and Mi right for always trying make her miss her deadlines? In space, nobody can hear you be insane… So remember kids. Lesson learnt is that you better help finish your friend’s manga. Or be doomed to drift in space forever to draw forever for a manga that will never be released forever. Thanks for the valuable life lesson even though it doesn’t apply to me! Is it me or do I notice that in this anime a slap usually makes things work out back to normal? Oh glorious. Another life lesson to learn.

As usual, this season’s main characters remain the same insane and wacky characters as last season although I have a feeling that there are lesser random single episode characters this time around. Also, I feel that Mai and Mi are having a larger share of screen time as compared to Ai. Because those 2 are the idiotic troublemakers who is the lesser one but nevertheless still part of the 3 Stooges. Most probably with that doughnut arc featuring Mi’s past, that is one reason why she felt so prominent this season. And yes, Ponoka is still as mysterious and dangerous as ever. But no pots this time? Oh wait. Just a short cameo appearance in the final episode. Speaking of which, all the random characters in previous seasons make their cameo in the final episode’s credits. How many do you remember? Yeah, such ‘nostalgia’… Is this their way of making a roll call as they bow out?

Like in previous seasons, the nonsensical stories are so nonsensical and silly that you’re not supposed to remember them. All are supposed to be standalones. Therefore I am not really sure of this very short segment that is almost in every episode. They feature a couple of lesbians, Sachie and Kanako. Heck, they are even on the promo poster of this season (all the girls so lesbian naked?). The story itself is weird and I don’t really understand what is going on. Hair stuffed into recorder? Huh? But to have them recurring in several episodes makes it weirder. I’m too lazy to go back and watch them again because it feels like you can string them together and make one short little story despite it still doesn’t make any sense. So they somewhat ‘tie up’ Sachie to be Ai’s sister in the last episode (and Kanako to be Mi’s sister in an earlier episode – they’re supposed to be neighbours?) but you know how the nonsensical flow of the story goes. What was it again she would rather die with Kanako during the asteroid crash? Some neighbourly lesbian love story we’ve got there.

Also being introduced this season and in every episode too is some llama named Torijiro. Appearing only in the ending credits and ranting away about stuffs that I don’t understand which is supposed to be funny but I’m not really laughing since during the ending credits there are additional notes to read there. I know I can just pause and read them but the drugs have rendered me lazy… Is it me or do I notice that in this segment the producers have got something to do with Aya Uchida, the voice behind Mai. Having said all this, what I’m trying to say that the graphic weirdness that was usually in this segment other than the episode proper is much less toned down this season. Remember that vomiting girl and salamander licking sick scene in the first season? Or that limb stretching explicit scene in season 2? Don’t forget that rolling, rolling, rolling, rolling, rolling, rolling… So when the third season rolls by, no such graphic content and we just got a talking llama. Is the drug starting to lose its effect?

The opening theme still maintains the series’ trademark of animating it in retro pixelated video game style. So it is nice to see some of the retro video games they parody like Street Fighter II. The song, Zenin Shuugou Ai Mai Mi sung by the main trio too is as frenzied as its predecessors. I noticed there is an ending theme too, Lucky Chance Wo Nigasanaide by the same trio. However you’ll only hear its rock instrumental (except for the final episode which has proper singing and all) since this segment is hogged by Torijiro and I bet you wouldn’t hear a thing what the girls are singing if they added their singing voice in. Yeah, a talking llama is already bad enough. Adding the girls singing this song in the background would only add to the cacophony.

Overall, I don’t know how many brain cells have died while watching this atrocious goodness. I don’t know how many years of my life it has shaved off after watching 12 x 3.5 minutes of this season. But as long as I feel good, it all doesn’t matter. You think you can watch and forget, laugh and be happy for the moment before returning to your normal daily life. But little did you know that the drugs accumulated over the years are slowly taking its effect. We think it is okay because the current phenomenon of celebrity culture makes it acceptable. And then one day you’ll wake up and realize the rude shock and awakening, the biggest jolt you’ll ever have knowing the fact that you have gone too far to turn back the way it was. That is why Donald Trump won the recent American elections. FFFFFFUUUUUUU!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Somebody turn into a unicorn and kill me now!!!!!!!!!!!!! Because having an asteroid slamming into Earth is so cliché that has already been done to death.

Fushigi Na Somera-chan

April 15, 2016

Bored of the taking the same drugs again and again? Need something higher and different for that fix of yours? Don’t worry. There is always a better drug. Before you get the wrong idea of what this blog is going to be, please be reminded it is anything but that. When I watched Fushigi Na Somera-chan, it reminded me so much of how similar it is to another wacky nonsensical show. It is no surprise. From the same author and producer that brought you that drug filled Ai Mai Mi, comes another spiritual successor that is no less different. With all the bizarre and crazy crap going on, you’re going to love this new drug more than ever. You think you have cleansed yourself from all that anime drug crap? You’ll be back to total addiction once you see this!

Episode 1
If an animal looks cute, don’t be deceived by it because like Somera Nonomoto finds out the hard way, it stabs through her guts! Back to our story proper, Kukuru is the youngest daughter while Somera is the first. They are so hungry but only have 3 grains of rice each! I don’t think Somera can accept this reality. Their next door friend, Shizuku Tendou interrupts and suggests Somera uses her magic fists that she inherited from her late parents. Well, she summoned mayonnaise… Somera juggles oden and dreams of the rich life till she accidentally spills them. Again, she uses her magic to put them back together again but their pet dog Koro gets sucked in. I don’t know what funny animal it turned out to be. Kukuru remembers how Somera brought back this stray dog to help Kukuru cope with her loneliness. They spend their money on its food. Poverty mystery solved. You think it’s time for a heart warming scene? This weird Koro bites Kukuru’s hand off! Ah, biting the hand that feeds you literally…

Episode 2
If you are wondering what the hell is this Menoussoue animal is, don’t worry, it is explained ‘in detail’ in this short opening. Not that I care. Somera and co are holding auditions for a new anime character. Man, it’s a long line. Then they notice Ai Matsushima having a French bread on her hands and is currently looking for her sister. Then the next person also has French bread on her hand. Her name is Aya Matsushima. See the similarities? Kukuru goes to bring Matsushima and reunite with her sister. But… Who the heck is this person?! Not related???!!! Oh well… I guess to cut short their work, they just pick Matsushima as their anime character. She is forced to pay upfront 8,500 Yen and every anime character does this every week! Poor Matsushima is going to eke out her little savings but Kukuru points out it was a joke. You mean it wasn’t real? I thought I had to pay for my anime!!!

Episode 3
Somera is impressed that Matsushima can play a CD via her mouth! What’s this song with a baby crying?! When an alien UFO lands on their backyard and Matsushima decides to visit it so she can take a shower, she got zapped! Her last wish is to have the anime studio animate her life’s work! When the UFO blasts the radish farm, Somera becomes furious. A little alien girl pops out and Somera abuses her. Seems her UFO needs radish as fuel to go home. Why destroy the farm then? Just for fun. FFFUUUUUU!!! More abuse! The alien general might look intimidating warning Somera about bullying but he is just as small as alien girl. Since road kill can also serve as fuel, Shizuku brings them dead squirrel and they return home with a fuel tank. Oh, Matsushima is also revived.

Episode 4
Matsushima made a stupid dance about a perverted eel. This causes an instant hit around the world and internet. Everybody loves it! Everybody loves her! She is the newest and best sensation ever! Shizuku tries to store tension by telling the sisters Matsushima is now on her high horse. To her happiness, Somera agrees. However she is not going to bring her down for revenge bur rather for being cocky. Because Matsushima must realize she is on the lowest level of the pyramid, even lower than bugs! They try to sully her name with the free food samples she hogs on. But everybody finds it cool! They love her even more! But her popularity only lasted 2 months since her followers are her groupies and in turn they too lost interest and now she is back to zero lovers. Hey, at least she has Somera and co. Yeah, I figure they don’t have other friends too. All seems to be fine when Somera brings up that food samples thingy to blow Matsushima’s top.

Episode 5
Matsushima is used to fish a huge haul. I wonder how she can use her body to haul up so many fish. Then again, don’t even think about it. As they are talking about legends of this lake, this huge Nessie creature, Hideyuki pops up to tell them about the plague that is poisoning the waters (he thinks they are here to search for the source and stop it). I am sure the girls aren’t interested but he goes on to explain the cause of it. Some Dr Wormie failed his driving test and came to hate humans. So he created an underwater lab here to pollute the lake. I guess Somera would take on the job since Hideyuki will give them his huge pearls. The girls easily sneak into Wormie’s lab and tickle him to submission. Then they hook him up to the computer and made him undergo a personality change to love humans. Hideyuki rewards them with the pearls but it turns out to be bowling balls in paint. Time to buy poison and put it in this water…

Episode 6
Kukuru is getting creepy since her friend, Konomi is clinging so close to her. Yuri? Shizuku sees this and reports to Somera that homosexuality isn’t right. However something is wrong with Somera today because she can’t help see every woman on the street as beautiful. Konomi is using every excuse to hide her blatant harassment on Kukuru. Till it gets obvious she wants to do something with her in the bushes. While Kukuru struggles to free herself, here comes Somera to the rescue. However she doesn’t act and Konomi thinks she is also into yuri. She starts flustering. Shizuku then gives her some pills that will cure her. Konomi doesn’t think it will when suddenly Somera finishes her off with a pile driver! Back to normal. Next time, the girls notice Konomi has turned into a stalker. Even worse, she loves the verbal abuse since the shock last time last time turned her into a masochist. Now they call her woman-womanizer.

Episode 7
After Matsushima licks Somera’s dropped ice cream on the ground, Somera punches her! Matsushima threatens to unfollow her and if that is the case, Somera will close her account! Shizuku suggests settling this via sumo match. However with Somera having nothing much to eat, the only thing she is having big is her debts. On the fated day, Matsushima has turned into a buffed up giant! OMG! So hilarious! She is really going to kill Somera for that unforgettable incident. Naturally Somera is no match for her monstrous power. This is when she evens the odds by using her magical hand. The sumo match eventually ends with a draw. Matsushima returns to normal size and both reconcile. Yeah, friendship is the best, right? They suggest having ice cream to cool off but Kukuru knows better to have something that started it all.

Episode 8
Kukuru wants Somera to be her art model. But sister is going to charge her! How could she do such a thing? Anyway Kukuru sucks at drawing so much so Somera tore up the picture. This has her to bring Shizuku and Matsushima into the picture. When Matsushima asks if she will be paid, Somera chides them for taking money from a friend! Look who is talking?! Anyway the painting sucks. Shizuku suggests drugging a teacher on pretence in helping somebody finish her homework. The girls hide in the closet as Maari Miyamoto sits and waits. However she gets freaked out upon hearing noises in the closet. But all that turn into excitement as she thinks it is Domunperg! Who the f*ck?! The girls dress up as a ghost acting as Domunperg. She gets even more excited. She is told to make a pilgrimage to a doctor and thus immediately hospitalized. She alone continued to believe that she was being helped by Kukuru’s hideous artwork of Domunperg as a homework assignment.

Episode 9
What is the difference between a genetically modified Matsushima with the original one? The latter has a taller mouth to catch salmons on their way to spawning grounds! Somera just lets her go and Matsushima doesn’t really care about her except for Kukuru pleading for them to help her. They thought releasing her into the forest would be fine but soon the clone appears in the news after racking up a reputation of terrorizing a village. It even starts randomly biting people. With the military men called in, our girls head to the jungles to take action. Man, those military guys are using all-out offensive to bomb the village just to corner this clone! Kukuru protects the clone while Matsushima goes to talk to it. The clone is going to bite her but Matsushima hugs her, apologizing for all the suffering she has brought her. Suddenly that little alien girl pops up and knows a good planet where they can take her in. And so she is on her way to Planet Funyanko never to set foot on Earth again. Matsushima mourns her lost and always looks up to the sky ever since.

Episode 10
A skinny Santa comes in to give sleeping Kukuru a present. But Somera has been hiding and wants to know what an old guy is doing in her sister’s room this late! Somera doesn’t believe he is Santa and must be a burglar since nobody gives free presents in this economy. He shows his bag of toys but she thinks it is the loot he stole. To prove himself, he gives her a toy car. But that is not enough. She wants passive income! He tells her off not to think like the devil and make easy money. Anyway he gives her a protective amulet and a toy train rail for Kukuru. Next day, the sisters show their presents. Shizuku got a heater while Matsushima a remote controller that is connected to a cannon in the mountains pointing at their house! You know what this means… Then they discuss about Santa’s intentions of giving free presents. He must be some rich dude who got everything except people’s heart. So he must be doing this and forcing others to accept his presents just to make himself feel good. Despicable…

Episode 11
Matsushima tells her friends of her new part time job whereby she lies on her back and spins some gear. She brings her friends to check it out and along the way they see a hideous monster, U-ko. It speaks English! Matsushima knows her since she is her employer. They are taken to the workplace where all of them start spinning the gear. Unknown to them, they seem to be activating something. When the machine goes boom, Somera tries to blame it all on Shizuku and will even give her a free 4GB flash drive instead of compensating for this. But U-ko is happy she has completed her artificial human and will fill the world with despair. So this artificial human… Looks like a derp? First thing she does is to punch out U-ko for modifying her with no permission. She goes back to her hometown to find a job. As for U-ko, I think she has better integrity than Somera because she still pays them despite the outcome. 400 Yen isn’t bad, you know…

Episode 12
Somera laughs off a magazine’s prediction a meteorite is going to hit Earth. Then it isn’t so funny anymore when Shizuku says so and there are posters of it everywhere. Kukuru tries to calm her down that it won’t probably happen but Somera tells her off for being the worst for not trusting her friend! With the entire town panicking, I guess there is nothing better for them than to go eat unagi. Matsushima crawls in and they think the smell attracted her so Somera zaps her! After they revive her and she has her fill of unagi, she says she is waiting for this day because she has built a shelter. Too bad it is only for one person. Bye dorks. As the meteorite approaches, Shizuku chickens out and saves herself. No use for regrets now, Somera. But there’s time for revenge as she goes to flood Matsushima’s shelter with unagi sauce! That should teach her! When the meteorite is closing in, Kukuru suggests Somera to use her magical fist. But she is too nervous to say the right words. In that case, she’ll die in a funny pose! OH NO!!!!!!!!!!!! End picture: Somera holding an unemployment notice. Yeah, I guess that is worse than death…

Magical Idiocy Delight!
Oh no! It ended already?! I was just enjoying myself, damn it! I’m sure we couldn’t care less about the so called official plot about the sisters inheriting that magical fist since it was hardly used and they go about in their random and crazy adventures. It was so irrelevant that it shouldn’t be there in the synopsis but I felt they had to put something up as part of the obligatory series synopsis. So that dumb viewers can stop asking what the heck is this show is all about. Really? This show has a plot? After watching the dozen episodes worth 3.5 minutes each, you’ll be glad there isn’t any confusing plot or even a decent plot to begin with.

As far as this series is concerned, it is so weird and crazy that I really loved it as much as that crazy Ai Mai Mi series. I hope they do another season because I am really getting addicted. Whoops! To say it is better than Ai Mai Mi might not be accurate but I will definitely say that it is on par with that show. Everything you see here is a reminiscence of it. The style of everything is a reminiscence of it. The characters, the art style, the exaggerated jokes and the way it is executed is so freaking familiar that you would definitely believe that the characters in Ai Mai Mi underwent some sort of facial surgery to change their identities to get new ones to fool us viewers who might be bored with them if this ever turned out to be the third season of Ai Mai Mi. Am I right?

But not everything in this series is totally nonsensical and aimed to melt your brains and dumb you down. Am I saying that there is educational value in this bizarre series? Yes! You think I’m joking right? No I am not. Because at the beginning of every episode (except for one episode), there is a short narrative of the Menoussoue being! Yes! That’s right! Believe it! From its characteristics to its mating style to its legendary status in history books, man, I never knew there were lots of trivia and facts I didn’t know about this creature! Just like that fake panda in Senyuu, eh? What? You think I have been taken for a ride and being duped with this imaginary creature?! It is real, I tell you!

What can I say about the characters? Wacky and crazy aren’t just enough. If they are going to be in this sort of anime, might as well have that crazy attitude, right? So each of them are like stupid troublemakers one way or another except for Kukuru whom I feel is like the punching bag for the rest at times. Because she is different in the sense she has more heart and cares about other things that the rest don’t, it is like she also serves as the butt of jokes and rebuttal of just about almost everything. Poor Kukuru. Wrong character in the wrong anime. I guess you need a character like her who is less a sadist so as to make the rest look even more a sadist. Imagine if all of them were just selfish hypocrite cold hearted b*tches, you wouldn’t be able to tell the difference, right? As for the other characters, don’t think too much about them as they never recur maybe except for that little alien girl. Heck, they should have just introduced another alien character instead of reusing her again. If you are sharp enough, you can spot the characters from Ai Mai Mi making a very short cameo in one of the episodes.

Matching the outrageous style of the series is the equally crazy opening theme. But unlike Ai Mai Mi’s retro video game animation, we get just the normal but crazy opening credits animation with all the crazy stuff that some would never even appear in the episode proper. Though, Prism MAX~Heishi Ishin Full HD Remaster-ban by the voices behind the main quartet, sounds more like a typical anime rock for an all-girl group. It isn’t anything that special in terms of its music. Replacing the ‘ending theme’ is a drawing song that ‘teaches’ you how to draw certain characters. Somehow I think they are just trolling you as I feel the lyrics don’t really match up to how the lines are being drawn for most of the time.

So if you are feeling stressed out and the need to laugh out loud or just shake your head, this series is just the perfect tonic for that. Or if you want to dabble in anime drugs and get high in anime land, this is also the perfect tonic. Even more so, a slightly higher dosage for those who have watched Ai Mai Mi. Somera might not be magical and suspiciously a lunatic mental patient that has escaped an asylum (only this world is one big asylum), but the drug effects of this anime certainly is! Oh and remember, always stay away and never do real drugs.

I guess it was inevitable. Sooner or later it was bound to happen. I mean, how long can you not succumb to the wonderful and high feeling of drugs? I am not talking about marijuana, meth or some cheap designer drugs, you dimwits. I’m talking about the surprise short sequel, Ai Mai Mi: Mousou Catastrophe! That’s right. A catastrophe. More catastrophes. If you love the first season that was filled with crazy, random, mindless, bizarre, stupid, uhm, things, you should love this one. Because there is no way that those who have watched the first season without getting addicted to it. YOU MUST WATCH THIS! I TELL YOU THIS IS GOOD! Real F*CKING GOOOOOOOOOODDDDDDDDD!!!!!!! Guaranteed to be happy and smiling like an idiot after watching this. It is just a shame that they didn’t double the dose of the number of episodes or the duration of each episode. I guess 3 short minutes is enough to send you into ecstasy. More than that, you’ll go straight to heaven. Hey. I watched this straight without taking any breaks. Am I doomed? Who cares? As long as I have my ‘drugs’. Let me have my fix NOOOOOOOOOWWWWWW!! Wowee!!!

Episode 1
Mi is a pirate. That is because she is from another dimension. However her friends don’t believe her and want her to stop kidding around or else they’ll tell her mom. Not her mom! No, please don’t! And I don’t know there was a last time because this Lucas guy was killed in some tournament by some internet idol. Who cares? Somewhere in Florence, Italy, the Six Brushes Society (although there are only 5 of them but you’ll only see 4 of them) are discussing the celebration of the debut of their comrade, Suzuki Sato but was defeated in that tournament. The big boss has chocolate lover, Taro Mocchiri explain their society’s goal. Something about some disaster that would happen if all budding mangaka submit their application to win some award. So they share their info and enter at different times to give others hope and smoothly produce record numbers. Thus it is their responsibility to raise manga that is restricted by commercialism to fine art. They hear a high school girl defeated their comrade but big boss doesn’t want her to be killed. It is not their goal to create a new world. Invite her to join them. But what if she decides to make a manga after defying them? Then they will make an example by killing her and a provision to the new world. What were you saying about no killing policy?

Episode 2
Mi is about to kill a kappa but this little creature is wielding double axe! Oh sh*t! And that tournament again, Ai managed to defeat Suzuki and advance to the finals. The rest of the episodes are short gags like Mi imitating a real emu; Mi the giant holding Ai in her hands in hopes that she will drop her manga manuscript; Mai licking a newt till it bleeds (WTF?!); Mi showing her muscles to Mai but when she shows those on her back she sprouts angel wings; A giant dog rampages throughout the city and the only thing Mi can think of doing is to text her friend. She got a reply saying it is awesome; There is a police squad going around invading house and arresting those who don’t own copies of this series! So better buy your copy now by any means!

Episode 3
Mi finds a coin on the ground but each time she tries to say something, Mai punches her. No choice, Mi offers to give her 2000 Yen to stop. Ponoka shows them a suitcase loaded with cash. She tells them to kill each other and the sole survivor gets it all. As they ponder about this, Mai changes the subject that she has debts. 30 million. She is grateful to Ponoka for giving her a chance to play this game. Besides, she always hated them. What the hell is she going to do with that chainsaw?! Mi tells her to calm down and would do that thing she loves. Some lame fish act with Ai? Well, Mai’s face still looks like a crazy killer. Before she can saw up Mi, Ai tells her they can run away with the money together. Ponoka then tells them to come to her by following instructions and suspicious directions of taking an elevator. When they arrive, they see her as a big giant stump and start panicking. Suddenly they have no more complaints.

Episode 4
Ai invites her friends to watch tonight’s festival. As Mai rushes back to get dressed, suddenly she is banged by a car. Ponoka is the driver. She was on her way to go buy sashimi and when she takes out one from her pot, Mi cares more about it than her dying friend. So the quartet eat dumplings while watching a couple of dinosaurs kill each other. The fight is so one-sided. Mi couldn’t stand it and calls the fire department. They ram into the wrong dinosaur. Eventually they are defeated so Mi calls the undertaker who then slays it down. Some knight monster is causing havoc and killing people. Mi is about to be his next victim when she pleads for her life to be spared in exchange for a funny one-liner. But since she couldn’t think of one, she allows him to kill her. However the knight takes it as a funny joke and she became a hit stand-up comedian on the dark side of the moon.

Episode 5
I don’t even know where to begin with this sketchy comic opener. All I see is somebody pushing a chick to somebody’s cheek and pushing too hard till it goes through! On a rainy day because Ai is preoccupied drawing her manga, Mai and Mi won’t let her and squishes her flat enough to fit into the fluorescent tube. Then Ponoka comes crawling in and sprawling with blood. Run away… The dumb duo think she entered that tomato festival in Spain. Then they see a creepy 6 legged creature entering the school compound. It could be a cat or their music teacher. What? And when this creature knocks on their door and claims he is Ponoka, the duo don’t buy it because she is dead next to them. The creature admits he is found out. Oh my. What creepy scary teeth you got there.

Episode 6
Mai and Mi are in a heated argument. Because Mi believes all seiyuus are not virgins! To settle this, Ponoka suggests a race. They need to carry hot liquefied rock to a shrine and the first one to do so wins. The dumb duo think of stupid ways to carry it with their bodies. When the race starts, Mai sucks it all up into her body like as though she is slurping ramen! She starts running and her Twitter fans start running with her. Mi won’t admit defeat yet and summons some God of Fire, Hephaestus to help carry the rock. However he can only do it tomorrow. Because his mom is calling him for dinner. WTF?! And so Mai wins and Mi is left to admit her wrongs. Seiyuus are indeed virgins. Please forgive her. Mai extends her hand out to Mi because she believes all virgin worshippers are all friends facing the same issue.

Episode 7
Instead of apologizing to Ai that they haven’t finished their manga in time, Mi is going to use all the money she got to hire professionals to get the job done. Meet cowboy Jake the magical specialist and alien Nardak who specializes in BL. So when they hand over their manuscript to Ai, she starts crying. Touched? Moved? Nope. She didn’t realize they were this stupid! Mi won’t admit it still although she feels bad about betraying her. They go back to Jake and Nardak and even throw in their bonsai plant as payment. However they won’t be satisfied by this anymore. Holding Mi hostage and criticizing her lame act to be cool, Mi admits she might be so but she doesn’t want to let her down because she is waiting for her. She trusted her. She’ll do anything and even eat poop for it! Really? On the day of the Comiket event, Ai feels sad she is alone at her booth. But her friends show up with the completed work. All is forgiven.

Episode 8
Mai has this misconception that this ito fish wants to die when it spawns just like salmons. She believes she needs to kill all of them so they can start spawning! She will save them! As she is a hopeless case, Mi runs to Ai for help. Meanwhile Mai is already at the river ready to chop them with her axe. Suddenly… Gloomy mood… Yandere face… Why aren’t they spawning? Do they hate her? Are they bullying her? That’s bad. Time for your punishment. Luckily Ai arrives in time to stop her. Suddenly the kappa pops out from the river and shoots darts at them. Whatever persuasion Mi is trying to convince him (the best river?), the kappa doesn’t give a damn and shoots the finishing blow.

Episode 9
Remember the legend Momotarou? Now you have Mi as Mitarou! Born from a peach and bumming around like a lazy bum, she is made by grandpa to go on a journey. She feeds a very hungry monkey (Mai) with the dumplings but it died because it was poison! Mitarou investigates this (aside useless information about typing letters on a keyboard and UV rays in summer), she discovers her grandpa is actually a demon and confronts him. Thanks to this, she is now a fugitive. This is part of grandpa’s plan to frame her so she cannot make friends as she is a descendant of Momotarou. Now she is one of them. She was happy when the monkey died, right? Although her mouth says no, her body shows otherwise. Now herald Aitarou, a descendant of Momotarou as she easily defeats the demon. Mitarou wants to make friends with her but Aitarou won’t leave it to chance and defeats her.

Episode 10
Mi contemplates what she should do. She wants a Lamborghini. And she really did buy one. When Ai tells her not to bring it to school, Mi rams into her! Ten years in the future, Mi is the top arms dealer and owns 76% of the world’s wealth! It looks like Japan is under her thumb. She then announces to the public that she wants to play a game. She will have her pet pick one of the prefectures. That prefecture she will fire her missile into it! Ai who is working as a remote control car while aspiring to be a mangaka barges in to stop her. Not forgetting giant size Mai who loves tunnels too. Mi is not fazed but Mai tries to tell her this is a dream. Ai tells her not to listen and do whatever she likes. Hey, she doesn’t look like Ai anymore! The dramatic cliff-hanger sees Mi in a coma on a tube…

Episode 11
Bankegon returns! It is eating up Ponoka while her friends helplessly watch! Hmm… Maybe they’re just enjoying the view. Mi asks what kind of funeral she wants. The Jakarta style. Continuing from last episode’s cliff-hanger of Mi in coma, the doctor diagnosed she ate too many imagawayakis and will die in 2 hours. And so Mai wanders around with thoughts of Mi flooding her mind. Thoughts about Mi who was a magical girl protecting the city from an evil organization, Purplick and fighting them all alone. This was the reason why Mi couldn’t finish her manga. Yeah. There’s even a song with cool guitar strumming chords on screen just for her. Let’s sing along! When Mai returns to the hospital, she sees Mi okay and back to normal. Thanks to Ponoka’s pot that did the job in like 2 seconds! However Mai is not pleased. She started becoming a magical girl because she thought Mi had died. Now that she is alive, this is not okay! She transforms into an evil magical girl while some ugly familiar pops up to tell her to kill everybody! Lest she wants her family to be turned into pancakes… Don’t ask.

Episode 12
The Six Brushes Society is going to make their move. However Taro is not around and as the big boss said, he returned home to take over his family’s rice farm and will quit manga. And the boss wants to talk about rice distribution… This is what happened during that tournament final that pits Ai against the internet idol. I don’t know what stupid moves they put as they injure each other. Then this gets overkill.  The idol starts bleeding everywhere followed by Ai. It spreads to the referee and then their friends. The audiences are bleeding too! In the end, Ai wins the tournament and although there were 512 casualties, this is considered low body count and very good. A grave of Lucas is erected in front of a pachinko store as his last wish and the records of this tournament were documented in a 4 panel manga. And then a mecha assassin panda shows up…

Delusions Overdrive & Overdose!
Wait a minute?! Game over? GAME OVER???!!! Oh God! They are giving me an option to continue and it is flashing repeatedly. Come on! Press yes! Say yes! Click yes! I want to have more! What do you mean it is not working?! Oh come on! The offer is going away! Please… Don’t go… Don’t GOOOO!!!!!! Boo hoo… When will I ever get to see another season of this again? I can’t wait for years, can’t I? Sob, sob, sob! Sighs… Ah well. I guess good things don’t last forever. It was fun while it lasted. Thanks for the ride, girls. Thanks to you now I am much more stupid than before. But I’m so happy… :-)

Okay, now that I am back to reality, let me just say that this anime isn’t for anyone who isn’t willing to lose a lot of their brain cells. In some extreme cases, lose their sanity. This anime has that potential of making people getting addicted with its silliness and in bite size. Not only silly, but some of the ‘jokes’ are sick too. Including that gag. Remember that usual gag? In last season, we had a narration complaining about something while shown a very sick and graphic act. This time, the narration is cut out but the sickness still remains. Some girl having her limbs stretched like Dhalsim and making a very stupid indescribable face while a chicken in a pot hold on to her. Yeah. WTF. Then for the second half, it changes to something less gross. Somebody dressed in a little bear or tanuki suit wandering around. Rolling, rolling, rolling, rolling, rolling, rolling, rolling, rolling… And for both these scenes, the backgrounds are real backdrops so it must be really ‘annoying’, huh?

As usual, the characters are super wacky and there is no logic or reason to things happening. You just go with the flow. Don’t think. Never think! It is dangerous when you start doing that because your brains may not be able to reconcile the differences between reality and delusion. That is why this show works. Mai and Mi are still the main stupid troublemakers and Ai is the lesser one although they’re all typically the same. Mai seems to be leaning towards more the yandere side and it is like any moment she can snap and kill! I think she won’t even hesitate if given the chance. As for Ponoka, she is still the sneaky one and of course who could forget her very useful pots. Other characters were funny and then forgettable. Because we couldn’t care about them and or their appearance. Laugh and forget. Some characters that appeared in the first season didn’t appear here at all but you don’t really care about that, right? So it was a surprise that this unknown Lucas dude made cameos. Twice! And of course, the best character of them all is still Bankegon! It’s sad his appearance is so freaking shot. He should have eaten up the rest of the girls…

For this season, it seems the character of Shiba Inuko makes her cameo appearance at the end of each episode. What she mostly does is help promote this series or warn us not to imitate the certain things that the author of this series did. There is also a cameo appearance of Chitose from Chitose Get You. I am not sure about the implication of this short and random single appearance of Chitose beating up somebody supposedly representing doujin leeches who get rich by leeching off other people’s work. Ai Mai Mi and Chitose Get You both appear and serialized in the same manga magazine. Topping up the hilarity of it all, those who have watched the first season may find it familiar their crazy theme song. Instead of the ending theme in last season, it is now the opening theme, Zenryoku Sakuretsu Ai Mai Mi. Also, the retro video game and pixelated animation credits bring the nostalgia and the frenzy craziness of everything. Keep up the good job!

Ah well, like they say, good things have to come to an end. I don’t know if there is going to be another season. I don’t know how long I will last and have withdrawal symptoms if I don’t have my delusional fix in the next 10 seconds! Oh wait. I already got over it. And I managed to overcome it without the use of pots. Remember people, don’t do real drugs and definitely not real pots. Lame pun intended. Corrupting your mind with stupid anime is hell better than corrupting your body with irreversible drugs. Yeah. That. ZXGABYPOEUBWKGFETHO… LOL! Till next time (if it ever comes), over and out!

Sasami-san@Ganbaranai

August 24, 2013

Uhhhhhnnnnn… So lazy… So lethargic… So unmotivated… Ever had days when you just feel like not wanting to do anything? Well, there are those people who somewhat feel like that their entire lives. Not willing to do anything that exerts lots of energy which includes mixing around with society outside, they shut themselves inside and their only connection to the real world would be the computer that they stare into. I guess that is how this gives birth to hikikomoris or shut-ins as we call them. At first I thought Sasami-san@Ganbaranai would be somewhat the life of a shut-in of this girl, Sasami Tsukuyomi. She seems to not have the motivation to do anything and lets her dear brother takes care of everything while she idles away and squanders her life in front of her computer. It would be funny to see her idle around in a dozen episodes and how she goes about in her life but that wasn’t the case. As it turns out, there is something more than meets the eye to her shut-in behaviour and the several oddities that surround her. Something about gods, the super power she possesses and her appeasement that keeps the universe from going crazy. Eh? What? Repeat that again, will you? Too unmotivated to explain it… Just watch it…

Episode 1
Sasami is a lazy girl. And a blessed girl too in that sense. Her brother Kamiomi dotes and loves her so much that he feeds her, bathes her and even clothes her. Literally she doesn’t even need to lift a finger. He obeys every command with all his heart without question. He hopes she would come to school one day because his job as a teacher would be livelier. She’s not even thinking about it. One morning before he leaves for work, Sasami gives him chocolate as lunch. He is unaware it is Valentine’s Day and thinks it is her usual love for big brother. After he leaves, Sasami starts up her PC for her Big Brother Surveillance System! OMG. She’s got a detailed surveillance of Kamiomi wherever he goes! Along the way she sees Kamiomi bumping into Tama who is acting like a frog to catch a frog. Because her stomach growls, Kamiomi gives the chocolates to her. That does it for Sasami. She is not going to let him have his way and dresses up. The moment she steps out from her house, the sun overwhelms her. She goes back in. Not today, huh? Returning to her computer, she sees Kamiomi advising Tsurugi not to play adult games in the staff room. She gives him a chocolate mushroom and considers it his first Valentine chocolates from her. Sasami won’t let that hag have her way and once more makes her way out. Can she stand the sun this time? Nope. Back into the shade… Back to her PC… She now sees Kamiomi interacting with Kagami at the library. He wants to talk nothing but Sasami. She’s not interested. Anyway Tama seems to be flustering (hugging Kagami to death) because she thought Kamiomi’s chocolate was like some sort of proposal. Kamiomi is surprised and even mentions he didn’t get any chocolates from Sasami! Well at least Sasami realizes he doesn’t know much about Valentine’s Day. And he’s hoping Sasami planning will give him inner in a maid outfit and tell him she loves him? Dream on.

Sasami looks around the internet and realizes a new manga. She reads the sudden development in the plot that revolves around chocolate. What happened to the love? And election too. Geddit? Everything is about chocolate. Chocolate, chocolate and chocolate. Chocolatey this, chocolatey that. Everything on the internet is chocolate. A job position pertaining to chocolate and a political party about chocolate? A country named after chocolate? There is a chocolate type weather too? Suddenly Sasami realizes the world is being altered. Like error on her monitor, the world suddenly turns brown like chocolate. The Yagami sisters go into action to contain this chocolatey problem. Tsurugi slashes her way, Tama is eating all the chocolate she wants and every body part of Kagami turns into some mecha part (she even has missile boobs!). The next step is to make their way to Sasami’s house. They dash across the chocolate covered town fighting chocolate monsters. When they arrive, Kagami initiates a programme to return the world back to normal. Kamiomi returns home and sees Sasami covered in chocolate like a statue. He thinks this is her invitation to ‘eat’ her. Before he can do that, the chocolate breaks and Sasami kicks the crap out of him. Then she picks up her bat ready to beat up the Yagami sisters and tell them to get out of her house.

Episode 2
Sasami types her report. There are gods in everything and can be divided into groups based on their divinity. Those with higher divinity can control and change lower ones at will. The highest of them all is Amaterasu. That power was something Sasami once had and now resides in Kamiomi. It is safe to assume he is Amaterasu. So, if he wishes for something happy, the gods will try to make him happy. This was what happened during the Valentine’s Day incident as the gods altered themselves and begged him to eat them. Thankfully the Yagami sisters stopped the alternation. Who they are is a mystery but she suspects they are somebody with high divinity. She will continue to watch them and her brother. Tsurugi and Kamiomi are playing jenga in the middle of class till Kagami informs them lots of students are missing from class. She thinks it’s due to Yamatano Orochi SNS, an online network game that everyone is hooked. Suspiciously, it was a game that was on the verge of shutting down 3 years ago when it suddenly became popular. The only way to find out is to try it themselves. And the best place to do it is at Sasami’s house because she has lots of computers. One for anime, one for music, one for internet, a few for games… Wow. True shut-in. Sasami can’t let them know she plays this game and it is going to be a pain if they suspect something and shut it down. After all she put in all those hours in levelling up like crazy with rare items. As the sisters and Kamiomi start creating their character (delinquent boss is a job? And so is a naked loser?), Sasami tries to sabotage by disconnecting the internet. However Kagami has her own connections. Then she turns on every appliance to cause the power to trip. Till she realizes everyone is on laptop! Sasami is at her wits end as she secretly rebukes the sisters for treating this house as their own. The last straw came when their dirty and oily fingers touch the keyboard. Sasami goes into panic mode trying to clean them (does she know how to operate a vacuum cleaner?). Worse, Tama spilt food and drinks all over hers!!! Sasami going crazy! Even more when Tsurugi nonchalantly touches her manga collection and rips her prized packaging! Oh… More to come. Tama deletes all her saved game data.

So finally when they are ready to play the game, Kamiomi’s character got killed in class. They try to revive him at the infirmary and this excites Tsurugi because she thought this is where the sex part comes in. Sasami can’t stand the in-game lewdness and pops into the game with her avatar. Now the cat is out of the bag. Her insulting curses didn’t reach Kamiomi since that pervert that Sasami wanted to shower him with her love. She accidentally kills him. As Tsurugi take Tama to the toilet, Sasami and Kagami notice light dots representing players’ spirit being absorbed by a giant monster. Before they know it, their consciousness gets absorbed and they find themselves in the game. Another alteration? Kagami notices another odd thing. The monster has insanely high divinity enough to invade the real world and create its own kingdom but yet it is only consuming sacrifices and doing nothing more. Tsurugi points out it just wants to maintain this world. This monster was what Sasami created unconsciously. She checked her profile and noticed some matching coincidences. Three years ago to escape the harsh reality from her strenuous studies, Sasami played this game and made a wish (she had the powers of Amaterasu then). So this game suddenly became popular when it was on the verge of shutting down. The monster has been protecting Sasami’s ‘playground’ from being shut down. There is only one thing left to do. Sasami makes a wish for the monster to rest in peace, assuring she is living a happy life now. Everything in the virtual world disintegrates. When she wakes up, she checks the game down due to system glitches. Then she slips back into bed and continue her slumber.

Episode 3
Sasami writes her own mythical story called the Hare of Inaba whereby she is the hare and her masochistic brother the shark who always gets abused. Yeah, he even gets abused by the gods played by the Yagami sisters. Sasami becomes embarrassed when Kamiomi catches her writing so she throws the mouse at him. Later she continues her report about Amaterasu and her powers that reside in Kamiomi of which he is unaware of. He still thinks she has it. Sasami narrates their history. Their family is the first human beings to obtain such power, Ninigi No Mikoto. They are trained to inherit and protect Amaterasu’s power. Women underwent training to become her vessel so Sasami endured hellish training till she could take it no more and ran away. That’s when she descended upon civilization and was awed with everything. Thank God for internet cafes, animes and manga! She became addicted but the shrine people came and took her back. Soon she frequently ran away and yearning for a normal life, she took Kamiomi with her. Due to some alterations, they are currently hiding under the radar of the shrine family and she knows they won’t let her off the hook just like that. The Valentine’s Day and Yamatano Orochi SNS incidents, it is an indication her peaceful life won’t last long. Suddenly she grows a third hand out from between her breast!!! All Kamiomi can see is her flat boobs! How perverted can he get? Besides, he is not surprised to see a third arm. It’s after all, just an arm. This had Sasami think that this is an alteration as Kamiomi is not of aware of it.

Continuing her report, Sasami narrates how the Tsukuyomi family’s life is short-lived and they resort to incest to maintain optimal bodies for Amaterasu’s power. This causes their bodies to deteriorate. As women become the vessel, men become slaves to assist priestess in risking and protecting their lives for them. They become ultimate tools for impregnation. That’s why Kamiomi hides his face and lives in the shadows, has no qualms of living his life as a robot. Even if Sasami takes advantage of him and becomes the cruellest woman, she knows he will never betray her. He will always protect, support and accept her without question. That’s why she took him when she ran. There was a time she was fed up with the world. Kamiomi, who never spoke before, opened his mouth to assure her everything is alright. He wanted her to be happy and is willing to bear all the pain and suffering for her. Suddenly her third arm starts moving like a mind of its own. It claims it is her split personality and set up by the shrine people. It appears now because her job is over. Her greatest threats are the Tsukuyomi shrine hunters. Once she is caught, it is game over. While Sasami was asleep, the third arm went to show Kamiomi all her reports. In order to protect her, Kamiomi has gone back to the shrine in her place. Because it is Amaterasu’s power they want and not Sasami. Sasami seals the third arm and tries to head outside to rescue her brother. But the glaring sun… Or is it the sun that is weakening her? Just when she cannot stand back up, Tsurugi extends a helping hand. She doesn’t want Sasami to give up. Sasami regrets placing all the burden on Kamiomi’s shoulders and made him live for her. Tsurugi says holding his hand is allowed because she is still a kid. It’s not naive. It is trust. She hopes if she has family problems to feel free and talk to her because they are like family.

Tsurugi then takes Sasami back to the shrine. Tsurugi has been here before. She could’ve destroyed it but just let them be when they said they would manage the gods for her. Long ago the creator gods, Izanagi and Izanami gave her absolute authority to maintain this country. In short, Tsurugi was Amaterasu. Because the other gods did as they please and not listen to her, Tsurugi wanted out but they dragged her back. She got fed up and gave her powers to Ninigi No Mikoto. Tsurugi thought of going back after he died but he passed down the power to his descendant in an unthinkable manner. Because the world humans made wasn’t that bad, she decided to watch over it. If she wants to get her power back, she prefers to have someone much younger to succeed. Someone like Tama. Tsurugi makes an explosive entry into the shrine before Tama comes diving down from the sky to fight whatever shrine familiars thrown her way. Tsurugi explains Tama was originally part of her and that’s why she calls Tama her sister. Kagami also joins the fray fighting the entire army with her in-built weapons. Kagami was created after Tsurugi cut off a cursed part. But an evil person found and raised her with magic and weapons for evil. Not liking that idea, Tsurugi took her back. The Yagami sisters are here to destroy the shrine simply because Sasami wished for them to protect her peaceful everyday life. That’s what they’re going to do after they wreck this place. When the shrine is totally annihilated, they couldn’t find Kamiomi anywhere. A passing priestess tells them he was here a moment ago but was kicked out. He made some crazy claim he had Amaterasu’s power and would gladly take Sasami’s place. They checked him and found he had zero divinity and supernatural power. Sasami realizes she made a huge mistake. Amaterasu’s power had resided in her all along. She wished for Kamiomi to live happily and the gods responded and in turn granted his wish. She thought she had lost her power but in reality wasn’t able to use them to its full potential. It was a pain to go outside the house due to some evil god doing something to her. Now she is alright as Sasami prepares to head to school for the first time.

Episode 4
First day of school over and so tired… So unmotivated… That’s life in society, girl. Back home she finds a top secret DVD believed to be from Kamiomi. Wondering what kind of porn he is watching (though she prefers him not to look at other girls except her), she inserts and watches the film roll. To her surprise, there is Tsurugi appointing herself as the director of this Sasami Watch Project. The goal is to support Sasami since she has returned to society. They will back her in any way while living a life as a normal high school girl with Amaterasu’s powers within. The ultimate point of this project is to record her progress and laugh their ass off for every mistake she makes! And for that moment there she thought she felt touched… The film rolls on as we see Kagami secretly filming Sasami’s journey to do errands proposed by Tsurugi. Like buying condoms at a pharmacy store and her visit to the public bath (perverted Tsurugi wanted Kagami to use her x-rays to peek into her underwear instead of the contents of her bag). Sasami is filled with embarrassment while watching but the bath house trip is cut with another scene. The one whereby Sasami wakes up in the middle of the night to put on a new seal for her third arm. And this was recorded by Kamiomi on the roof as part of his collection of sleeping Sasami faces! Sasami has a bad feeling about this because she doesn’t remember she did all those. Continuing the video, Sasami enters an otaku shop and makes her way to the adult floor. Geez. A little limited figurine can cost so much just because it had an option to be undressed compared to normal ones. The store owner thinks she lost her way to the idol concert and guides her there. Tsurugi is arguing with the cashier about the adult stuffs she bought. Can’t blame him for thinking she’s a kid, right? Sasami dances along with the otaku guys as the idol sings on stage. Kamiomi continues to film but bumps into security. He recognizes her as one of the priestesses back at the shrine. Though she suspiciously denies it, Kamiomi realize that it could only mean one thing if a shrine priestess is here. Suddenly all the guys turn into priests and the idol turns out to be Sasami’s father, Ruza. They put seals all over her and unseal her third arm, taking out that lump of meat which is Amaterasu’s power.

The Yagami sisters barge into the building and I don’t know why Tama brings in a UFO! I guess she was busy distracted with this alien mission of hers. The UFO crashes through the streets and SWAT guys surround it. They order Tama to return the alien which is government property but she vows to let the alien return to its home world. That’s when they throw gas canisters that contain drugs to erase memories. The lump of meat materializes into a familiar looking girl and asserts she will be free. The video ends. Tsurugi pops up behind Sasami and reveals the real Sasami has been taken to hospital and the shrine priests have been dealt by her. This Sasami is that lump of meat and the smoke messed up her memories. She came back home thinking she was the real Sasami. Tsurugi is going to merge them back together because there is no telling when a body part strays too far. Fake Sasami asserts she is a separate personality from her and that she is free. She complains the pain of being stuck in someone’s body and will not trade her freedom. She is going to use Amaterasu’s power to do secure that. However Tsurugi easily contains the power and seals her. The real Sasami wakes up in hospital being told by Sasami that they both wanted the same thing called freedom and caused trouble to those around. They are after all from the same body. However the fake one made a sin and that was to find happiness by sacrificing others. The real Sasami not only refrained from abusing Amaterasu’s power but despise and reject it. That is why Tsurugi could trust her holding the power. I’m not sure if Tsurugi had put back Amaterasu’s power into Sasami because Kagami is holding a pet rabbit in her arms and she wants to call it Meat instead of Sasami even though they are of the same origin. Meanwhile, Tama has left a trail of unconscious SWAT guys in her wake and her mission is complete after she frees the UFO back into space.

Episode 5
Sasami has a request for Kagami. Please be her friend! I think Kagami prefers her sleep. But Sasami continues to bug her. She is in dire need of one because when she transferred in, Kamiomi introduced her as an ex-shut-in which made her look like she had a tragic past. Everyone stayed away from her then. You see, Sasami just wants Kagami to be her stand-in friend so that she could make everyone think she is a happy-go-lucky girl and in no time will be lining up to be her friend. Some friend she is. Kagami agrees to be that as long as she can get her sleep. Not sleeping over that thought? So the first thing Sasami wants her ‘friend’ Kagami is to accompany her to buy food at the canteen. But they see Kamiomi and Tsurugi in an eating competition. I think you’ll lost count of the bowls they’ve eaten. It ended in Tsurugi’s victory and the loser must buy the winner lunch for the rest of the year. Not sick of food yet? Sasami must eat on her own since the cafeteria lady accidentally spilled food over Kagami so she has to go change. Next, Sasami pesters Kagami to accompany her to the toilet. Is this a must? Along the way, it’s like Kagami is experiencing bad luck like thumb tacks on her shoes, a basin dropping over her head and the locker falling over her! Thank God she is a robot and doesn’t feel pain. At the sushi restaurant with Kamiomi, Sasami blabs about Kagami causing Kamiomi to feel left out. Shouldn’t she be blabbing about him? He can’t take it anymore and strips so that she could ‘eat’ her! Don’t ever do that again! On the way back, Sasami is shocked to see Kagami bleeding by the roadside. She refuses any help since this has nothing to do with her. Besides, she only wants them to be friends at school. Even as a stand-in friend, she finds her clingy attitude annoying. Next day Sasami invites Kagami for an outing but she refuses. Wondering if she is annoying, Kagami replies her existence has no effect on her life. This hurts Sasami and doesn’t care about her anymore. To add salt to injuries, Sasami sees Kagami talking casually to other female classmates. She becomes distraught.

While walking home, Sasami sees Tama playing with kids at the park. She is in no mood to play till Tama says it is dangerous for her to be sad because the gods will try to make her happy and mess up the world. If she’s sad, Tama is also sad. She may not be bright but she likes to see Sasami happy. At the end of the day, Sasami still ponders the big question of how to make friends since she has none. Tama thought Kagami was her friend because the latter was always talking about her and praising her. She hopes she can get along with Kagami since everything will be over soon. Kagami said she had something to take care of herself. That is when Sasami realized as she rushes to Kagami at school. Because the gods do whatever they want to make her like them, and her wish for a friend mad the gods jealous and attack Kagami. That explains all the injury she’s got. By becoming her friend, she made the entire world want to attack her. She wanted to be friends at school because that was the limit of her power. Meanwhile Kagami spews up crazy jargons to load up her deadly weapons and fight the gods. She doesn’t care what comes her way as long as it’s her friend’s wish, she will shed blood to protect her normal life. She is happy to have a friend and thus took it upon herself to clean this mess before she noticed. When Sasami arrives at school, she warns the gods not to make her angry and they obediently left. She meets Kagami lying in the classroom in the aftermath. Kagami claims the friends she talked to were gods and purified them. They were using high school girls to get close to her and would’ve been in trouble if Sasami was influenced by them and made bad alterations. From now on, Sasami will have no worries in making friends as she has finished her purification. Sasami emotionally hugs, apologizes and loves Kagami. I’m sure she’d appreciate her snot not to stick all over her. She wants her to be her real friend and not a stand-in. Kagami explains she used to be a doll without emotion and heart. Still, she wanted to be normal like others. If she could have one wish, then it would be to become human. Because even if they are stupid and weak, they are warm. Sasami says she is already a human because she is warm. But Sasami doesn’t want he to be human, but friends.

Episode 6
Sasami writes how she saw the back of her mom, Juju in the streets. She tried calling to her but she didn’t respond. She chases up to her but finds her gone when she turns the corner. Mommy’s presence was flickering on and off as with the streets lights. By the time she looked back, the lights burnt out and she was gone. Sasami thought it couldn’t be her and might mistake her for someone else because she already knew where her real mom was. In class, Sasami bugs Kagami about seeing her mom. I think she is more interested in sleeping. She doesn’t even want to accompany her pick a bicycle. Plus, she had plans to accompany Meat to the vet. Sasami lost to a rabbit… On her way home, Sasami sees her mom once more. This time she responds. Happy Sasami takes her out through the shopping district. Each time Juju had something pessimistic to say about the outing, a little experience causes her to change her mind. Worldly temptations… Whether it’s playing the crane game (using power is forbidden! Better run before the store clerk suspects anything), eating ice cream or going shopping. Finally at the Italian restaurant, Juju wants to discuss something. She noticed Sasami was happy spending time with her, something that mother and daughter never did when they were busy training. Sasami indeed had fun but she too needs to tell her something. Because Juju already died a long time ago due to her frail body and health since birth. Juju knows that fact too and that alternation is preserving her appearance. She shows her real rotting body that scares the hell out of Sasami. Juju continues that everyone including gods only live once and thus there is no such thing as reincarnation. Everyone who dies will go to the underworld. Before she became a resident of the underworld, she negotiated with the underworld king. They had a common interest so he allowed her to return as a mortal till her body completely rots away. The reason she came back is because she saw Sasami leaving the shrine, abandoned the duties and bum around doing nothing with her life. She couldn’t stay dead for Sasami broke her promise about taking care of this world. She won’t blame her for she too had sinned for passing away early before her training could bear fruit. She wants Sasami to return to the shrine and resume her training even if the shrine isn’t there anymore but it is away from the world’s vulgarities and she can train in peace.

Sasami won’t sacrifice herself for mankind’s convenient so Juju tells her no one asked her opinion. Are her happiness, freedom and pleasure worth more than mankind’s future? Don’t be selfish. This goes beyond life. Her existence means nothing if she is not living as a Tsukuyomi priestess. Sasami is slapped to silence when Tsurugi makes her appearance. Juju thinks this evil god is the one who led Sasami astray. Tsurugi denies that and although she is slacking in this world, she cannot ignore severe violations of the rules since Juju returned to the living world which is a big no-no. As for Sasami, she wasn’t led astray and chose it herself. Tsurugi will put things right and doesn’t want Juju to act like a responsible mother after all this time. She prepares to slash her but Juju easily overwhelms her. Reinforcements Kagami and Tama arrive. Juju continues to spout about their guidance is the only reason mankind advances and will be taking Sasami back to train her to fulfil her role. Obstruct and you die. Tsurugi gets up, not wanting to go back to the underworld since there’s someone she hates there. But her sword, Ame No Murakumo has no effect on Juju because even if it’s a powerful divine sword, it is only for protection. Juju’s sword, Ame No Habakiri was reforged in the underworld as the sword of misfortune and was presented by the underworld king to slay gods. She is confident nobody can lay a finger on her as she has this sword and the underworld king’s protection. Not even Kagami’s heavy gunfire can stop her. Juju pierces through her chest to put her out of commission. Then she opens the portal to the underworld and pushes Tsurugi through it. Tama protects Sasami and though she admits she is too dumb to understand what is going on, she sees her as being mean because everyone was happy. This is made possible by Sasami so what Juju is saying now doesn’t make sense to her. Juju is going to make her understand but Sasami couldn’t bear to see anymore hurting so she agrees to go back to the shrine and become a priestess. And in a snap, she’s back in the rotting reality of the human world.

Episode 7
When Sasami was young, she watched her mother practise her Reverse Path spell, a spell that can imprison all sort of oddities. Because she looked like a hero, Sasami considered her as a superhero and even Juju got into the flow of it. Ah, those innocent times when Sasami truly loved her mother. But now, she is back in the destroyed shrine and drugged, unable to move. Meanwhile Tama is making her journey to who knows where. She tells us the sisters never got along till Sasami came. Till then, Tama only knew how to smile and act happy in hopes they would smile. And then this sh*t came and none of that now means anything. Juju wants Sasami to vow never to escape again but Sasami won’t promise. She lied back then just to stop her. She doesn’t want to continue doing a job that got her killed. She finally got out and doesn’t want to come back. She doesn’t want to try harder. Since re-educating her won’t work, Juju has no choice but to stab her stomach so that the drug will hasten its effect. Juju wants her to bear a child and she will educate this child of her duties. She throws him an unconscious priest for her impregnation. Sasami doesn’t want to do it and if so at least with Kamiomi. However speaking of him, earlier he tried to save her so she ‘took care of him’. Sasami ‘dies’ inside but Juju is unfazed so long as her body is in good shape to bear a child. Juju then goes to see Kamiomi locked up and tells him about her talk with Sasami. Kamiomi truly believes Sasami loved her. Juju knows and acknowledges that but being a priestess comes before being a mother and such is just a trivial matter. She calls Kamiomi her brother. Kagami wakes up with just enough strength to send Ame No Murakumo to Kamiomi. He cuts himself loose and goes to rescue Sasami. But the first thing she did was to kick him for being late and throw her usual tantrum. Not the hug and kisses he expected, eh? He calms her down assuring he will always protect her. When they escape, they are confronted with Juju who didn’t expect them to break the barrier when she’s away.

Sasami tells her the Tsukuyomi bloodline and this stupid job dies with her. She has decided. Juju won’t acknowledge her as her daughter anymore since she took the easy way out. Plus, Sasami’s words won’t move the dead. That’s when Tama arrives. She starts throwing her tantrum how she got lost trying to find this place. Tama seems to display teleportation divinity as she teleports Ame No Murakumo and make it appear in the same space as the other sword. Because Ame No Habakiri is weaker, it breaks when Ame No Murakumo is in its close proximity. Tama starts hitting away Juju, causing her flesh and bones to break. Juju realizes she is a new kind of god designed to take over the old ones. Juju cannot move when Sasami does Reverse Path spell on her. Tama pushes into the portal to the underworld and Tsurugi drags her in. She tells Tama she has got things to take care of and won’t be back for a while. Next day, Sasami wakes up in the comfort of her own bed. She gets call from Tsurugi. She’s calling from the underworld. She will be here for a while to beat the crap out of somebody who calls himself her brother and hopes Sasami could take care of her sisters during her absence. As for her mother, she was on the verge of falling apart since Tama took a few ‘bites’ out of her. Although she didn’t get erased completely, she will take some time to return to normal. She has also sent Sasami something Juju dropped along the way down to the underworld. Sasami sees a package outside her door and upon opening, she breaks down to see the tainted stuff doll rabbit they got from the crane game.

Episode 8
Tsukuyomi priestess Micchan writes a log how the family head, Ruza bums around not wanting to do anything. She even recorded his favourite phrases and how many times he said it! “I want to die” is off the scale! As for Sasami, she has barricaded herself in her room and vows not to let anyone in. Kagami and Tama see Kamiomi at the diner. He is sad he hasn’t heard, touch or bathe with Sasami (he keeps count of the number of hours too). Want to die too? So much so his Sasami withdrawal symptom has him harassed Kagami whom he thinks is Sasami. After beating him up, Kagami gets serious with the problem they’re facing. Tsurugi is away and Sasami has secluded herself for unknown reasons with a powerful barrier Ama no Iwato which also rejects all contact the outside world. Kagami wants to break through and find out. As they dive down from the sky, all the building and vehicles turn into gun turrets as Sasami warns them not to get close. She won’t say her problem either so Kagami goes ahead with her infiltration. An aerial battle takes place but it seems Sasami’s missiles are mixed with acid that melts Kagami’s clothes. If this continues, she’ll be stark naked and Sasami plans to upload her nude pics on the internet and turn her into a famous model! I think Tama and especially Kamiomi wants to strip for her but Sasami is not interested. Geez. Some friend she is. Not buying that friendship thingy now. Tsurugi drops out from the sky. Though she explains gods can’t break through Ama No Iwato, new gods can eat it up and has Tama gobble up the barrier. Inside her room, they want to know what’s going on. After removing the blanket, we see a bloody fat Sasami!!! Bloated!!! Apparently this happened after she ate pizza last night. She was surprised at this state and didn’t want to tell or consult them for fear they may hate her. She thought of reorganizing her thoughts first but they had to come see her. Maybe it’s some sort of oddity. Tsurugi thinks that Tsukuyomi priestess didn’t finish her job and brings Sasami along on this one.

Sasami finds herself in a decimated city. She thinks she is in the past because she sees Juju taking out gravekeeper Baron Samedi and his zombies. Sasami can only watch the events unfold. Juju is picked up by Micchan who flies her back to the shrine because Sasami has fallen ill. Though she often falls sick, this time no priests or priestesses could cure it. Juju nurses her and has kind words for Sasami. She hopes she will grow up quickly because the world would be a little better place by then. After she leaves, Juju starts coughing blood and wonders if she will go first or see her daughter grow up. Micchan helps Juju to make dinner for Sasami. Micchan was spirited away by an evil god who wanted her powers because she was born with immense power. She was drained of it all and lost everything. That’s why she understands Sasami’s feeling as their situation is the same. Juju worries a lot about Sasami and this made Sasami feel guilty she worked so hard to make the world a better place and yet she betrayed her. Suddenly they are attacked by a golem who has captured young Sasami. While Juju was away fighting Samedi, Sasami snuck out to town so the golem latched onto her so no one can sense her entering the shrine. Grownup Sasami feels even guiltier she is the cause of this trouble but doesn’t remember this ever happening. But the golem seems to be talking to our Sasami. Introducing herself as an assassin of the Wicked Occult Society Arahabaki, her true form is the spirit of this Sesshou golem, a golden nine tailed fox called Tamamo No Mae. She wants to make a deal. Has she ever wanted to change the past?

Episode 9
Micchan continues her log. Ruza must have gotten worse. He has stripped naked and into this S&M thingy calling Micchan his master. Back to the story proper, Tamamo No Mae grabs Juju (with our Sasami within) and has been waiting for this moment to change history. Of course she needed a great power to do that and since Amaterasu’s power warps through time, the moment Sasami felt regret she betrayed her mom, that is when he alteration of the past begins. Tamamo No Mae will kill Juju, her powers pass down to Sasami who so happens to be in her hands. She rants about Arahabaki growing further in the future and ruling the world. Sasami tells her off she can’t do anything without changing the past and that’s why she can’t rule the world. Before Tamamo No Mae could kill her, Sasami wakes up and finds herself next to her mom’s body. This is on the day she died. To her surprise, Tsurugi pops up and Juju resurrects. Just like waking up from slumber? Seem the drugs that Juju put in her stomach was some sort of totem that serves as her gateway from the underworld. That is what caused Sasami to grow fat since Juju couldn’t control that power. So now the goal is to prevent Tamamo No Mae from taking over the world. To do that, they will have to travel back in time to erase all negative feelings and find its indications. So the trio go back in time. First stop the time right after Sasami escaped from the shrine and was on the verge of breaking down. But with Kamiomi being a total pervert, she had no time to feel down. Then at a time Sasami drew a picture of Juju as present but she ripped it apart calling artful creations as wicked. Though Sasami’s heart broke to pieces, after she left Juju picked it up and stick it back together! After seeing how happy Juju gave birth to Sasami, going back further in time sees Juju ruthlessly chasing down her brother Ruza. When she corners him, she confesses she loves him! Didn’t know mommy was that passionate then, eh? How embarrassing!

Next they see Juju going through intense training. Juju asks Sasami her answer and she remains steadfast she doesn’t want to be a priestess. Juju believes at this changing age, they cannot rely on the whimsical gods for protection and it is necessary that humans guard and oversee the world themselves. Sasami agrees with her but says even if the gods are random and weak, they can only become strong by overcoming that. Since they are only entrusted with Amaterasu’s power, it would be arrogant to say that they can protect it. The age of protection is over. She believes they should trust in the gods more and thus will not put forth anymore effort. Juju replies she always thought her early death was the reason Sasami was spoiled due to lack of proper preparations. However she is now convinced of her well thought out conclusion and doesn’t consider her a traitor anymore. She blames herself for making the mistake but Tsurugi doesn’t think so. She just worked too hard. Tsurugi then transforms into her goddess form and laments all this started because she got tired and threw her power away. She has had enough rest, rested more than she should and depended on them too much. In exchange she ruined humans and many of them died along the way. This shouldn’t have happened in the first place. She wants to know what she did was wrong because she couldn’t figure it out herself. Sasami replies she worked hard after so long, rested and then came back. If she is tired, just pass the torch. With everything resolve, we’re back to where Tamamo No Mae is moments from crushing Juju. A great spirit flows through Juju’s body. She attributes this to Tamamo No Mae’s awakened powers that triggered their desire to change the past. With no more regrets, Juju slays the golem to free Sasami. In normal time, Sasami returns to her normal state when Juju exits her body.

Sasami puts in more effort as she tries to help Kamiomi shovel the snow. They are confronted by the student council president, Jou Edogawa who wants to be friends with her. If she needs any help, feel free to ask. But Kamiomi throws her a caution if she dares use Sasami in her wicked schemes, friend or no friend, he will make her pay. Edogawa returns to her fox girl servant, Foxie who is surprised she took such a direct approach. Edogawa asserts she is really interested in Sasami though she doesn’t have the power of Amaterasu anymore. Such divinity remains even if it’s an empty shell. Edogawa wanted to drain that power but had mistaken her target. Foxie will abide to whatever Edogawa’s wishes are for her happiness. Everything for the sake of her desires and interests. She plans to use Arahabaki to teach those gods who think of themselves so highly a lesson.

Episode 10
Sasami begins her new term as a second year high schooler. However since being friends with Edogawa, that girl hasn’t been friendlier. Maybe she’s shy in opening up? Actually Sasami stumbled upon a deep secret so she understands why she wanted to lie low. At the pool, Sasami saw Edogawa’s ‘elephant’! Holy cow! Is Edogawa a boy?! Well, she claims she her penis grows from time to time. WTF?! Unless she meant ‘grow’ in the sense as in seeing naked girls… So Sasami continues to be over friendly with Kagami (much to her chagrin) to the point her ‘love’ has been misinterpreted that they are pure lesbians. Edogawa then comes in to invite everyone to Kuzuryuu Shrine resort for her vacation. And she’s being tsundere about it too. Sasami is of course invited too but she ends up getting ill. To solve this problem, Sasami uses her power to turn Tama into a splitting image of herself. It’s a win-win situation. Tama gets to go on their trip and Sasami can view and hear everything through Tama. But first, they need to convince Kamiomi to let her go. So with Sasami guiding the words Tama should say to persuade Kamiomi she is well, at first that guy is suspicious (she shouldn’t have said or read everything word for word) and this may not be the Sasami he knows. I mean, she would have beaten him up already and rejected his love but why is she so willing to accept him? Is this a dream?! Hell, no! I think he would love this to be his true ending. I hope he doesn’t take ‘Sasami’ on their own honeymoon. And despite having the approval, the real Sasami feels this is going to get ugly since Tama did say she is willing to marry Kamiomi!

Everyone departs by bus (except for poor Kamiomi who had to peddle all the way since there are no seats for him), Sasami logs on to the tele-divine chatroom and speaks with the Yagami sisters who are connected. Tsurugi hopes she will stay safe since she has passed Amaterasu’s powers to Juju. Kagami is confused the Sasami/Tama treats her like a sister. But I think this is all part of Tsurugi’s harassment plan. Everyone starts thinking they are so deep that their hopes of reaching them are zero. Give up your first love! At the resort after everyone ate their satisfying meal (Tsurugi sexually harassing the other teacher in charge, Youko Kitsunebi), it’s time to head for the baths. Edogawa can’t go for obvious reasons but the girls insist. Oh no. It’s that time when that ‘thing’ starts ‘growing’. She tells them off to leave them alone since she has her own duties and to not get close to her. Sasami via Tama covers for Edogawa that she has to clean up so everyone understands and will help out. ‘Sasami’ brings Edogawa to a hotspring where the water is white so she can ‘hide’ it better. Then comes in Tsurugi who wants to grope big boobs (she must be having withdrawal symptoms if she doesn’t touch them now! Because Tama offered to touch hers after they get home). She’s not interested in flat chests and targets Edogawa (who knows where Youko has gone after enduring her sexual harassment all day). Tama manages to divert Tsurugi’s attention by saying Youko’s breasts has grown 10 times bigger and off the pervert goes to look for her. Edogawa wants to know why she is helping her and even going this far to keep her body a secret from others. Because when she first wanted to be her friend, she felt happy. Friends are there to share each other’s secret and help each other out. However Edogawa doesn’t think this will be possible because one day she will kill her.

Episode 11
Juju and Micchan receive postcards from ‘Sasami’ on her trip. Bad pictures? Thank Tama for that. What the heck is Kamiomi lying on the floor with seaweed over his head? I’m sure he just arrived after a long journey. Sasami (remember, Tama is impersonating as her and Sasami herself interacting via the divine chatroom interface) takes a morning bath only to see Edogawa there. I’m not sure what Edogawa is ranting about her so called evil plans with Babysitter and Foxie over her own chatline. Once everyone realize half sleepy Tsurugi was also on the line, they log out. Despite Sasami want to be genuine friends with her, Edogawa turns into somewhat a tsundere, suspicious at every intention of hers but in the end allows it. Kagami happens to drop in the chatroom and feels irritated that Sasami is making a new friend. Although Sasami views Kagami as her first friend, Kagami denies and claims she is just a stepping stone and mere practice doll for her. Ouch. Even during the beach outing, Sasami wanted to invite Kagami to play beach ball with them but she rather finish her sand castle (and then blast it away with her guns!). Kamiomi must be having the fun of his life when ‘Sasami’ starts loving big brother. Oh Tama… It’s time to head for the festivals so Tsurugi will have Kamiomi become her purse… You know what this means. Sasami wants to invite Edogawa to the festivals but she remains sceptical. First she thought Sasami is her enemy after seeing through her evil plans (what plans?). Sasami thinks she has chuunibyou. Then Edogawa thinks she is flattering her because she wants to be her servant! Because Foxie tells her she wants a deeper and more equal relationship than that, Edogawa thinks Sasami loves her! I think Tsurugi can get the wrong idea about this.

Sure, Sasami loves her but only because she wants to be her friend. Kagami becomes irked at this conversation and leaves for the festivals herself, claiming Sasami will end up relying on her if she is there. Because of that, Sasami went all out to look for Kagami and left Edogawa alone (hey, she said not to come, right?). When Sasami finally meets Kagami, to put a summary in the latter’s long winded explanation, she was jealous when she saw Sasami making a new friend. She should be happy and supporting her but views herself as broken since she is a robot. Sasami dismisses she is one and completely human. In that sense, she got hurt so she apologizes for hurting her. Hugging her, Sasami wants her to stay by her side and doesn’t have to support her. Meanwhile Juju reads Micchan’s log about Ruza’s unruly behaviour. Dog collar? Naked? Pretending to be a dog? Can you blame her for blowing her top? Elsewhere Foxie accompanies Edogawa. Tama reverts to her own appearance and this doesn’t sit well with Kagami because she felt embarrassed over that emotional drama. She treated her so because she thought she was the real Kagami. The fireworks lit up the sky as the real Sasami goes back to sleep since she is spiritually worn out (that’s why Tama came back out).

Episode 12
Going back a little in time when Sasami discovered Edogawa’s true gender, Edogawa’s plan was to perform a ritual to summon a Kuzuryuu dragon. She has this other personality called Awashima (Babysitter) that takes control of this body while her spirit rest. That’s when Sasami unfortunately discovered ‘it’ so he had to cook up some excuse. After that, Edogawa discusses with Awashima and Tamamo No Mae (Foxie) to initiate their plan. All for the sake of her happiness, desire and curiosity. During the festival, Edogawa believed for the moment that Sasami wanted to be her friend till she ditched her to find Kagami. At that same moment, she too wanted to invite Sasami to be her servant but was flat out rejected. This causes Edogawa to rue her disappointment. All expectations result in disappointment especially when it involves humans. That’s why she doesn’t understand and hates them. When she initiates the plan, Kagami leaves Tama because she thought she spotted something strange. Then the crowd turns into water and absorbs Tama. Sasami feels her body being drugged. Tsurugi and Kamiomi are examining destroyed shrines as Kagami faces off with Tamamo No Mae who has set up a barrier around the island. Tamamo No Mae identifies Kagami as the former Lord of Fire, Kagutsuchi. She is confident both her divine swords will cut through her. Tama is taken to Edogawa to a shrine where she is forced to help out re-enact a play how Kuzuryuu was slain. It is a fitting role for Tama because she is the new god while Edogawa is the old forgotten one, Arahabaki the Unworshipped. Edogawa wants Tama to kill her with the sword but she can’t. That’s when Edogawa strikes back. Claiming this ceremony is just history repeating itself, she will use Tamamo No Mae’s power to mislead the world so she’ll change history and make Kuzuryuu defeats the Yamato court. After taking out Tama’s heart, Edogawa claims history will alter and Kuzuryuu victorious. The multi-headed Kuzuryuu emerges and burns down the entire island.

By the time Sasami is able to establish connections with Tama, the latter says she was eaten by a scary god. Edogawa revives in her golem form and has been waiting for her. She opened a little window in the barrier for that. Now that Kuzuryuu has declared war on the world, she wants Sasami to be the new ruler of the world. She will become a priestess to mediate between gods and humans. Sasami admits defeat since many are dead and the innocent involved. Tama begs her not to give in. However all this is just a ploy to buy time. The golem is on fire and it seems Kagami has defeated Tamamo No Mae and took over her body to play possum to her. Sasami apologizes to Tama for keeping a secret. Because she really wanted to go on the trip as soon as she felt better, she moved the entire house inside her body! That’s why at some points it was like Sasami herself controlling her from inside on her driver’s seat. Edogawa’s mistake was thinking that she has defeated the Yagami sisters and opened a little window to communicate with Sasami when she had been inside the barrier all along. This allowed Tsurugi to go outside the barrier and plan something. Kagami then burns the golem and takes over the rock body before reverting to her own original body. Then she uses her Yata Mirror to restore everything back to normal. Sasami’s house is spit out. But the world isn’t destroyed as believed and the island is uninhabited to begin with. Was that an illusion? Apparently Kuzuryuu’s revival wasn’t perfected. But Kuzuryuu breaks free from the ground within. Tsurugi has called her underworld brother, Susanoo as he swings his Ame No Habakiri at Kuzuryuu to destroy it. The great impact causes Sasami to fall into the ocean. She sees Edogawa drowning and pulls her to shore. As the girls lie on the shore, Edogawa explains she was scared that if she got everything and became supreme god of the world, she would be all alone and never have done things with Sasami and the rest. Sasami understands her fear of being alone. Edogawa adds she worked so hard since young as the head of the organization and shouldered huge expectations and yet it all turned out disappointing. Sasami says if she runs away, she loses. Although Edogawa will still kill her one day, Sasami wants them to be friends till that day come. Weird. Kamiomi and the Yagami sisters paddle their way to rescue them while Juju reprimands Micchan for shirking her duties and fall into this outrageous decadence of foolish lifestyle. Micchan got the cheek to say she looks cute when she’s jealous. Sasami and Edogawa frolic together on the beach, vowing not to put anymore effort today.

Sasami-san@Try Harder Please…
Actually everything started out okay in the beginning and it seemed interesting at first. However as we go by, it gets a little complicated. In fact, too complicated for my puny brain to comprehend so the enjoyment decreases with each passing episode. When the story gets a little grimmer with gods in the picture and Sasami’s past unveiled, that’s where my turmoil begins. I’m not a guy who really understands or am interested in gods so that takes a big chunk out of the enjoyment. Some of those terms were a put off too. Who understands God anyway? Well, maybe those who devoted themselves to them. So you have gods who have power to change everything from the setting to the way the world functions just to please the almighty Amaterasu. So what? I still don’t get it. It was okay when it started out with Valentine chocolates, then some network game and the spying over Sasami. Though, these serve as plots and build-up for later stories. Then when you have Sasami making friends with Kagami, meeting and going against her dead mom, travelling back in time to ‘adjust’ history and the final arc of befriending Edogawa and preventing her from carrying out her world conquest. Tell me again, what is this anime about in a nutshell?

Sasami at first seems like a usual shut-in with no motivation to do anything. As bits of her past are revealed, you will clearly understand why she lacks the drive to do what she is supposed to do. After all, she is a human girl. All she wants is to be a normal girl and do what girls her age normally do. When she is finally freed of her spell and duties, she is very much like a normal girl. Or at least trying and yearning to be one by making her first step to make friends. Well, there aren’t an awful lot of characters in this series but having two at the end is already a good start. Sasami is now more open up and has more expression than before and this makes her quite likeable. However I have mixed feelings because I viewed her as funnier when she was in her shut-in mode. No motivation to do anything and such uninspiring attitude is what made her funny. But for the sake of her betterment, I guess you have to lose something to gain something. She could have become the next god like the ever famous Haruhi or even Kamisama Hajimemashita’s Tomoe. However she totally rejects this because she wants to live her own life the way she chooses. It’s pretty ironic because there are lots of other people out there who would die to become God and wield such power. Ah well, humans. Have it, don’t want it. Don’t have it, want it.

The other supporting characters are okay too but the way it seems, they may harbour lots more secrets than they look especially the Yagami sisters. Especially about Tsurugi being an ex-god or something. At first I was interested to know more about their background but then the whole thing about being gods and all made it such a turn off so I just didn’t want to think about it. Especially that Susanoo character that appeared right in the final scene. Who the? What the? By that time I think I couldn’t really care less if more new characters turn up. The Yagami sisters are unique in their own way each with different personalities. Tsurugi’s first love may always be adult porn games (and she isn’t afraid to admit it – God playing human porn?) but when it comes down to putting things right, don’t count her out. She does her best. Kagami has lots of fancy weapons built inside her body that she could put all the Gundam and Macross mechas to shame. It’s mind boggling how everything can fit inside that body of hers. Like as though there is some time-space dimension warp inside. As a robot, she juggles hard with her emotions. Sometimes she is more human than human beings themselves because she does her best to be Sasami’s friend. Evidently, despite being jealous of Sasami trying to make Edogawa her friend, it proves that she has a human heart. Oddly too as a robot, she loves sleeping (don’t you love it when she goes “Funyaa~” when she wakes up?). Doesn’t she have extra recharge batteries? Maybe it’s all those weapons that eat up lots of energy. Tama may not look like an elementary school student because she is the biggest size among the sisters. Her happy, naïve and child-like nature may make her the most light-hearted character in this series. But as we see it is her way of trying to make others happy. If you have sisters who are already gloom and doom, if two wrongs don’t make a right, then a third definitely won’t. She might not be the smartest of all the characters but her simple ways are enough to motivate you to try your best. I know she is.

Kamiomi’s role in the series seems to be like a joker and a comic relief because this guy whose face is always covered by something, usually is at the receiving end of things. Just when you thought you think you might get a glimpse of his face, think again because you will never really get to. He hides it very well. Overall his role in the series I feel doesn’t have an important impact in the storyline. For the final arc, it’s like he became forgettable. He didn’t really do much. Not that I can see. Despite vowing to always protect Sasami, all I can see the most he did was free her from Juju’s imprisonment. Otherwise, many of Sasami’s help relies on the Yagami sisters. His love for Sasami is both good and bad because it shows he cares for her more than anything in the world. Which kind of sister wouldn’t love to have a brother like him who does everything without question? But too much love can be creepy, disgusting and sickening especially when he shamelessly reveals his intention of wanting Sasami’s sisterly love. Something which he doesn’t really often get. I think he is a masochist. Sasami refuses his advances but this doesn’t put him down. Ironically there are some points where I noticed if Sasami or somebody else impersonating as her, Kamiomi may love the idea that his sister has accepted him but if she gets to lovey-dovey, then he starts to freak out. Is this the real Sasami? Is this really the Sasami he knows? Yeah, that. Dilemma, right?

Before Juju accepted Sasami’s decision not to become a Tsukuyomi priestess, it was hard to view whether she was wrong or right. Her ancestors for many generations have practised such ritual only for Sasami to be a combo breaker and put an end to that lineage. Sometimes when you think about it, is it the ultimate fate of mankind or a single person which is more important. Generally, a single person’s sacrifice would have been the reasonable answer seeing it is only an individual compared to the masses. And if you put that individual more important than mankind, what good would it do if only one individual benefits at the expense of the rest? But making somebody to go against her wishes is also pure malicious. Sasami is a human being even if she is some vessel for a god or come from a line of descendants who supports god. She is still human right down to her bones. That’s why it was a tough call for Juju to make. She knew she was torn about her duty and motherhood but had to prioritize. She can only do one at the time because doing both together will cause great conflict. In the end, I’m glad that she accepted Sasami’s arguments and is now holding Amaterasu’s power. Whether or not she intends to relinquish it to Sasami in the future (in the event if she changes her mind) or some other member of the family is yet to be seen. Speaking of family, it got a little confusing when almost everybody starts calling each other their parent or sibling. So who is who? Kamiomi is also Tsurugi’s brother, Juju is also Kamiomi’s brother. Everybody is somewhat related, don’t you think?

Some characters make me wonder what their appearance is for. Like Ruza and Micchan. All we see Ruza do is bum around and degraded himself into some S&M dog. So what is the implication of this? What has it got to do with the storyline? Maybe nothing. Just for a quick laugh and side distraction. It shows that Ruza is also human since he too can’t resist the temptations of worldly desires. Even Juju herself was once like that. See how she confessed to Ruza? Just like a girl in love, no? Yeah. Edogawa coming into the final picture as the antagonist, it made me wonder what she wanted. Sure, it’s about her happiness and such but somehow I just don’t feel that. In the end, her whatever plans to change history and rule the world got stopped and what does she really want then? Whatever she wishes for, let’s hope that being friends with Sasami will bring out the best in her. Her underlings like Awashima and Tamamo No Mae also feel like they didn’t make much of an impact. While foxy girl’s battle with Kagami was just a short bout, after Awashima made his formal introduction to us, he is like forgotten soon after. What happened to him? Did he really matter after that? So is Edogawa really a boy or a girl?

Many things in the anime baffle me especially about the gods and divinity thingy. Ever since their mention, it made me wonder why in the world do they need a human as vessel to house the most powerful god of all? Then the way they want to please Amaterasu is like as though they are trying to please a human since Sasami was the one housing Amaterasu. Doesn’t that make them inferior and cheap? There are good gods and there are bad gods but those trying to fight over Amaterasu only serve to make me think that they are no better than humans themselves. Humans are already flawed so seeing them struggle and trying to improve for their overall happiness is okay. But if you talk about gods… Shouldn’t they be perfect even if some of them ranks lower? And if they have the power to just change the world in the blink of an eye, don’t you think they would have done something for themselves? They are that powerful, no? Another thing that got me baffled is Juju’s return to the human world. It is said that once one enters the underworld, it is forbidden to return anyhow. At least that is what I understand. Then when Juju broke that rule to return and re-educate her daughter, got sent back again and now she’s back once more this time doing her duties in Sasami’s place. Maybe some deal was made but I thought Tsurugi went to whack some sense into that brother of hers? And I thought Tsurugi was the one who said that such rule should be strictly enforced. Unless she changed her mind about it.

Learning that this anime is from SHAFT, my expectations for this series were there and it is safe to say that it didn’t disappoint. There are several SHAFT trademark styles that you will notice (if you have watching a few of their shows like Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei, Bakemonogatari, Nisemonogatari, Maria+Holic and the ef series). For instance the typical head tilt. I wonder how many times they have shown that here. Then, Sasami’s incredulous or shocking expression that has her facial appearance looking more like a clown is also part of the package. Mainly, somehow I feel that many of the trademarks remind me of Bakemonogatari and Nisemonogatari. Although there are no words to bombard you and fill up the screen as often as in Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei. That could be a tad annoying. Make that very annoying.

Since the drawing and art also takes after some of SHAFT’s trademark, I notice that some of the backgrounds and scenery are very water colour-like painting. It’s like as though the artists didn’t have enough motivation to put in more effort. But that is just my speculation and I think it is done on purpose. I mean, if you have a world that can be easily changed by the gods, I won’t even be surprised if the series suddenly undergoes lots of visual changes. Something which did not appear in this series. I guess the lack of such creative and different visuals is also good so it doesn’t distract you from what you see. Or is it what you see are real in the first place? Also, for the end card, I am not sure if they are drawn by the same person because I feel that they are generally the same style. Fanservice wise, there are some but I happen to notice the increase in nakedness. Yes, the characters will be naked and yes, mostly there are no censors. But… when the characters are in their birthday suit, they will usually be at a distance. Far enough for us to identify they are not putting on any clothes but not close enough to warrant any censors over those sensitive areas. Well, Sasami is rather flat, right? So you can’t really see much from that distance. Oops… Even Kamiomi has more ‘censors’ over his face than the fanservice scenes… Heh…

For the voice acting part, Kana Asumi being casted as Sasami, she wasn’t really in her typical lively character type such as Nyaruko in Haiyore! Nyaruko-san or Miya in Amagami SS. Of course when your character is a shut-in and lacks motivation, you don’t expect to pull that kind of crazy voices that you expect her to. But still, she is still identifiably quirky as Sasami. Kana Hanazawa as Kagami does away with voicing retard characters. She also did characters who lack emotions in their speech like Noir in Dog Days and Kuroneko in Ore No Imouto Ga Konna Ni Kawaii Wake Ga Nai. So if you know how those characters sound, you basically have an idea how Kagami would sound like too. At first I didn’t recognize the voice of Tsurugi. It felt familiar but couldn’t pinpoint who. Then when I get to know it is Chiwa Saito, it suddenly brings back familiar memories. I guess voicing loli genius is her forte. As Tsurugi, it seems like there are traces of Pani Poni Dash’s Rebecca and Linebarrels Of Iron’s Rachel within her. I haven’t heard Ai Nonaka in a while so it was a pleasant surprise to hear her voicing Tama. She still got her liveliness there just like her Fuuko in Clannad and Meme in Denpa Onna To Seishun Otoko. Other casts include Houchu Ootsuka as Kamiomi (Shiro in Arakawa Under The Bridge), Manami Numakura as Edogawa (Arata in Black Rock Shooter), Yuu Asakawa as Juju (Motoko in Love Hina), Erino Hazuki as Micchan (Akari in Aria The Animation) and Rikiya Koyama as Ruza (Kiritsugu in Fate/Zero).

The opening theme is Alteration by ZAQ. Nothing memorable about this piece but the animation is filled with lots of circles and funny symbols. Whatever. Not that I understand since I think it has something to do with the Tsukuyomi shrine or priestess. The more memorable and amusing one is the ending theme. For the first time ever (as far as I can remember), we don’t actually hear the real song being sung, Shintou Atsu Symphony. For the first 11 episodes, as the ending credits are being played, we hear the characters ranting away about singing this song. Just like a karaoke session, some really want to have a go at it and others like Sasami are really reluctant to sing it and some encouraging others to just belt it out (like our Kamiomi who keeps pestering our Sasami to do so for the sake of this broadcast). So after halfway through, we hear the characters singing the song and all of them are out of tune! It’s like they didn’t put any effort or too much effort. The cacophony actually makes it sound funny! I also tried joining in and sing with my monotonous lower voice. Of course it sucks. Intentionally. So we have all the characters singing their own version and despite Sasami very reluctant to ‘show’ her voice to the audience she eventually does on a handful of occasions. I think she really wants to sing it, just that she doesn’t want anybody else to hear her (Tama caught her!). And there’s one time the imposter Sasami sang so lively that it made Kamiomi sweat, thinking if this is really the Sasami he knew (see, what did I tell you about him really wanting Sasami to get all lovely like he expects?). So the final episode we get to hear the real song sung by Kana Asumi. However… After hearing so many unmotivated and over-motivated tries, this one doesn’t sound any better at all! Okay, just slightly better since to me it still sounds out of tune. Perhaps the song is like that and Kana Asumi was just in her character singing the song.

Another one of the most amusing sections in this series is just before the next episode preview which I call Unmotivated Segment. In this part, we hear Sasami in her unmotivated voice narrating the various types of unmotivated categories, be it unmotivated fortune telling (such vague and ambiguous predictions… Maybe), unmotivated weather forecast (it doesn’t matter rain or shine because I’m staying home!), unmotivated cooking show (you get someone to buy all the ingredients and cook it for you), unmotivated consultation (since an unmotivated person is writing this letter, it’s like the kettle calling the pot black), unmotivated quiz (what questions will she ask? Whatever that is you answer), unmotivated warm up (Kamiomi is doing all the warm ups while Sasami just sits there unmotivated on her ass), unmotivated ranking (this next episode preview ranks as first because there’s nothing about the next episode!), unmotivated shopping channel (you buy the vacuum to piss yourself), unmotivated pro wrestling (doesn’t all the unmotivated wrestlers feel like Power Rangers spoof?), unmotivated cinema (trying to find some clip to replace this show but eventually gave up) and the ultimate one called unmotivated drama (previous episodes… Stuff happens… Next episode… Stuff happens…), each of her unmotivated narration doesn’t tell you much since it is after all unmotivated. So don’t expect much ;p. Except maybe a few chuckles. Or else you’ll be tad disappointed and ultimately unmotivated. Yeah, Sasami is so infectious here in her unmotivated speech that you might just feel so. Don’t fight it…

The bottom line is, individuals should be free to do whatever they want without pressure as long as it doesn’t give or bring trouble to others. Gods are gods and humans are humans. They are both very different entities. Of course being a shut-in doesn’t seem to benefit much to society because you lock yourself up in your room all day and night. But what else can an otaku do? Besides, being a shut-in is a luxury and a disease as once admitted by another fellow shut-in from NHK Ni Youkoso. I hope this anime serves to give us more motivation to do our best rather than the opposite. Imagine if everyone in the world lacking motivation just for anything. We won’t have such high-tech modern conveniences that we are so comfortable with nowadays. Having said all these, somehow I just can’t find the motivation to take a break from watching anime, get out of my chair and go breath in some fresh air outside. Maybe I’ll do it tomorrow. Or next week. Ming@Procrastinating…

Cuticle Detective Inaba

August 11, 2013

What happens when you have a detective character who is half-wolf and a mafia head who is in fact a goat? You’re in big time for one crazy nonsensical funny anime series, that’s for sure. In addition, this wolf dude has this strange hair fetish while goat guy eats real money for lunch and spits out counterfeit notes! What’s more, you have other supporting characters like a vengeful cross-dresser who doesn’t hesitate to kill those who gets close enough to his beloved, a loyal subordinate who wears a bag over his head, an sharp shooter assassin lady whose boss ends usually ends up as her target, a super strong cop and a normal cat lover boy whose role seems to be the straight man. This is definitely going to make you laugh a lot. If you are into this kind of genre, that is. The general plot of Cuticle Detective Inaba may seem to be like a wolf chasing a goat (if you really want to summarize it in a nutshell) but each episode brings in such randomness and silliness that you wouldn’t really care about the actual plot or if it ever gets achieved and just start laughing.

Episode 1A: Counterfeit Currency Printing Incident
Detective Kuniharu Ogino goes to see Hiroshi Inaba, the legendary werewolf police dog who can track suspects just by the touch of a single hair. Well, first thing… Hiroshi throws salt at the client and refuses his request before doing his cuticle dance. We are introduced to the weirdoes of this agency. Hiroshi the boss has hair fetish. The self appointed assistant of his, Yuuta Sasaki is a cross-dresser who is always at odds with Ogino (serving tea in a rice cooker pot). Kei Nozaki probably the voice of reasoning nobody listens too and the only one who works. He’s working because he needs the money. He’s a cat person by the way. Ogino explains the criminal Hiroshi is supposed to catch this time. Don Valentino is a skilled counterfeiter in his home country, Italy. His organization was thought to be dissolved when no news of him was heard. Then suddenly he popped up in Japan. Hiroshi agrees to take on this case upon learning Valentino’s hair is white. They arrive at a wooden single storey house. This is where an Italian mafia resides? And the mafia dude himself is a little goat???!!! And he’s got an assistant with a bag on his head in traditional Japanese clothing?! After Ogino falls into a trap and gets sealed underground (Yuuta helps seal it too), Valentino explains how the Japanese Yen tastes better than Euro or other currencies. He eats them and what goes in, comes out as the counterfeit bill with his face. Kei starts beating him up for disrespecting money. Yuuta does some finger technique on Hiroshi’s back to turn him into a wolf. I just thought his hair grow longer. He unleashes some dark aura that has everyone lose their motivation to do anything. In the end, Lorenzo manages to take the Don and flee. In a human carriage. Valentino is going to call his family and vows to crush the wolf at full force. Besides, aren’t wolves extinct in Japan? Oh, they got pulled over for not having a licence for this kind of ‘vehicle’.

Episode 1B: Kidnapping Incident
Valentino has called Gabriella for this job to take out Hiroshi. They also got information about his past that he has a brother that disappeared 2 years ago. That’s when he stopped working for the police to look for him. Gabriella seems to have this height fetish. Anybody between 146 and 162 centimetres is considered her minion! Hiroshi easily gets fooled in a shady letter that states his brother will meet him at a factory. An obvious trap, no? Why, Hiroshi doesn’t suspect a thing because he thinks everybody loves him!!! After a little spat with Kei, Hiroshi rushes out in tears. Of course Kei and Yuuta will be going too despite being ordered to stay back. Yuuta’s plan is to get rid of Kei forever. But the duo are at the factory and nobody is there. Seems Hiroshi got lost and returned to the office. When Gabriella points his gun at Kei, Yuuta escapes faster than the speed of sound. Maybe he got his wish? Valentino doesn’t remember who this kid is! Gabriella totally digs Kei because he is within her height range. She wants him! But her patience is running thin after waiting 6 hours for Hiroshi to show up! She really wants to go home and feed her minions when that wolf comes stumbling in. He is tied up as Valentino makes the call to Ogino to threaten him. However Hiroshi plays dirty and mimics the voice of Ogino’s daughter, Azusa. That detective dotes on his daughter so much that when he thinks Valentino has kidnapped her, he is going to kill that goat!!! Serious! Gabriella is going to kill Hiroshi now when the place is up in fireworks courtesy of Kei and Yuuta. Hiroshi is free as he rants about his love for his brother. Kei thought maybe he ran away. I can see why. Do you want this freak to be your brother? Hiroshi transforms and subdues the Don (after Gabriella puts lots of the goat’s kisses in his face). By the time Ogino arrives, Hiroshi has already got the Don in his hands. Oh wait. Isn’t that a real goat? How did this even happen? Back home, Gabriella tortures Valentino and makes him sing for that rescue.

Episode 2A: The Secret Documents Robbery Case
Valentino sneaks in to steal a secret scroll. Ogino is paired with handsome hunk Yuzuki Ogata to solve the case of the missing secret documents. Note, they are rivals and it’s believed this is a competition to see who solves the case first. And Ogata loves dogs means Hiroshi is going to have a tough time fending off his lewd advances! Hiroshi asserts he won’t be anybody’s partner for this case but he has no choice. Ogino explains from a replica scroll that its contents resemble a board game. WTF. There are spots left blank which is believed when a die is cast, words will appear on it. At the end, the one who reaches the goal gets to rewrite history. Kei knows Valentino did it and whispers to Ogino as he wants to help him with a head start. But Ogino feels he can win this. So they make a trip to Valentino’s hideout and because nobody can agree with anything, Yuuta suggests settling this with a game. They agree to this? So the teams of Valentino-Lorenzo, Hiroshi-Ogata and Ogino-Kei get on the way as they are warped into different time zones of Japan’s history and need to achieve certain goals in order for them to return. Whether it’s getting a king stamp, defeating 6 commanders, petting all the dogs, eating up all the rice or turning a polar bear into a panda, the it is eventually Ogino versus Ogata for the win. Valentino and Lorenzo got hypnotized into a cat. Don’t ask how. Ogata admits defeat when his usual extreme molestation causes Hiroshi to scoff him off and blurt out Ogino is his partner. The way they blush is so creepy…  Now to ring in the Don. The detectives are fooled when the baddies disguised themselves as cats and run away. Ogata thought this is a draw since Ogino won the game but lost the culprits. So everybody abandons the game and goes to find the goat. Nobody reaches the goal, eh? Is anybody interested in retrieving the board game?

Episode 2B: Mother And Child Stalker
Valentino is about to retrieve a key buried in the sands to obtain to most poisonous toxin ever. He is shocked to see Azusa excavating like nobody’s business and taken the key while she’s at it. He confronts her but got buried. Azusa’s mom, Wakaba politely picks him up. The goat is smitten with her. Lorenzo jealous. Ogino brings his daughter and wife to Hiroshi’s office. It seems somebody is stalking them and wants Hiroshi to be their bodyguard for the day. Want to bet it’s that goat? He warns Hiroshi if anything happens to Azusa… He doesn’t even need to finish his sentence to send shivers down his spine. He gives Azusa a goodbye kiss but none to his pretty wife who is looking forward to one! Make do with the octopus then… At the park, Hiroshi gives orders to his assistants on this life-and-death mission. Valentino is nearby and knows he needs to just kidnap Azusa. Ogino will kill off Hiroshi. Azusa is a handful. She brings in all sorts of wildlife from the bushes (where did the gorilla come from?!). The guys can’t match her. Play blocks? She builds a log cabin. Play house? She gave Hiroshi the mama a passionate kiss. Where did she learn that? Valentino drops in to kidnap her but was string in by Azusa instead. With Wakaba in the picture, the goat relates how Azusa stole his key. He gets fed up of them not looking at him as a villain and kidnaps Azusa. However she starts crying and bites Lorenzo’s hands! She even threw the key into Wakaba’s forehead! Lorenzo is forced to apologize to Azusa when Wakaba labels him a bad goat. Wow. That worked. Lorenzo gets jealous so Valentino had to go after him. What about the key? Doesn’t he want it? Ah, whatever.

Episode 3A: The Chocolate Enchantment Case
Yuuta is ready to give her Valentine chocolates to Hiroshi. But wolf boy barges into office and starts sealing off the door. It doesn’t hold back Ogino. What gives?! Seems Azusa made chocolates for Hiroshi. None for daddy. Obviously he is mad. Hiroshi must take it or he’ll die. Try and take it from him and he’ll die. Death in both ways! Valentino too has his Valentine chocolate plans. From his medical family’s division, they have made a chocolate with love potion inside. He plans to make the wolf eat the dark chocolate which causes him to fall in love with the one eating the white chocolate. Valentino will break Hiroshi’s heart by dumping him. Watching his broken heart will be delightful. Lorenzo is tasked with delivering it but Hiroshi and Kei won’t stop since Ogino is chasing after them. Gabriella fires a bazooka but it hits Ogino. This destroys the chocolate. Oh sh*t! Hiroshi switches to Ogino’s side so he can beat up the assassin woman. Gabriella distracts Ogino so she can fire at him. Ogino pushes Hiroshi out of the way (presses him down in the ground actually) and takes the shot. Think he is made out of iron? Well, no. The bullet contains paralysis. Valentino forces the dark chocolate down Hiroshi’s throat. The heartburn scare causes Valentino to lose his white chocolate. Kei ate it. Hiroshi x Kei? Valentino is sure that kid will reject him but since Hiroshi is acting like a cat, it’s lovey-dovey time. Hiroshi wants Yuuta’s help to transform but it seems the cross-dresser is enraged. She powers up to blast everyone but Hiroshi uses Ogino as a shield. They didn’t expect it would be a sword too because Yuuta uses his finger technique on Ogino to turn it into some power spear and turn everyone into charcoal. Jealousy is a deadly weapon. Kei spots Yuuta’s chocolate lying around and gives it to Hiroshi. He eats it and returns to normal since there is hair inside it! GROSS!!!

Episode 3B: The Wolf Girl Assassination Case
Valentino is distressed after learning France’s Secret Doberman Headquarters is sending in another wolf to Japan as part of their police dog training. But after looking at this picture of a timid girl, he thinks there is no reason to panic. Ogata is tasked to be the SP of Stella for today. He’s so into her. She’s not. First stop is Hiroshi’s place to greet her senior. Who doesn’t love a cute little wolf girl? As the gang chill out at a cake shop, Hiroshi explains about a Secret Doberman’s abilities. They aren’t from birth and Stella’s one doesn’t seem to have awakened yet. Data gathering ability is determined by the first medium they gather. Hiroshi got it from hair and that’s how he developed his hair fetish. If it was blood, he would’ve developed blood fetish and would have been taken out. The gang realize it’s a trap when the store shuts down and the chef is no other than Lorenzo. Valentino starts throwing acid pies and deliberately separates them. Kei, Stella and Ogata are faced off with Gabriella. Ogata and Gabriella are evenly matched but she gets the upper hand by showing him a dog badge picture. He got shot. Kei panics and throws the pot to fog up her glasses. Can’t see now, eh? Kei revives and knocks her out. Thanks to his dog encyclopaedia, he survived. How the heck did he hide it in his pocket?! Stella is now mad. She wants to get even with the goat. How? She is going to eat him! Oh no! Better stop her before she develops a fetish for blood! Thankfully Valentino’s skin is elastic. Hiroshi reels in Stella and mocks the Don he has got no chance in beating him if he doesn’t beat Stella. He gets upset, embarrassed and then escapes. Erm… Shouldn’t Hiroshi have arrested him? With Stella continuing to stay in Japan, she now develops an obsession for elasticity…

Episode 4A: Uniformed Police Raid Incident
Kei and Yuuta wants to help Hiroshi look for his long lost brother, Haruka and have prepared posters with proper information to distribute. Meanwhile it seems Haruka is having a meeting with Valentino. Haruka introduces himself and his little sheep, Soumei. NORA, his group’s goal is to eliminate the police. With them gone and disorder and chaos lingering, they will swoop in as heroes. But this still makes Valentino the villain, right? Explaining about light and darkness, a hero needs a charismatic villain and he believes Valentino can play that role to threaten the peace. They’ll work together on the outside and behind the scenes since they can’t confront the police directly. Until the police are overthrown, Valentino can control his group and use it as he likes. Valentino agrees to cooperate but cautions they aren’t that close yet. As Hiroshi and his assistants hand out the flyers, Ogino whisks him away and puts police uniform on him. No, it’s not his cosplay fetish but rather there have been cases of police officers around Japan being attacked. They are to dress up as baits. He thinks Valentino is behind this but why would a goat do something that doesn’t profit himself? Hiroshi and Ogino walk straight into a large roach motel trap courtesy of the Don. Haruka makes his appearance. Valentino is shocked Haruka and Hiroshi are brothers. That means another wolf? Haruka disagrees since his features are more rabbit-like. Plus, they have a sheep and with a goat, they are enemies of the wolf, right? Haruka reveals his grudge towards his brother. He always put his work first instead of playing with him. He felt lonely and now his thoughts are only filled of killing him. Hiroshi punches him and says looking for him was the very reason he left his job and regretted being born a police dog. So the brothers play ‘tag’ as Haruka unleashes Soumei which is somewhat a wolf in sheep’s clothing! Hiroshi wants to show his true powers but jealous Yuuta’s finger technique just made him weaker. Valentino thought this is his chance for victory but forgot Ogino is still around. So they retreat for today. Hiroshi threatens to shoot him (Yuuta supporting him) but it turns out to be a toy gun… Back at the Don’s base, Haruka is being nursed because he exerted himself too much and now has fever.

Episode 4B: Cat Lover Enchantment Case
Haruka introduces Valentino his subordinates: Natsuki and Yataro. Haruka needs advice from the goat. How does one change a cat lover into a dog lover? This is to know how much he can control the hearts of people. If that is successful, in no time he’ll turn Japan into goat lovers. Sounds good, eh? Sure, he has a prototype. Now they need a cat lover. Guess who? Kei is showing off his cat idol (looks scary) when a pair of cats come knocking on their door. Kei doesn’t resist getting kidnapped by the NORA subordinates in disguise. So an abandoned house didn’t exactly turn out to be Kei’s ideal paradise of cat heaven. Haruka tells him he won’t leave till he brainwashes him into a dog lover. Kei thought he could lie but Haruka can read hearts so it is impossible to trick him. They strap him to some dangerous looking brainwashing machine. Haruka reveals his intention to increase their supporters by creating a new police force with Secret Dobermans as the central pillar. But isn’t he a rabbit? What about the goat? He’ll toss him away once he outlived his usefulness. Evil… Hiroshi and Yuuta arrive at the mansion only to see Kei an extreme dog lover. Seems Haruka is regretting it because Kei has become so annoying rubbing himself over any dogs he could find. Not even Hiroshi’s Cuticle Bolt could defeat Kei. Not even Natsuki or Yataro. Kei breaks Natsuki’s sword with a dog nail clipper and sticks beef jerkys into Yataro’s guns. Then Kei puts Haruka into a rabbit cage. Thinking his cat lover still exists in his sub-consciousness, Hiroshi tries to make him remember his cat idol. The shock treatment is enough to return Kei back to normal. Although Yuuta is disappointed he didn’t die…

Episode 5A: The Genius Tag Team Case
Ogino informs Hiroshi of Noah, Valentino’s back alley doctor who specializes in creating anything. All inventions are from this genius and without her, Valentino’s family would be reduced to just goat lovers. That bad, huh? They need to look for her and surprisingly Hiroshi doesn’t object since finding anything to do with Valentino is his only lead to Haruka. Where do you find back alley doctors? In an abandoned hospital. At night! Hiroshi and Kei turn into scaredy cats… They bump into Valentino but he runs away. Security robots capture Hiroshi and bring him into a surgery room whereby Noah examines his fabulous body… I think she has fetish for nice bodies… She won’t kill him like Valentino ordered because wolves are rare creatures and wants to experiment on them till the max! Isn’t that animal abuse? Hiroshi learns Haruka is in this hospital under Noah’s care since his weak body gave way again. That’s why Valentino is here to visit him. When Ogino comes in, Noah takes a liking for his body structure. She wants to kill him! Instantly Yuuta sides with her. Noah unleashes her latest creation, a chimera. Doesn’t it look like a normal goat? Yeah, but its insides are made up of other animals! The chimera beats up Hiroshi. Super powerful hooves! Ogino is on par with the chimera as Noah and Yuuta happily discuss what poison is put inside the chimera. Yuuta then shoots a sleeping medicine into Ogino’s forehead. Hiroshi sacrifices himself and gets bitten by the chimera. Yuuta is devastated and regrets what she did. Hiroshi becomes dramatic because he is happy he made some friends. Yuuta wants Noah to hand over the antidote but she can’t since Valentino will start complaining. In that case, Yuuta holds the goat hostage! Erm… Isn’t that the chimera? But Noah falls for it! Maybe she was just acting but gives Yuuta the antidote anyway. In the aftermath though the baddies escape, Yuuta and Noah exchange handphone numbers. Everyone else teases Noah about it.

Episode 5B: The Pleasure Trip Paradise Case
Valentino and Haruka’s group are at the hotspring for their pleasure trip to strengthen their bonds. Haruka is reeling from the lack of oxygen at this place. Too much energy exerted… In the room, Gabriella and Noah tease Natsuki if she is trying to go after Haruka or Yataro, though they are just going by they own types. She views Yataro as her older brother and Haruka barges in looking so proud because he too has this brother complex thingy. It’s time to head for the hotspring. Haruka didn’t want to join them but when he sees Lorenzo’s bag mask in the basket, he joins in just to take a peep. He’s wearing a towel over his head. Disappointed? Seems this bath is mixed too… Gabriella beats up Yataro till the bath turns red because he has no reaction in looking at her. Valentino is surprised that Hiroshi and his assistants are here too. Too cold to fight… Gabriella continues to pound Yataro when he reacts to Yuuta. Is he into that type? Because both sides are calling a truce with no blood and guts, Lorenzo suggests a ping pong match. So it’s Hiroshi-Kei against Natsuki-Yataro. If Hiroshi wins, Haruka must rejoin them. Otherwise Haruka will have him do what he wants. Like sleeping in the same futon. Either way, this doesn’t sit well with Yuuta. Kei is in a pinch. It starts off with Yataro playing like a pro and raking in the points. Hiroshi notices Kei’s power comes out when he retorts so he has Yuuta play the funny man. With all the jokes and retorting, Hiroshi’s team makes a comeback and both teams are a point away from victory. Yuuta loses motivation to joke. If Haruka comes back, Hiroshi will rejoin the police force. Lose, the brother complex brothers will still be happy. So it’s a lose-lose situation for Yuuta. Haruka doesn’t want anyone to make a sound to give Kei a chance to retort. But Valentino’s accidental assurance of that itself is a joke so Kei smashes the ball at him! Out! Looks like Hiroshi will have to read Haruka a children’s story before bed time. And since they’re coming to their room, which means Gabriella can hog Kei and Noah can talk to Yuuta about killing with poisonous gas. Don’t ask. At night, everyone remains energetic having a pillow fight except for Haruka who is close to dead.

Episode 6A: The Mastermind Black Fang Arrival Case
Soumei breaks out from his sheep doll to possess Yataro since he wants to go for a ‘walk’. First thing, he sexually harasses Natsuki but she fends him off with the smell of garlic since that smell fetish guy can’t stand it. Soumei then decides to visits Hiroshi’s office. But he went too early and falls asleep. So when Hiroshi and his assistants see him sleeping on their couch, Yuuta pressing pushes Soumei out of the body. Yataro is in a daze. Haruka and Natsuki enter to bring him back but Soumei repossesses Yataro. As explained, about 30 years ago there was a police dog who was very dangerous. That would be Soumei, their charismatic boss. On nights of full moon, he can leave his body and take the form of a wolf spirit but needs to return to it or his energy will deplete. Alternatively, he can possess others to do so. However he can’t return to his body because he has been imprisoned for a crime he didn’t commit. A police officer he didn’t get along with was found dead as he committed suicide and it was suspect this was Soumei’s doing. He was imprisoned but left his body on a full moon night and some of the Secret Dobermans left the police and form NORA. It is believed his body is still around and not disposed otherwise his spirit wouldn’t have lasted this long. Noting Hiroshi was born through artificial insemination, Soumei drops the bombshell that he is his father! As proof, they can use their powers on full moon nights too. Soumei wants Hiroshi to help find his body but he refuses and wants to arrest him instead. Soumei challenges him to a fight and will prove why he is called Black Fang. Is he sure it isn’t because of tooth cavities? Hiroshi’s Cuticle Bolt easily zaps Soumei. Soumei possesses Kei’s body and explains he can do so as long as the victim allows him in. Plus, he won’t die even if the body is harmed. He points a gun to Kei’s head and forces Hiroshi to take up his case. Hiroshi shows him a cat and instantly Kei kicks Soumei out. He thought of possessing Yuuta but was easily spit out and his energy further depleted! Going back into Yataro, they want Hiroshi to take up the case and run away.

Episode 6B: Extra – 5/27
Ogino laments spending his birthday night at office. Not surprisingly, Ogata comes in to celebrate with him. He teases Ogino has reached the big three-o. He brought a cake too. Isn’t that a dynamite? Quick blow it out if he doesn’t want to die. Ogino is confident his iron body can survive the blast but can Ogata’s? Haha! Better beg for him to blow it out. As they talk, Ogino is irritated that Ogata knows more about his parents than he does and treating him better than their own son! Well, he never brought friends back. Ogata was even told his weakness: He sucks at look-over-there game. They give it a try and both sides neither win nor lose for a very long time. Ogata gives him a final present in which is an annoying voice of his each time he gets a text message. Yeah, Ogata is spamming him! Ogino remembers Ogata did something outrageous 10 years ago and wonders if he is going to repeat this harassment every decade. Next day at Hiroshi’s office, everyone laughs at him when he sucks at playing look-over-there game.

Episode 6C: Extra – The Wolf’s House
Papa wolf Soumei had Hiroshi, Haruka, Natsuki, Yataro and Stella as his kids. One day he wants them to follow him to work so that they could be independent. His job is to catch bad wolves. They arrive outside the goat’s house and the kids are bored with daddy’s tactical explanation (they are to guard the exits) till he gives them permission to eat the goats if they resist. The kids see how daddy barge in and round up the little goats. Soumei counts one missing and goes out to look for it. Time passes and he doesn’t return so the little wolves sleep while waiting for him to return. But it’s not papa who returned but mama goat!!! And there’s a bloodied scissors in her hands! Mama goat chases the little wolves around the house. When she has them cornered, Soumei returns to punch her out. His kids are so relieved and emotionally reunite with him. And they lived happily ever after.

Episode 7A: Extra – Acceptance Into Hair Cuticle Academy
This is what happens when you turn this anime into a high school theme. Kei is the new transfer student being introduced by Hiroshi the homeroom teacher. He is made to sit next to the cross-dresser who may turn out to be a sadist. Along the way, Kei meets the other faculty members like Ogata the foreign language teacher, Gabriella the tough PE teacher, Ogino the social studies teacher and Noah the school nurse. Kei is fooled for a second when he thought Yataro is actually a hug pillow! No reaction at all… In no time, Kei gets used to this school. Even if the principal is a goat and the school song is in goat language. Baa baa… Oops! Don’t mix it up with sheep language.

Episode 7B: Cuticle Life – The Idiot Sons, 13 Years Ago
When Hiroshi and Haruka were small, Haruka was crying uncontrollably in a crowd during the sakura blooming season. Soumei sees this and realizes the awakening of his powers and brings them away. He knows Haruka can read hearts of others and reading everyone’s insulting and bad comments about him made him cry. Soumei consoles Haruka and then talks to Hiroshi. He used to be a super hero but not anymore. Super heroes are usually lonely. Now he is a super villain and has more friends. In fact, he was supposed to kidnap somebody today. Is this a joke? Hiroshi doesn’t view him as a bad guy but hopes to catch him one day when he grows up. Back in present, Hiroshi wonders if he has already been caught. Right under your nose…

Episode 7C: Extra – Bar Ragdoll
Valentino and Lorenzo enter Bar Ragdoll to chill out. The bartender, Iyori Hamada keeps making self comments about them. I mean, who wouldn’t if a goat and a guy with a bag over his head starts walking to the bar. He is surprised Valentino orders the king of cocktail, Martini. The last straw came when the goat could even tell the Martini he made wasn’t up to standard. Iyori turns out to be Kei’s roommate and ever since being told by a goat, he is working twice as hard on his cocktail mixing.

Episode 7D: Cuticle Life – The Idiot Sons, 10 Years Ago
Soumei is training Yataro of his smelling ability although the latter may still have a long way ago as he is a bit slow. It is revealed that Yataro’s dad was responsible for the loss of Soumei’s right eye and it is ironic that Soumei is making him take responsibility for it. Yataro promises he won’t betray him like his dad. But he seems rather confused because Yataro knows Soumei picked him as his next vessel but this isn’t confirmed yet as he is slow in learning and yet he still personally trains him.

Episode 7E: Kujou Group Boss Assassination Case
In a time when Valentino looks more of a menacing goat than a short stubby one! OMG! He is perplexed that a Japanese yakuza hired them to assassinate Toukichi Baba, the head of the Kujou group. Aren’t there any Japanese samurais left? Meanwhile Hiroshi smells the hair of Torayasu Kurami, the young head of the Kujou group and instantly knows what is going on. Especially the head who is undergoing surgery which is supposedly a secret. Torayasu wants to know all the information on the Valentino and his family because they are out for the head’s life. Hiroshi wants him to forget about the goat and concentrate on the surgery. Because it’s being done by Noah who is part of Valentino’s family but isn’t completely loyal. So of course Valentino learns the ironic situation he is in. Gabriella is supposed to assassinate him but Noah is to save his life. To put a stop to this, the first one who gets their job done is the winner of this argument. The assassination or the surgery. Noah tells this to Torayasu so he knows what he is up against with. Valentino and Gabriella storm into Hiroshi’s apartment and force him to spill the details on Noah’s whereabouts. Hiroshi then calls Torayasu to warn him but the latter won’t run because he owes the head his life. And it looks like they are short of men because they are away at zoos and farms looking for goats… Don’t even ask. Valentino, Gabriella and Lorenzo barge their way in as Torayasu surprises them with his sneak attack but it wasn’t enough to overcome them. There was a funny part whereby Valentino thought he could fend off Torayasu’s sword slice with his hands. Too bad he had hooves… Thankfully his skull must be thick. Just when Gabriella is seconds from killing him, Valentino sees Noah rushing out so the goat uses his body to protect Torayasu from Gabriella’s bullet. The surgery is successful and she won the bet. As to why Valentino saved him, he views him equivalent to a leader in his family. It would be a shame for him to lose such person. Because that is what being family is. In the aftermath when Hiroshi arrives, Torayasu praises the goat and understands why people flock around him. Not that Hiroshi understands anyway. Torayasu thinks Valentino may be the last samurai. Is this an exaggerated story told by Hiroshi and Yuuta to sick Kei? So he can’t even be sick in peace, eh?

Episode 8A: Yuuta Sasaki Kidnapping Case
Hiroshi is in panic mode because Yuuta has been kidnapped by the Don. Kei smells something fishy because why would that cross-dresser allow himself to get kidnapped? We know how strong he is, right? Plus, this picture was sent to Ogino’s handphone. Definitely a trap. But they have to go save him nevertheless. In reality, Yuuta agreed to get kidnapped as this is part of their scheme to kill Ogino. Valentino has a hard time dodging all the traps in his castle because of Yuuta’s itchy fingers. Yuuta is not happy Noah isn’t here and demands that her presence. Man, the goat just got ordered around. So Noah is thrilled to be part of this mission as they happily discuss how to kill Ogino. So Ogino arrives but as Noah blabs, the entire castle is filled with traps since she was so excited she heard he was coming. However so many traps that those inside cannot get out. That includes the goat and Haruka. Also, there’s a bomb that is timed to go off in an hour. Kei and Noah follow Hiroshi into the castle to save Haruka (he couldn’t care less about the goat). Hiroshi climbs straight up to the tower where Yuuta is, braving all the traps thrown at him. Yuuta is not happy it isn’t Hiroshi who is coming after him. Not even when Ogino says it was Hiroshi’s order that had him come to save him. He throws a tantrum and has the dragon breathe poison gas. Uhm… Don’t you think this tower is too cramped for a big dragon? So Yuuta inhaled some toxic gas and he is still sulking Hiroshi cares for his brother more than his assistant. Ogino had to tell him off that Hiroshi still believes in him. Because he believes Ogino is the only one who can save him. Hiroshi and co have got Haruka (and Valentino too) and are making their scary escape from the three-headed dog. It is taken out by Ogino using the dragon’s tail. Needing to save Yuuta, Hiroshi notes he can’t transform without his finger technique (and the Don somehow gets blamed). Ogino uses some forceful words to wake up Yuuta. The ‘sexual harassment’ worked so Yuuta got enough strength to give Hiroshi the power up he needs. At the end of the day, Yuuta is forced to apologize or thank Ogino. No killing option. Yuuta surprises Ogino by hugging him and saying he loves him before pushing off the ledge. Extreme. Ogino got petrified for the entire day.

Episode 8B: Inaba Family Breakdown Case (Part One)
While Valentino and the rest are trying to discuss a way to kill Ogino, speaking of the devil, here he comes in for the raid. Everyone flees but Soumei (possessing Yataro) will stall them. He learns how tough Ogino is when his bullet doesn’t even make a scratch! When he smells Ogino, he remembers a nostalgic scent. Asking why he has the scent of Kaoru Jojima, the cop who committed suicide 30 years ago, it seems Ogino is his grandson. That’s when Soumei possesses Ogino’s body. Then he calls Natsuki to let them know what is going to happen and wants her to make some poison to kill him (apparently it’s the only way to kill him) while he figures out a place to dump his body. As Soumei and Yataro make the necessary preparations, Soumei gets a little nostalgic. Flashback time. When Soumei and Jojima first met and throughout their 18 years as partners, there were lots of arguments. But thanks to Soumei’s keen sense of smell, lots of cases were solved. Of course some of the wolves in Secret Doberman couldn’t handle their abilities and kept vomiting due to the smell of lies. One night a little wolf made a fatal error by getting her first information via blood. She must now be taken out but she wants Soumei to do it with his hands. The rest are pushing him to do it. He strangled her. As the police force becomes more and more corrupted, Secret Doberman started to become dissatisfied and even had their own white separate uniform and won’t listen to anyone but Soumei. Jojima confronts Soumei about this and the latter tells him that the heart of this problem lies within the police organization. Jojima is thankful he was able to rise up the ranks thanks to his nose so if there is any corruption within, he will be the one who will take care of it. However they levied false charges against him and in the end led him to commit suicide. He believed in the force so much so the shocking truth was unbearable. He even left a suicide note for it. Then Soumei was accused of being Jojima’s killer and the force denied there was any suicide note left. That’s when Soumei began hating the force and vowed to hunt them down like a pack of wolves till they are exhausted and killed off. In reality, Hiroshi in wolf form ambushes the place and bites Yataro’s hand but is kicked away by Soumei.

Episode 9A: Inaba Family Breakdown Case (Part Two)
So when Hiroshi is back to his human form, he becomes devastated of what has been done to Ogino: His bangs were cut. That’s his concern? Now Hiroshi sounds like a villain because he wants to kill Ogino/Soumei! Can he? Well, Yataro is toast from that Cuticle Bolt Max but no scratch on Ogino’s body. So the duo go all out against each other with Hiroshi unleashing his powers using brown hair: Wings. Doesn’t does wings look like cockroach? He targets Yataro when Soumei shoots him as he is wide and clear. Unfortunately it is Haruka who shot the poison into Ogino’s body. What better timing… Soumei possesses Yataro and faces off with Hiroshi. Hiroshi is serious he won’t let Ogino die because he is his partner. Those same words reminded Soumei of Jojima. Ogino manages to regain some strength and fires a shot into Yataro’s arm. Natsuki forces Yataro/Soumei to retreat because at this rate Yataro’s body will die. Hiroshi heals Ogino and vows to track down Soumei as his prey. Ogino seems pretty depressed since he was used by Soumei. Yuuta is down too. Because Ogino didn’t die… Back home, Soumei notes how Jojima’s life is connected to his grandson. He notes he himself couldn’t move on after 30 years.

Episode 9B: Love Flag Jumble Case
Noah seems to take a liking for Yataro when Soumei possesses his body and saves her from an experimental monster gone awry. Of course Haruka lies by saying Yataro has split personality. Soumei has this idea of dating Noah using Yataro’s body and perhaps lure her into NORA. Natsuki objects but Haruka sees no reason to stop them if they both agree. Valentino and the rest are elated to hear Noah going on a date and are supportive. Of course Noah is in a dilemma because she is wondering if Yuuta is a friend but not exactly either because he’s the enemy too. On date day, our concerned busybodies are following the love birds from afar. Natsuki, Haruka, Yuuta and Kei (forced to). They get ideas to get involved by staging several must-have events on dates like getting surrounded by delinquents or a road filled with bananas (WTF?!). Natsuki feels worried when Yataro holds Noah’s hand because it has been a long time they’ve stopped holding theirs. Lonely Natsuki seeks solace in Haruka because she thinks Yataro is going far away so he allows her to hold his hand. At the back alley, Yuuta confronts Yataro. He thinks there is a need for a rival and to reveal his true form. Soumei takes over and they both fight but Yuuta manages to press a pressure point that turns Yataro’s body into a wolf and kick out Soumei. Noah sees this and is devastated. She slaps him. She doesn’t know he is one and now that he is, she is saddened that the Don won’t accept him. Valentino believed him so why did he lie to them? Yataro telepathically tells Haruka to take care of Natsuki for him. He plans on sacrificing himself. For his life, he hopes Noah will not tell Natsuki he is a wolf and to save Soumei. Soumei repossesses Yataro and properly introduces himself. He reveals he got closer to them in hopes she could save him. As his body is somewhere else and has been borrowing Yataro’s for the last odd 30 years, he was even wondering what he would do even if he found his body. Even if he does, he needs her help and gives her permission to use Yataro’s body too. She can study the rare werewolf all she wants. Soumei makes Yuuta to make up to Noah for ruining this date. Good thing. She needs a friend to talk this out. When Soumei returns to his NORA pals, emotional Natsuki immediately hugs Yataro.

Episode 10A: Goat Park Revelry Case
Ogata brings the gang to a goat farm! Serious! He thinks Ogino who has trouble catching a single goat is because he has goat phobia! Serious! So there are lots of weird goats. I mean, a squid goat with 10 legs and spits ink! There is a goat that resembles like that chimera… A cat goat too? Are you sure it isn’t just a cat? Ogino becomes a crazy shutterbug snapping away all the shots with Azusa and Stella. But too many goats cause Ogino to go crazy because he really thinks the Don is among them! He should have some time off from work… Meanwhile Valentino is distressed as he complains to Noah that Ogino and the gang are here. It seems this farm is actually a secret lab created by Noah to look like a goat farm so they won’t suspect a thing. Guess not. Now they are ‘snapping pictures of evidence’ like crazy. Noah is confident that the body doubles created by this farm is to fool them of the real Don. The gang look around and see disturbing bipedal goats with slight variations of the Don. Ogino can tell they are all fake. Plan failed. Suddenly a huge gigantic bipedal goat appears behind Ogino. Could this be the real Don? Looks menacing! Looks like they’ve been fooled that this may be the real deal. Ogino confronts it but on his mind he wants to have this goat lined up with Azusa and take pictures. I think this goat got scared of his scary eyes and immediately obeys his orders to sit! Ogino becomes a happy father snapping shots of Azusa and the goat. Plan failed. But Valentino and Noah are left to ponder what the heck they came here for since everyone has left at the end of the day.

Episode 10B: Don Power Spot Conspiracy Case
After watching a TV report of sites containing power spots, Valentino becomes interested and unleashes his Don power. Lorenzo feels it? Gabriella doesn’t? Gabriella fakes passing out to send the goat into frenzy. Why does he need to call an ambulance when he got Noah? Anyway Noah is sad that they left her out. Hey, even shut-ins need to socialize and have fun once in a while. After learning  this, she suggests that Valentino charge some money for the power spot he is leaking. Soon word gets to Hiroshi about Valentino’s money making power spots. Feels like rip off, eh? Built right in the middle of a forest believed to be a famous suicide spot. Gullible people must have fallen for the stones of guidance left behind at the shrine that is believed to lead the living out of the forest and the dead to heaven. So grateful, they’ll leave lots of donation in the donation box. And yeah, the stones are then sold in online auctions at high price. Ogino wants to ambush Valentino when he comes to retrieve the donation but Hiroshi isn’t interested. Till Ogino convinces him that his homing senses can lead them out. Feeling reliable, isn’t he? When they finally make their way to shrine, it seems it is a trap by Valentino to lure them in with those forest rumours. They have also removed the rope which they used as marker to get out. Now they’re going to leave them stranded forever. But each time Valentino and Lorenzo run away, they end up back at the shrine! Lost too, eh? They are captured and Hiroshi tries to use his homing sense to get out. Since he is desperate, he needs some Don power on his stone of guidance. Valentino and Lorenzo put some fake act but something really did emerge from the stone! Valentino passes out cold and the spirit turns out to be Soumei. He possesses Lorenzo and almost takes off his bag if not for Hiroshi and Ogino putting it back on! Did we catch a little glimpse of his face there? Soumei guides them back to the main road and it seems he is helping them with the idea that now they owe him one. Lorenzo wakes up back in the limo driven by Yataro. Unsure what happened in the forest, he thinks the stone of guidance with Don power must have been a miracle that led them out. But back home, Valentino is reeling scared and wants to seal the Don power forever! Get rid of all the stones forever!

Episode 11: Don Valentino Jailbreak Case
Suddenly… Valentino has been successfully caught! But Hiroshi and Ogino are arguing with the Commissioner because the Don has been sent straight to prison without a fair trial. The Commissioner asserts that the Don is a goat before a villain. So, he’s not put in an ordinary prison? Is there a prison for non-humans? Don’t tell me it’s the zoo… Alcamone reminds us of a certain US island prison. Valentino is being locked up here and admonished by the guard who has a hot water dispenser as a head. Serious. Valentino’s cellmate seems to be a quite human, Akiyoshi. Hey, and I thought there were only animals behind bars here. Valentino and Akiyoshi soon become friends. At the cafeteria, Thomas the big bully koala makes Akiyoshi trips. The guard punishes Akiyoshi instead for wasting food. Valentino wanted to protect him but Akiyoshi protected the Don instead when the guard dispense his hot water. Sent back to their cell with no dinner, it is no surprise that Valentino accidentally ate Akiyoshi’s book during his sleep. He doesn’t mind but Valentino vows to replace it. Valentino views him a good person and wants to make him part of his family. Over the days, they become close and really good friends, doing just about anything together. One day, Thomas rats out on them and tells the guards about the partially eaten book. Akiyoshi quietly takes his punishment up on the rooftop while Valentino is forcefully restrained. As the guard abuses Akiyoshi who is now running high fever, Valentino’s family drops in to rescue their boss in a jailbreak. Nobody is going to stop Lorenzo from reuniting with his boss… Soumei possesses Akiyoshi to knock out the guard. He reminds Yataro and Natsuki that Akiyoshi was his former vessel before Yataro. I see. So those previous episodes were actually Akiyoshi, not Soumei in the flesh as I thought. How could he? He has been locked away for 30 years. Besides, Akiyoshi doesn’t seem to have aged.

Soumei releases himself to give Akiyoshi a chance to talk to the kids. Seems he is Alcamone as he believes Soumei’s body is here though Soumei doesn’t think so and wants him to return. Despite ordering him, Akiyoshi won’t go back so Soumei had to repossess his body again. Gabriella senses Valentino and bursts him out of his cell. Must she shoot and bomb him? Maybe that’s her love for him. But Valentino is distraught and wants to find and bring Akiyoshi with him. Thomas tries to convince him to take him along and accidentally reveals himself as the culprit who rat them out. Valentino is upset. He is going to let him out of his cell alright. It’s the ultimate showdown between the goat and koala. Nobody gets involve in this personal matter. Then the fight turns out to be like cute animals hitting each other. Feel like taping it and uploading it on YouTube? When Akiyoshi and the NORA duo enter the picture, suddenly Akiyoshi’s transformation takes place. He is a wolf. This devastates Valentino. Gabriella is going to shoot Akiyoshi and possibly take out the NORA duo too so Akiyoshi had to feign attacking the kids to let them off the hook. Everyone else busts out but Akiyoshi remains behind. Valentino is saddened that he had been betrayed because he despises wolf very much. Meanwhile, Hiroshi’s office is so peaceful (and they are enjoying every moment of it) when a helicopter hovers by. It’s Valentino and he is here to stick his tongue out at him! WTF?! Ah well, what a short-lived peace. Back in Alcamone, Thomas becomes Akiyoshi’s annoying minion though he laments it will be harder to do his search now. At least it’s must peaceful around here.

Episode 12A: The Cuticle Phantom Thief Appears Case
Hiroshi is in distraught. His precious hair collection is gone! In panic mode, he even calls Ogino to weep about his precious hair he kept. Creepy. Hung up. And we should have known who the culprit is. Hooves all over the place. It’s the goat, damn it! Seems Noah has come up with some invention to turn hair into fine diamonds. Imagine how much it will be worth from hairs of famous people. Before Valentino could make this his business, he gets a threatening challenge card from Hiroshi that he will raid him tonight! The Don panics and even calls Ogino for help! Hiroshi is serious in reclaiming back his hair collection and even rants about hair history and potential, blah, blah, blah. Kei didn’t think Ogino would side with the goat but it seems the reason is to prevent Hiroshi from turning into a criminal. Suddenly everything blacks out. Gabriella fires at the intruder but when the lights come back, she shot the goat!!! Noticing Noah missing, Valentino orders his henchmen to look for her. They split up. Bad move? Slowly, Hiroshi like a pro stalker does in the subordinates one by one with his traps. Don’t ever mess with this guy’s hair. Since Hiroshi is this serious, so will Ogino. Kei doesn’t want them to fight and end in bloodshed but Ogino must do what he has to if it comes down to it. Hiroshi enters the room and for once, captures Valentino and threatens to kill him if Ogino doesn’t hand over the diamonds!!! Oh sh*t! Ogino will give it to him since he wants it so badly. He throws it out the window and Hiroshi like a good dog goes to get it. Before he realizes it, he got caught. With Hiroshi getting his hair collection back, he calms down and everyone realizes the Don and his family have escaped. However Hiroshi notes he did not do in Noah. What happened to her? During the blackout, Yuuta whisks her away to avoid his best friend from getting the wolf’s wrath. Valentino and the family might have escaped with them but they’re still tied up…

Episode 12B: Evil Organization Expansion Case
There is this mysterious dude, Forest Masashi or Mori as we would love to call him, is walking around with a goat skull and cape speaking in great evil lengths. Normally, that would be translated as he is looking for a job and stumbles upon a vacancy ad and goes to Hiroshi’s office for an interview. The wolf instantly rejects him and he leaves. On his way out, he bumps into Ogino. The police dude has info on Valentino’s whereabouts. It seems he has been trying to recruit new members. However Ogino can’t find the flyer Valentino put up for his recruiting but remembers the venue is an interview hall. WTF?! Mori has spotted that flyer and makes his way to the interview. Once more, his grand evil words translate to that of being nervous. Once it is his turn, he talks his usual style but this has Lorenzo suspicious about his intention and position he is aiming for. Lorenzo proceeds to dress down Mori for all his worth and this puts a damper to this goat head’s confidence. I guess his application is rejected. On his way out, Hiroshi and co enter to arrest Valentino. The goat won’t have it and escapes with Lorenzo via window. Hiroshi and Ogino go after him as they pass several other supporting characters in the series. Hey, it’s the last episode so let’s make a last appearance. Kei delivers the final punch line that a random character closed the show when Mori spouts his usual crap lines about the endless battle and the next battlefield.

Playing The Goat Incident & Near-Death By Too Much Laughing Case
Yeah, I almost died laughing with the random jokes and nonsense. Too funny in my case to hold back. Almost on par with that anime series with a squid girl in it. Do I see a certain similarity here? Anime shows with a cute leading animal character-cum-mascot and random standalone funny episodes serve as good comedy animes? Even if it was just coincidence, the overall series is quite a good watch if you want something cute and funny without too much drama and plot to go with. Besides, how often do you have a goat as the main villain? We all hear of wolves being bad guys in children fairytales and goats the victim but in this case, it is pretty much reversed. But be warned, you may either turn into a goat mania or goat phobia. I’ve never seen so many goats (even if it is the same one) in such a short period of time so I think such an impact may be possible. Thankfully I didn’t become either.

All the characters feel like clowns (since half of the show depicts the characters in chibi form when the situation turns funny). The hero isn’t really a true hero and the villain isn’t really a total baddie. It’s good in a way that you know having a mafia head as a goat with bungling schemes to a certain degree, rest assured that you will feel safe from any real threats. Valentino may be the antagonist but he isn’t the coldest and most evil bad guy ever nor will he land in the top 1000 baddest baddies of all time. He has shown importance on what many would take for granted: A family. Even after NORA’s introduction, you’d be thinking if they would be an effective villain since Haruka has a weak body. It looks like their plan to become the country’s hero never took off. With Haruka harbouring so much brother complex, I suppose it’s never going to start. Likewise, sometimes the stupidity of the good guys may be a cause to worry because if they can’t catch a goat or easily fall for its tricks, it’s time to think again the kind of police force that we have. We have easily seen how Hiroshi easily crosses to the dark side whenever his hair collection is in jeopardy. I’m sure that was a hair raising experience for the Don, eh? So the line between good and evil is very much blurred in this anime. But we all know that they are being jokers for the sake of this anime’s comedy. Since it made everyone laugh (at least me), I guess that this is not so bad after all. Though not every scene will make you burst into laughter as there are some touching moments like the one between Yataro and Natsuki. There may be some interesting back story especially about Soumei and his whereabouts of his real body but I guess we’d rather be engrossed by the comedy than something serious.

The most dangerous character I would presume would be Yuuta because that cross-dressing guy can turn yandere in the blink of an eye. And he wants to kill you, he really WILL kill you. It’s like he can cross over to the dark side any time. Just that this anime genre stops him from taking lives. As long as you threaten his position of being close to Hiroshi or get closer to that hair fetish detective, Yuuta will not hesitate to do some serious revenge only to be greatly stopped by Kei. Speaking of that kid, he has done so many retorts and come back lines, it makes you wonder if he is getting tired of it. I know it’s his role in the anime but it also reminded me of how similar his role to Shinpachi of Gintama is. As long as these jokers are around, safe to say he can still keep this ‘job’ of his. The other dangerous character is Ogino but that is only when it involves his precious Azusa. Even Satan would tremble with fear if he messes with his daughter. Otherwise, he is really a tough cookie to kill. Really. You can’t kill him. He could survive a direct nuclear fallout. At least he is made more human when we get to know his weakness as poisoning. But really. Anything else that doesn’t really kill him doesn’t make him human at all. The rest of the casts are amusing in their own way. Like Gabriella who probably have shot the Don more times than her intended target. Yeah, you can say the goat may have been her practice target. Maybe it helps builds resistance since Valentino doesn’t die from all the shots. Unless she is firing blanks. Then there’s the quirky doctor-cum-scientist Noah who can create just about anything. Whether it works the right way or not is a different story. If Yuuta and Noah team up, I think this is where the real danger is. Soumei can be wise sometimes but other times he is also an idiot like how he won’t waste any chance to be perverted on Natsuki. Thankfully she still keeps her guard up around him.

To add to the hilariousness of everything, almost every character in this series has a serious fetish or obsession over something. It makes them look like perverts. Like how this anime is built on Hiroshi’s fetish for human hair. So amazing his fetish for them that he his knowledge on them right down to its cuticle even for different species surpasses all the hair experts put together even if they sound like crap to us. Then we have Kei who obsesses over cats, Ogata over dogs, recently it is elasticity for Stella, anybody with great physical attributes will do for Noah and Gabriella will fawn over anyone who falls under certain heights. The goat loves eating money while Haruka despite playing the so called antagonist role is pretty much having brother complex as much as how Ogino dotes on his daughter. And we all know too well about Yuuta’s extreme admiration for Hiroshi. Can it be considered as unrequited love? Speaking of romance (as in, not extreme affections. There is a big difference in that), I would say there would be close to none but that short dating episode did indicate that Natsuki does have feelings for Yataro. What happened to that development? Like we care…

It is very subtle but there are a few shonen ai or yaoi moments. All for the sake of comedy of course. But mostly they are one way. Like how Ogata annoyingly harasses Hiroshi but I feel that has lessen ever since he has to take care of Stella. The most obvious case is Lorenzo. His loyalty is one thing but his obsession for the Don can be seen to the point that he might be gay for his boss. So much so if there is any indication that somebody else loves the Don more than him, you can see how Lorenzo painfully endures every agony of it till he bleeds from his mouth or eyes! He must have a lot of blood if he is going to do that all the time. Won’t his bag stain with blood already? How about the way he screams out his trademark “DOOOOOOOOOONNNN!!!!!!!”, which I feel accounts for almost half his dialogues in the anime. Yuuta’s obsession for Hiroshi is not as obvious nor does it give rise to any immediate yaoi impact because of his cross-dressing ways. Looks like a girl, sounds like a girl, acts like a girl (sometimes), so it must be a girl, no? We don’t see anything much between Ogino and Ogata but if your imagination is too vivid, you could view their rivalry-cum-friendship as mild yaoi. Maybe Kei has something for Ogino too because he always side him in most cases.

For a comedy genre, it is very rare for such genres to spill out lots of blood (think Bokusatsu Tenshi Dokuro-chan or Yondemasu Yo, Azazel-san). Especially in the case of the goat whenever he gets owned or shot, you can see him bleed ounces or blood gushing out like geyser. However they are done in a cute way so you won’t really throw up even if you are the type of person who cannot stand blood. Unless you are that weak… Then you are even worse than Haruka… On a trivial note, the next episode segment is another funny corner. One of the funniest if I should say. Despite showing clips from the next episode, what makes it funny is how the characters adlib their own fake script to somewhat match the action in those scenes. We definitely know it is not what the characters will be saying in the next episode since it has really nothing to do with what is going on in the series’ plot. For example, watching this series on your handphone, the release of the Blu-ray versions or the fact that this show didn’t win any Academy Awards! Totally hilarious! Of course it wouldn’t be complete without the one breaking the fourth wall about the inevitable final episode and the need to keep it going. How can they when no additional episodes were made?

Toru Ookawa put up a brilliant performance as Valentino to make him sound real hilarious whether he is blowing his top or go into panic mode (which mafia boss often goes into such mode? Well, if your boss is a goat…). It’s funny to hear the goat gloat (I just wanted to say this). His previous anime roles include Taira in BTOOOM and Roy Mustang of Fullmetal Alchemist. Other casts include Junichi Suwabe as Hiroshi (Atobe in Prince Of Tennis), Toshiyuki Morikawa as Ogino (Naraku in Inu Yasha), Miyu Irino as Kei (Syaoran in Tsubasa Chronicle), Asami Shimoda as Yuuta (Kotomi in Seitokai Yakuindomo), Takehito Koyasu as Soumei (Kururu in Keroro Gunsou), Mitsuki Saiga as Haruka (Phantom in MAR), Youko Hikasa as Gabriella (Mio in K-ON!), Yuiko Tatsumi as Noah (Riko in KissxSis), Juurouta Kosugi as Lorenzo (Kiritsubo in Zettai Karen Children), Asami Seto as Natsuki (Chihaya in Chihayafuru), Tomokazu Sugita as Yataro (Gintoki in Gintama), Kousuke Toriumi as Ogata (Kiba in Naruto), Shintarou Asanuma as Akiyoshi (Izayoi in Mondaijitachi Ga Isekai kara Kuru Sou Desu Yo) and Rina Hidaka as Azusa (Niko/Scarlet Rain in Accel World). Ai Fukuda makes her debut as Stella. Jun Fukuyama makes his cameo as Mori and the way he sounds as if he might turn into Code Geass’ Lelouch or Ao No Exorcist’s Yukio any time with that almost serious voice tone. The rock outfit of Haruka, Nichijou No Naka De serves as the opening theme for the series and sung by Junichi Suwabe. If the hero takes the opening, then the ending has to be the villain, right? Toru Ookawa sings the ending theme, Prima Stella and it sounds quite amusing as it feels like a mix between Japanese Enka and Italian love ballad. How often do you see a goat beeeeeh, oops I mean, belting out a song?

It is funny for this anime to turn wolves into good guys and goats into bad guys unlike in many stories when the reverse is true. Still, it is the carnivorous wolf that goes after the herbivorous domestic livestock. Even funny, they can’t catch a stinking little goat… Either the detectives are slacking way too much or the mafia head is a true master of escape. I guess now the perception of being the richest of the richest and maximum filthy rich isn’t measured by the luxurious mansion you have or the fact you use money as toilet paper. You’re so rich that you could even eat your money! Imagine a whole new range of possibilities it can open up and the creativities that celebrity chefs might cook up if money does become edible. Besides, don’t goats have this tendency to eat paper? I wonder how the Malaysian Ringgit will taste like. Sambal belacan mix with char kuey toew and roti canai. Yum! Tastes like indigestion… But with a Don like Valentino who eats money as his regular meal, I can’t say that he will be laughing all the way to the bank when he gets the heist done. Won’t eating money cause heartburn? After all, there is this saying that the best way to spend your money is to put it in your stomach. Literally.

Ai Mai Mi

July 5, 2013

Drugs. I have never touched one in my entire life nor will I plan to take them. As I understand, drugs make you go high, that very happy delusional feeling, see illusions, lose sense and touch of reality and each intake you take you crave for more dosage in the next till it kills you. Before you start wondering what the hell this anime blog has to do with drugs, just to let you know that Ai Mai Mi although is a very short anime lasting only 3 minutes per episode, each episode feels like it is on drugs. Silly. Fun. Nonsense. Happy. WTF moments. Mmmm… Need more… But wouldn’t it be detrimental for your health the more you want to see this?

I don’t even know what the main plot of this anime is except that it involves 3 protagonist girls whose names are already in the title. What they do or will be doing is anyone’s guess. Everything here is just weird. Even that feels like an understatement. Each episode sees the girl in something random. So random and nonsensical that even though this may be the series’ funny points, it feels like anime on drugs. Watch another short anime series, Teekyuu if you want to know what I mean. Also, you can also guess how ‘sick’ this anime is going to be when the opening narration gives a very long winded excuse-cum-complaint that nobody will ever care about why this anime was made. I don’t know there were 13 silly excuses for this show to be made. In fact, maybe everything is to be blamed for making this series. In addition, in the first half of that you see a girl vomiting and blood spilling out of her holes and for the second half, that girl crazily licks a salamander!!!!!!!!!! FFFFUUUUUUU!!!!! Funny? Disgusting? Crazy? Sick? Go watch and decide.

Episode 1
Mi throws a cucumber at a kappa but it accidentally breaks its head! Mai complains she can’t concentrate on her manga work so Ai tells them they’ll be dirt rich when their manga sells. They pour cold water on that idea and think they should be more realistic. To Ai’s horror, they take out her notebook where she drew mages and knights as reference. They start reading that fantasy world aloud much to Ai’s embarrassment. Mai and Mi discuss and laugh about ‘swinging’ in a party. Ai thought they don’t even know what it means. They do. It’s some strange animal from South Africa, right? How about a sexually transmitted disease? Ai explains to them that it means the height of the party. However their senior Ponoka is devastated because she always thought it is some legendary comedian named Enmo Takenawa who sucked his partner’s nipple until they died on 24-hour TV. WTF?! Anyway that guy doesn’t exist…

Episode 2
Yamu the forest dweller gives the girls money to buy drinks. How kind. Till the policeman takes this fish sh*t away thinking it belongs to the girls and they illegally parked it. That’s the last and only time they encounter this magical creature. Mai and Mi seem to be cursing Ai who is hard at work finishing her manuscript. Suddenly Mai collapses because someone nearby is hardworking. This causes Mi to violently react to Ai that drawing manga is equivalent to being a murderer. Ai is unfazed while continuing to do her work as Mi beats her up to the point of pouring mayonnaise over her body!!! Mai can’t bear to see Mi turn into the killer and gives in. Mai… NOOOOOO!!!!! Ai finishes her manga and sells them at the doujinshi fair while Mai died. Mai… NOOOOOO!!!!!

Episode 3
Mai revives in this episode because now she has turned into a cyborg! A drawing cyborg. Yesterday when she was on her way home, she bumped into a girl named Alyssa London who challenged her to a manga battle. Mai ran away since she didn’t have a pen but since she doesn’t want to lose, she turned into a cyborg. The trio go to meet Alyssa. Mai and Mi think she did not notice them and spring a surprise attack only to be swiftly taken out in a blow. Alyssa notices Ai’s pen callous on her fingers. She recognizes her talents and will give her half the world if she works for her. But before that she will test her. Alyssa lunges at Ai but before she could beat her up, some weird dude named Nakanishi offers to get himself beaten up since he is a masochist. Ai takes her friends and escape while Nakanishi is beaten to a pulp till he turns into mochi.

Episode 4
Mi will demonstrate turning her left arm into steel. Mi hits it with a baseball bat as hard as she could. Her arm is broken… Oh sh*t! Mi talks to Mai about courage and since she has so much of them, she can never get scared. Life has become so boring that she wants to feel scared. Mai offers to test her courage but since breaking her arm won’t proof anything, Mi will jump in front of a car and then jump away the last minute. Mai supports her. You mean she’s not going to stop her? Mi hides behind the bushes before popping up in front of a car and dives away at the last second. All goes well but she didn’t take into account that there is a truck coming from the other direction! Bam! Since the driver is asleep, Mi stretches her limbs to serve as break. Now they are elongated. Dhalsim? Mai is terrified Mi has turned into some reptile.

Episode 5
Mai and Mi feel lethargic so Ponoka injects some pendrive booster in their brain. It’s getting error messages! Mai restrains Ai while Mi is going to whack her with a bat. But smart Ai flips over and lets Mai get hit in the gut. Ouch… No time for fighting since Ponoka points out their class is in some time warp. The only way out is through a pot and it only fits 1 person. So as the selfish girls fight over it, Ai sneakily sneaks into the pot herself. She ends up in a wrong world whereby her friends destroy the planet with their super power. Just as she thought she returned to her original world with her friends getting along, in actual fact she is trapped in some weird dimension. Ai hasn’t come home since…

Episode 6
Mi sings some delusional song… Don’t ever try this out. It looks and sounds stupid!!! Ponoka learns that Mi is so addicted to online games that she hasn’t been attending school. They visit her house to see her stuck to the screen. Her place is in a mess. Since she won’t respond to them, they decide to go online to search for her. It seems everybody is excluding themselves from Mi. She won’t leave till she has her pervy chat with the female middle school elf. When she is told about the exclusion, Mi collapses from shock. Since her face is turning blue like an eggplant, Ponoka puts her into a pot (like a pickle?) and then dries her. She returned to normal. WTF…

Episode 7
The girls see an abandoned cat. Evil Mai and Mi think of abusing it???!!! Anyway they take a liking for it and start playing with it. Ai is worried if they’ll be able to take care of it properly so they tell Ai to adopt it. However Ai prefers dog so this prompts them to suggest shoving the cat down the river! Then they blame Ai for being heartless!!! Ai punches them good. In the end, Mai and Mi take good care of it. After they buy cat food for it, Mi tricks Ai and Mai that Ponoka wants to talk to them. Then the evil glare in her eye… Oh no… Ai realizes she has been tricked when Ponoka isn’t around. She returns to see… Mi eating the cat food! She loves cat food?! This takes care of her snacks?! Mi is sent flowing down the river… Sicko…

Episode 8
Ponoka introduces Mai to a comfortable pot she can sit in. It costs 800 Yen. Mai rolls away in it! Mi thinks Ai has been acting all high and mighty and stabs her with a knife!!! OMG! Turns out to be a toy knife. Ai then locks them in a cage but the duo ignore her. Mi is eating her snacks so Ai tries to vacuum it away. Mi uses her mouth to block but ends up getting all her guts sucked out!!! Gross!!! When Ponoka comes in, it seems the duo in the cage still refuse to draw manga. Ponoka uses her zapping stick to zap Mi to make her draw. However she remains stubborn. In the end, they relent and Mi is turned into some unrecognizable burnt charcoal crisp. Anyway not a single manuscript was finished.

Episode 9
The trio tail Ponoka to find out her secret. At a field, she makes a handstand and starts spinning like a water sprinkler! The wilted flowers came back to life and it attracted animals!!! Ai is discussing their duties for the doujinshi fair but all Mai can think is to attend FX live. Actually, she wants to see faces of people who sank all their money into FX. Then Ponoka comes in. That’s a weird face she is putting up. Could it be she spent all her money on FX? Mai’s ‘radar’ detects it is so and thinks she liquidated quite a lot. Mai and Mi do funny faces at her but no reaction. Ai feels sorry for her and even sorrier when Mi asks the question directly to her. Then Ponoka starts spewing foam and bubble before passing out. Since it looks fluffy and comfortable, Mai and Mi jump in and enjoy the cushion. Ai wanted to join in too but is trying hard to restrain herself…

Episode 10
A dog suddenly pops up in class. Mai thinks the dog’s purpose is to relieve those who are heartbroken or in tears from overwhelming debt. Using it this way they could rid the world of sadness! And so Mai and Mi gather up lots of dogs. Make that mad dogs… They order them to enter everyone’s house and break the chains of despair! Of course we know it’ll turn out to be one big carnage. And the duo think they’re doing a good job. Then the duo walk their dog across several landmarks. Ai gets a distressed call from Mi. It seems they have been walking the dog for 3 consecutive days! Mai is not giving up. Where are they? New Jersey, USA. How did they cross the Pacific Ocean anyway?

Episode 11
A kappa beats up Mai to a pulp. Why? Because Mai poured cement into the river! We turn to a folktale called Butter Trance Hermit. Long ago there lived a useless girl named Mi. Spoilt girl. She believes there will be a time for her to go on a trip so her happy parents gave her cash and let her go. Mi thought they never loved her so she waited for them to sleep before coating their house with butter so that the bugs will eat them. Once done, she started dancing in a trance for 30 minutes, happy that her revenge is exacted. A horse came by and wanted to join the fun but since Mi didn’t excel in communicating with others, she shoos the horse away. With that, Mi lives in the forest and lives the rest of her miserable life by threatening those who dump their porn at the mountains.

Episode 12
Mi burns Ai’s pamphlet that she put her heart and soul in it! Mai thought this contraption that made Mi look like a monster, is cool. Ai wanted to rubbish her but Mi tells her monsters are like Santa Claus to Mai and not to crush her dream. Ai is forced to make up a story of a monster she saw. What the heck is this Bankegon? It goes “Moboo…”??? Yeah, Mai and Mi are curious to see this monster. Ai takes them down to the river bank to show them. The monster turns out to be Ponoka in a suit. But then the real monster grabs and devours her!!! OMG! Bloody death!!! Mai is in awe (taking photos), Mi is scared stiff (wet her pants) and Ai is trying to convince them to save Ponoka (why not do it herself?). Ponoka in her last ditch attempt throws a jar to them to destroy the monster but Mai won’t do it because she loves Bankegon! Ultimately the monster grabs and eats all of them! Bloody death!!! Now you wish somebody killed this thing, eh? Moboo~

Episode 13
Mi wakes up to find human-faced dogs inviting her to cross a river to eat nagashi somen. In actual fact, Mi is in comatose state and is on life support!!! NO!!! Mi! Come back!!! It all began when Mi was doing something stupid on world class level with a double tuna sandwich on her face. Don’t even ask. Shorty, she collapses and ever since has been in this state. Ai and Mai are devastated by her side, pleading her to come back. Even some weird called Lucas Akimoto is here. I don’t know who the heck he is but is somebody whom Mi admires. ‘Moonwalking’ isn’t he? Ai is so desperate that she allows Mi to get mean on her. And then… The heart beat stops… NOOOOO!!! MI!!!! Suddenly Ponoka comes in and has a remedy. She throws Mi into a pot. A few seconds later, Mi revives and running around healthily!!! WTF???!!! Don’t care! Don’t ask! She’s back and that is all that matters! Amazing…

ZXGANYPOEUBWKGFETHO…LOL!
No, that wasn’t a typo error. By the time I finished 40 minutes of my life on this anime, I have already become as silly as the protagonists in this anime. See? How terrible drugs are? But thankfully I don’t crave for anymore episodes nor have I become an addict to such silliness. Leaving out the drugs part, if you ask me, I feel that this series is rather okay if you want some random nonsense to laugh about after a stressful day. No convoluted plots, no deep characters, no sophisticated art or music or anything else. You just leave your brains safe somewhere, watch and enjoy this, laugh like an idiot, bring your brain back and forget about the whole thing. Yeah. Don’t you feel wonderful now? Thank goodness I still have my sanity and haven’t fallen into delusion.

There is nothing much to be said about the characters as they are just as they are. Mai and Mi are the main troublemakers of the pack although Mi is the more mischievous one followed by Mai. They are crazy in just doing about anything and sometimes you feel sorry for Ai who gets dragged into their pace and tries hard not to be absorbed by them. I guess she is sanest of them all but it is hard to keep your sanity when you have a couple of wackos as friends. Ponoka could have been a great addition to the insane friends and upgrade the Baka Trio nickname that I have given to the Fab Four. Oops. Ponoka’s pot I feel is the most useful and nonsensical item in the series. It can do anything. Seriously. Bring some online addict back to reality? Time travel? Best of all, bring the dead back! All the other side characters don’t matter. Really. Do you care about what happened to Yamu? Or Alyssa? Or who the heck is that Lucas dude? His Moonwalk sucks by the way. Bankegon is the coolest character because he ate up our main girls without mercy. Haha!

The drawing and art may be simple, cute and at points crazy and exaggerating but I guess this is what this anime is all about. With drugs enhanced… The ending credits feels like video game retro as we see the animation in frenzy. Everything so fast. Too fast. The pixelated animation really does bring back that retro video game feel. So Game over, eh? So do you really want to continue? Players are given 3 lives every time they start playing a game. I wonder why… Maybe that is why Mi came back to life. Maybe that is why when the girls die, they somehow comeback alive in the next episode like as though their previous death did not have any bearing at all. I will believe that cheat codes will resurrect a dead person back to life. But not pots!

Gakkatsu

February 8, 2013

It’s always good to have lively and healthy discussions among your friends. Whether they are informative or just plain absurd, I’m sure a lively debate helps our creative minds to flow as we exchange different ideas and opinions. It’s something like that for Gakkatsu. In this short ONA that lasts five minutes per episode, we have a special period called Gakkyuu Katsudou (Classroom Activities) or Gakkatsu for short whereby students can participate in debates on just about anything. Well, if intelligent ones inspire you, then I guess silly ones would make you laugh. This series seems to be of the latter. And they get to do it all packed under five minutes.

Episode 1
Class rep, Chiho Takachiho has the class discuss on the topic of bumps. What bump? Not the kind of baby bump. The kind of bump you see when you turn your wrist and see that bone sticking out. Since nobody know what it is called, thus calling forth for today’s discussion. So we have Chiho giving different types of bumps in existence from a camel’s hump to a middle aged guy’s guts. Till Kuroda stands up and calls it ulnar styloid process since it’s common knowledge for those studying at medical school. However Chiho will not accept that name because it’s not cute and the word ‘process’ conjures up a different image (pointy?). She will not listen to Kuroda and has the class come up with their own name for it. In the end and after a poll, it Pimpie-chan gets 30 votes to Pimpion’s 9. Yeah, they should be proud that not only they have come up with a new word but went about it democratically as well.

Episode 2
Chiho wants to know why boys won’t do their business in the school’s toilet stalls. Based on her interview with other boys, it seems the main reason is embarrassment and some would even hold it till they get home. So what on Earth are they afraid of? Well, the boys give their roundabout answer but eventually note they still won’t use it. Chiho realizes the problem runs deep as the guys fear of bearing the shame for their entire lives so Kimoto suggests turning everything in the toilet into stalls since people will still tease and once you get embarrassed it takes a long time to change the hearts of people. The guys thought this is a good idea but Chiho notes there is a flaw. She shows them the cubicle is exposed on the top and bottom and people can still peek through there. They never saw that blind spot? Chiho thinks what they need aren’t stalls but secret rooms! So now the boys’ toilet has barb wire, barricades and Doberman dogs? What security to increase?! And Sakurada is still holding it till he goes home…

Episode 3
Chiho sees a UFO outside her window and thus becomes the agenda for today’s discussion. She is pretty sure we are not alone. Hiroshi seems to be harassing the new transfer student, Gurei but nobody knows he is an alien! An outer space alien! Are they blind?! Well, with so many weird looking characters in this class… After discussing the existence of aliens, they vote of their purpose to come to Earth. All vote that they are here to destroy mankind. Except one against: Gurei. Hey. He has very long arms… They thought he was too optimistic and tell about the hideous experiments and abductions they do (oh, really?). Chiho then has them vote if mankind has met its end. Once again all vote yes except one: Gurei. Chiho tells him to lay off Gurei because they also need to hear the voice of the minority. She can tell transfer students are anxious people as they wonder if they’ll be despised in their new home. They wonder if they can be friends or outcasts so how can they be on good terms if they act nasty? Despite different language, culture and environments, she is sure they’ll understand each other’s heart (aliens have heart?). Seeing that Chiho is applying Gurei’s transfer student status to aliens, everyone supports her notion that aliens are here to make friends. Hiroshi thinks Gurei just wants to be closer. Gurei might regret it since he is getting too friendly. To think that this traumatizes the alien…

Episode 4
Somebody defaced the school statue and gate. But this isn’t going to be today’s topic because it will be what they call their mother!!! Chiho overheard Kuroda mistakenly calling Sensei as his mama so I guess he is so shocked at it that he passed out. Though the girls earnestly give their answers but what Chiho wants is to hear the guys’ answer. Starting with Hiroshi, he calls his mom a God Damned Hag (kusobaba). Chiho claps her hand instead because she takes this as he is in a rebellious state and is embarrassed to call mama. So the boys agree that they find it hard to call their mothers that so Chiho has the class take a vote on what Hiroshi should call his mother. Till Inaba points out Mother God Damned Dearest (kuso okaasama). Chiho likes that term as it reflects growing pains and great respect while maintaining his bad boy image. He won’t call her that anyone. Chiho calls Hiroshi’s mom as a special guest. She wonders what Hiroshi has done wrong since the school called her. Hiroshi is so shocked to see her that he spewed “Mama!”. I guess everybody is giving him that stare. But Chiho claps away. Though the vandalism culprit is caught, they could’ve prevented 2 ‘victims’ in the first place.

Episode 5
Chiho has a sad announcement that N’vangida is leaving for his home country of N’fn’’ (however you pronounce this and wherever this is). His country is famous for producing pink diamonds so I guess he has to head back to head the throne due to some promise with his father. Yes, he is a filthy rich prince. N’vangida gives his goodbye speech about how small Japan is but their hearts are big. Sounds like he is trying to pick a fight? But Hiroshi isn’t amused about this teenage drama and that they’ll forget him in 3 days. Chiho knows he is sad inside too and N’vangida points out he is the kindest of them all (because he saw him cried while watching some anime!). Everyone sees N’vangida off at the airport and Hiroshi is the most emotional one. Suddenly the TV news report that mines of the pink diamonds in N’fn’’ have been exhausted and the royal family have skip town and whereabouts unknown. The palace is empty and up for sale?! I guess N’vangida is going to stay here longer. Yahoo!

Episode 6
Inaba seems to be having trouble what to write for his future. Football player? Government worker? But for Chiho, she wants to be the president of Japan! You mean Prime Minister? No. President! Because the class doesn’t seem motivated in achieving their dreams, Chiho is going to talk about sunfish. Eh? So she describes the sunfish, its size and could even lay 300 million eggs at one go! That’s the size of America’s population! Yup, it’s like a swimming America. Everybody starts having positive thoughts on the sunfish as Chiho vows to live as large as the sunfish. However Kuroda spoils the excitement by mentioning the downside. Parasites. Sunfish has 40 different types of them and it is what kills it. Chiho counters that it is able to leap 3 metres into the sky. They jump to get rid of those parasites. This shows they soar from darkness into light to overcome difficulties that the heavy chains bind them. They can fly high into the sky and so can they! Hooray! Three cheers for sunfish! Let’s live like the sunfish! WTF is this fairytale?! And Inaba finally decides he wants to be Japan’s top footballer.

Episode 7
The class notices something strange with Chiho. She’s sparkling and her mouth is different. It’s like she is pursing her lips and making her face smaller. They realize she’s making a duck face and how cute she looks. All the boys start falling for her while Hiroshi tries to resist. Eventually he can’t. It is revealed that Chiho’s hypothesis has worked. No guys can hate a duck face! She plans to run as president for the student council and since there is a female candidate getting all the male votes, she will get her duck face to appeal to them. What about manifesto and policies? It doesn’t matter because she is going for mass appeal! The girls chide the boys for falling for the duck face but Chiho maintains her stand, causing the girls to be more upset. Then Kimoto points out she will lose her appeal among girls that way. Realize too late, huh? Yeah, she already printed 3,000 embossed posters of her duck face…

Episode 8
Because Chiho notices the different train fares for adults and children, this prompts her to discuss what makes a person an adult. Everyone has their own suggestion and when Kuriyama suggests says when one stops licking ice cream containers, he gets teased by Hiroshi for being a kid and to go home and drink his milk. So what makes Hiroshi an adult? He buys the smallest coffee 190ml without hesitation. While the guys are in awe, Chiho points out it is still sweet. Just like a bicycle with training wheels, coffee with sweetness is just like that. So if Hiroshi is an adult, he would like his coffee black with no sugar, right? Yeah, have one now. Hiroshi acts tough, drinks it and endures the bitterness. He can have refills as many times he wants. Hiroshi is force to eat (drink rather) his words as he gulps down another cup but is knocked out. Quick, somebody get milk and sugar! Suddenly they see Kuriyama drinking black coffee with elegance! The one who laughs last laughs best as he tells Hiroshi to go home and drink his milk. Chiho states they clearly learnt something. Those who act like an adult is still a kid. That’s the biggest embarrassment for Hiroshi to swallow.

Episode 9
Chiho has another sad announcement. Their pet turtle Johnny died this morning and Inaba who is the one who takes care of it is deeply devastated. Yeah, remember the times they found out it was a female and tried to change its name? After having a minute of silence, they discuss on the next class pet. Everyone as usual has such strange taste. Till this alpaca-like girl, Alpako suggests getting an alpaca. Everyone digs the good points that an alpaca has but like its warm fur and carrying heavy load. But Tanaka disagrees. Because he is more into llama. Alpako and Tanaka get into a heated argument why theirs is better and put each other down (I guess both animals suck if you look closer). Then Kimoto puts her foot down. She tells them they are not sensitive over Inaba’s feelings. They apologize and Chiho shelves this discussion for another day. Suddenly Inaba runs up to the board and writes rabbit. A rabbit wants a rabbit as a pet? So he’s gotten over Johnny? Seeing Inaba is very enthusiastic over it, everybody rejoices and decides they’ll get a rabbit.

Episode 10
Because Chiho forgot her umbrella and got splashed by a puddle, today’s discussion is whether one brings an umbrella when it is forecasted to rain at only 20%. I guess Chiho is pissed for having to wear this stupid jersey. Kuroda explains about the percentage thingy so Chiho counters that by saying it’s not manly. The rest give examples of things in life using percentage like chance of passing an exam. Kuroda further explains about percentage being just a guide so it is ultimately themselves who must make the final decision. So obsessing with the final result could mean one is just lazy. This doesn’t sit well with Chiho so she gives another example that the girls have their own boyfriends. Imagine him saying he will only protect you 20% of the time! Can you trust this guy? NO! She also adds the shape of the percentage makes it look like a lazy person. The class starts agreeing with her as Kuroda tries to bring order back by saying that the slanting shape makes it look like it’s apologizing instead. Everybody including Shiho is convinced.

Episode 11
Tsukahara takes a break by playing her console game after studying. However her mother checks on her and isn’t pleased. This becomes today’s agenda as to why mothers come into their rooms at the worst times. With each of them having experience such case, Chiho points out this is the Mama Coming Phenomenon. The kind of phenomenon whereby it always rains when you forget your umbrella. They further discuss about mothers equipped with some device that can sense their kids having fun. Chiho then ends the debate by showing a video. Hey. Isn’t that Tsukahara’s room? How the hell did Inaba videotaped it secretly?! The video shows her studying for about 10 minutes before she goes off playing video games for over an hour! After that she resumes her studies but shortly doing her eyelashes! Not studying at all! Is it a wonder why her mom catches during her break? Chiho scoffs off there is no such thing as Mama Coming Phenomenon but Quick To Slack Off Phenomenon. Time flies when you’re having fun but crawls slowly when it’s boring. People don’t really work as hard as they think they do. Such harsh reality.

Episode 12
Saionji will be the trainee teacher for a short period. Sakurada has fallen for her and has the class help out on what to do next. Well, that letter to meet he put in her shoe locker looked more like a challenge letter. Judging from her pretty looks and manners, they think she is a prim kind of person. Kimoto suggests he should be himself. I think he took it too literally because his idea of being manly is being naked in a loincloth! Tsukahara notes that she is into pretty boys. You know, those idols. So can Sakurada stand a chance? Chiho doesn’t see a problem and orders a complete makeover! The clothes and hairstyle make him look like Saturday Night Fever and since no makeup is going to do it, a total makeover over his face includes a buzz saw and chisel! What the heck did he do to his face?! I don’t know but he looks more handsome now!  A totally different person! So Sakurada meets Saionji at the rooftop and confesses his feelings. As he stammers, Saionji punches his face to crack his hard mask. She reveals she isn’t a prim and proper rich girl he thinks and has a black belt in judo. However this only made Sakurada love her even more. She tells him to come back when he grows up and can face her as his real self. Chiho concludes a mask hardened by lies will eventually shatter. Though, she was the culprit behind the extreme makeover.

Episode 13
Who loves T-Rex? The dinosaur, that is. The guys and especially Chiho! She’s pretty excited talking about it when suddenly she sounds gloomy. Based on new scientific evidence, it shatters her perception of the terrible lizard because now it has feathers! Kimoto quips she has an aunt that looks like that! Not funny! At least to Chiho. She won’t accept such lame T-Rex. Kuroda argues that nobody has seen them since their extinction 65 million years ago and scientific theories change in time so it’s their duty to accept them. So as long as there is scientific evidence, it’s okay? Chiho certainly isn’t. So what if T-Rex has a long nose? Her basis? Mammoths have trunks but you don’t see the long nose bone, right? Since she has a point, Kuroda accepts it but this causes to further infuriate Chiho because now it looks even lamer. She further adds more lameness to shock Kuroda like how it carries a handbag, sounds like a goat and has carp colours. Again, she becomes pissed with that lame T-Rex she just imagined. She wants to know if Kuroda also likes such lame T-Rex and during the struggle, a T-Rex keychain falls out from his pocket. It is the same keychain Chiho has. Kuroda reveals he too likes T-Rex the way he first saw it. Just as you think they both have reconciled, Chiho screams that she has won this match! No one will rob her of what she believes in! Not even scientific theories! Victory!

Episode 14
Because Tanaka is having a hard time remembering where he put his train ticket, it made Miyamoto miss out on buying a top mp3 player as it just got sold out. Chiho asks Tanaka where he keeps his wallet and it seems he starts getting frantic searching it. Three minutes later he finds it in his bag and unknowingly puts it in his back pants. When asked where is his wallet, he frantically searches in his bag. This is bad. With suggestions of how to overcome this (write a memo, have someone do it for you), Tanaka and Miyamoto end up blaming each other. Chiho puts her foot down and suggests that he should buy 10 tickets from now on! When such case happens, wherever he searches he will bound to find one. He’ll run out of money, right? Even better. Because he doesn’t need to keep his wallet. About his lifestyle? Ditch his modern lifestyle for a more simple and natural one! Looks like a homeless person! On another day, Tanaka’s ticket stalling act once more causes Miyamoto to be late for another sale. When they arrive, the store employees congratulate them for being the 100,000th customer and their prize is a home theatre set! Sometimes there is a blessing in being late too.

Episode 15
Chiho suggests calling each other nicknames to deepen their bond. Hiro-kyun? Kuro-pyon? Miyamoto thought it’s embarrassing but Chiho says they won’t make progress if they don’t and calls him Ordinary. Yeah. Normal. Not amused. So while Chiho goes into ecstasy with all the cute nicknames her classmates throw at her, she pesters Ordinary to give her one. Really? Okay. Nitpicker Girl. That must be a shock to her, eh? She tries to act okay and theorizes that if the ones before were like sweet juice, this sharp one feels like seltzer spray! Soon the rest starts calling her names like Pretend Leader, Tyrant and the ultimate one from Inaba, Bossy Girl. Looks like she dug her own grave. Depressed now, isn’t she? Ironically nicknames are supposed to deepen bonds but it looks like they have deepened the ditch. To cheer her up and figure out a suitable nickname for her, N’vangida suggests shortening names like celebrities do. Like Kenji Matsukawa = Matsuken and Kumi Morinaga = Morikumi, So Chiho Takachiho becomes… Takachiho! Isn’t that the same?!

Episode 16
Kuroda prays at his grandpa’s grave. In class, Chiho suddenly asks if they believe in ghosts (with flashlight effect). That’s because she feels something heavy on her shoulder! THERE’S SOMETHING ON HER SHOULDER! The class panics but Abe exorcises it with her bell. Though everyone is relieved, Kuroda brushes their silly farce. With his usual scientific explanations, he says ghosts are products of self suggestions and Chiho’s heavy shoulder is because she just has a stiff shoulder. The light start flickering and it’s getting cold. Are the ghosts out for vengeance for their lack of respect? Kuroda: The temperature is just changing and it’s time to change the fluorescent light. Chiho wants Abe to give Kuroda a piece of her mind but her story of ghosts that include having one as a pet and first love (yikes!) didn’t convince him. She gets his attention when she knows his grandpa is dead and he reveres him. How does she know? She can hear his voice! Chiho then borrows Abe’s bell and starts ringing to call for Kuroda’s grandpa! Disrespectful! Surprisingly his spirit comes! Kuroda scoffs it off till he takes a closer look. Oh God! It is grandpa! So now does Kuroda believe in ghosts? But what did grandpa tell him? There is no such thing as ghosts and to hell with occultism! Even though he is one right now…

Episode 17
Before Chiho can begin today’s agenda, a dog bark distracts them. She thought it was Inuyama but it’s a real dog! Everybody wants to play with it and pays no heed to Chiho. She tells them off about dogs lacking independence and submissive to humans. But that’s what makes them cute, right? Chiho won’t take anymore of this and takes the dog outside. Five minutes later, she returns all messed up. Before she can begin, the dog returns. Everybody isn’t paying attention to her now. Pissed, Chiho takes the dog out once more. Once outside and nobody is seeing, she starts playing with the dog! She loves it! So that’s how she got all messed up. Isn’t this what you call a hypocrite? Well, her words may sound tough but they do sound ambiguous too so it’s not like she’s totally wrong. And so once more before the agenda can begin, the dog returns. I guess when you can’t beat them, join them. So here comes happy Chiho running towards the dog and ending today’s class! EEEEEEEHHHH???!!! Can’t resist the temptation, no?

Episode 18
Why is summer so God damn hot? It’s getting hotter only because Chiho is screaming her head off! Why even bother chasing the cicada? Sakurada suggests about strengthening their wills so that they will be cooled by the flames. Well, I guess it only made Chiho more pissed since she didn’t understand his poem. Kuroda explains it to be some sort of death poem since a monk didn’t move an inch and was burnt to death when a man set fire to his temple. So, did Sakurada suggest they all should die? Unless you want to wear loincloth like he does! It’s even getting hotter! Then the cicada turns on the heater! I guess their brains are fried by now if they think it’s getting cooler. They run down to the teacher’s room but find the air-cond is out of order. Even Sensei is losing her mind. Chiho leads everyone to the pool and emergency measures mean they all jump in! Ahhh… How refreshing.

Episode 19
There’s only 1 manjuu left so who is going to take it? Call it holding back and compromise for peace and safety but Chiho points if everybody gave way, nobody will get anything (baseball example). Is there a non-creepy way to get the last piece? Till one of them suggests to announce oneself when taking it. The class marvels at the bold move but Kimoto finds it creepy because what if both announce at the same time? They’ll become embarrassed and reserved. Back to square one. Blonde Dude suggests playing a game to see who gets it. Everyone would’ve agreed with him if not for Kimoto worried that nobody wants to play and it would make her look like a greedy girl. Thus being teased and all. Chiho stomps her foot down they shouldn’t get scared by the little things and sometimes holding back isn’t good manners. She suggests a stare down in which sides are prepared to fight for the last piece. Since amateurs can’t do anything, she’ll have professionals doing it in her stead. Then she uses her force by crushing the manjuu with her fist. She considers herself the staff and eats it. Taking responsibility? More like she wants to eat it. I guess that’s what you call ‘others fight, I profit’.

Episode 20
Chiho is in a pinch. She doesn’t like sweet and sour pineapples in her lunch! What’s the big deal? So don’t eat it. But noooo… She had to rant about setting a good example as a class rep. Hah. Why even threaten Tsukahara with serving her with red beans that she dislikes (since she was the one that loaded the pineapples into her lunch). So with N’vangida chanting out loud about the international phrase for not wasting, maybe she’s just stalling for time. But she can’t do it still. She fools around and stacks them up! Please be serious. Chiho thought she saw the pineapple cry. She starts feeling sorry for it because it was made to become this school’s lunch. Do pineapples have class reunions? Just eat it! She can’t. She is too emphasized with it. Tsukahara notes that she doesn’t hate pineapples but only sweet and sour ones. She returns with the pineapples in a bowl of whip cream. Chiho gladly eats it and finds it good. I think the rest couldn’t stomach the sweetness. Yuck.

Episode 21
Ushiyama is always late to class. Even his response is late! Sometimes he comes to school when it’s already over. So Chiho tries to find out if he has a problem getting up in the morning but he says he woke up at 5am. Because he is too slow explaining, everyone starts complaining about his slowness. So slow that Alpako had limited time when he is passing the sheets (she sits behind him). Slower than a fax machine! I’m sure everyone had something to say but Ushiyama thinks they’re talking too fast! They become pissed off when he starts repeating his story (by the way, he never completed his first sentence). Chiho tells everyone off that they’re always in a rush and hurrying to somewhere. Even technology like bullet train, handphone and internet. What do they gain by having things faster? Explaining about the Sagrada landmark building in Spain that takes hundreds of years to complete and it is still not completed. Where would be the charm if it was built in a week? Everybody feels sorry for rushing Ushiyama as he continues his story. At least everyone is being patient now. Well, we won’t get to hear his slow story (that mostly involves waking up and falling asleep halfway). By the time he ends his story, nobody is around! Has everybody gone back? Heck! It’s the next day and everybody thought Ushiyama was early for once! He never left in the first place!

Episode 22
Why can’t Miyamoto give up his seat to an old man in the train? He somewhat felt weird, lost the initiative and pretended to fall asleep. The worst. Should’ve just given it up, huh? But Miyamoto feels it’s odd talking to old people so Hiroshi says he doesn’t do that. At least not telling he is giving up his seat. He just stands up and walks away. But there’s this danger that the seat may be taken by others if not properly announced. So Kuroda gives an example on how to clearly and officially announce he is going to pass on his seat to the old guy. Too troublesome! N’vangida just tossed the old dude but he put him in the wrong place! The bag compartment?! Kuriyama would give the old man his seat, then sit on his lap like a little grandchild! Miyamoto wonders if he can do it so Chiho teaches him the hand signal to give way and to speak out loud. He has his chance to show what he learnt. But it isn’t just the old man who steps in. A bunch of elderly people too! Who is he supposed to give his seat to? Can’t decide? He goes back pretending to sleep. Maybe next time, huh?

Episode 23
Chiho hopes everyone can help Hokura with his problem. He wants to get rid of his hokuro (mole). Why? Because everyone keeps mispronouncing his name. Everyone looks at Chiho. Yeah. Repeat offender. Though Chiho thinks his mole has charm points, Hokura laments that even if people do remember him, it will usually be ‘the guy with the mole’. Worse, he wonders if people are seeing him as the mole instead of himself. He starts going crazy about the what ifs but Hiroshi tells him not to be paranoid because it’s not like everybody is out to get him. But even so, he gets disturbed when people call his name. What if he is just something attached to this mole? He wants to part ways and make a fresh start. Since N’vangida wants it (it’ll be a waste to throw it away), he has no qualms. Everyone is okay with that but Chiho objects. Sure, he can take away the mole but just as he said about something being attached to it. What if the mole is the real him? So it might be the case of removing Hokura from the mole instead! What if the mole contains his soul? That would mean trapping himself in his mole prison. And since Chiho messed up his name again, Hokura blows his top but Chiho refutes she pronounced it wrongly. He insists. She denies. He’s becoming mad. She’s feigning ignorance. Here we go again…

Episode 24
Chiho is fat! OMG! However she is in denial giving excuses her uniform shrunk and all. So once she realizes her expanded size, she rants about the willpower to change her body back. So is she going to stop her cravings in between meals? Of course. She’ll start tomorrow. Weak willpower! Procrastinator! They want her to do it now and till Kimoto mentions she is their leader, she got the strength to put down the doughnut. But that’s just about it. She is reluctant to exercise and even so, wants everyone to do it with her. Serious lacking of willpower. She persuades everyone to join in by claiming they should support their leader and that they are just scared to realize their own lack of willpower because they expect their leader to do things they can’t. With everyone wanting to show they’ve got the willpower to do so, Chiho unveils her exercise programme that includes air sitting, bunny hops and marathon. 42 kilos isn’t their target weight but the marathon length! Oh sh*t. Let’s see how much willpower they’ve got. After a month, Chiho is back to her slim self but the rest have lost so much weight that they are looking like skeletons!

Episode 25
The class is doing self study instead. Because when Chiho submitted the agenda minutes, Sensei realized there are too many stupid agendas! True! From now on she’ll be approving her agendas that are deemed meaningful. I guess the class agrees that if they’re going to discuss stupid topics, they might as well do self study and be more productive. Chiho wanted to give her piece of mind but can’t raise her voice since Sensei is patrolling outside the corridors. Chiho notices the sun and it reminded her of a youth drama called Race Towards That Sunset. It prompts her to ask how far they should run. Despite another stupid question, some gave their suggestions. Till Inaba suggests they should run themselves to find out. Great idea. But they’ll do it after school. Later as they gather at the riverbank, they start running towards the sunset. Wondering why Japanese always run towards the setting sun, Chiho concludes that they don’t want the sun to set. If they run in pace with the Earth’s rotation, the sun will never set! We run because we want this moment to last forever! But the Earth rotation is faster than the speed of sound. Then just run faster than the speed of sound! Holy cow! Run with all you’ve got!

Gaga-tsu!
Well, it was pretty much okay and entertaining seeing Chiho coming up with absurd topics and having he own absurd theories as well. It is a good thing that this series is only several minutes long so the impact of the comedy and funny moments are there instead of being prolonged. It makes the discussion lively and moving at a fast pace (despite one episode being Ushiayama’s slowness) so everything is like hitting you simultaneously and instantly. Plain and simple. I’m sure there are even sillier topics that Chiho can come up to discuss with but all good things must come to an end despite she wanting to run this period as long as possible. It’s not that I really wished that there were more episodes but I guess quarter of a century is good enough so it doesn’t feel bored. Unlike some daily joke show that seemed to go on forever (which I didn’t see).

The characters don’t really amount to much although some episodes feature them more prominently and some only had like one or two appearance. I mean, what do you expect when you have a class with a bunch of students looking like weirdoes? If a delinquent, bespectacled genius, afro boy, blonde guy and some tall African transfer student isn’t weird enough, how about a bunny, a matured looking one and an elementary schooler in the midst sound? Yeah, there is even a student wearing a full face helmet! Who is he? I don’t know. But just don’t say normal, okay? Though many of the agenda and topic of discussion are really dumb, but not only they give you a good laugh but it makes you think too because most of the topics do occur in our everyday life but we are just too preoccupied with something else just to notice them. You could say that some are quite informative. Well, I certainly know a little more about the sunfish now. I think this series is trying to tell us to be inquisitive and question everything and not just accept everything blindly. Okay, there is still a line between smart questions and stupid questions. Ask wisely. As for Chiho, I have a feeling that she engages in lively debates and comes out with her own theories of stuffs is because she hates to lose and wants everyone to know that her way is always the right way. Especially her being loggerheads with Kuroda so you can see the clash of ideals of scientific backup or just plain nonsense. Either way it’s funny.

The drawing and art of the series makes it very cartoonish but this is okay seeing that it adds humour to the overall. Plus, with the characters looking chibi, I guess some of them do look cute. Some of course, weird. I guess you need the characters to match with the topics they discuss. So it just hovers somewhere in between cute and not horrible. Maybe with a pinch of weird. When characters become angry or pissed off, you see their face turning red like as though their head is going to explode. Plus, when they are mad or panicking, you see their heads bobbing. Sakurada seems to be a habitual offender of this since I notice he can’t stop his head from quivering. Somehow I find the rock background music quite complementing to the flow of the series and especially the short opening guitar riff which is quite catchy as it wants to make your head go bobbing too.

This anime series may not be a masterpiece or become something mainstream and won’t be as popular as more current ones. But at least I’m glad to have watched it as it provides humour and enlightening facts that I may or may not apply or remember in my life. Anything and almost everything can be made as a topic of discussion. You can learn a thing or two if you participate in such debates and even have your entire perception of things changed if the facts from the other party are too good to be true. So shall we pick the next topic on the agenda? How can we turn animes into the world’s favourite past time? Hmm… One suggestion. Turn every country into Japan. The world = Japan. I think pigs flying will have a higher chance of happening.

Oh Edo Rocket

October 14, 2012

Fireworks and aliens. What kind of anime can bring you that? Heck, not only those two, but loads of other mix and mash of just about every other thing. Oh Edo Rocket may sound like just another one of those animes whereby a group of people are trying to build a rocket and reach the moon but I assure you, it just more than that. While that may be the basic premise of this show, you can expect a lot of crazy things to happen here. I mean if you are going for a comedy in a period drama that even has inventions and devices that never existed during the turn of the 20th century, you know you are going to be in for a crazy ride. So it brings back little memories about Gintama because of the fusion between modern and traditional contraptions and with aliens in the fray. Just that we don’t have any samurai but a bunch of poor people. Oh, did I mention poverty?

The year is 1842 and in a place called Edo, the former capital of Japan. Even if back in those days we don’t have iPods, iPads and Tablets to go about, I’m sure life was pretty simple then. If not, poor. Very poor indeed. It doesn’t help that in this period, the government, or in this anime, the senior councillor of the Shogun, Tadakuni Mizuno has banned all forms of luxuries and entertainment to maintain discipline, frugality and whatever reasons that youth these days will not hesitate to take it to the streets (this ban actually happened in history too). And thus, you see people who are in poverty living a life that is even poorer. Even though the reforms are not popular with the citizens, but back then I guess people don’t have the power to stand up against the head of the state. I wonder if these bastards high up in their seats are enjoying the good life at the expense of their people. However a kid, Seikichi Tamaya who is a fireworks artisan dreams of making the biggest and best fireworks that nobody has seen before. It is going to be quite a challenge since fireworks are considered as luxuries and the police keeping a constant surveillance. But Seikichi may get the chance of a lifetime when a beautiful but mysterious lady pops up and requests him to make her a rocket that will reach the moon. With all the conspiracies, challenges and obstacles going on, can Seikichi and his ragtag gang of Furai Row House Block kill 2 birds with 1 stone by fulfilling the request and making the biggest fireworks Edo has ever seen?

Episode 1
Fireworks artisan Seikichi and his brother Shunpei are trying to launch a firework but Seikichi blows his top when the display turns out to be the wrong colours. Elsewhere, a pair of drunk old men talk, a cross-dresser is feeling dejected for not being noticed (except for his mom and the town belle), and a pair of aliens known as Sky Beasts duking it out. A Mechanical creator Shinza has completed his movie projected when his home is being invaded by the police led by Sergeant Nishinosuke Akai. Shinza cleverly hides inside his projector box to keep the police on a wild goose chase over his shadow but Akai eventually cuts the projector into half. Back to the Sky Beasts, their personal battle is being interrupted by a group of armoured government enforcers known as Men In Black (MIB). It is a 3 way tussle but the MIB manages to kill the blue Sky Beast when they are distracted fighting each other. The white Sky Beast runs away but was sniped and injured by a South Edo magistrate head, Youzou Torii. They were going to take him in but the fireworks distracted them and it escaped. Since they can’t catch up to its speed, they are contented with the dead one only to find its body has melted.

Next day, Akai arrests Shinza and is going to bring him in but is stopped by Santa the carpenter and the circus acrobat siblings, Tenhou and Tenten. Shinza’s name was on the projector so all the more proof that he violated the law. With Seikichi just passing by, Akai starts ranting about his hatred for garbage, especially poor people like them (not sure if he’s a clean freak). He mocks them that even though they are poor, they have so much garbage lying around. He questions Seikichi’s whereabouts last night since he noticed the fireworks. Seikichi is lost for words and has a hard time proving his alibi. Look at the sling he is carrying. Could that be a fireworks launcher? Till locksmith Ginjirou AKA Gin cooks up a story to cover him that Seikichi was accompanying him to unlock a woman who accidentally locked herself. Akai finds the alibi credible. But there is just 1 problem. The bag of gunpowder he snatched from Seikichi’s clothes when he was body checking him. And that sling over his shoulder? Definitely that shape and feel has to be a fireworks launcher. He is forced to show it to him and to everyone’s surprise, it is just a roll up box of carpentry tools. Akai lets them go but still takes Shinza in. Seems Tenten and Tenhou had switched Seikichi’s bag. They hid it in a nearby toilet… Gin thinks he should have tested his fireworks at the foothills of Fuji where there is nobody but Seikichi insists all fireworks made in Edo must be tested here since different soil, wind and air will completely change its colours. He is willing to risk it despite the penalty of being exiled. He thinks this awful ban will not last forever and once it is lifted, he won’t lose out to other fireworks artisans. Their talk is interrupted by grumpy tile maker, Rokubei for being noisy in the morning. However he is kept quiet when his wife reels him in. Seikichi returns to his home to find a girl, Sora (looks so much like that girl in Eureka 7) playing fireworks inside his house! She got startled and dropped it! Could almost start a fire! Since Seikichi denies he is a fireworks artisan, Sora tells him her idea of making the biggest firework by using a number of small shells of gunpowder inside a large shell. Seikichi corrects her and this proves he is indeed an expert in this area. Sora has a professional favour to request of him. She asks how high his fireworks can go. He is confident no one can beat him in terms of height. So, does this mean his fireworks can reach the moon? Yes. That big bright natural satellite in the sky. Holy cow!

Episode 2
Oh course Seikichi finds that impossible. There are limits as to how far one can dream. He tells her to scram seeing he needs his sleep but Sora sets up a bed and wants him to sleep with her! Yikes! She thinks that once he gets his deserved rest, he will be able to consider her proposal in a calm manner. Gin the neighbour may have heard something next door and tries to make a hole in the wall to peep with his finger. Well, his finger got through but now it’s stuck. Trying to pull it out, this causes a big hole in the wall. Gin tries to be a playboy with Sora, using cheesy pick-up lines (“I can pick any lock with his finger, even if it’s the tightest lock of your heart”). Seikichi throws him out of the house so Gin talks to him about his fireworks reaching the moon. Though Sora has the figures of how far the moon is (1,254 million feet), Seikichi starts to bore them with his pessimism of how far his fireworks can reach. In short, he can’t. But Sora and Gin still get excited in thinking of conquering the world with fireworks and Seikichi didn’t like the idea of just launching it for fun and must have a purpose. Gin asks him can he just make fireworks for fun. Ever since Mizuno’s reforms, anything flashy is banned and modesty, frugality and self-restraint have been in full force. Seikichi remains stubborn when Shunpei returns. He is excited about a plaque he got from a temple that has the trajectory of a shooting star. Then when he realizes Sora, his face gets all red. He tries to use his maths to explain this irrational human behaviour. The town belle, Onui who is also Furai Row’s public moral watchdog comes in to check on the commotion. With everyone somewhat arguing, they realize Sora is already gone. Elsewhere the blue Sky Beast kills a defenceless woman. When the white one comes by, the MIBs surround it and think this Sky Beast has claimed another victim.

Gin visits Ise, the woman whom he mentioned in his alibi to Akai to save Seikichi’s ass. Ise isn’t pleased because she shows him a video Akai was indeed here to check on his alibi. She tries covering up from him but there were just too many holes. So that’s how she came up with the embarrassing Abacus Dance… Once Gin leaves, he bumps into Akai. He thinks Gin is here to ‘fix’ his alibi. Akai continues to watch and follow Gin but the latter manages to give him the slip. At an alley, Gin runs into the white Sky Beast being chased by the MIBs. They want him to stay away from this blood sucking creature. The Sky Beast escapes and one of the MIBs, Eyes touches Gin’s stomach and understood. By the time Akai arrives, he only sees Eyes as he wants him to tell everything he knows about Gin. Seikichi takes a walk to the bridge to see a bunch of kids playing sparklers. Onui and Shinza are also there. That guy has been released but is covered in bandages. Something about he didn’t tell the interrogators about the fireworks. Onui laments there used to be fireworks every day when it was leading up to the festival. Seikichi reasons it with economic cutbacks as fireworks are just luxuries. But seeing how down they are, he says there are better things for people to look up to. Wondering if there really are fireworks that can reach the moon, Onui and Shinza get excited over that idea. They really want to see his fireworks and even the kids support him. Returning home, they see a large crowd around Sora. They are amazed by the change in the flame colours she is demonstrating. Even Seikichi is taken in by them. Sora shows him a bag of magical powder in which it can change the colour when mixed with gunpowder. It has a substance called Strontium Carbonate, a white powder that allows the colour to be changed. Everyone believes Seikichi is the only one in Edo who can make the fireworks reach the moon. Seikichi gets fired up to do this and not only for fun, but so that everyone can look up to it. With his skills and her intelligence, they can pull this big thing off. With that, Sora declares she is staying with him. Is this allowed? Suddenly an old man, the retired resident and mysterious landlord of this place who rarely makes his public appearance, Goinkyo emerges with his bevy of beauties. He gives Sora the green light to stay here.

Episode 3
Tenten and Tenhou couldn’t find any records on Sora. Realizing that launching the biggest fireworks to the moon will even attract Mizuno and Torii, they vow to protect Seikichi’s cause. Torii talks to North Edo magistrate head, Kinshirou Tooyama about Mizuno’s imposing more ban on luxuries. Yeah, even tofu mustn’t be this big. WTF?! Even funerals must be frugal? Totally a boring era to live in. Tooyama wonders about those Sky Beasts but Torii feigns he doesn’t know about them. If they do exist, they must not be allowed to loiter around Edo. Torii goes to see Akai in a torture chamber. The MIBs didn’t get much info out of him. I’m not sure if Akai is a masochist because he wants to get tortured more by Torii. Plus, seeing that they are no ordinary people, Akai wants to join them. Shunpei is flustered and having second thoughts about entering Sora’s room. I guess feelings of the heart are more complicated than maths. Eventually the other guys barge in without permission but Sora is not around. They notice her futon in the ceiling. Gin is surprised when he finds Sora in his house. She asks if he is alright. Thinking it was that encounter with the Sky Beast, he says he is alright and that some weird fellow just rubbed his stomach. Then the rest finds them and since Seikichi teases Gin likes Sora, Gin fools around that she is too good for him. This causes Seikichi to leave with Sora and the rest close behind.

As Gin leaves, he comes into Akai who wants him to follow him to the woods. Gin is assaulted by the MIBs but he fights back and manages to ‘unlock’ and break the armour of a couple of MIBs. He also notices Torii aiming at him and warns him he can still take him out. Torii puts his gun down and reveals his face so Gin goes on his knees. Torii praises his skills and asks if he has a little pouch with the word ‘Sky’ on it. He does but he can’t seem to open it. However Torii easily unfurls this Tenkai Knot and inside the pouch, a letter that states “Chief of the Men In Black”. Akai explains the MIB are a secret group of agents set up by Lord Ieyasu. Though they disguise as ordinary townsfolk, they serve the Tokugawa government in secrecy in times of unrest. However peace lasted for over 240 years and these MIBs have forgotten about their duty. Torii learnt of it and tracked down each of the MIB descendants. Taking Gin to a meteor crash site, the first one happened 2 weeks ago and just 3 days ago, another meteor appeared as if it was chasing the first one and exploded in mid-air. The ‘meteor’ turns out to be an alien spaceship or as they put it, a mechanical shooting star. Showing him the melted Sky Beast body and the rumours of people being drained of their blood, these are indeed the deeds of the Sky Beast. If they kill one, they don’t know how many more will appear. Torii can’t let the public know about this unbelievable story and you have to be powerful enough to engage them. Thus this is where the MIBs, bequeath with special powers since birth come in. He wants Gin to take his place as the chief of MIB but he doesn’t want to have anything to do with this and runs away. He runs to Ise’s place and needs to borrow some money as the magistrate has found him and will be hunting him down. However he wants to help Seikichi launch his fireworks first. Ise slaps him and tells him about the things he wants to do. Though she may be running a pawn shop, there are some stuffs that people don’t want. She throws down his weapon Truncheon Keys and wants him to take them away.

After she leaves, one of the MIBs, Ears (seen crawling on the ceiling like a bug) mentions about a famous pair of thieves from Osaka: Night Cherry and Silver Fox (Ise and Gin respectively). They were caught by the ex-police intendant of East Osaka, Heihachiro Oshio. Ise didn’t like how the Osaka magistrate is stocking up grain to deliver to Edo to suck up on them and the common people suffering. Oshio admits it but wants to do something for the common good. He needs somebody to snoop around so Gin agrees to help his cause for the greater good. Soon, Oshio led a rebellion but his plan ended in shambles because there was a traitor among his men who leaked information to the other side. Oshio and Gin run to a secluded place but are eventually surrounded. Oshio wants Gin to make a run as he has already given up and lost. Of course Gin didn’t like that but Oshio blows himself up in a hut. Ise pulled Gin away before he met the same fate. That’s when Gin thought he will only live the rest of his life for himself and will never work for the cause of others. Sure brings back memories, eh? Ears mentions Torii also knows about his past and if he refuses to take up this duty, not only they will pursue till the ends of the Earth, all those related to him especially from Furai Row will be thrown into prison. Gin has lots on his mind as he bumps into Seikichi and Sora who are still bent on making the fireworks to the moon. Seikichi feels everyone will change after seeing it and that fireworks aren’t just for fun. This has Gin rushing off to the meteor crash site. Speaking of which, Akai encounters a Sky Beast. Gin faces off with it as he takes up his post as the chief of MIB because he believes he has his own path to walk.

Episode 4
Shunpei finds Seikichi tying Sora to a tree! He wants Shunpei to help out too! Rape play?! Trying to find a mathematical equation to this threesome? Actually Seikichi is mixing some fireworks powder and each time he does it, Sora tried to stop him so he tied her up. He wants Shunpei to watch her but she scoots off. Shunpei goes after her but loses sight. He thought she was hiding behind a mini shrine but it turns out to be Genzo. Who? The cross-dresser whom nobody remembers. Who again? Meanwhile Gin manages to wound the blue Sky Beast when the white one comes into the fray. It passes them and heads into the pod. Noticing it won’t fly and it is set on self-destruct mode, the white Sky Beast jumps out before it explodes and protects Gin from the debris. Gin and the MIBs recover from the shock but find all the Sky Beasts missing, including the melted body. Seems the living blue Sky Beast has merged with its dead counterpart. Bad luck for Shunpei and Genzo because they come across this Sky Beast. Thankfully they pass out from the fright. Gin thrusts his Truncheon Key into the Sky Beast and though it wasn’t killed, it escaped. The white one watches in astonishment from a distance. Later, Torii appoints Gin as the Edo magistrate’s secret agent head. Explaining that each of the MIBs are named after a body part because of their specialty in using that area, as the chief of the MIBs, Gin’s nickname will be… Belly Button. Not a laughing matter! I guess that’s why his stomach was rubbed then, eh? But seriously, have we see Gin using his belly button? Akai thought he had the last laugh till Torii has him to take orders from Gin. Haha. Now Gin is his superior. Sora is also eavesdropping the conversation from behind a tree.

While Seikichi is sleeping Sora mixes her combustion booster into his fireworks powder. Later excited Seikichi finds Shunpei to demonstrate the power of the powder he has mixed. After lighting the fuse, the bowl blasts right through the roof and into the sky. Maybe he can reach the moon after all. The bowl crashes into Goinkyo’s home and inches away from the old dude. Having an audience with everyone, Seikichi plans to launch his fireworks on 28th of August on the closing day of the Sumida River Festival. Even if there will be lesser fireworks on the reforms, the Kagiya counterpart will put a huge display on the last day and if they launch right in the middle of it, they can hide the noise and the smoke. The problem is where to launch it. Goinkyo suggests launching it right here as long as everyone keeps it a secret and they remain careful not to cause a fire. As for Akai who still has his eyes on Seikichi, Gin further suggests to put on a festival dance rehearsal as a distraction. With that, everybody gets excited to make preparations. Yeah, they’re borrowing stuffs from Ise’s pawn shop. On the final night of the festival, Akai is whisked away by the Furai Row gang for a dance rehearsal. Seikichi makes his final preparations to launch his fireworks from a distance when Sora comes by to apologize before going off. After he lights the fuse, Gin comes asking Seikichi if he had seen Sora. They see her getting into a portable shrine she loaned from Ise that is stuck on top of the fireworks. In the commotion, the duo get into the cramp space and are locked in. Sora reveals her intention was to fly to the moon and the door is tightly locked since they’re going to space. However Seikichi tells her it won’t fly this high with this weight and that the fireworks will be blown to bits. They have to get out now. When Sora mentions if she had told them this, they wouldn’t have taken her seriously but Seikichi is more upset that she planned to leave without saying goodbye. That ‘sorry’ isn’t going to cut it. I guess he was so angry that Seikichi manages to break down the door. They all escape before the fireworks launch but halfway in mid-air, it explodes. A big disappointment to the gang who now feels it is really impossible to reach the moon. And Seikichi is still hurt that Sora should’ve told them the truth from the start. He is sad that she plans to disappear suddenly just like how she appeared. Sora apologizes but Seikichi corrects her that people say goodbye when they leave, not sorry. Sora couldn’t understand why Seikichi is crying.

Episode 5
Gin sends Seikichi and Sora to the hotsprings so he can launch his fireworks without anyone seeing and also for him to make up with Sora. Seikichi is troubled that he needs a much more powerful rocket if he is going to reach the moon but the problem is the more powerful it is, the higher its chance it will explode. But more absurd, Sora wants to go there. When Sora brings up the topic of Princess Kaguya, she reveals that she too fell from the moon and is the Princess Kaguya of Edo. Of course Seikichi doesn’t believe her. More unbelievable, a tanned guy, Tetsuju shows up and does some weird language talk and pose with Sora! Is it some greeting? Nope. Noble Lunar tongue. WTF?! Oh, Tetsuju speaks their language too so we don’t have to go bananas to figure what he’s trying to say. He is going to bring his princess back but Seikichi isn’t so keen. I mean, Tetsuju is holding a welcoming party for Sora in the woods. A bar in the woods with his racoon buddies? Does this guy have any other friends? Seikichi and Tetsuju get into a tussle over Sora but since that girl is drunk and wants to stay (even wanting to follow Tetsuju home), Seikichi reluctantly leaves. On his way, he bumps into a bear and got the fright of his life. He turns around and runs back to the duo to seek for help. Turns out this bear, Yoshikawa is another one of Tetsuju’s buddy. Haha. Now they think Seikichi wants to come along with them. Inside Tetsuju’s hut, he shows them a shiny metal piece called Beetle Stone, supposedly their clan’s heirloom and a fragment of Princess Kaguya’s pod whom she granted his ancestors with. Seikichi still doesn’t believe that legend crap but Sora is still drunk to request Tetsuju to tell it. 100 years ago, a pod carrying Princess Kaguya crashed by the mountains and became involved with the villagers (the ancestors) who witnessed the crash. Her servants in the form of pink will-o-wisp continued to protect this sacred ground. Sora wants to know the all important part of how Princess Kaguya returned to the moon. I guess this is a cue for Seikichi to say she’ll go home via his fireworks.

When Sora finally takes a puke, Tetsuju tells Seikichi that he will take over Sora’s request of sending her back to the moon. He further mocks him that even though he has worked hard on his fireworks launcher his entire life, it will never be enough to reach the moon. He feels his rockets are superior and that task is not impossible and wants Seikichi to admit his shortcomings. However Seikichi is upset not because of whether it can reach the moon or not. He is worried about Sora’s safety if the fireworks reach that high. Guess what? Sora heard all that. Sure she isn’t drunk? Seikichi is so embarrassed that he runs all the way to Tetsuju’s rocket hut. Inside, he finds large rocket tubes made of iron filled with gunpowder fuses attached. It also has grease all over so it can be easily ignited when there is wind or rain. With Tetsuju mentioning this Ryusei Rocket as his life and soul, Seikichi remembers hearing rumours of such rockets that shakes the ground, defies the sky and flies up in a straight line. Seikichi realizes Tetsuju isn’t all just talk and that his hands are dirty and greasy as proof he is a skilled fireworks artisan. Sora also notices the same on Seikichi’s hands and starts rubbing it enough to set fire! Then she does the same on Tetsuju’s hands and this leads to him igniting his Ryusei Rocket. So it’s blast-off for that guy into the sky. Seikichi gets motivation and idea to fulfil Sora’s request. He’s going to see his job till the end even if it is absurd. As Seikichi relaxes in the hotspring, Sora thanks him for worrying for her. I guess she wasn’t drunk enough to forget that, eh? And Tetsuju comes parachuting down into the hotspring… So that’s what the racoon buddy he grabbed before blast-off was for.

Episode 6
Tetsuju is rudely awakened when a woman from Kagiya, Riku descends from a helicopter. Wait a minute! A helicopter in this era?! And why the heck is Tetsuju sleeping naked?! Don’t worry, the racoon is covering the necessary parts. Riku wants to know where Seikichi is but as being told, he already went down the mountain with Sora. Oh, looks like she has that jealous looks upon knowing about the other woman. After that, she lights the fuse and sends Tetsuju blasting into the sky strapped to a rocket. Meanwhile Seikichi is testing his fireworks and with Shunpei’s calculations, there are vast improvements. Now all he needs is for it to make the distance to the moon. And if there are any maths problems, Shunpei can always post them at the shrine and this Genzo dude can help solve it. I guess this is his only way of getting noticed. Only his solutions, not him. Gin and the MIBs yet again find another dead young woman as a victim of the Sky Beast. Akai comes face to face with one and he is so scared that he peed in his pants! It escapes when the MIBs come round the corner. Elsewhere, the reckless pyromaniac Riku threatens to blow up Furai Row’s residence if they don’t tell her where Seikichi is. Oops. Too late. Boom! But everything returns back to normal when she breaks the fourth wall about the backdrops being cell drawings. Like that helicopter. Goinkyo recognizes Riku as Seikichi’s childhood friend so she reveals her intention to take Seikichi back to Kagiya. The rest misinterprets they are to be engaged. So when Seikichi shows up, first thing Riku did was to size up Sora. She thinks he has been deceived by Sora. Since fireworks are nothing more than superfluous distractions and with Mizuno’s reforms, making such fireworks that can reach the moon will mean that he will be arrested right away from infringing the frugal decree. She adds he is only making fireworks because he likes her and that she may be a secret spy from the magistrate waiting to catch him in the act. Seikichi rubbishes her claims and asserts he just wants everyone from the Shogun down to the normal folks to look up to his fireworks. Riku got upset and runs away. Akai spots her and thinks she is conspiring with Seikichi but easily believed her words that he should keep an eye on Seikichi for flouting the law.

While Shunpei cannot understand the irrationality why girls keep flocking to Seikichi, big brother explains to Sora that Kagiya once took him under their wing. Since they make custom fireworks for the wealthy, he hated that and ran away. Riku returns to her house and her father still thinks Seikichi is better when it comes to making fireworks. Later Sora comes by to clear up the misunderstanding to Riku that Seikichi isn’t making fireworks because he likes her. It is because she needs his fireworks to return to the moon. So once his fireworks are ready, it’ll be goodbye. If Seikichi liked her, he wouldn’t build the fireworks and let her leave. The ladies talk about Seikichi’s character and even know his phrase in using fireworks to conquer the world. Suddenly the Sky Beast attacks them. Riku fires at it with her own handmade fireworks launcher even if it will attract Akai’s attention. All the better. She wants him to notice it too. Akai quickly brings Torii to Furai Row to arrest Seikichi for committing a crime. But they see the fireworks in the distance so Torii recognizes it from Kagiya’s side and takes his leave. I guess Akai must be red faced over his blooper and blames it on Riku deceiving him. Though the Sky Beast is gone, I’m sure that is a good thing compared to a few demolished blocks and afro hairstyles. Riku will just tell the authorities she messed up the fireworks due to her inexperience. She wished Seikichi would make fireworks for her but he’s always talking about ‘everyone’. Akai returns home to see the wounded Sky Beast lying on his floor. It transforms into a beautiful babe seeking for his help.

Episode 7
Shunpei advises Seikichi and Sora that they shouldn’t do everything by themselves and if they ask, the others will gladly help. But Seikichi isn’t being selfish or what. He wants to do it alone because he doesn’t want to get others into trouble. Santa and Rokubei are hanging around outside while the rest ponder what happened to Shinza. They think he must’ve learnt his lesson after getting caught. Actually he is taking all precautions to avoid being followed. He meets a master in a secret shrine as they are engineering some big mechanical robot in secret. When Shinza leaves, an assassin attacks and chases after him. The next morning, Gin is in a frenzy as he comes running down to Furai Row because he heard rumours someone resembling Shinza has been killed at the temple and wants to ascertain it. Everyone starts to jump the gun Shinza is really dead. A WTF moment when they bring the real Shinza out and start telling him he got killed! Gin has had enough of their stupidity so he tells them off who is this dude if Shinza was killed at the temple? Onui’s answer: A ghost! WTF?! Stupid girl! Must be getting very pissed and tired to correct those stupid people that Shinza IS NOT DEAD, eh? So rumours said it was Shinza because of the umbrella the victim (that mechanical master) had bore his name. The rest fears now the Sky Beast isn’t targeting young women but men as well. Shinza returns to the crime scene and thinks the authorities have found out about their mechanical robot. He needs to do something about it and sneaks into the hideout. In his panic, he activates the giant mechanical female peasant robot. Worse, it is out of control and goes on a rampage. Furai Row people can tell it is Shinza’s property because of his name engraved on the robot. They try all sorts of tricks to stop it but to no avail. Besides, it’s heading towards their block. Goinkyo has an idea: Run away! What?! That’s because if it gets too close, they’ll have no time to run. What about their homes? He’s confident they’ll think of something. WTF?!

Since Genzo and his mom are in harm’s way, Sora leaps into action and jumps to the back of the robot. Conveniently there is a screw and a sign that warns ‘do not turn’. What happens if you do? The entire robot just breaks apart! Just like that! As Sora flies down with Shinza safely in her arms, everyone is in shocked to see what Sora did but she just plays cool and walks away. Shinza’s ass is ‘saved’ when the people think the robot is a café owner’s publicity stunt. Seikichi catches up with Sora and wants to know why she left. She didn’t want to land everyone in trouble. Seikichi asks her again if she is from the moon and really wants to return there. In addition to confirming his questions, she adds she is an interplanetary traveller but had an accident on this planet. If she gets to the moon, she can contact her friends but her ship was destroyed, thus the reason she asked their help. She thought after seeing their shocked faces, like as thought they saw a monster, that task seems impossible. Seikichi chides her for thinking they are narrow-minded people and that she is underestimating them because like hell they’ll treat her like a monster. He drags her back and to her surprise, everyone warmly welcomes the heroine and treats her nicely like they have always been. With this case settled, Goinkyo resolves their destroyed homes problem. How? With a push of a button, a new sparkling home is replaced! WTF?! I won’t say it looks new but rundown and dilapidated. But it indeed is sparkling. Seeing that everyone is going to help Sora go back to the moon, Goinkyo calls the thing that ‘the woman will fly towards the moon’ as Rocket. Everyone gets excited to do this and Seikichi is going to make this their gigantic dragon that will soar above the skylines of Edo. Meanwhile the assassin has claimed another victim and he turns out to be… Akai!

Episode 8
Gin and Seikichi talk about what Sora did, make a rhyming pun with her name and it would be troublesome if anyone else sees her flying. Especially Akai. Oh wait. There she is nonchalantly floating in the sky! In a different region, a mother is trying to pacifying her crying baby when Akai kills her! OMG! He drains her blood into a vase and lets the baby cry. He returns home to give Blue Woman the blood to drink but she is not happy since she wanted blood of young woman. He complains he has to go to another region to get them but she says if he doesn’t like it, she can drink his blood. Then she seduces him into working for her. I guess any cries from babies would start to give Akai the shivers. Rokubei shows Sora a tube he has made for the Rocket but Sora notes that won’t do and they need a nozzle instead. Seikichi thinks she’s been rude because Rokubei worked so hard on it. She gets up and leaves. Then she gets an idea to gather the fragments from the pod. Akai heads to the magistrate office and he is starting to get cautious since Torii has also note the murders are occurring in another region. He decides not to tell him the truth and as he leaves for lunch, he is surprised to see Blue Woman right at the doorstep. Is she trying to get him into trouble? Noting that the MIBs are away and that she is here to collect fragments of the pod to leave this planet, she has Akai pretend to take her in as a criminal so they can enter the storehouse. However Blue Woman gets vexed when she sees the white Sky Beast rummaging for parts. If you haven’t guessed it by now, the white Sky Beast is Sora’s true form. Sora escapes and Blue Woman wanted to give chase but since she didn’t drink enough blood to transform to her true form, she discharges a blue Sky Beast clone from her back to chase her. Later Akai bumps into Seikichi. He is suspicious of Sora so Seikichi wants him to leave Sora who has nothing to do with it all out of it. Akai gets upset and beats him up in public for trying to order him around. Seikichi keeps his cool and apologizes, mentioning that the Goinkyo had requested him to take care of Sora who is his friend. Akai badmouths the Furai Row people as useless trash but they seemed so happy. In contrast, though he is just a poor sergeant, he isn’t happy. He corrects himself that he is having fun ever since meeting her, he has been murdering people secretly and that the magistrate doesn’t even notice.

The MIBs attack the white Sky Beast thinking she is the culprit. Sora didn’t want to face off with Gin and runs into the town to change back to her human form. Gin passes by Sora as she points the way of the Sky Beast. However Gin knows this is a dead giveaway that she is the Sky Beast because it is as though she knows he is chasing one. Gin says she has deceived him and the rest and that the reason why the Sky Beast isn’t caught is because it can blend itself with the crowd. Looking at Sora’s arm, there is the wound Gin just inflicted her with his Truncheon Key. He couldn’t believe she is the culprit but Sora explains she isn’t the one. She is chasing after a criminal from her home planet and came here to arrest her. Gin still doesn’t believe her when the blue Sky Beast drops in. Sora wants him to believe in her and let her do her duty. Transforming into a Sky Beast before his eyes, Sora fights her blue counterpart. With the MIBs coming into the picture, Gin observes the fight and orders his men to attack the blue beast simultaneously. In the end, they manage to kill it but Gin allows Sora to escape giving an excuse that they need to get incinerate the dead one before it revives again. Later Gin and Sora talk. Gin thinks his mission is accomplished after killing it but Sora notes it’s not over yet. The one he killed was just a clone. The blue Sky Beast cloned itself to many different bodies to minimise the effects of the crash landing. Gin agrees to help her out and hopes they can both keep each other’s secret a secret from everyone else. But Sora has no qualms in telling it to everyone! Akai thinks if they helped the blue Sky Beast back then, he would’ve been suspected. Blue Woman notes she’ll be able to leave this planet once she returns to her true form. But for the time being, Akai allows her to stay here. Feeling good about it, he goes out to get fresh blood for her. Sora returns and shows them a fragment in the shape of a nozzle. Rokubei gets motivation to make the Rocket part in this shape.

Episode 9
The gang tests launch using a launch tower and with the great hurling power, the wooden bucket is hurled high up into the sky. A big success if you could call it. But Sora is worried about the escape velocity. Ise picks up Seikichi and treats him for lunch to find out his progress on his Rocket. Elsewhere Gin meets with Sora to talk about her duty as an interplanetary police escorting a criminal. Ise and Seikichi spot Gin and Sora together and think they are having a secret love affair. Seikichi is so bothered at this that he can’t sleep well and kept dreaming about the duo repetitively calling each other’s name! When Seikichi and Sora are fixing another prototype Rocket, he wanted to ask Sora and her relationship with Gin but was nervous and eventually cut out with Ise’s appearance. Launching the prototype, it explodes in mid-air so Sora summarizes the constriction at the front end of the nozzle. Even though they have boosted propulsion, the increased internal pressure exceeded to strength of the tube. Seikichi stays positive and vows to make a sturdy tube to channel that explosion into propulsion. Ise cheers for him and kisses him on the cheek! Sora may not understand what’s going on even if flustering Seikichi tries to explain there is nothing going on between him and Ise. Meanwhile Akai sees a lottery poster that will commemorate the launch of the flying dragon. His informant confirms about this as both events are illegal under Mizuno’s reform and will get to the bottom of this. Seikichi is still anxious about Sora’s relationship with Gin and when he finally asks her, I guess he must have mistaken her words of huge, hard and heavy to be his dick! Actually she was referring to the giant bell she ordered that has just arrived. Shunpei calculates and finds it would be too heavy to fly even if it’s stuffed with gunpowder. Till Genzo suggests to hurl it with Shinza’s launch tower before ignition to give an initial push. But trouble comes knocking because Santa and co show Seikichi and the rest about the lottery. They are not happy somebody is trying to make money out of this and if Akai finds out about this, they’ll be arrested. Goinkyo thought they should use their money to buy all the tickets but since they are this poor, he can’t help them. They’re on their own. They think of doing one final launch before dismantling the tower.

Gin goes to see Ise as he suspects she is the one who sets this up. She admits it so Gin chides her this isn’t entertainment and to them this is the job of a lifetime. They won’t give up even if they’re hunted down by the government. Ise gives the name of the bookmaker, Masakichi. Outside, Gin sees Ise’s man helping out with gunpowder so he thinks she too gets embarrassed if people notice her helping Seikichi. She makes it clear that they pay with labour while she pays with money and isn’t going to let them get all the credit. Gin laughs out loud when Ise thinks he and Sora has something going on. Of course there isn’t. Akai has already got hold of the bookmaker’s name and is on his way to make his arrest when he bumps into Gin. A cat with the lottery in its mouth passes by and Gin thinks it will be bad if Akai knows this and trips him. Gin follows the cat and sees hundreds of cats with the lottery heading towards Goinkyo. Seems this is part of his scheme to retrieve and burn them all. By the time Akai arrives, all the proof are up in smoke. Akai thought he has the last laugh and shows them a lottery he possessed. But Goinkyo just blows it away into the fire. Haha. Now there is really no proof. Elsewhere Seikichi and co successfully launch the bell prototype but the explosion inside the bell is making the bell ring. The noise will attract the authorities and they will get arrested. As the bell floats down slowly with a parachute, the gang are anxious for it to drop faster as they need to hide it since the authorities may be here any minute. Sora is relieved that they can’t use the bell to launch and this means she can stay longer with Seikichi. Shinza shoots a bazooka at the bell but it ricochets off. Sora seems to be having fun and Seikichi can’t understand what’s going on.

Episode 10
Tenten and Tenhou show a video replay to Tooyama how Goinkyo destroyed the last piece of that lottery evidence. Noting that that they know nothing about him and that he has pulled off some miraculous yet mysterious occurrences, Tooyama offers the duo to investigate. Plus, Seikichi and Sora has been missing for these few days. They tail Goinkyo going about town but don’t find anything suspicious. So they turn their attention to search his house. They feel Goinkyo has something to do with Seikichi and Sora’s disappearance and has an ulterior to use Seikichi’s Rocket for his own purpose, thus silencing them. Meanwhile Mizuno himself sees Torii and Tooyama. He tells them not to get involved with Goinkyo and pretend he doesn’t exist. He seems pretty panicky when he said that (not sure about the love making act he put up). Tooyama smells something fishy so Mizuno whispers something unbelievable in his ear. Tooyama comes running down to Furai Row but the residents are suspicious of this suspicious person and start beating him up. They finally stop when Tooyama reveals himself as Kin-san the Playboy. Everybody starts hailing him! There is this popular rumour going around that the north magistrate disguises himself as a playboy each time he comes down to town. Tooyama is so confident of his disguise that he gets pissed off if anyone calls him the magistrate. Anyway he is here to ask for directions to Goinkyo’s house. Tenten and Tenhou find lots of weird contraptions, devices and jar specimens inside the house. There are also a pair of familiar cats (you should be able to tell by their traits that they are Seikichi and Sora). Akai and the MIBs are searching Goinkyo’s house when Gin arrives to tell him to stop the search since Torii himself has rescinded that order. Akai is not happy since this ruins his chance to rid the Furai Row residence. After they leave, Gin knows Tenten and Tenhou are hiding nearby. They show themselves and reveal their purpose of looking for their friends. Gin doubts that and wonders their real objective. Tenhou says they just want to see Seikichi’s Rocket and fireworks that everyone is working on. Both seem to have an idea who the other is and since they can’t trust each other, they start throwing weapons.

Tenhou and Tenten hide till Gin leaves. But they chose the wrong place because after coming out from that compressed coffin, the duo find themselves as cats! So the cats start singing Broadway style despite not understanding what they’re saying. At the end of it, Goinkyo appears but Tenten and Tenhou bare their fangs. Goinkyo fires a ray gun at them and returns them to their normal selves. Quickly Tenten and Tenhou threaten Goinkyo to spill the truth but Seikichi and Sora explain the misunderstanding. They were here to deliver some sweets but got lost and ended up in this room accidentally transformed into cats. By the time frantic Tooyama comes by, it is all over. Once he learns what happened, he apologizes to Seikichi for the trouble and not to hold it against the duo since they were acting under his orders. Plus, they acted for his safety. Tenten and Tenhou also apologize to Goinkyo. Revealing they were once popular entertainers till the reforms set in, when they were in dire straits, Tooyama took them in as spies for the magistrate. That’s when they decided to live for survival instead of ideals. But looking at Seikichi, he is different as he is pure and straightforward. That’s why he should stay this way forever. They really wanted to see his Rocket that reaches the moon but since they have been exposed, they can’t stay here anymore. As Tooyama comes to pick them up, Seikichi and the rest invite them to come have some warm nabe with them. I guess this means they would rather stay with the pack rather than go back with Tooyama. Tenhou and Gin make peace and as for Tooyama, he knows Goinkyo’s real identity is Gennai Hiraga but couldn’t care less about other details like his age. And nobody realized Genzo is still a bird… Was he? Hah! Didn’t even realize that.

Episode 11
Seikichi and co test run another Rocket launch but it still ends in failure. Even though the construction is much better this time (the nozzle only cracked when it crashed), the gang can’t help feel depressed since they put in lots of hard work to construct the high end material only to have it destroyed in the failure. Elsewhere Akai and Blue Woman are on another killing spree. This time a greasy elderly man is the victim. She mentions she is not here to take blood for fun. What she needs is life as she evolves by absorbing life force of intelligent beings. Soon Akai calls the MIBs for yet another murder victim as they go in search. Sora in Sky Beast form pursues Blue Woman and vows to bring her back with her. Since they have no ship, Blue Woman realizes she is making Seikichi create one and will have that. Sora attacks but Blue Woman screams that she is under the attack of a Sky Beast. While she escapes, thankfully it is only Gin who comes into the picture. As she transforms back to her human form, Gin fakes a story she fainted after seeing a Sky Beast but Akai is not convinced since the scream sounded like a more sexy and mature woman. However the MIBs note that there is no one else so she’s safe for now. Meanwhile Genzo laments how he accidentally fell into Goinkyo’s contraption and turned into a pigeon. He flies to the mountains and starts writing his maths equation. Tetsuju is amazed by it and wants Genzo to be his friend Suneo. Suneo who? Genzo gets an idea that he will let Tetsuju chase him back to Furai Row and pinpoint this is no ordinary pigeon and let everyone realize he is Genzo. Seikichi is not too happy to see Sora and Gin together. Gin just says they met by coincidence. However Seikichi’s words that she is not normal hurt her feelings despite he meant he is worried of her safety if everyone else catches her flying.

Tetsuju chases Genzo with his rocket booster boat! He crashes into Furai Row and once Sora and Tetsuju greet each other, the Furai Row residence think nothing more and return to their homes. So much for Genzo’s return. Seikichi gets an idea after looking at Tetsuju’s booster. Tenhou and Tenten bring Gin to see Tooyama while Akai complains to Torii that Gin joined the MIB for some ulterior motive and isn’t serious in capturing the Sky Beast. But Torii dismisses his claims and even though Gin was once a thief, he used his powers for the common good. Akai still not happy follows Gin to a shop and eavesdrop his conversation with Tooyama. Tooyama knows there is more to Torii’s motive in capturing the Sky Beast. Once he finds out the truth, Torii and Mizuno will have to step down. He has already discussed this with senior councillor Toishitsura Doi and Mashiro Abe, the magistrate of temples and shrines. He also wants Gin to be his spy seeing Torii is using his past to blackmail him and will threaten to expose his secrets should he turn against him. Tooyama promises he will not do that. Gin rejects his claims and says he did it on his own decision and wanted to use his strange abilities for good. In actual fact if he tells everything about the Sky Beast, he can’t protect Sora anymore. His true goal is to kill Blue Woman and send Sora back unharmed. Tooyama feels he is protecting something important but Gin wonders what could that be when Ise comes by to tell him Seikichi is causing his usual ruckus.

Seikichi and Shunpei tie the rocket booster to their boat loaded with poo and faeces (under this disguise that they need to send fertilizer to their buyer, at least they can save cost and avoid any suspicions). The blast off works but notes they need to do something about the stability. Tetsuju sees this as a challenge to him and joins in. His ruckus causes Seikichi’s boat to break loose of its rope and dash forward like a wild horse. Seikichi pushes Shunpei off seeing he needs to salvage the nozzle. Initially he didn’t want to race with Tetsuju but since that idiot challenged him over the rights to send Sora to the moon, he got dragged into his pace. Sora wanted to fly and save them but was stopped by Onui that she will attract attention especially Akai’s. If they do that they won’t be able to stay together as they are not normal. They? Riku overhears the watching villagers commenting how a couple of guys are in a race over a woman. Not thrilled seeing Seikichi in it (acting like a jealous girl too), she joins in the race. I wonder how she got time to load her boat powered by her fireworks explosive. She even makes a condition that if she wins, Seikichi has to follow her back. Tetsuju’s constant mocking over her fireworks has her throw one of her bombs into his hands. BOOM! Seikichi is thrown off his boat and is drowning. Sora dives in to save him. In the end, Seikichi’s boat and all the faeces are still intact. Sora rubs Seikichi’s hands to create fire and I guess the mixture with the smell of the poo causes an explosive reaction. Now it’s raining sh*t all over town! IT STINKS!!! Why is Sora laughing? Gin realizes the thing he wants to protect is Sora’s smile.

Episode 12
Shunpei and Onui step out of a modern train and into modern Tokyo city?! Then they turn back and the setting reverts back to their own era. WTH?! What’s Najenaje?! As Seikichi and co test launch another Rocket, another failure because it goes astray, chases after them and ends up destroying a hut. They can even tell jokes that break the fourth wall that all they need to do is to redraw the Rocket for the next episode. Shunpei is distraught that the launch went astray despite his perfect calculations. He gets stressed out thinking irrational things in this world (which includes Seikichi and Sora together). Goinkyo interrupts them to tell a good story on Shunpei. Long time ago in the land called Java, there was a boy named Najenaje. It actually stands for Nazenaze which means “Why, why”. This kid was always asking questions to things he doesn’t know. Not only people got fed up, he too ran out of things to ask. One day he had this ultimate mind boggling question: Why does he worry so much. To answer it, he left on a journey that turns out to be like an RPG adventure. Too bad the story is to be continued despite Shunpei himself wanting to hear more. He isn’t going to tell them since it’s more fun that way. What a damper. What Onui understood was Shunpei should go on a quest to look for his own Najenaje. Thus Onui becomes his guide and drags him around town. Since running around in circles didn’t work, they decide to ask people on the streets. However they are preoccupied or too busy to even stay focus on their question. I guess that’s how the journey took them to modern day Shunjuku train station, eh? Since the day is ending, Onui suggests continuing tomorrow. It’s continuing? Meanwhile Akai in disguise targets a lone woman. Before he could kill her and take her blood, seems it is a bait to draw the murderer out. Gin is cross-dressed as a woman and they both clash swords. Gin doesn’t realize he is Akai but gets the goosebumps when Akai licks him! Probably he couldn’t focus much and got the chance to escape. Yeah, Gin hopes never to see that pervert again. Akai returns home and tells Blue Woman he couldn’t get any blood tonight but he is impressed that he is able to hold his ground against Gin. All those killings may have improved his skill.

Next morning, Onui happily continues their search but Shunpei suggests they should ask someone they know instead of searching blindly. They bump into Tenten and Tenhou who points out to Tooyama. However they didn’t get much since they accidentally called him the magistrate instead of his playboy fame so he got mad. Then they try Ise but it’s either she thinks money or her porn book will solve their woes. Porn book? Who says women can’t be perverts? As for Riku, she’s drunk and ranting about her love story and wants them to stay and listen. They threaten to leave so she agrees to hear them out. Guess what? She doesn’t know the answer.  Oh well… But she points to the fortune teller down the street. After fooling around, he gets real and notes Shunpei’s worry may stem from a nearby beast. Onui panics and takes Shunpei away. In the end, Shunpei thinks nobody cares about him since nobody can solve his problem. Onui notes he may just be worried about Seikichi and Sora when Shunpei remembers something from his past. There’s a dog he used to talk and play with when he was 8 years old. He couldn’t stand his parents fighting so he ran away with the dog. It’s like he heard the voice of the dog telling him they should go away. Onui guesses the dog must be female (big probability it’s her). However Shunpei couldn’t go though he doesn’t know why. Then looking at his abacus, he might have found the answer. Whenever there were problems he couldn’t understand, the teacher said he would always explain to him one day but if he went away, he’ll never find out the answer for the rest of his life. He didn’t want that and never left. Thus he let the dog go alone. He finally understands that the reason he worries is because it is him. If he stops worrying, he won’t be himself and that it is fine this way. He thanks her as they walk home hand in hand. Onui says the dog never forgot about him and was happy that he let it go then. Shunpei is about to tell his brother his discovery when Goinkyo interrupts them because he has just finished editing his continuation of his story. However Shunpei turns the eager old man down because he already understood and doesn’t need to watch the next episode. All the hard work he put in… Santa and Rokubei tease Onui for flirting with Shunpei but she’s not telling them anything.

Episode 13
Blue Woman impersonates as a victim of the blood sucking monster so that she could kill and suck the blood out of an unsuspecting young woman. Gruesome and bloody death. Gin and the MIBs pick up the body later but Gin corrects his men that this is the doing of the blue Sky Beast instead of the white one. Despite them incinerating the blue Sky Beast’s earlier body, Akai tries to make a point that Gin hates the blue one for some reason. Later Gin talks to Sora that she should stay low for now since people can’t tell apart the white and blue Sky Beasts as they resemble closely similar (they must be colour blind). Eyes talks to Ears and Arms about the Sky Beast always staying a step ahead of them. He thinks their chief might have something to do with this but the rest feel he can’t be a traitor. Why would he go after the blue Sky Beast and the way he acts could be interpreted as trying to protect the white one and let it go? Plus, why is Akai giving them orders to stay out of Furai Row?  Blue Woman just finished her feasting and probably wanted to give Akai a seductive reward. However he’ll have to wait for another time since she smelt something not of this world and heads off. Nearby, Seikichi and Shunpei test another Rocket but again it ends in failure since it lacks stability.

Next day, Eyes tries to sow more doubt into the rest of his comrades about Gin. Knees, Ankle and Heel fake stomach spasms to take advantage of the simpleminded residents and gain easy entry into Furai Row while Arms try to hit on Tenhou. Gin is shocked to see his comrades hanging around. He hints to the residents not to mention a word about the Rocket and not be over cautious but I guess they’re over doing it. Sora thought of leaving but he notes they’re here to keep watch on him. To be safe, he wants her to stay indoors. The friendly neighbourhood tries to strike a conversation with the MIB guys but Gin swiftly changes the subject and brings those dumb residents away. Meanwhile Shunpei watches one of the MIBs do some spinning and balancing trick and with Genzo (still a pigeon) writing the pi formula on the ground, Shunpei gets an idea. He runs back to Seikichi to explain his theory for the Rocket’s stability but that kid is so deep in his thoughts thinking who knows what that Shunpei is ignored. So this is how Genzo always felt, eh? The residents feel Gin is acting odd today and confront him but soon get cause in a big messy brawl that involves everyone (it all started when Rokubei’s wife was going to teach her husband some manners). So noisy that Seikichi slams the door that Shunpei unintentionally threw it to his face to distract him, on the scuffle. Then he gets an idea upon seeing this scene. The door stuck onto the head of the 4 MIB guys. He rushes off while Eyes tail him. When the 4 MIB guys regain consciousness, they are in Gin’s house and they plead for him to tell what is happening, especially what the heck is Rocket (during the brawl, somebody said that word). He has them follow him.

Blue Woman sniffs aluminium powder in a hut but she goes into hiding when Seikichi rushes in. Seems he is going to make the Rocket’s stability using 4 nozzles because all the while has only been using one. Suddenly the blue Sky Beast steals the Rocket from him. Gin and the MIBs have arrived and transform to fight off the menace. Seikichi isn’t going to let his Rocket get taken and if it’s going to be like that, might as well light the fuse. The Rocket blasts off in the sky and in this distraction, the MIBs injure the Sky Beast before it escapes. Gin tells Seikichi about the blood sucking monster to cover up but as for themselves, they pose as ally of justice before disappearing. Did Seikichi buy that? The sight of Sora distracts him as he tells her not to hang around because of the blood sucking creature. Gin tells his men about the Rocket which isn’t just any firework. A big firework no one has seen before that everyone at Furai Row considers as a job of a lifetime. Wondering if they’ll report this to Torii, they say their job is to capture the Sky Beast and that they’re not inconsiderate to take away something one would call their life job. Eyes agrees to pretend not seeing all of this since their reputation will drop if they interfere with trivial matters like fireworks. However he still finds something strange. Why would the Sky Beast attack the fireworks maker again? Akai is shocked to see the wound on Blue Woman’s shoulder. But she is more concerned about the aluminium used as a combustion booster and knows without a doubt that Seikichi is involved. That name just pisses Akai off.

Episode 14
Seikichi is staring at Sora at work. Sora smiles back. Seikichi blushes. Shunpei gets irked and heads off to the temple. Onui spots Ise and she’s not in a very good mood. She starts howling like a dog, which turns out to be a warning signal to Furai Row residents that Ise is on her way here. Seems Ise is here to collect the debts the residents have been accumulating and delaying for years. What to do? Hide! She tries to make Gin lead her to where they keep the money but since he is reluctant she steps on his feet and promises to be back before the New Year bell rings. Akai just release Riku’s father for a minor crime for making a slightly making a bigger firework than allowed. Noticing that Riku too was making one, he wants her to follow him to meet Torii. In a hut filled with scattered parts of a space ship, Torii wants to know if she can fix it back. It doesn’t necessary be the original shape as long as it can fly. She agrees to do it. As Riku brings the parts back, Akai and Ears tail her because she suspects she will bring it to Seikichi to help fix it. His is suspicious that Seikichi is working with the Sky Beast and will use this chance to nab them all. However to his dismay she brings it back to her own home and is going to assemble it alone and make better fireworks than Seikichi. At the temple as Onui talks to depressed Shunpei (he isn’t sure about his Nujenuje anymore), Blue Woman goes through the board filled with wooden wishes. Several wishes in the form of the Earth and Moon’s trajectory, the velocity to escape the trajectory, caught her attention and she notices it’s from a guy called Genzo. Though that bugger is still a pigeon, Blue Woman sees his mom instead. Mommy wonders if this woman knows where her son is seeing Genzo hasn’t been home for 3 months. Then she uses up what’s left of her little money to make a prayer. Well, instead of wishing her son back, she ‘complains’ about him spending his time on math problems that is of no use to anyone that they’re so poor. Whatever he’s doing, he hopes to bring back some money. I’m sure that’s heartbreaking for the pigeon to hear. Blue Woman hears Genzo’s mom’s prayers and wonder if money is that important.

Tenhou and Tenten try to sell some plants to earn money to help Seikichi but there are no customers. But one: Arms! He’s going to buy everything and looks like his feeling is genuine for Tenhou. Even Tenten doesn’t see a problem with that. But the duo wrap things up and make a run (noting that he is from the MIB and that his job is to spy on them) while Arms chase them but trips and injures himself. So when they tend to him, they find out he’s not such a bad guy after all. An ex-sumo wrestler who is out of his profession due to the reforms. When Eyes sees him with the duo, Arms has to cut short his conversation and leave. They note he is like them. Unable to do what he wants to do and his spirit is broken. Meanwhile Ise is upset that the money they’re supposed to repay has gone missing. She already made a promise to repay that debt or else she’ll have to sell her entire business to him. Seems Blue Woman has stolen that money and makes her way to see Genzo’s mom at Furai Row. She gives her the money in hopes she could tell more about Genzo and who asked him to make those calculations. Was it a strange person who wanted to go to the moon? Genzo’s mom hesitates so Blue Woman piles more money to tempt her. However she refuses the money because she doesn’t anything. Though she knows her son spends on useless pursuits, it’s still amazing to see him bring happiness to someone else. As for the money, it’s no big deal. She will mention her when he returns and asks for her name. Blue Woman leaves and wonders her name and throws away the money. Gin spots it and returns the whole stack to Ise, bringing much joy to that money face woman. Back home, Akai laments he is still unable to unfurl Seikichi’s true colours and that the white Sky Beast must be hiding somewhere near him. He is surprised to hear Blue Woman visited Furai Row. When she asks him what her name is, he mentions Blue Beast so she throws her bowl at him and leaves. It started snowing that night as everyone goes out to enjoy some New Year noodles. I’m not sure if debts can only be collected on New Year because Shinza and the gang who had borrowed money from Ise rejoice since they have delayed returning the money to her till next year.

Episode 15
Since it’s New Year, Gin and Ears make a special introduction of the gang via some radio-like programme followed by Sora narrating some chronology of future events based on historical records. Back to the real storyline, Gin and his MIBs have a meeting with Torii. They talk about the Sky Beasts. Now that it is confirmed the blue one is still alive, they need to make certain which is the blood sucker and which is the friendly one as they’re both fighting each other. Once it’s over, Gin has his men rest for New Year since it’s a holiday. But Eyes mentions that they may need to stay close to Seikichi since the Sky Beast may show itself again. Gin assures he’ll take care of that himself but mentions about rumours of a strange woman appearing near sites of the murders. Akai panics and sneaks away. Returning home, he complains about Furai Row being totally suspicious. However Blue Woman doesn’t feel like going out so Akai decides to head there himself. Blue Woman is still troubled what happened with Genzo’s mom and in her frustration rips up the pillow. Shinza, Rokubei and Santa show the gang a new propeller device they have created based on the concept of a bamboo copter. As they use their manpower to fly it, unfortunately they got tired and it never got off the ground. Shunpei explains with his maths that due to the weight, it needs a bigger propeller or manpower but as it increases, the weight problem also increases and thus unable to fly. Though the trio are sad that their hard work is for nothing, Sora says it can still fly but won’t make it to the moon since there is no air in space.

Later Seikichi and Shunpei ride a big kite sponsored by Ise. As Sora puts it, when you launch from a high place, fireworks will go even higher. Shunpei is worried about Sora’s words that there is no air in space so Seikichi calms him down that he can’t expect to know everything. So back to their test Rocket, Shunpei introduces his mini Gyro Rocket. Based on the theory of a spinning top, the nozzles will always point to the ground and thus the fireworks will always fly straight up. As they’re about to test launch, Akai who has been hiding on the kite reveals himself and interrogates them who ordered them to make fireworks to reach the moon but Seikichi says he knows nothing except this work is all his. Akai doesn’t buy his story and struggles with him. In that moment, they accidentally light the mini rocket. It blasts off and cuts off the rope securing the kite. Sora heads off to a higher point but she is stopped by Tooyama. He wants her to forget about flying to save them since Akai is onboard, once he sees her flying, she’ll be captured. Tenten and Tenhou do some acrobatic stuff to launch and reach the kite but it seems they fall short. Then after persuading to ask Gin and his men to help launch them, Tenhou manages to leap higher and further but still falls short because well, the kite has already blown further away. The other ladies want Shinza and co to use their propeller machine to save them. Shinza gets an idea and the trio go seek Goinkyo’s help. Seems he has created something from a long time ago and agrees to let them use his steam engine. So, this old bugger created the steam engine? Seikichi starts tying all the other mini Gyro Rockets on the side of the kite. Believing in Shunpei’s calculations that the nozzles will point towards the ground, this will soften their landing when lighted all at once. However Shunpei is in despair. He isn’t confident that his calculations are correct and if it’s so, the kite will go out of control. He laments his calculations are only theories unlike Shinza and co who actually make things, his maths are only number crunching. Seikichi asks him why he is doing maths. Is it different than what he does on the desk and what they have here? It’s not and they’re related. In short, he believes in him. Shunpei starts to envision all the calculations and gets his confidence back. Suddenly a change in the wind pattern and the kite starts falling like a rock. They start lighting the fuse and the soft landing plan works. However, probably they didn’t tie the little Rockets tight enough so they break out of their ropes and it’s free fall once more. Thankfully, Shinza’s steam powered propeller arrives in time to hook the kite and prevent them from getting squished. Happy that Shinza’s invention can already fly, he says to Shunpei it could fly because Shinza believes in it.

Episode 16
Akai shows those magistrate clones a video proof that Seikichi is trying to launch his fireworks to the moon under the guise of a kite. But the rest notes there is no law about launching fireworks to the moon though there is one regulating kite size. In short, they can’t persecute him. However Akai remains stubborn and orders his policemen to arrest Seikichi so that he will reveal the one who requested him to make fireworks to the moon. As he suspects, it should be the white Sky Beast. Akai rounds up the residents of Furai Row and he thought one of them is Seikichi. Actually it’s Tooyama! As proof, he shows them his sakura tattoo on his body. Now do you believe? However he asserts he is just Kin-san the playboy. Akai mentions his intention to arrest Seikichi for planning to bomb Edo with his giant kite. But Tooyama shows his video proof in his mini camera (complete with audio) how the kite fell off the sky. He even plans to upload it to his blog! What he’s trying to say is, if Seikichi is found guilty, Akai will be treated as an accomplice too. Noting that there are good and bad Sky Beasts, this irritates Akai and he tries to be tough that he won’t be intimidated by his threats just because he has a tattoo. Guess what? Tooyama takes off his sticker tattoo and shows another sticker tattoo of a woman’s face on the other arm! This sends Akai running away in tears like a little girl. The residents are grateful but as Tooyama notes, he too wants to see Seikichi’s fireworks. Meanwhile Blue Woman visits Seikichi who is making his mini Rocket. She observes how happy he is and notes this kind of simplistic thinking is frowned upon on her planet. Then Sora and Gin come by. She confronts Blue Woman to stay away from Seikichi. Noting her worked up, she uses it to her advantage by mocking her she ditched her duty to make friends with the locals. Sora slaps her and all Seikichi sees is Sora being violent with his guest. Blue Woman acts like a victim of violence and runs away in ‘fear’. At a distance away, Blue Woman has stolen the mini rocket but notes she can’t go back to her planet in this. Or does she really want to go back? She crushes it. Suddenly she felt an immense pain and a Sky Beast clone replicates out from her body. The Sky Beast escapes but the MIBs are hot on its tail. Even with the 6 of them combining their strength, it is not enough to stop it. What more Gin himself alone. If he thinks as the leader he should be sufficient, then think again.

Sora spots Blue Woman and realizing she has cloned herself, transforms into the white Sky Beast to get rid of her. Blue Woman mocks her if she shows that form to Seikichi, he won’t make any more Rockets for her. Sora’s worst fear comes true when Seikichi protects Blue Woman and thinks Sora is the blood sucking beast. He even threw an explosive at her. Sora has no choice but to run. As Seikichi chases after her, he bumps into Shunpei and the rest who came to warn him about Akai. But no time for that because Seikichi wants them to beat down the blood sucking creature. Everyone starts whacking the beast, unknown to them that this is the Sora they knew. Sora just stood there and got wallop. Blue Woman telepathically tells Sora to give her the Rocket and she’ll leave this planet immediately. Since Sora still wants to kill her, Blue Woman asks her if she’s going to reveal her true self to Seikichi. Out of options, Sora runs away. Meanwhile Tooyama gets a message to see Mizuno. When Blue Woman returns home, he tells Akai that Sora is the white Sky Beast and is certain about it. She has a plan to expose her. Sora is seeking refuge at Goinkyo’s but that old bugger couldn’t cheer her up because he applied the wrong idioms. Torii sees Akai and he knows that someone from the North Edo magistrate was asking about him. About Akai been seen around the blood sucking murder scenes. Torii knows he is just searching for the Sky Beast and that Tooyama is a nuisance. That’s why he had a discussion with Mizuno and it has been decided Tooyama will be transferred to the post of Chief Censor and not interfere in their plans. Akai takes this opportunity to tell the white Sky Beast is hiding at Furai Row. As Blue Woman draws Gin out as distraction, Akai leads the MIBs to storm into Furai Row. They round up Seikichi and the gang and Akai accuses Seikichi of working with the blood sucking monster. Goinkyo and Sora show up and the old man didn’t like how Akai is handling this in a rude manner. Akai doesn’t fear him since he is under direct orders from Torii. No choice, Goinkyo shows his Mito Komon’s Seal Case. Everyone including the MIBs are shocked and instantly kneel before Goinkyo. However Akai cuts that fake seal with his sword. So much for Shinza’s effort put in trying to make it look like the real deal. He is then going to show them proof Seikichi is harbouring the Sky Beast and stabs his hand. Sora rushes to his side but gets surrounded by the MIBs. In Akai’s final attempt, he is going to cut off Seikichi’s head! That’s when Sora got worked up and transforms into her true self to protect Seikichi. Now the cat’s out of the bag.

Episode 17
Sora snatches Seikichi away. But the rest are still in shock as they continue throwing stuffs at her. Eventually when she puts Seikichi down, they still wonder why she kills people. Sora only replied with tears in her eyes. Then she flees. Gin confronts Blue Woman and wants her to show her true form. She changes into Sora and mocks him that his uncanny ability is heresy in this planet. Then transforming to her beast form, she wonders if he sympathizes with Sora. He denies and says he will use his gift to open the gate and for her sake too. He sticks his Truncheon Key into her neck. Though her head came off, he leaves the body alone. Blue Woman regenerates and her wound heals. Gin bumps into Sora who is being chased by the MIBs. Gin learns that her secret has been exposed. He wants them to keep her alive for the trial. Then when Seikichi and co arrive, they thought Gin is in trouble but they too learn that Gin is a secret agent from the government under Torii. Gin doesn’t deny it. Seikichi feels disappointed that he lied to them, interfering with their fireworks and now he’s going to capture Sora. But Sora denies and reveals he knew her secret all along and was protecting her. Gin tells Sora he will protect her and they should go somewhere else but Sora doesn’t want to run because it will cause Seikichi and the others to suffer. Now that all the truths are out, suddenly Sora gets shot in the chest by several needles. In that distraction, Torii took the chance to snipe at her. Gin begs Torii to take Sora in alive for questioning. Seikichi asks Sora about her attacking other people. But she says it wasn’t her but a fellow escapee from her planet she is pursuing. She wants Seikichi to run. The other Furai Row residents hold back the MIBs with their tricks for Seikichi to escape. Tenten and Tenhou are at a lost on what to do and seek Gin’s advice. Now that Tooyama has been transferred, their movements are restricted. He tells them off not to rely on him. Torii and Akai take Mizuno to see Sora locked behind bars. However Mizuno is interested in asking about her home planet. Does she eat dried starfish? WTF?! She prefers sashimi. WTF?!

Blue Woman visits Seikichi in his fireworks hut. Seems he is thinking of quitting fireworks because everyone had been lying. Suddenly a blue Sky Beast punches her away and starts messing Seikichi’s hut like as though it’s searching for something. Seikichi fights back but gets punched. Then he realized when it starts licking his blood on its hand. Sora was telling the truth. He gets frustrated, lights up the fuse to blow up everything in the hut. Now all his fireworks tools are destroyed. Blue Woman watches at a distance and wonders what her other self will do. Meanwhile the Furai Row guys barely got released from the police station. They are still shocked at the development of events and couldn’t trust Gin. It doesn’t help when Akai is starting to accuse them for harbouring a criminal although they claimed they were fooled by the Sky Beast and yet Seikichi was making fireworks to reach the moon. Don’t tell me he doesn’t know anything. Gin tells the residents to leave and then threatens Akai to leave them alone or he’ll get serious to kick his butt. Akai isn’t afraid of his threats anymore but will overlook his misdeeds since Torii is looking at him favourably. Seikichi uses his money to buy lots of clay discs. His trying to throw them at the moon to vent his frustration. Gin is also there doing the same but he is throwing it at Seikichi’s. The way Gin said things, he is making Sora sound like the villain. She will be secretly executed tomorrow. Seikichi believes in Sora and that she’s not the kind of person who is capable of killing. He is going to make a rocket for her to the moon but Gin insists Sora is hers and will enjoy killing her since they have captured the killer monster. Seikichi gets upset and fights back but he is no match for Gin. He tells him to just make his fireworks. When Shunpei and the rest come by (thanks to Onui’s scent tracing), Seikichi tells them they’re going to continue making the Rocket. What about Sora? They’re going to break her out of prison. But first they have to get away from here since Akai and his policemen are coming to arrest him. Seikichi has them gather all the sakura they could find. Then he launches his mini Rocket, it explodes in mid-air and the floating sakura petals distract them that they sit down to admire the hanami.

Episode 18
Akai has a wanted poster on Seikichi and is telling the townsfolk how Seikichi has been corrupted by Sora, hiding those blood sucking creatures while using prohibited fireworks to help the criminal escape. The news reach as far as Tetsuju’s remote home and that bugger isn’t happy his princess has been accused of murder. He’s going to rescue her. While Tooyama is being escorted away, he relays a secret message to Tenten and Tenhou to read his blog. After going through all the anime sites, they realize a secret word in hidden his blog: Passageway. While Torii tries to probe Sora for more information about her kind, the entertainers relay this information to Seikichi and the rest. Seems Sora is being held in a secret passageway and based on the blueprint, they think it’s the dried unused well since the castle has been fitted with water pipes. Since they need a place to prepare for their infiltration, Riku offers her place. Ise pays Furai Row a visit but only sees the ladies talking about Gin. She comes into Tenten and Tenhou and the duo know about her past with Gin. They request her help since it won’t be right if that man takes all the credit. Meanwhile Gin confronts Torii and wants him to reveal Sora’s location. It’s a trap setup to confirm that Gin is trying to set the white Sky Beast free. Gin has had it being the leader of the MIBs so he fights them all as himself. Torii orders them to kill Gin seeing he knows Torii will have the full backing of the MIBs and yet went against him He concludes he has betrayed them, allied himself with the white Sky Beast and wants to die. However Tenten, Tenhou and Ise drop in to take Gin and escape. Akai is late on the scene and he is worried because Blue Woman has gone missing. Actually, she’s chasing after her clone and wants it to return to her. The blue Sky Beast isn’t going to oblige her easily. Genzo’s mom and Rokubei’s wife encounter the blue Sky Beast and could’ve been dead meat if Tetsuju didn’t come by. He is taken in by the creature and the best also likes him because of his gunpowder smell. They become best friends and Tetsuju instantly forgot why he came here in the first place. Gin wakes up in Goinkyo’s place and the old man wants Gin to follow him to see Mizuno. Gin is surprised to see the old fart get up and walk! To prove he is fine, Goinkyo even does break dance! Gin feels he is a coward who betrayed his friends. Anything he does now cannot make him redeem. Goinkyo notes that he doesn’t like being different from others but everyone is different from each other. Gin must realize that he is exploiting himself.

Mizuno is sleeping and gets a rude wakeup call because Gin cuts open the floor he is sleeping on. Mizuno is further horrified to see Goinkyo. Looks like they know each other. Tenten, Tenhou and Ise sneak into Akai’s home to find evidence. Yeah, lots of porn magazines under his futon. But wait! There’s something underneath those magazines. It’s a claw. Suddenly Blue Woman attacks them and they realize she is the blue Sky Beast. Ise tells the duo to leave with the evidence while she takes care of things here. Torii and Akai see fireworks coming from the south, which is far away from where Sora is being held. They know Seikichi is planning something but do not know what it is. Actually the fireworks are distraction as for Seikichi and co have completed a makeshift catapult and the plan is to swing Seikichi into the castle grounds. Seikichi successfully infiltrates the castle and makes his way down the well. He sees Sora behind bars and wants to get out together. Sora is reluctant since she offered to get captured so that he could get away. Plus, now that he has seen her true form, she can’t be with him. Seikichi admits he was shocked but even shocker was she didn’t tell him the truth. He adds that she is different from the blood sucking monster and everyone else believes in her. He remembers his late dad’s words never to judge a book by the cover and you can only do that to fireworks. He asks her if she finds them repulsive and hates staying with them since they’re different. All Seikichi understands from her mumbo-jumbo training to adapt in planets is that she doesn’t find them revolting lah. Still, Sora can’t go with Seikichi because by doing so, she’ll put Furai Row residents in jeopardy. Especially Gin. I don’t know where Seikichi got his baseless confidence that they’ll get by. Like how about now because Akai has been observing them all the while and pops up. But surprise! He lets them go! He apologizes for getting rough on them or else he might get suspected. Gosh! Am I dreaming? Was he just putting up a villain’s face? He also has the same dream as them? And… If it looks too good to be true then it is because while they’re climbing out of the well, that weasel Akai pulls out his gun and fires at them! I knew it!

Episode 19
Sora is shocked to see Akai climbing out of the well instead. He is happy that Seikichi is dead albeit he would have preferred to let him suffer more. Furious Sora transforms into her beast form but the other MIBs use ropes to tie her down. Before Akai can shoot her, Seikichi grabs him. Wait. Wasn’t he dead? Well, Genzo’s mom and Rokubei’s wife made him a bullet proof vest. Akai proceeds to vent out his frustrations how he has been suffering under Mizuno’s reforms but they are having fun illegally. He is about to cut Seikichi when Sora pleads to let him go and will not resist capture anymore. But he asserts that they must die so he can live in peace. Suddenly a television drops in. Its video replays scenes of the Blue Woman. Tenten and Tenhou are the ones responsible for dropping this evidence and accuse Akai for harbouring the blue Sky Beast in secret. Akai denies it so they show additional proof: The claw he used to kill innocent people. Just when Akai thought he is busted for good, everyone came to a conclusion that he is cosplaying with Blue Woman! So he’s an otaku? Akai is so furious that he is being labelled an otaku that he yells he used it to kill people. Oops! Haha. Nice psychological move there. Now the cat’s out of the bag. Even if he denies that, nobody is going to believe him. Sora realizes Akai is collecting bodily fluids of higher life forms for Blue Woman’s regeneration. The MIBs surround him. Akai thought he could seek solace in Torii but he is placing him under arrest for harbouring the Sky Beast and posed as the beast to commit serial murder. Akai is desperate and can’t go down quietly so he tries to claw Torii. Unfortunately Torii uses the back of his sword to knock him out. Ordering the MIBs to arrest him for interrogation, he now turns his attention to Seikichi and Sora. Even though Akai is the culprit, this doesn’t mean they will be clear of their previous crimes like trespassing the castle and the jailbreak. Suddenly a cool handsome samurai arrives on scene. Who the hell is he?! He and Torii are going to have a showdown when Tooyama stops them. He gives a letter from Mizuno. The samurai then reverts to his original form: Goinkyo! Oh sh*t!!! Was that really him?! Actually, the rejuvenate potion affect wore off… Goinkyo wants Torii to return his people as stated in the letter and Torii is not pleased and knows he bribed Mizuno. This is not over by a long shot. But there is nothing he can do though for now he has Akai. But he’s about to lose him too because Blue Woman makes her entrance (by ripping an eyeball of Eyes!!! Oh sh*t!!!). She then kisses Akai and escapes with him. She says she needs to merge with her other self and Akai wants to come with her. Meanwhile Gin learns from Ise that Akai is the traitor. Gin is going after them and hopes she’ll take care of Seikichi and Sora.

The Furai Row residents are having a feast with Goinkyo and they talk about his real identity as Gennai Hiraga. He notes he was used to be called that when he was young. But they do some calculations that since that famous eminent Edo scholar’s arrest happened about 70 or 80 years ago, he must be 130 years old today! What more, he supposed to have died in prison. Goinkyo says he discovered the rejuvenation herbs by chance, was granted privileges to deliver the medicine to the senior council. But one thing led to another as things become a hassle and he faked his death and disappeared. Then talking about Gin who probably won’t be returning here, Seikichi is upset that he works for the government and came here to spy on them. Meanwhile the blue Sky Beast is running riot in Tetsuju’s house! What does it want? Don’t know. Then some forest spirits got absorbed into it and Tetsuju thought he saw his princess within it. Then they like become best friends and go out digging. Huh? Sora knows Blue Woman and Akai are chasing after the clone. Seikichi wants to come too since if they don’t deal with him, he won’t be able to complete his Rocket. Sora disagrees but he is still adamant to tag along. Then the MIBs voice their intention to come along since they are ashamed of losing sight of them. Gin is also on the hunt when he sees a transport guy panicking. He claims a strange customer (Blue Women) killed his partner. Seikichi, Sora and the MIBs arrive at Tetsuju’s house but see him digging holes. Tetsuju seems like he is being hypnotized and wonders why there are 2 princesses. Nevertheless he calls out to the other princess which turns out to be the blue Sky Beast. Once Akai and Blue Woman reach their destination, he is going to send the other transport guys to the other world. Luckily Gin arrives in time to stop him. Akai tells Blue Woman to go ahead while he handles things here. Gin realizes Akai is that masked sicko that licked him. He wants to know why he aligned himself with the blue Sky Beast. He replies he learnt from him and Seikichi and wants to enjoy his life. Tetsuju easily defeats the MIBs though he is still confused there are 2 princesses. They see the blue Sky Beast digging as it finally hits a pod buried underneath. The pod then activates and starts flying in the sky.

Episode 20
Well, the pod looks like a giant peanut… Sora notes that this pod is much bigger than the one the fugitive was in. Gin fights Akai and is shocked to hear Akai wants to go with Blue Woman since he has nowhere else to go in Edo. He doesn’t regret it and finds it exciting. He notes Gin’s ability to open everything and that he has opened his heart to the truth. Up to now, everything Akai had was a lie. His job, his superiors, the government. All lies. But now he knows what he wants to do and that is to take care of the woman he loves. Akai is so determined that he breaks Gin’s Truncheon Keys. Then he tells him back if he can open his own heart to the truth since he too is living a lie. That’s because he loves Sora. Though Gin says it is Seikichi that Sora gets along well, Akai knows it is a lie and thus the reason he can’t defeat him. Akai slices him unconscious. Sora flies up to the pod and confronts Blue Woman. Both decide on a truce and temporarily work together to stop the blue Sky Beast who is trying to find a way into the pod. They beat it down but hear it says how much it wanted to return to the sky. Gin wakes up in Tetsuju’s house courtesy of the MIBs. Seikichi makes him medicine and hopes he would stop telling lies and keeping secrets. Now drink the awful medicine! No time for this because Gin says Akai is already here. As Sora learns Blue Woman split herself on its own, Akai throws his sword at Sora’s back. It’s going to take a lot more than that to keep her down. Though Akai volunteers to take care of Sora, when she takes out the sword from her back and punches him, he becomes all scared. Sora understands why Blue Woman is here and the latter is in a dilemma on what to do. With Seikichi and Gin coming onboard, Akai takes Blue Woman and the clone into the pod. Blue Woman heads for the bridge as she ponders since her ancestors came to this planet on this ship, why didn’t they return them. Then hearing from those little spirits, she understood. Sora tells Seikichi and Gin about Blue Woman’s crime. Blood sucking and killing doesn’t constitute to life imprisonment on her planet and her heinous crime is mind cloning. Using Seikichi as an example, let’s say he likes Gin but also at the same time hates him. When those feelings intensify, the physical body splits into two. One who likes him and the other who hates.

Akai faces them to stall for time as Blue Woman tries to launch the pod. He is not going to listen to reason because he’s doing it for the woman he loves. Seikichi is ready to use the Rockets he found in Tetsuju’s house when Eyes drops in to defend Akai. Is he defecting? I thought he hated Blue Woman for scarring his eye? Well, he thought about it and if they do capture the Sky Beast, what will happen to the MIBs? They’ll be disbanded and return to their worthless life. Eyes is not going to let that happen and wants to fight. That’s why he will help let them escape. Sora easily knocks him out and they resume their chase. Now everyone is in the bridge, including the blue Sky Beast. It swallows Tetsuju’s rocket and fires it from its arm like as though it became part of its body. Blue Woman protects Akai from the blast. Gin opens the beast’s stomach followed by Seikichi shooting a Rocket into it. Akai takes Blue Woman and escape. Not before he jams the controls with his sword. Suddenly the pod goes on red alert and Sora tells the guys to quickly get out. Akai is trying to launch the pod but Blue Woman says it can’t fly anymore because she set it to self destruct mode. This way, Sora can’t return home too. Akai is devastated. Doesn’t she want to return home too? Ironically, living with a primitive life form has made her wanted to stay. Because of that, her mind cloned and the blue Sky Beast was herself wanting to go home. Akai decides to stay with her instead of escaping because this is his devotion to her. Then he wonders if he should call her “Yuu” which comes from the word “Yuuhi” that means sunset. Also, since the sunset is red, this also what Akai’s name means. Yuu is happy but forces him into an escape pod. Akai can only look back horrified and do nothing. The pod explodes as Sora catches Seikichi. Gin thought he had accepted falling to his death but fell into a body of water courtesy of the MIBs. As for Eyes, I think he got owned by the blue Sky Beast while he was crawling his way out. Torii despite getting permission from Mizuno, feels he can’t pretend the Sky Beasts incident never happened. So Tooyama wonders how he is going to punish the residents of Furai Row, the MIBs and especially Akai. Torii says that at least some punishment must be imposed on Seikichi. Seikichi is expelled from Edo due to carelessly causing a fire. Shunpei is fine with it as long they live somewhere outside town. They’ll move just across the river. As for their Rocket project, Goinkyo assures them the government has decided to set up base of operations at Ishikawajima Island. Plus, they have Mizuno’s written approval to continue with the project. The MIBs are looking for Gin and are worried that he may leave for good and never return this time. As Sora follows Seikichi, he wants her to show him her true form. He is not afraid of her anymore and in fact notes how cool she looks.

Episode 21
Onui narrates the blood sucking creature case has been solved for the time being, Gin is missing, Seikichi and Shunpei expelled to a neighbouring area and best of all, the approval of the Rocket project. And on this island the gang has created several buildings to aid in the launch of the project, including Ise’s theatre. Theatre? Genzo the pigeon could’ve been an eagle’s meal had he not turned back into a human and crashed down onto the island. Naked! Woah! After almost 10 episodes, Genzo is finally back as a human being!!! As explained by Goinkyo, some of his contraptions take time for the effects to revert back. That’s one heck of a long time. Since his mom has sold his stuff, she only has small clothes for him. Can he fit into that? She’s not worried because since this is an anime, he’ll manage. WTF?! Genzo puts on the kimono and he looks so girly! Then Ise comes in and is surprise at how feminine he is and wonders if he’s interested in acting. Tenten and Tenhou are putting up posters for the play of Princess Kaguya and Tamakichi. Arms still hasn’t given up on Tenhou and she hasn’t changed her mind about being annoying. The performers and the MIBs talk that this play by Ise isn’t just about making profit, but in hopes that Gin will take notice and return. Seikichi complains to the playwright Kazukichi Nkanoshima about the script because the characters are supposed to confess their love in a scene. Seikichi can’t do that. The character is nothing like him. Really? Then Ise the director calls everyone for casting. She makes Sora the voice of Princess Kaguya. Only the voice? So who is going to play the physical part? Ise! Oh, she herself couldn’t believe it and starts over reacting like this is too good to be true. But the rest reject and taunt her and this made her blow her top! So really. Who is going to play the physical Princess Kaguya? This is where Genzo comes in. Everyone is awed at Genzo and this chance of everyone finally noticing him has come true. Even if they do, they still don’t remember he is the Genzo who had been living with them all these years. Well, you win some, you lose some. As everyone rehearse their parts, Riku and Tetsuju see the poster and aren’t happy. They’re going to do something about it.

As the play begins, Tetsuju gatecrashes into the opening scene and tries to hijack the show. Ise orders the MIBs to eject him from the building. The story continues but yet another troublemaker comes in. This time Riku is charging towards the stage, ranting about that fiancée thingy so Genzo trips her and makes her fall into a trapdoor. Good riddance. As the play goes on, Seikichi can’t help feel uneasy because though Tamakichi is played by Tenhou, the lines Sora narrates and Princess Kaguya acting out probably reflected his feelings for her. In the final scene whereby Princess Kaguya is supposed to leave for the moon, Genzo suddenly adlibs and says he doesn’t want to leave. Realizing his folly, they try to regain control of the show so Ise tells Sora to do what it takes. She is unsure of what to say so Seikichi tells her to say it in her own words. With that, Sora speaks from her heart that it’s not bad either to stay on this planet and perhaps to be by Seikichi’s side. Hey, that’s not in the script but didn’t he tell her to just say it? He is surprised by her words and accidentally hit the buttons for the explosives. Boom! I guess the play was a hit because we see everyone toasting and celebrating in the aftermath despite the theatre burnt down to smithereens. Ise may be pushed deeper into debt but she isn’t panicking and will think of something eventually. Yeah well, no point stressing it out now. Though the rest don’t remember who Genzo is, he is okay with it. Mommy asks why he went off track then. He isn’t sure why and perhaps he was just trying to interpret Seikichi and Sora’s relationship and it just came out. Sora talks to Seikichi and says when the Rocket is complete, she’ll say “Boom!”. Were you expecting “Goodbye” or “I love you”?

Episode 22
Genzo’s mom’s makeup table doubles as a computer and its mirrors as the monitor! Cool! She’s watching YouTube and watching last week’s Princess Kaguya play (probably uploading more clips of it). She hopes the world will take not on her son’s acting. But Genzo isn’t happy. In fact, he is crying that they stole his movie, his emotions and won’t watch or buy it. Then he goes off to do calculations on the construction of the Rocket but comes to a shocking conclusion that at this rate Sora won’t be able to return to the moon. The problem is actually lack of manpower to complete the Rocket. At this rate they’ll take 82 years and 3 months. This translates to 30,023 days and yeah, 720,522 hours! Seikichi and Sora will be old blokes ready to kick the bucket by the time it completes. So why are they telling Ise? Well, they want to borrow some money to cover manpower costs. All Ise sees is how well they get along so much so they’re like a real husband and wife pair. It’s the blushes for Seikichi and Sora but not so for Shunpei. However Onui says Goinkyo has came out with a solution. We see Tenten, Tenhou and the MIBs secretly collecting stray cats. Remember Goinkyo’s weird contraption? Yeah, they’re turned into humans and I suppose this solves the manpower woes. However Shunpei remembers the machine and realizes they are cats turned into humans. Tenten and Tenhou panic and scoot off in their car. Shunpei feels it’s irrational for animals to be turned into humans and his words made Onui concerned.

Shunpei goes to see Goinkyo at his home but he is not home. He accidentally spills a small bottle containing a weird liquid. He cleans it up and smells what’s left inside the bottle. As he leaves, he doesn’t know that all the women he passed starts to get attracted to him. When he returns to his place, the ladies suddenly tries to flirt with him so much so it freaked him out. Ise wants to call him her little brother, Tenhou wants to put glasses on him while Riku wants him to wear boxers. WTF?! Onui isn’t affected and sweeps them away with her broom. Then she smells Shunpei and finds a funny odour coming from him. Sniffing the source of the smell, this leads her to Goinkyo’s place and the bottle. The old man may not be there but Sora is. Then they see outside, a horde of ladies like zombies crying out for Shunpei. Man, he’s gotten this popular with the ladies. Onui realizes the strange love potion created by Goinkyo is the cause of this mess and the reason Sora is not affected is because she’s not from this planet. Sora deduces that Onui is a dog the reason she too is unaffected. Sora says she knew Onui’s identity all along and realizes she likes Shunpei. But Onui fears if Shunpei knows the truth, he might get upset. Sora mentions she shouldn’t be mumbling nonsense and should find Goinkyo. Instead of worrying, she should help Shunpei. Onui gets into Goinkyo’s machine and transforms herself into a dog to find the old guy. Since she hasn’t been walking on all fours for a long time, she’s having it hard. I’m not sure about why Tetsuju suddenly barge into the scene like as though he is emotionally reuniting with a dog named IC. IC who? Run away! Eventually Onui finds Goinkyo but he’s a handsome young man?! Actually he used the rejuvenation potion and went for a night out.

Back at the lab, he is making an antidote for the love potion. He admits making the potion in which a single drop would’ve been suffice and using the entire bottle will turn out bad. Once he is done, Onui takes the antidote and heads straight back. Better hurry because Shunpei’s situation is getting even dire. He’s up the tower and is thinking of flying to the moon where there won’t be any women. The situation gets out of hand as the women start fighting among themselves as it turns into a massive free-for-all brawl. Sora feels she is succumbing to the potion’s effects but instead of being lovey-dovey with Shunpei, she’s starting to spew out dense crap that doesn’t make sense. Dry brushing? Filters and paint chipping? Epoxy putty and rollers? Zimmerit coating? Say what again?! Onui arrives but can’t barge her way through the crowd. But after thinking back the happy times she spent with Shunpei, she gets the determination to run through the crowd and up the tower. Seikichi and Shunpei thought they see a familiar dog but the brawl is causing the tower to crumble. The tower did collapse and at this point Shunpei is out cold and Onui has returned to her human form (albeit naked) and those crazy crawling Shunpei-obsessed women are at a dangerous level. Their eyes are totally red like Terminator! I don’t know why Onui didn’t just pour the antidote into Shunpei’s mouth but put it in her own so that she could transfer the liquid via her mouth. Maybe it’s a kissing scene some viewers hoped to see between the secondary characters. A bright light emits and blows away the effects of the potion. Next day, everything returns to normal as mess is being cleaned up. Santa, Rokubei and Shinza are so dead because their hard work in creating the tower now becomes a pile of rubble. Seikichi mentions to Shunpei about seeing the dog they had last time coming to rescue him. Shunpei then turns to Onui and thanks her. He finally understands it makes sense now. But for Seikichi, he’s still scratching his head because everything makes no sense.

Episode 23
A little flashback on Gin and Ise’s escape to Edo after the failed rebellion. Gin couldn’t the failure and his feelings are in disarray so much so he nearly attacked a kid playing nearby. He is in a dilemma on what to do till he sees fireworks being lit nearby. They are from Seikichi and Shunpei who has just left the Kagiya household and believe their era of fireworks starts now. Gin becomes amazed at the sight. In reality, Gin sees a group of children engaging in a little play on their own in which Silver Fox and Night Cherry are the heroes of justice! Tooyama pays a visit to Ise and Tenhou watching the reconstruction of the Rocket. Seems he used Tenten as his doppelganger. I guess people are that stupid not to see the difference. Anyway he has business in seeing the duo. There are incidents going on in the Kansai region. Ever since Mizuno accepted the Rocket project and has ordered the collection of gunpowder from all over the country, however they haven’t been receiving the supplies lately and it’s due to a group of thieves who call themselves Night Fox Gang. I guess this means the past has catch up with her. Ise agrees to help him out so that her reputation won’t get tarnished. Besides, it takes a thief to catch a thief. Meanwhile Sora seems to be panicking. She tells Seikichi and the guys that their screen time ends now! Holy crap! They’re going to be like Genzo! Hey, at least they mentioned his name. Just when that guy thought his name is finally mentioned and makes a flashy entrance, they don’t remember who he is.  Cry all you want because your screen time ends here.

Ise and Tenhou wonder why Tooyama has that idiot Tetsuju tag along. Well, he thought it’s best they needed somebody who is an expert with gunpowder. If only he could just shut up and not be so idiotic flashy. Elsewhere Gin is doing his Silver Fox play to the kids but since it sucks so much, the kids refuse to tell him how they heard about the story. An old acquaintance of Gin happened to pass by. He is Tenbei Mimasaka and a survivor of Oshio’s uprising. However during the failed rebellion, the canon exploded and was blinded. They chat and Gin learns he was the one who spread the story to the kids. Tenbei still holds very high regards for Oshio and believes about saving the people. When an old man comes to give Gin his potatoes, Gin leaves so as not to be a burden on them. He can tell Tenbei’s cane hides a sword and that old guy isn’t just an ordinary person. However he dismisses he has nothing to do with it all. Ise and co are travelling through the woods when they are ambushed by Night Fox Gang. Tetsuju gets flashy and summons his raccoon friends and do a gatai scene with them (it’s just his furry fellows sticking over his body). He sounds like he is capable and uses the raccoons to tear up the place. Isn’t this animal abuse? Don’t worry, there’s a disclaimer to say no animals were used in making of this scene! Just when the boss sheaths his sword, the raccoons cower and scram! Ise quickly knocks Tetsuju out and reveals her true self. She doesn’t want to fight them and instead is here to give the gunpowder as gifts to them. The boss also reveals himself. He is Tenbei and they’re both surprised to see each other alive.

Tenbei takes them to his base and mentions Gin did come by but left. Ise sees a fleet of ships supposedly his mobile base. Seems Tenbei’s plan is to do another uprising. This time in Edo. Knowing that Mizuno has approved the Rocket project, they will use this confusion to strike and burn the government down. Ise agrees to help out but Tenbei doesn’t trust her words and points his sword at her. Ever since he got blinded, he has this ability to read people’s heart and Ise has been lying all the way. He knows if she helps out, she’ll let the magistrate’s people come right marching in. A little commotion distracts them. It’s Gin and he’s back. Ise tells him of Tenbei’s plan and leaves him to handle the blind guy while she stops the burning down of Edo plan. Gin faces off with Tenbei and put up a poker face in pretending not knowing what he is up to so that he could investigate the truth. Tenbei replies he’ll never understand Oshio’s aspiration so Gin says he’s blinded not because he can’t see but rather he can’t let go of the past he can’t forget. Since the place is shrouded with thick black smoke, Tenbei cuts off the only source of light and has Gin taste the world of darkness he has been living since. Tenbei mocks Gin and tries to implant fear in his mind. He also reveals his true goal of revenge to let those Edo people experience this same fear. Tetsuju was making fireworks lit up the sky for that moment and this allows Gin to see and strike down Tenbei. Ise and Tenhou also start their counterattack on Tenbei’s men. Let’s just say quality wins over quantity. Tenbei couldn’t believe he heard fireworks so Gin tells him gunpowder isn’t just fireworks. It is what gives them hope to achieve their dreams no matter how oppressed and persecuted they are. Those are the people he is trying to burn down. Tenbei in his dying breath asks him if that is his dream as well. Gin watches the fireworks and hopes Seikichi will show them even more amazing fireworks.

Episode 24
Akai is living like a bum alone in his tent in the forest. He’s sporting unkempt facial hair as he watches the ‘story so far’ and the other ‘plots’ that have happened since the demise of Blue Woman. Noting that Gin is back, he feels it’s time he returns too. He also thinks it’ll be unprecedented to have an action-packed anime after what has happened so far. Seikichi and the gang are putting the finishing touches on the 3-stage design of the giant Rocket called Shoryuu that will send Sora back to the moon. Notice Seikichi’s sad face when he mentioned about Sora returning there? Ise returns to her pawn shop but sees Riku making a request that she doesn’t want Seikichi and the rest to know. See her sad face too? Shoryuu is completed and that night everyone parties hard for tomorrow’s launch. A couple of guys are taking a leak by the cliff when the blue Sky Beast pops out and devours them! OMG! It still lives! Shunpei is drunk and is pestering Seikichi to ‘say it’ to Sora. Seikichi thought it was the matters of love but it turns out that if he tells Sora not to go, she’ll stay. He brushes him off and says the Rocket isn’t just for Sora but for the people of Edo to look upwards once more. Tetsuju spots the blue Sky Beast climbing onto Shoryuu. He tries to get it to come back to him. They’ve been friends before, remember? Seems this Sky Beast must have merged with Eyes because it has got an eye of Eyes. Then it ignites Shoryuu with its electricity. Seikichi and Sora have a little chat and to their surprise, everyone else was hiding behind the bush, irritated that they should just say it already. Woah! Busybodies! But that’s not the actual reason they’re here. They point out Shoryuu just got ignited. While everyone makes a run for it, Seikichi tells Sora to fly onboard. However she says she won’t because it’s bound to fail. True enough, Shoryuu comes crashing down even before getting a proper lift off since it’s too heavy. It exploded into flames as Riku watches from afar. She thought this was Torii’s doing but he says he didn’t even have to lift a finger. Riku vows to make a better Rocket than Seikichi and won’t make the same blunder.

While the gang are demoralized at the wreckage, Tetsuju is caught and is being suspected as the blue Sky Beast and the one who ignited Shoryuu. But Sora can tell he’s the real deal (because of some dubbing joke). Sora admits that there were a couple of bodies found like they’ve been eaten by the beast. Was it supposed to be dead? Maybe it was just playing dead so it could hitch a ride with Sora. Realizing that the blue Sky Beast is still alive, Tooyama says it’s more the reason they should finish the Rocket. Since his superiors have heard about the incident and really want to see it, they are willing to send more labourers to complete the job. Looks like the project is back on track. Again. Seikichi hopes Sora can wait a little longer and will launch a better Rocket this time. Ise is surprised to see Gin at her pawn shop as he notes it was her who sent supplied labours to Kagiya. And what he saw on his way back wasn’t something good. When Seikichi and Shunpei go to see Riku for help on gunpowder, her shop is temporarily closed. Ise points out she is at Shimoda and should go there. Whether or not his schedule is tight, she insists he must go! Upon arrival, they are shocked to see a large roller coaster-like structure. Shunpei concludes Riku was building a Rocket secretly since she hates to lose. However Shunpei blows his top and confronts Riku. She tells him he is forbidden to step into Kagiya’s fireworks testing grounds but he laughs it off that she’s launching fireworks. Because that thing isn’t for launching upwards. It’s something to fly over a great distance across the ocean. A cannon. Seikichi further adds that Kagiya couldn’t have possibly made this on their own as there is ice on its rail. Ice you see, is a controlled item during this period that the government only has access to and stored at the top of Mt Fuji. Torii completes his sentence saying this is government property. With Shimoda locating at the bay of Edo and acting as a lookout fortress, they can dispel any foreign fleet from here with this Rocket. Seikichi is still upset that Riku built such a thing but is held back by the guards.

Episode 25
Seikichi and co are imprisoned nearby. He wonders why Riku would build such a thing. Shunpei deduces that she’s jealous of Sora. What happens if Sora is sent back to the moon? Yeah, you do the maths. Of course Riku denies it all. Even Seikichi points out that Shunpei recently got a girlfriend and is getting cocky. Oddly, Shunpei didn’t even fluster or say his usual “irrational” line. But if that thing isn’t fireworks or Rocket to the moon, why did she suddenly make such a thing? Was she coerced? Her body language may indicate so but she’s quick to cover it by saying to prove Kagiya is the best fireworks maker in Edo. Elsewhere, Gin and Akai are impersonation as labourers. On the day of the launch, a group of spectators gather thinking they’re going to watch the fireworks but Mizuno allows them to stay since he wants to show his capability as lately there are many there are those who criticized his reforms and refuse to follow his leadership. Torii spots Gin on top and climbs up to confront him. Gin wants him to stop the launch despite Torii mentioning this is Mizuno’s project. This will enhance the Shogunate’s reputation by driving away foreign fleets. Gin replies that Mizuno’s reforms are falling apart and the Shogun is keeping close watch on him. Still he wants to hang on to his post. Gin feels that if they fire this onto the foreign ships, they are going to close the door of this country again. Torii didn’t like how Gin considers himself as a key to Japan because all he did was staying outside the mainstream and gloat by himself. Since both are stubborn to back off, they both fight. But they’ll have to make a run since the Rocket launches. Sliding down the ice rails, Gin and Torii hide in the ice cracks. Looks like the ice can’t handle the weight of the Rocket and is going out of control. The Rocket lifts off but falls short and crashes into the watching spectators in their boats, killing and drowning some of them. After that, the structure collapses. Mizuno is upset Torii failed and that he has wasted too much money.  He fears people will start talking bad about him. He leaves it to Tooyama to handle it. He frees Seikichi and the rest and will be taking responsibility for these people. Riku apologizes to them and only wanted them to think about fireworks. Ears who had been suspecting something confronts and fight Eyes in the woods. He is surprised he is still alive and working under Mizuno. The other MIBs arrive and they learn another surprise that Akai is also breathing. Akai saves Eyes and they escape. Though it might be Akai’s way of repaying his debt but with his status now, he can’t enter Edo and needs Eyes’ help.

Seikichi returns and sees Shoryuu completed and ready for launch any time. However he notes the people wearing poorer clothes because of the Mizuno’s harsh budget cuts. Seikichi is not too pleased and he sees Santa carving elaborated Sora sculptures on the launch tube. Seikichi thought once the Rocket launches, all his hard work will be burnt up and yet why is he doing this futile work. Genzo replies that it’s alright since it’s just an excuse to say that what you do is useful to others as everyone wants to do things they want to do. Just like his maths, he doesn’t do it for everyone but enjoys doing it for himself. Even if that is just a hobby, he points out isn’t Seikichi an Edo partisan too? However Seikichi gets called by Goinkyo and objects the cancellation of the launch since they’ve already come this far. The old guy understands but there is an order from Tooyama. If he can return Sora to the moon, he wants him to make this Rocket instead. Man, the blueprints seem so complicated. They call it Intercontinental Ballistic Missile and it’s filled with gunpowder up to the stratosphere to bomb America and Russia. Even if Sora knows Seikichi can still do this, he wants to really know what’s going on because what Torii ordered Riku to make was a different project. Tenten mentions Torii and Tooyama are pushing their own strategies in front of Mizuno. Tooyama and Torii and talking to each other and Gin joins them. Gin didn’t like Tooyama’s plan and thought he was for peaceful exchange with foreign nations. Tooyama thinks this will be good for the world so they can watch Star Trek and Prison Break. Jokes aside, by sponsoring Kagiya and Tamaya to do so, having fireworks that reach foreign lands will make the foreign powers think twice about exercising their aggression. And with Seikichi being able to do it because he wants his fireworks to be something greater and useful to others, he might pull it off. Gin notes Seikichi is not that stupid but Tooyama says Gin never made good use of his power apart from wagging his tail in front of Torii. After Gin leaves, Tooyama pours his tea over Torii’s head and thinks it’s time for him to retire.

Seikichi is mad as he asserts he is a fireworks artisan and can’t make something this terrible. But if his launch is successful, he’ll have to create the same things and in the worst case scenario they’ll have somebody else to make it. Goinkyo wants him to run away since he agrees he is a fireworks maker. As long as there is a sky, he can launch his fireworks and there is nothing in this country to keep him here. As for Shoryuu, it’s suspended. Seikichi is not happy and screams out his frustrations. Sora thinks it is fine this way as she’ll get to stay with him but he points out these fireworks isn’t just for her. It’s for the people to look up no matter what. They’re not play things, they’re something great to benefit others. Then watching Santa continue to carve the sculpture and Genzo’s words (I’m surprised he remembers him – okay, his words at least), he gets his confidence to launch his Rocket tomorrow and wants everyone to lend a hand. Eyes talks to Mizuno who is happy that with tomorrow’s successful launch, the Shogunate will no choice but to obey him since he has the power to attack foreign powers with fireworks. And if they don’t, he’ll launch it against Edo Castle instead. Eyes then knocks him out and thanks him for the hard work. Akai makes his appearance and says he has been waiting for him to make his move. Eyes thought he was lying when he said he wanted to serve Mizuno. That was true about a month ago. Akai was at the first launch of Shoryuu and saw him. Seems the blue Sky Beast survived the blast and took over Eyes’ body and posed as him, staying alive all this time. Akai draws his sword to arrest it as it transforms to its beast form.

Episode 26
Akai isn’t doing this to claim credit but as revenge for Yuu’s death. Despite the creature telling him they’re both from the same essence, Akai doesn’t care as he wants to do what he wants to do and starts slashing away. He manages to slice off a hand and stabs his broken sword into its head. But the monster retreats into the pool and Akai remembers Mizuno pouring Goinkyo’s weird potion into it. The Sky Beast starts cloning itself and with the increased quantity, they attack Akai. Seikichi rallies his gang to make the final alterations on Shoryuu. Hey, at least Shunpei remembers who Genzo is now! Brings tears to his eyes, eh? Ise gives a charm to Sora for her safe journey. Later Ise meets Gin and mentions about the alterations that Seikichi will launch the Rocket from inside and not via electricity outside. After that, he’ll get out via escape pod wearing the fire-rat coat. Gin understood the implications of what Seikichi is doing. Akai gets beaten to death and in his final breath, sees a vision of Yuu. His body is surrounded by the MIBs who are wondering why he has such a calm smile on his face. Next day, a huge crowd gathers to watch the launch but they are not anticipating anything fun as they think it’s the government’s show of force after that Shimoda incident. Seikichi and Sora prepares to head inside Shoryuu when Tooyama suddenly stops them. He knows the Rocket has been altered to be ignited from within. Doing so means Seikichi is planning to get away from Edo or even Japan and knows he won’t be jumping out after its launch. Without Seikichi around, Tooyama can still make his cannon but there will be delays and this is not what he wants. Suddenly Torii interrupts them and points out to the horde of blue Sky Beasts approaching. They must deal with this first. Gin charges straight to prevent them from riding the Rocket. Torii helps out since he wants Sora to get off this planet and Tooyama also joins in since he doesn’t want to lose out.

Shoryuu beautifully lifts off into the sky but when reaching orbit, it starts exploding. Even the escape pod! Oh no! However the results of the explosion are beautiful fireworks. To prevent the people from thinking it’s a disaster, Tetsuju shouts “Tamaya!” and has everyone thinking this is in fact a fireworks show. Everybody starts shouting and enjoy the spectacle. After despatching the last of the blue Sky Beasts, Torii relieves Gin from his duty as an MIB and that the Shogunate and magistrate no longer have anything to do with him. Gin dejectedly trudges to his other friends. He sees them whisper secretly before Tenten and Tenhou put up a magic performance to spring Seikichi and Sora up from the ground! OMG! They’re still alive? How can this be? It was planned from the start that the Rocket was to fail. This way, Tooyama and Torii won’t ever think of using their Rocket as a cannon since they’re ‘dead’. But will he be alright since the Rocket is everyone’s dream and not just for fun. But Seikichi says fireworks are exactly for fun and serve no purpose. He is fine with that since he is a fireworks artisan and has made a gigantic firework to light up the skyline of Edo with his soul. But Sora can no longer return to the moon. Well, she doesn’t mind staying with them. Suddenly a light beams onto Sora. She says it is her comrades picking her up. They think the large fireworks were her signal as they think this planet’s technology level couldn’t have caused such an explosion. Seikichi puts up a brave front and is alright that she goes back. But Gin punches him in the gut and tells him to go with Sora. The others also support Seikichi to follow Sora. With Sora agreeing, Seikichi and Sora instantly disappear into the sky. Seikichi is going to be the best fireworks maker in the universe and will only make fireworks for her. Fireworks of universal scale as in the Big Bang?

That night, a group of people riot in front of Mizuno’s residence by throwing just about anything. They know he has been dismissed by the Shogun. Torii tries to defend but his MIBs want him to back off and that he is well aware of the reason. Gin unlocks a locked box of Ise and mentions about his job to open doors and have no place to go. She gives him a pep talk that he might be a key but he can still go anywhere. Just that he hasn’t opened his heart yet. Seikichi’s fireworks have shown them the way that they can do anything. He wants to travel around Japan and even the moon but what should he do? He should think about that himself, right? Seikichi and Sora reach the moon base and Sora is going to introduce him to the others. But what Seikichi sees next shocks him because he didn’t expect his Furai Row friends to be partying in a banquet! Why are they here? Goinkyo thought they should go to the moon too and they ride on his UFO that he once came to the planet with. So, that old geezer’s an alien to begin with?! The UFO’s right under his house! How they reach here faster than Seikichi, don’t ask. The end narration tells us about NASA’s records when Neil Armstrong landed on the moon with his Apollo 11. It was never recorded in real history because what they saw was unbelievable. I mean, how can there be fireworks on the moon as there is no air? Well, call me a monkey’s uncle, the Furai Row House Block is like a little colony on the moon shooting its fireworks. So would you believe it? That the people from Edo were the first ones that came to the moon? After seeing so many unbelievable stuffs, I think it’s not possible that Edo people were the ones that reached the shores of America instead of Christopher Columbus.

“Rocketman, Fly Me To The Moon”
Despite the crazy and no-holds-barred antics, it was quite an enjoyable ride. In short, I love it! Firstly the kind of humour that breaks through just about anything will have you stop thinking logically. It’s the kind of show whereby you get to enjoy best by not thinking too much and just accept the jokes that come by. I mean, if you are going to see television, internet access, sunglasses, helicopters and even maid cafes in old Edo, it is ironic you are going to see the dull, boring, plain and simple life many would expect with the lack of advanced technology. Ironically if everyone is so poor, how in the world can they have such modern contraptions in the first place? I’m sure those monitors don’t come cheap even if inflation is unheard of in those days. Maybe it’s just Mizuno’s reforms. I’m not exactly sure but they didn’t say everyone was indeed poor before the reforms were put up, right? Thus that’s why despite everyone putting a frugal and poor front, previously they were decent and some even well off to have those contraptions (as far as this wild anime is concerned).

The other aspect of the jokes is largely about breaking the fourth wall and exaggerating it. Often from time to time you would see the characters making jokes like as though they are aware that they are in an anime and that the viewers are watching them. Without batting an eyelid or holding back, the characters would comment on the roles, stuffs and even the language that they use. It’s spontaneous so in a way it makes the joke on-the-spot funny. Sometimes they all even laugh it off at the end. So everybody has got a chance to look like a comical idiot, no matter how serious their character role is. Genius and aliens are not exception either. Everyone is equal when it comes to comedy. I know that life is a big stage and a play. So it’s like a play in a play, huh? Yeah, even complaining about screen time and all. So it makes you think that maybe this entire Edo setup is just stage props because well, it was once demonstrated that it can be replaced and repaired quickly and what more cell backdrop drawings. Then there are those that parodies anime and pop culture and with little trivia hidden throughout the series, it’ll be like Easter eggs spotting them. Provided if you know your anime pop culture well.

Though there are quite a few characters, many of them are lovable and memorable in their own ways. Maybe except for one. I just can’t remember who that was ;p. Haha! Just pulling your leg (referring to you, Genzo). Seikichi is a kid who just wants to live his dream of being the best fireworks in Edo. Then perhaps the country and now that he has ventured into space, the best in the universe. Mizuno’s reforms doesn’t put him down and with the support of the gang, he could have probably achieved his dream a little faster if his heart wasn’t swaying and concerned about some of his friends were lying and hiding the truth and also the Sky Beasts serving as a distraction. Because he’s a simple and straightforward kid, the reason why everybody else believes in him and gives him their support to help make his Rocket. Shunpei may not be hands on like his brother but his genius in maths helps make Seikichi’s fireworks a success. If he could only see past things beyond mathematical numbers and not everything can be rationally solved with numbers. Initially Sora was afraid to reveal her true form as she would fear she would be persecuted. After living with the Furai Row people, she would have known they aren’t such shallow minded people. Sometimes the truth may hurt but given time to understand, I’m pretty sure (and that’s what happened) those guys will accept Sora for who she is. I’m not sure if she was really torn to stay or leave because if she was, she would’ve split into clones like Blue Woman. I’m not sure about the details but perhaps it’s only something Blue Woman could do? After staying on this planet for a while, the aliens understood why their ancestors never wanted to go home. Too much fun on this planet perhaps. Sora wouldn’t really mind if Seikichi just told her to stay. So for now maybe they compromise a little as they’re all living on the moon together. Gin was torn between helping Seikichi out and using his powers for the common good. Because he failed to see his own dream come true, the reason he is betting it all on Seikichi. Thus putting aside his feelings of what he really wants to do.

Santa, Rokubei and Shinza obviously are small (no pun intended) minor characters that only serve as comic relief but they have their little screen time to show that they are not just background extra characters. I mean, Shinza’s face is so stiff and comical that I thought he was ripped out from Peanuts’ comic strip. Rokubei’s traits are his big teeth and I believe I have never seen him close his mouth. Can’t imagine that ‘space’ when he does so. Then Santa, I thought he was the Mario of this anime. Only that he is a carpenter and not a plumber. The ladies of Furai Row, Onui, Rokubei’s wife and Genzo’s mom also provide comic relief albeit lesser than the guys. And I don’t think no matter how much Genzo’s mom put her son on Youtube, Facebook or some other social media, I have this feeling he’ll never be noticed. Tenten and Tenhou just like Gin have their own colourful but tragic past. Despite working under Tooyama and as spies, I don’t think the other Furai Row residents would treat them indifferently. Unless they have a bad heart which fortunately they don’t. Ise may not come from Furai Row but she provides valuable resources in terms of labour and money to them. Just hope that she doesn’t fold up going deeper into debt and with poor people like Furai Row delaying their repayments year after year, it’s amazing she is still able to keep afloat in this pawn business. So was the gigantic final Rocket launch worth it? I’m sure it does. But if you’re going to talk about costs and monetary affairs, that’s a different story altogether.

Goinkyo is the most mysterious person in the block. There is an air of mystery shrouding this old bugger and each time you see him, you wonder who the heck he really is. It is highly indicated that he is an alien from another world. How else would you explain the weird contraptions and inventions in his home? So mysterious that he seems to be able to pull strings from behind and even make Mizuno fear for him. Popping up anywhere, knows just about anything and there’s more to him than just meets the eye. Yeah, he can walk and dance too. So that’s about it for the Furai Row people. Did I miss anybody out? Don’t think so. Oh yes. It’s… I forgot. Haha! Genzo shouldn’t feel bad that nobody remembers him. It’s what makes him unique. Okay, so what’s the point of that when nobody notices you. But not everybody. At least his mom and Onui do recognize his presence so all is not lost. Maybe he has come up with lots of genius maths calculations and theories but just that nobody noticed him so his works never really got published or known in future generations ;p. Just saying… Hope he isn’t just an imaginary character.

Akai started out as a despicable villain viewing the Furai Row people as pests whom he wanted to get rid off so badly. It is clear that he holds a grudge for them because of his jealousy that despite being poor they are happy living their poor life unlike him who may be a low ranking police officer but isn’t content with life. What is the meaning of life when all you are is a dog to the magistrate? Till he finally realizes his true love, what he wants to do with her that he is set free. So he isn’t such a bad guy after all because in the end despite his unfortunate demise, he stayed true to what he believed in. I don’t remember him having forgiven Furai Row residents but after Yuu’s death, I don’t feel he despises Seikichi and the gang as much as he did before. Tooyama is like a wolf in sheep’s clothing. He is being displayed that he is on Seikichi’s side but that is just a facade to push his hidden agendas like Torii. So it’s a good thing that Seikichi and Sora faked their deaths in the end and put an end to this tussle and idea of making a cannon that will show the world how powerful Japan is. You don’t need weapons like this to show how strong you are. If you have the backing and support of the people, that is already the true strength of the nation. If there was to be the funniest and most amusing character in the series, then I would have given that title to Tetsuju. Despite being a good rocketeer (and racketeer), he is essentially a crazy loudmouth with wisecracks. His dangerous and wild antics go beyond the trio of Santa, Rokubei and Shinza. I’m not really sure if he really knows Sora as his princess (and vice versa) because he’s such a mad fellow that anything is possible. What do you make of him when you see him as a guy who wants to take in animals as his pet with names right after catching glimpse of them? One crazy dude indeed.

For the romance and chemistry section, many would have put their money on Seikichi x Sora. It isn’t obvious in the end despite Seikichi wanting to come along with Sora shows that he really likes her. So unless the main characters kiss, it isn’t really a strong indication that they will be a couple, right? So did we see Seikichi and Sora kiss? Gin also likes Sora but he is using Seikichi as an excuse why he shouldn’t just be clear about his feelings for her and ruin it all. In this sense, his heart is clogged, leaving him indecisive and feeling left out. Despite being the key and being able to open any kind of locks, he can’t open the locks of his own heart. It’s not that he can’t, maybe he doesn’t want to. Perhaps it’s easier to solve other people’s problems than your own. Riku also harbours some feelings for Seikichi but that becomes less obvious as the plot progresses. Maybe she realizes she has lost out to Sora and it’s best to just remain as friends, if not fireworks rivals. I’m not sure if Shunpei and Onui are an official couple because they don’t seem to be acting like one although it is hinted that ‘Shunpei got a girlfriend’ and he doesn’t dismiss that. So what is it like to have a dog as your girlfriend? Just kidding. But at least Shunpei isn’t jealous or go into his usual ‘irrational’ fit each time he sees Sora with Seikichi. I didn’t feel any sparks between Gin and Ise. It just feels that they were old partners, that’s all. True love maybe ringing for Arms but that is just one-sided since Tenhou isn’t going to reciprocate. So probably the true couple that materialized but didn’t last long would be Akai and Yuu. Till death do us part? See how love changes a man? Now they can peacefully be together in another world. Besides, that’s the only real kiss you’d see. I wouldn’t count Onui’s one with Shunpei because the latter was unconscious and the one Ise gave to Seikichi was just a naughty peck on the cheek. It means nothing.

The plot of the story progresses nicely despite having a few side distractions. While Seikichi is finding ways to build his Rocket, we have these gruesome murders and Sky Beasts to come between. Also we have a few filler episodes (New Year’s Day) and some that gives us a glimpse on some characters (Onui’s past) that fits in nicely in between. When the plot for the Sky Beasts comes to a close, we have a few more fillers before the big bang finale to wrap up everything. Speaking of Seikichi’s Rocket construction, it’s nice to see him steadily progressing in making a Rocket-cum-fireworks via his trial and error. You won’t know something till you’ve tried it, right? It started off with something small and simple, then by adding other complicated materials into the mix, it ends up with something huge and colossal like a space shuttle that one can only see in modern times. Of course with a little future technology help, Seikichi learns firsthand that making the ultimate fireworks isn’t as easy as it seems. There are so many things to take into consideration. The gravity, the weight, the stability, the lift off power, the trajectory, the altitude, etc. That’s why making fireworks isn’t just a one-man show and that’s where all the specialties of the individual characters come in. So not only we learn the valuable lesson that many hands make light work but perseverance and steadfast pays. One shouldn’t be disheartened after the first few failures. It might be natural after putting all your hard work in and in the end it doesn’t go the way you want but if everybody were to give up easily, any form of advancement would never been made or achieved.

The action bits are considerably okay but I won’t bet it would satisfy hardcore adrenaline junkies. I mean, most of the fights you would see here is against the Sky Beasts or between them aliens. You rarely see any those between humans unless it’s that uprising scene or the most with Akai. There may be blood spilled but that is mostly from the Sky Beast and it may be a little gory too. Surprisingly for an anime genre like this, there are a few deaths involved although all of them happened to minor background characters. Well, at least it’s being realistic a little. I mean, it would be unbelievable if nobody dies and everybody gets to live happily ever after. Seeing the different prototypes of Rockets that blast off (and fail) is also another form of action because things go wrong in the midst and Seikichi and co need to do something to fix things right and using their creativity or whatever they have at hand. Some may be exaggerated but at least they don’t disappoint. So in the end after all the Rocket evolutions, they didn’t really send Sora back in one. Instead she was beamed back up. Was it a waste? But it was definitely good experience, right? The drawing and art is a combination of styles, if I should put it that way. Of course we have the main characters looking like your typical conventional anime characters and some of the minor ones looking chibi and comical (with lack of details) and others to be just stereotypical ‘clones’ that you can’t tell apart (especially background extra characters that you won’t care to notice). If you ask me, I prefer Torii to keep his mask on because he looks more fearsome with that. His real face just looks comical. If not, ugly. Oops. Then some of the background and scenery are drawn in a way that as though somebody just painted them with water colour.

I don’t have any problems with the voice casting as they all fit their roles perfectly. Just that when I heard Rie Kugimiya as Shunpei, I thought hey, she’s not going to sound like her tsundere loli roles but male characters like Al in Fullmetal Alchemist or Miharu in Nabari No Ou. Well, at least she doesn’t sound so bad (if you’re wondering, I prefer Rie Kugimiya voicing tsundere loli characters) but her voice is still recognizable as she still pulls off her trademark voice (albeit not that squeaky) whenever Shunpei is in distress. The other recognizable voice to me is Norio Wakamoto who struts his typical low sexy voice as Torii. Other casts include Yoko Soumi as Seikichi (BC in Vandread), Chika Fujimura as Sora (Haruka in Guilty Crown), Kouichi Yamadera (Spike in Cowboy Bebop), Romi Paku as Ise (Edward in Fullmetal Alchemist), Arisa Ogasawara as Riku (Panty in Panty And Stocking With Garterbelt), Tokuyoshi Kawashima as Akai (William Jones in Emma: A Victorian Romance), Tomo Sakurai as Blue Woman/Yuu (Misao in Rurouni Kenshin), Kei Shindou as Onui (Kuro in Kodomo No Jikan), Katsuyuki Konishi as Genzo (Amidamaru in Shaman King), Risa Hayamizu as Tenhou (Kumiko in Gokusen), Masaki Yamada as Tenten (Kanbei in Samurai 7), Kinoko Yamada as Shinza (Jinko Komori in Itazura Na Kiss), Kiyonobu Suzuki as Santa (Hayato Kobayashi in Mobile Suit Gundam), Shinya Fukumatsu as Rokubei (Jun Sonoda in Wangan Midnight), Rokuro Naya as Goinkyo (Matsumoto in Umi Monogatari ~Anata Ga Ite Kureta Koto~) and Toru Ookawa as Tooyama (Roy Mustang in Fullmetal Alchemist).

The opening theme is Oh Edo Nagareboshi IV by the pair of Puffy AmiYumi. Sounds like a great pop song and if you don’t mind, you can sing along with them. Then you can go mindlessly “Bababa bababa baba” right at the end. What’s the deal with Sora and the gang doing a little rock group performance in the beginning? The first ending theme is 100 miles ~Niji Wo Oikakete by Santara and it sounds like funky R&B outfit. The second ending theme is I Got Rhythm by Natural High and has this feel of a jazzy soul piece. One of the biggest plus points of this series is the background music which boasts a wide range and variety of tunes. From the Flamenco guitar style to the swing trumpet fanfare to Broadway music and jazzy blues, the music adds to the weirdness to the already weird show. So instead of hearing traditional Japanese music instruments, you hear all these. Which I think you’ll get used to after a while after all the weirdness sinks in. Then it pretty much fits int. Hey, I already did mention about modern contraptions making its appearance all over the series. So why shouldn’t music be any different? My favourite background music includes the exciting Spanish guitar of Passion, the lively swing-like, erm, Swing and also another swing and jive piece called Matsuri.

There must be an easier way to get to the moon than making a bunch of Rockets through trial and error, no? But if they had the solution in the first place, I guess that defeats the purpose of bonding and creating the relationship between the characters. Like they say, it’s not the destination but the journey that counts. So even from a nonsensical anime like this, we get to learn lots of moral values like hard work, teamwork, perseverance, persistence, determination, simplicity, graciousness, loyalty and even money isn’t really everything (thanks Genzo mommy). And it is also true that you don’t judge a book by its cover except when it comes to fireworks. So if a beautiful lady drops out from the sky and starts asking me to help her get back to Mars or Andromeda, I’ll just tell her to Google it. It’s much easier that way. Since my brain is a little messed up, I won’t be surprised if Edo people were the ones who invented Google. Or maybe Edo people came from the moon… I hope I won’t start a different kind of ‘fireworks’ with such statement.

I’m still in the midst of figuring out what in the world the plot of Denpa Onna To Seishun Otoko is. Let me see if I get this right. Boy from countryside transfer to the big city. Lives with his crazy aunt. Finds out he has an equally crazy cousin who thinks she is an alien. Tries to dispel that fact and make her realize that she is human by doing something equally crazy. Tries to integrate her back into society like an ordinary human. Just as things are getting back to normal, another crazy girl who thinks she’s a real alien shows up. Yeah, I think that is how I should summarize this show.

So yeah. The said kid is Makoto Niwa who is supposed to live with his cheerful (in an odd sense) aunt, Meme Touwa. You would expect this aunty to act her age but unfortunately, she’s the kind that drives you nuts if you can’t accept her character. It doesn’t help that she doesn’t look 39 years old… I guess girls in animes can only look younger than they are. As usual, Makoto’s parents are posted overseas due to their job. Since you can’t leave a young lad behind, what else a better way than to put him in the care of his aunt, right? Makoto is looking forward to his single life in the big city till he finds out Meme had a daughter that no one in his family knew. What the? There goes his dream life. What’s more, Makoto’s cousin, Erio Touwa thinks she is an alien and it’s a bloody wonder how she goes on with her daily life with the futon covering her entire body, leaving only her legs visible. Yes, you read that right. What’s a kid like Makoto got to do? Either you live with it or you do something about it. If the former doesn’t work, then what option is left?

Episode 1
Makoto arrives in the big city via train and is being picked up by Meme. He experiences first hand Meme’s eccentric behaviour as she welcomes him to the city aliens watch over because they get lots of UFO sightings. Uhm, yeah. Whatever. Upon entering his second home, Makoto is surprised to see a girl wrapped in a futon lying on the floor. Meme seems to be oblivious but really, a girl in futon on the floor. That sight is just very bugging and disturbing. So ignoring the futon girl and after resting in his room, he goes down for dinner. The futon girl is there with them. If Meme can’t see her, is she a ghost? So during the havoc conversation, futon girl ‘attacks’ Makoto with her feet. Learning this girl is her daughter, Erio, I guess this is where he puts his foot down. He wants Meme to explain her lie that she lives alone and as far as he was concerned, she is single. Never married. How can she just ignore her daughter so outright? However Meme must be talking in circles because Makoto can’t seem to comprehend what she says. Because Erio girl continues to kick, Makoto grabs her feet and pushes her off. In retaliation, she starts throwing things with her feet, causing a mess at the table so Meme starts throwing her around like a wrestling match. So this is going to be his life? Next day Makoto wakes up to go to school. He stops by Erio’s room to see it like a mini planetarium. Then off he goes to school with his trusty rusty old bike. Luckily the brakes are still working. With nothing much happening in school, he comes home to see Erio watching TV. How the heck can she see a thing with a futon wrapped over? He goes talk to her and another round of odd conversation. Earth is being targeted? Is he her cousin? Is she Meme’s daughter? Are you okay in the head? Are you getting the flow of this conversation? So the so called material transmission she is waiting from the universe turns out to be a pizza delivery… I don’t really know how she eats the pizza with her futon on but amazingly she does and shares some with Makoto. Then he picks up a call from Meme checking on him and prefers him to just ignore Erio. Since he can’t do that, I guess she’ll leave her to his care. Haha. Some mother. Makoto suggests going out for dinner. Erio loves riding in the front basket so hopefully they won’t bump into any policeman and get arrested. Outside the convenience store, I’m sure Makoto isn’t going to let Erio going in with that futon. Erio says that revealing her appearance of an investigation of the second kind may affect the impartiality of the investigation. However being a first class investigator, one must have the ability to adapt to the environment. I guess that’s just her way of saying she’s going to take off her futon. With Makoto helping out, he finally gets to see this beautiful girl beneath the futon. A girl that looked almost like she wasn’t from Earth. Oh, there are pizza stains over her face. Erio decides to reveal her true self to Makoto by declaring she’s a half-alien mediating observer and her mission to assess the people using this city as a sample of all Earthlings. Uh, yeah. What she says.

Episode 2
So Erio explains some subject experiment, losing its sanity and disappearing, monitoring patterns of human souls, reactions of humans when given a second life, bounds of human understanding, some battle royale for some reward, etc. F*CK! I DON’T GET IT ALL! I’m not sure if Makoto is trying to reason with her or just playing along. I don’t know. I still don’t get it. It’s not like he really believes aliens do exist. Next day when he is about to leave school, he meets his spunky classmate, Ryuuko Mifune. Another weird girl as they peddle home together. Back home, Makoto once again meets Erio in a futon. Not amused. She has an important mission for him. Not interested. Next day he enters class early and talks to tall girl Maekawa. Then during recess, he has lunch together with Ryuuko and learns that everyone calls her Ryuushi. A mistake that everyone made due to her kanji writing. I don’t know how and why, everyone finds it easier to call her Ryuushi instead of her real name. Including Makoto. Then they talk about Erio who stopped coming to school by requesting to drop out. Makoto meets Maekawa and they both walk home. He is happy that he gets to walk home with 2 different girls in 2 days in a row. Guess what he sees when he comes home? You guessed it. Erio in a futon lying at the doorstep. Feel like kicking her like a football? So I guess even if he is annoyed with her, he still is curious enough to know what alien activity she’s talking about seeing she allows him to accompany her on a mission. Yeah, read: She just loves the bike ride. So that night the duo head out to the shore with Erio as usual sitting in the basket. When Erio walks into the sea, Makoto gets frantic and thinks she’s trying to kill herself! He rushes in to grab hold of her as she reveals she usually comes here to investigate. Something about how she can fly. Yeah, this is pushing it. So her logic is that she can free herself from drowning at any point by just flying. Huh? Makoto rides back and along the way meets Maekawa doing her late part time job wearing an odd costume. Is that a sandwich outfit? Noting Erio with her, she explains Erio is famous around here because her original claim was that she’d been abducted by aliens but halfway through she suddenly changed her story that she is an alien sent to observe Earth. People soon avoided her and subsequently she dropped out of school. Maekawa is surprised to hear both of them living together. Well, they’re cousins. Makoto returns home to see Meme enjoying Erio’s pizza. He asks her about Erio’s disappearance about a year ago. Was it due to kidnap? Nope. Not that the police could find anything conclusive. All she knows is that Erio doesn’t have memories of what happened during that half year. So her being an alien is somewhat her way to fill in her missing memories seeing she was always infatuated with space. To show proof that she was an alien, she rode the bike off a bridge over a river but failed. Though she fell into a shallow part of the river, she broke her leg and got hospitalized. Ever since, she wrapped a futon around herself.

Episode 3
Makoto and Ryuuko are talking about deep sea creatures. His life seems pretty routinized. Every 3 days he takes Erio out on his bike to the beach looking for signs of aliens. Sometimes they meet Maekawa in her different cosplay outfit. This time they talk about existence of aliens which is something like one’s belief in religion. On another day, Ryuuko takes Makoto out and shows him around the city. They talk about failure is the mother of success (?!), the tricks she can do (planting a wrong flower?) and the meaning of mystery. On another outing with Erio, he tells her she wanted to believe her memories are somewhere out there, that there were aliens who had stolen them. She can’t fly, wrapped herself with a futon and ignored her own feelings and making excuses. The thing he didn’t like was using aliens as an excuse. That night Makoto talks to Meme to find out more about Erio, but that aunt is just fooling around wanting to play with him. So he agrees to play a card game with her and amazingly he lost 13 times straight! So back to serious talking, first thing Meme did is to suddenly hug him. Then she whispers if he’s getting himself involved because Erio is pretty, he should give up. Why is he so concerned about her? Aren’t there other girls he is interested in? Erio wants to be alone so he’s better off keeping his distance. When Meme was pregnant with Erio, she didn’t even know she was. It was too sudden that Erio became part of the family. She hid it from the rest because she didn’t want everyone to talk bad about her. Rumours of her father would spread. With that, Meme suggests sleeping together but was kicked out. Makoto dives his face into the pillow to smell it but was caught by Meme. She didn’t put any makeup so it won’t smell like her. I guess Makoto is ready to explode into insanity. In school, Makoto is summarizing what happened to Erio so far. So much so he isn’t concentrating in class. In short of what he plans to do, he is going to smash the illusion and her notion that aliens exist. He rushes home and tells Erio that they’re going to fly now. If she can’t then she’s an Earthling. After fixing up his bike, he starts peddling. He thought of playing chicken with her but as they ride downhill, he finds it impossible to back out now at this speed. Heck, the brakes aren’t working! Better start praying! Then they break through the guard rail and for that short moment they were like flying. Till they start falling into the sea. Though they are both okay, Erio panics upon realizing that she is human since she can’t fly. Even if they did for just 3 miles. Makoto says he just wants to be friends with the beauty who just came back down to Earth. He won’t mind hearing her out if she’s worried over her lost memories. That’s why they had this fun today so that they could get to know each other closer. With her coming to terms as a human, in tears she introduces her real self.

Episode 4
Though the bike has sunk to the bottom of the sea, Makoto is lucky to have escaped with a fractured arm. He could’ve broke more at the speed and rate he slammed into the water. I guess he will need more time to recover seeing Meme is trying to fool around in his bed in hospital. Then the usual dramatic story by Meme and the one whereby she reveals her husband’s name is Elliot, a foreigner. So that’s how Erio got her name from? She also says they broke up due to their huge different in values and it’s best to live like this now. After Meme leaves, Ryuuko comes visiting. She’s wearing a hat not to mess up her hair. Makoto mentions she is cute and this flusters her to deny it and reveals she was turned down by 2 guys during her first year. Uh? Ryuuko asks if he was trying to commit suicide with that stunt. He denies it when Maekawa comes in (in an eggplant costume?). Ryuuko seems jealous with the appearance of another woman. Imagine her horror when she misheard about them spending a night together. What she meant was all the evenings they met would probably add up to 1 night. Huh? With that, Ryuuko runs away and it’s Maekawa’s turn to take her seat. Guess what she asks? Is he trying to be part of the fish kingdom with that stunt? No, he was trying to fly but couldn’t produce enough power and fell. Yeah, that seems more feasible. So he’s trying to be part of the bird kingdom? Haha. Maekawa suggests that they go to the beach this summer. She is interrupted with Ryuuko returning. More misinterpretation that Makoto may be ‘past’ the beach stage as Maekawa reveals Makoto and Erio to be cousins. After 2 weeks, Makoto is discharged and when he returns home, he makes a shocking discovery that Meme has stuffed herself inside the fridge! WTF?! Her plan for him to warm her up? Not working. To celebrate his release, she invites him to go out and have lunch and has him call Erio since it’s his job. Erio may be gradually trying to be normal but she’s still weird overall. You can’t blame her since she’s afraid that she doesn’t have her memories and Makoto ‘killed’ her dream. She thanks him for clearing up a few things and gives him her panties as reward. Told you she’s still weird. So how are 3 people going to fit on a bicycle? Honestly, how the heck is Makoto going to ride with just 1 hand? With Erio in the basket and Meme as the pillion, it does look like a circus act. Oh my. It’s heavier than usual. At least they won’t fly at this rate.

Episode 5
Erio and Makoto find another futon girl in their house. A twin? They do what they usually do. Ignore. Turns out to be Meme and the reason she’s gone insane (she has always been one since the start) is because she just turned 40. Oh, the dreaded four-o. Anyway the kids have brought her a birthday present: Dangos. Because Meme remembers she forgot to celebrate Erio’s birthday last year, she thinks of making tomorrow her birthday. In class, Makoto seeks Ryuuko’s advice on what to get for Erio’s birthday. That’s the last thing you should ask a girl who has a crush on you but I guess he doesn’t know that. Yeah, so is it a surprise her mood just turned sour? Yeah, she has no time to spend with him. Makoto meets Maekawa and back at the store she is working part time, she hands him Erio’s birthday present: Warabi mochi. Outside, they see a plastic bottle rocket being launched quite a distance away as Maekawa explains a middle aged man with weird ear things launching them from the old school grounds. Makoto returns home and manages to fend off Meme’s smooch attack. He sees mother and daughter tying up the same twintail hairstyle. I guess some people just don’t want to accept reality and grow up. Makoto gives the mochi present to Erio in his room and she tells him something important: She’s coming back to society. That’s a good sign, right? First up as advised, they went to a barber, Toue Oi to give Erio a little haircut and the Toue starts teasing Makoto being the kid who looks at his aunt with complete pervertness. Imagine what kind of rumours Meme has spread, eh? But the biggest challenge is trying to get Erio integrate back into society. Everywhere they went for job interview, it seems she is rejected. I guess she was famous before, right? What would that say about you if you hired her? So Erio, welcome to the realities of society. Returning home, Makoto relays Erio’s failed interviews so she says she thinks it’ll take money for her to start going back to school. She starts sleeping on his lap and feels she knows a place where she could work. If he asks Erio, she may know where it is. When Erio comes in, Meme grabs her and they start rolling on the floor together. WTF?! Mother weirder than daughter?! Next morning, the kids go to Tamura Market and see the owner of the store, Tamura the granny. She recognizes Erio as Meme and Elliot’s daughter. She knows Elliot because that kid is a complete opposite of Meme and loves animals more than humans. Now, Tamura is another weirdo so it’s no surprise that she accepts Erio working at her shop. See, she’s talking about cattle mutilation and the animals in this city disappearing. She thinks she will be the next subject of cattle mutilation! It’s safe to say these ladies can click with each other.

Episode 6
Ryuuko’s friend, Mikki teases her if she has a boyfriend. Her blundering reactions are so obvious. They go visit granny and guess who Ryuuko didn’t expect to see working there? Ooohh… So much so Mikki thinks of stopping to come here but Ryuuko can’t help stop taking a peek at Makoto and Erio inside. Because of that, she spies on them with an excuse to keep an eye. She plans to bump into Makoto but I guess Meme did it first. Meme can tell the friend she is waiting, she is worried about being more than just friends. This startles Ryuuko and speaking of spy, there’s a creepy guy spying over them behind the post. Yeah, Meme could even say he’s a fan of hers. With Makoto coming by, Ryuuko excuses herself. Inside the store, perhaps Ryuuko is trying to use purchasing stuff as an excuse to talk to Makoto. Then she goes see Tamura. Since Ryuuko couldn’t answer straight if they’re friends, granny isn’t pleased of their romantic comedies and wants them to stop flirting in other people’s home! As Ryuuko leaves, she tries to hint to Makoto that Erio doesn’t have a good reputation especially in their school. So if people see them getting along well, he might get shunned. She tells him about Mikki’s opinion and thinks Makoto hates her now. But he doesn’t. Then she rushes off in the rain. Makoto notes that even if Erio has stopped going to school, her influence is still firmly embedded. Makoto talks to Tamura about everyone shunning Erio. She gives her earnest opinion that he should think about it himself first. If he doesn’t count gains and losses, idiots usually make the right decisions because they can see one thing. People can live without friends because it’s a luxury, not oxygen or water. He doesn’t need to care about other people’s friends because they can be your enemies later. If you’re afraid to be alone, then don’t live long. Take her case as an example. All her friends and husband are dead. Every night she can’t help thinking that it may be her turn next. Later Makoto talks to Maekawa about her opinion on Erio. She just ponders if there is a right time and place for everyone, where would Erio belong? In a futon? Not funny. Maekawa suggests that Ryuuko should also come a long to Makoto’s place and do lots of stuffs together. Oh, the way she says things… So first they tour Erio’s room followed by Makoto’s. Makoto has to put up with Erio trying to wrap herself with his futon and Ryuuko’s pouting because she’s jealous over something. So in the end, Makoto tired out because he had to juggle between Erio and Ryuuko 30 times! When Meme gets back, she gets this idea that the kids should make dinner together and hints to Ryuuko that it’s her chance to go after the boy in her heart. Guess who is the only boy around? Meme leaves with Maekawa and so Ryuuko starts to panic…

Episode 7
Maekawa finds several bottles of soda in front of her part time job store as reward. The store owner, Komaki doesn’t feel the need to report it to the police and instead have them stored in the fridge. While taking a break outside, they discuss about someone who has been launching those plastic bottle rockets recently. Komaki feels they’re aiming for space, trying to break free of gravity but could never do so. After her work, Maekawa cycles to the old school grounds to see a middle aged man, Ashiro making those rockets. He reveals launching them is his hobby. He drafts Maekawa to help him make those rockets and offers to pay 5000 Yen to per rocket! Say what?! $$$ *Ching*! *Ching*! So Maekawa brings Makoto, Erio and Ryuuko over to her place to make the rockets. While waiting for her, the nervous trio start passing tea around to each other. Dr Maekawa starts teaching them arts and crafts. Makoto and Ryuuko don’t have problems and they have to worry if Erio is up to the task. Don’t worry. With the support she gets, she’ll get by. After that, they each take turns to make each other a snack. Makoto gets a taste of Ryuuko’s pineapple dish and I guess he wanted to ‘save’ the rest from this taste and gobbles everything. I think he sent the wrong message to Ryuuko. Since it’s dark, Maekawa suggests they sleep over. Ryuuko doesn’t want to lose out so she’s in. That night Ryuuko and Makoto get some time to chat together since Erio and Maekawa got knocked out in the hot bath after less than a minute! Makoto mentions if he sees Erio getting into trouble with her ex-classmates, he’ll take her side even though he’d be an idiot for it but he can’t leave her. But Ryuuko mentions she can’t do the same if that happens. She signs off with a pretty smile. Next morning, the quartet arrive at the beach for their launch as Ashiro does the setting up.

Episode 8
This were the events that lead up to the launch in the previous episode. With today as Meme’s birthday, there is no way she is going to do any laundry. Then she wraps herself in a futon just for the heck of it. After she visits Komaki, she goes to see Tamura. After talking about animals disappearing and Meme’s turning 40 last week (oh, the horror), Meme requests for her to allow Erio to work here. Then Meme goes to the old school grounds because she is curious to see who is launching the rockets. We can see Ashiro has a crush on her but she clearly doesn’t remember him. Or his name. Who the heck is Yamamoto? He hints to her that he quit his job, returned to the city and is single. But Meme wasn’t listening. Meme gets excited when they launch one so he asks her reason for making a rocket. She says it’s to rid of the aliens. She promises to bring more and whispers a favour from him. Of course he’ll do it. Ashiro learns Elliot has left and overcomes his nervousness to ask Meme’s hand in marriage. This has her remember how she first met Elliot back when she was a kid at Tamura Market. It was love at first sight. Tamura was always mentioning she’s next or the cattle mutilation. Worried Meme didn’t want that and needs to do something. That’s when Elliot suggested to just get rid of them. Meme ran home right after Ashiro’s proposal. A week passed and she made sure she didn’t run into him by taking care of animals and watching Erio at work. Then she met Ryuuko outside and that fan-cum-spy was actually Ashiro. Meme further remembers Elliot telling her that the only way to make faith materialize is through ceremony and prayer. That’s the only way you can reach what you can’t see.

Meme returns to Ashiro not only for the rocket launch but to also turn him down. She doesn’t need his explanation but he rants on anyway. He always liked her as a kid. That’s all to it. Meme says she is happy living with her daughter and nephew and her family doesn’t need a husband or father. In fact she never married Elliot and would stay single for the rest of her life. Ashiro settles for being her friend. He adds that he was launching rockets for her daughter to see since he heard she likes space. Even the weird ear things are for that. However he thought she had no interest and had grown tall over 180cm. That was when Meme realized he mixed up the wrong girl (Maekawa) as her daughter. He thought he heard from people that her daughter walked around town looking weird. That is only true up to April. Ashiro returned in May and got the wrong girl. He tells Meme he even told her to make rockets for him and paid her for it. All part of his plan to get closer to Meme. She hugs him for doing a great job. That evening, she told Maekawa to have the rest make more plastic bottles. Then going to see Tamura, she persuades her to come with her to the beach tomorrow. Well, she thought nobody wants to see the body of a granny. Haha. Next morning as Meme and Tamura watch from above (granny could just recognize who and who by hearing their voice?), the rockets start launching. The initial ones didn’t reach as high but it gets better and better with the next wave. With the final one finally disappearing into the sky, Meme shouts to let it hit the aliens and suddenly BOOM! It exploded! Tamura is surprised that she stood up. As Meme explains, they got the aliens to let their guard down with the dummies and finally showed the real one at the end. Meme hopes the aliens and lethargy within her have died and that she is feeling pretty much alive. So now she doesn’t have to worry about the gods taking her away because soon she got rid of all of them thanks to Ashiro as the fireworks master. With that, Tamura assures she won’t be dying anytime soon and that there is no greater joy for her than to play with her grandchild.

Episode 9
It’s summer as Makoto exchanges email addresses with Ryuuko and Maekawa. Later Makoto gets an invitation from Maekawa to join an amateur baseball game. She’s only participating for the summer and hopes he can fill in the numbers they’re short with. Makoto and Maekawa (in a fish mascot?) are at the game between City and Shopping District as he notes a pitcher from their school, Hanazawa. Maekawa introduces Makoto to her dad and you can see the shock expression on his face. Makoto goes up to play and makes friends with Nakajima. We learn this city is split with half as the rapidly expanding city and the other half the older shopping streets and residence. Some of them are in an awkward position because like Maekawa lives in the city but her family’s bar is in the old shopping district. There seems to be a conflict between both sides so that’s why they’re settling out via baseball. The loser ends up cleaning the grounds and it seems Makoto’s team, Shopping District lost. Makoto eats Maekawa’s onigiris during the break and Hanazawa joins them. It tastes so good that Hanazawa even quips she wants to marry into her family. Makoto returns as Erio learns about him playing amateur baseball. Seems she is interested to join even if she’s denying having any. Inside, as usual Meme is up to her antics. Sprawled on the floor ranting she won first place in a popularity contest stealing all the men’s votes and that she is Makoto’s wife separated from birth! That night, Erio and Makoto do some stargazing. He is happy he got to see her smile as she requests to join the baseball game. Next day Makoto introduces Erio to the team. They also see a weird player in a space suit part of the team. Maekawa’s friend? Not that she knows of. Ryuuko passes by seeing she has basketball practice over in the next field. She is not happy seeing Erio and Maekawa with Makoto. It’s like she’s been left out. Upon seeing Nakajima, she starts acting awkwardly and leaves. During Erio’s turn as a batter, the ball hit the spaceman and that weirdo collapses. Oh Erio, it’s not your fault. Unless the vibration to the helmet was that great. Going over to see if that weirdo is better, suddenly she grabs Erio’s cheeks and starts talking in a weird way. Furthermore, she claims to be an esper. Just great.

Episode 10
As the game resumes, Makoto learns this ‘esper’, Yashiro Hoshimiya is a relative of one of the members in the team. Seems she caused trouble and ran away from home. I guess it’s another lost for Makoto’s team because he’s cleaning the grounds again. Maekawa in an Aliens’ cosplay? Yashiro starts chasing Erio around. Yashiro explains that fellow aliens should make friends. I thought she was an esper? Well, she’s an alien too? Yeah, she thinks she’s a real alien and that Erio is one too. Well, they may have clicked if it was several months back. That night as Makoto and Erio prepare to stargaze, they are shocked to see Yashiro crawling out from underneath the deck! Still in the space suit! So how? Erio returns wrapped in her futon. Oh, this is going to be one big odd battle. Yashiro got distracted by the telescope so Erio knocks her off. Her helmet flew off and we get to see Yashiro’s face for the first time. Haughty Yashiro still thinks she is the mighty alien and somewhat feels pity for Erio for having to put up with his rudeness. She realizes her blunder when she thought his name is Itoko (Cousin) because that is what Erio always calls him. The duo lock Yashiro outside of the house till she gives up. Ryuuko calls Makoto for the first time and wishes for him to come to her basketball game next week to cheer for her. She also lets him know about his baseball game in which the winner of the last game determines either City or Shopping District team to organize the festival. Makoto gets to know that Nakajima was the boy whom Ryuuko turned down when he confessed. Was she hoping a confession from him? Next morning, Makoto gets a bigger shock of his life. Why is Yashiro having breakfast with Meme in their house?! Maybe Yashiro called her onee-sama. Oh, she did. So why did she pick up yet another weirdo? Well, she reminds her of Elliot a long time ago and just had to take care of her. Makoto is tasked of sending Yashiro back. After dropping Erio off at Tamura Market, Yashiro gives him directions to her place while explaining about the universe and supernatural phenomenon source. Suddenly she has him stop dead in the tracks because she wants to go soak in the school’s pool. Makoto couldn’t believe this and plans on going home when suddenly a gush of water rains down on his head! OMG! Was that Yashiro’s doing?! Could she really be? Yashiro challenges him to cool his head down and to think that he doesn’t need to give up on things he can do. Makoto jumps into the pool and Yashiro feels choosing him was the right decision. After leaving her to rest at the shed, he goes to pick up Erio who is sitting outside the store to attract customers. Did it work? Well, she stopped Makoto, didn’t she? Learning Makoto has got wet because of the pool, she expresses her desire to go since she likes it better than the sea. She’ll bring him along next time.

Episode 11
Makoto narrates how he was once in the football team and because he was always benched, he quit and considers himself a failure. Thus started hesitating to reach for bigger things than himself. Makoto cycles out for food when he comes into Maekawa. I guess she wants to know what it’s like to sit in the basket like Erio, eh? She takes him back to her home (her parents are out working at the bar) and while she cooks for him, Makoto is yet again shocked to see Yashiro trying to steal the family’s tomatoes! He gets permission from Maekawa to get a couple of tomatoes to feed a ‘cat’ who is begging to have some. After tasting Maekawa’s delicious dish, they go up to her room to play video games. Maekawa notes how he is good at giving up because he always denies things before he starts. For instance, he gave up upon knowing he can’t return Hanazawa’s pitches. If they lose, they’re going to find it hard to participate in the festival. That night Ryuuko has another lovely chat with Makoto till she hears Erio. Mood swing time. Next day Makoto shows up at Ryuuko’s basketball game as promised. Mikki teases Ryuuko that her boyfriend came and tells everyone in the team. Guess who is also there to watch? Uh huh. Yashiro. He takes off her helmet. Then Nakajima and Hanazawa come by to watch the match. Makoto is surprised to know they are dating. As the game starts, Ryuuko is making lots of blunders (some really embarrassing). Hanazawa notes they can’t win no matter how hard they try or don’t give up since the team lacks the skill to score enough. Yashiro explains about some hidden potential especially in Ryuuko. Something about slow but making progress and that everyone is trying to reach their esper powers that will allow one to bloom. A few come close to touching it but most of them give up thinking it’s too far. Makoto wants her to demonstrate her powers and if she can, he’ll believe her. But she says she’ll do so when she feels like it. Nice excuse to run away? Ryuuko gets a free throw so Yashiro decides to show her esper powers. She wants Makoto to stand up and raise his voice. He’s going to do it? Well put it this way. If you will yourself to move, you move others since every human seeks to awaken their powers. Makoto realized that Ryuuko hasn’t given up yet. He stands up and gives a long speech of encouragement. It may be embarrassing for everyone turning their puzzled attention to but Makoto says what he has to say for Ryuuko to give it all her best. She gets enough confidence to land the free throws like it was nothing! Makoto felt good.

Episode 12
While watching Jupiter with Erio, Makoto gets a call from Maekawa about tomorrow’s final baseball game. Well, given their track record, she doesn’t think they can win. She’s saying like as though she’s so confident about that. Next morning, Makoto and Erio arrive early at the field and see Ryuuko at the bench and she is here to cheer him on. Even if she’s supposed to be on the City’s side, she gives the thumbs up that she’ll always be on his side. Maekawa comes by in a dugong outfit (?!) and with her calm tone, you could never guess they are facing a crisis. Her dad the pitcher has bowed to pressure and ran away. Dang. While the team have an emergency discussion, Meme comes by as the role of the beautiful young coach to give motivation to the team. Yeah, she even dresses the part of a baseball player! I’m not sure her advice is worth taking. Makoto asks if she really knows the rules and her reply is that she has no intention of losing to anybody in passion. Well, that’s that. Because of that, she has Makoto benched. Coach’s orders are absolute! Maekawa tells her about the pitcher problem so Meme picks Erio as replacement. Gosh. Will their chance of winning dip even further? It’s going to be tough because they’ve got the ace Hanazawa and even Yashiro (still in the full spacesuit) on the other team to deal with. But Meme doesn’t want Makoto to play ball and have him go in search of Maekawa’s dad instead. Yeah, she even has an idea of the places he would be. Repeat offender? Maekawa will take his place. Initially he refuses till Meme shouts aloud how Makoto loves smelling his aunt’s futon. Brings back horrible memories, eh? The umpire is asking what kind of throw Erio can do. She doesn’t understand and starts saying the other kinds of things she threw. TV remote? Pizza? Telescope?! As the match starts, Erio just finished reading a book on how to play baseball and throws a weak but high lobe. I guess the other elderly guy couldn’t estimate it very well and missed it. Strike one! Ah well. Erio will definitely be fine.

Makoto starts his search as he thinks about this reprieve Meme gave him because he doesn’t have to make a fool of himself with Hanazawa. But if he loses this chance, there won’t be any more opportunities for Ryuuko to come cheer for him. Makoto actually finds Maekawa’s dad. He’s still running. Makoto’s still chasing. They tire out. So they sit and chat as daddy says Hanazawa is too strong and when the team loses, the pitcher always takes the blame. He’s afraid of that again. But Makoto mentions that in school, Maekawa’s team always loses so it’s the case of there’s always someone stronger than you. Makoto’s speech felt somewhat like as though he isn’t a winner, but he plays an important role. This gives daddy his confidence back as he rides back with Makoto. He pesters him about his relationship with his daughter but didn’t believe they’re just friends and will grill him properly after the match. Dad’s confidence is fluctuating, wondering they can still win so Makoto tells him the heroes always arrive on the scene late. When they return, the City side is leading though Shopping District still maintains their ground. However Meme makes Makoto the batter and points to his heart, where the real battle is. Ryuushi yells out loud her encouragement for him to do his best right next to his ear. Pay back for the last time? Makoto is brimming with confidence as he steps up to the plate. Despite facing Hanazawa, he knows her pitching style and habit. He didn’t get struck out 20 times for nothing, you know. Hanazawa pitches as Makoto uses every ounce of strength to hit the ball. It flies so high up in the sky that it may seem to disappear. It might even be homerun! Makoto starts running but feels his hands numb after the hit. Then he sees Yashiro looking at the sky amazed, just like everyone else. Suddenly a gust of wind blows the ball further and it ends up in the river. Homerun! Miracle! Even if they have a couple of innings more to go, they think they can win it. Erio praises how cool Makoto was and Meme is going to give him a reward. I guess he was trying to figure out the hidden meaning of her words and took him a while to realize that Meme had landed a big kiss on his cheek! Eek!

Episode 13 (Special)
This series was meant to be scheduled for 13 episodes but the tsunami disaster on March 26 had the producers cancelled the airing of the final episode and instead released it along with the final release of the DVD and Blu-Ray discs. In this episode, Makoto meets Ryuuko at the festivals. She is in her cute yukata but the helmet makes her look out of place. Something to do with her hair I guess. After some small talk here and there, she asks why he didn’t come with Erio tonight. Apparently she’s out with Meme. Good news or what? Then they see Maekawa manning a family yakisoba stall. Oh, she’s in a weird eel outfit. More oddities from the ladies as Maekawa yells out loud while Ryuuko doing some basketball guard defensive move. Huh? Maekawa gives Makoto a free yakisoba on the house as congratulations for Erio’s new job. Makoto and Ryuuko move along as the latter thanks the former’s baseball heroics, otherwise they won’t be holding this festival now. Makoto feels uneasy being labelled a hero because he felt most of it was by fluke. Nevertheless he puts up an act accepting he is the MVP of this festival. Ryuuko wants them to visit more stalls but obviously Makoto had already made some promise. Though heartbroken, Ryuuko allows him to go but will have him pay back hundred times with interest. But she can’t hold it in and cries while running away. Makoto feels he is going to get divine retribution. Meeting Erio at the shrine top to watch the stars, after a little chit chat, Erio gets excited to see the meteor showers across the night sky. Makoto realizes Erio joined the baseball team to watch them from here tonight. With the festival spirit giving that feeling of release, she could escape her so called quasi-home arrest.

Suddenly they are interrupted with the appearance of Yashiro. Yes, she still wears the space helmet but now in a robe? She was starting to get annoyed and thought of dumping her job and leaving the city but decides to demonstrate her esper powers to him. After all that long-winded talk that includes a twisted version of The Boy Who Cried Wolf (something about screwing morals and that the important part is about the boy who believed in his lies that he really brought a wolf to the village), suddenly the sky is lit up with… Fireworks! Erm… Wasn’t this supposed to be on the programme? But wait! Suddenly something is coming down from the sky! Is it a bird? Is it a plane? Is it Superman? IT IS A METEORITE!!! HOLY SHIIIIIIIIIT!!!!!!! It crashed into the shrine and if Makoto had not listened to Yashiro’s advice in stepping back a few steps, he could’ve been directly hit and probably dead! All he got was a scratch on his shoulder. Is this divine retribution? That’s when he starts thinking frantically. Is this really her power? Was she telling the truth all along? Is she really an esper? Is she really an alien? Fear and behold. Seeing is believing. Five days after the incident, Makoto continues to laze around while wondering his denial. Yashiro has disappeared and all that is left behind is her space helmet. He makes an assumption if she really was an alien on a mission and that mission was to save him from dying from that falling meteorite at that time of day, if she foresaw that and tried to prevent it, then that would explain everything. Even if Makoto did a little reading up to find Yashiro’s name was based on temple that meteorite falls frequently, he failed to disprove her argument. He lost. His common sense, reason and pride. The more he thinks, the more he gets confused about this escapism and the existence of aliens. He gets a call from Maekawa about an invitation for baseball practice to train for next year. He’ll think about it and send her a reply. He then asks if aliens exist and instantly she says no. Because for questions with a chance of being 50/50 correct, it’s best to go with your guts. So that’s how she aced her exams? That night, Makoto replies that he will join the training and joins Erio stargazing.

Hen Na Onna To Hen Na Otoko To Hen Na Minna…
So this is how it ends? It’s that what-the-hell feeling once more. I thought it could have ended better. But who am I kidding? What kind of ending would I want to see? Even if Erio has discarded the belief that she is an alien, she is still overall an oddball. The way she speaks and the way she acts, as if there were remnants of her peculiar alien characteristic. An outsider may view her acting to be just strange. It’s tough for a girl who has lost her memories, went round proclaiming to be an alien for a while, to be integrated back to society. After all, even if she won’t ever get back those missing memories, society won’t forget her weird stints. That’s how societal prejudice comes about. Would you want to risk your own reputation and be associated with a weirdo? Think not. But can you blame people for shunning Erio. Can you blame Erio for thinking she is an alien? However the series doesn’t seem to focus much on Erio except for the first quarter. As early as the third episode, her problem has already been solved by that bike flying incident and ever since I noticed she has been gradually being pushed to a minor role. Then we are diverted with Meme’s past via the plastic rocket bottle arc and finally concluding with the baseball arc and the mini nothing-much-happens festival single episode.

Makoto as a guy who starts out never believing in those unexplained stuffs like UFOs and the supernatural, I feel he may have not started to accept those myths but he learns to look at it at another positive way. He somewhat reflects on the things, the impact and effects of certain events. He learns not to give up so easily and just because something seems impossible, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try your best even if you know it will end in failure. So can I say that the more he lives together with everybody, the weirder he also becomes? Looks like he is getting the hang of life. But after that mind boggling meteorite crash, his belief in the unexplained has become murkier than ever. To believe or not to believe? Is it really out there? Well, it’s up to you to believe. The most amusing character of the series goes to Meme. No doubt about it. She never acts her age and some may find her annoying. But I do find her funny. Because of her quirkiness, Makoto is constantly on his toes. You’d never know a 39, make that 40 years old aunty would hit you where you least expected it. Despite her eccentric and carefree attitude, she deeply cares for her daughter and of course Makoto. It might be hard to admit but the things she do may seem childish at first but actually ends up and seems a lot wiser. For instance, just ignoring Erio be herself as an alien, wrapped around a futon. Seems like a mother who doesn’t care, right? But if she were to be strict, use violence and force, what good would that do? It may even traumatize Erio even further and leave a mental and emotional damage that cannot be repaired. Besides, Erio already had a prior traumatic experience of trying to fly and failed so it’s no good to add to that. Whatever happened to Erio to make her lose her memories or that incident that caused Meme and Elliot to break up may never be shown but the most important thing is Erio is still around and alive with lots of people supporting her. Okay, maybe her family and close friends but that’s a good start.

I thought I was going to see a love polygon between Erio, Maekawa and Ryuuko later in the series but I guess it didn’t materialize. That final episode didn’t really help either. Heck, I was prepared to throw Meme into the fray but we all know she is just fooling around. The type that Makoto would rather stay far away from. It is obvious that Ryuuko do certainly have a crush on Makoto. Erio’s feelings for Makoto may just be gratefulness, someone she can rely on. So it’s unclear if those feelings would turn into anything romantic. Maekawa? She’s always playing it cool and loves teasing Ryuuko. Speaking of Ryuuko, it seems like a little running gag that everyone loves calling her Ryuushi and shortly the girl herself tries to remind them to call her by her real name. No one actually pays heed to that and continues to call her Ryuushi. Lucky I didn’t :). I wonder if she is tired of trying to correct people about her name because it really must have fallen on deaf ears. Maekawa’s cosplay definitely would make heads turn. She loves wearing weird outfits even if she’s not working part time. Just like in Ryuuko’s case, she too has a problem of remembering Makoto’s real name and continues to call him “Transfer Student” right till the end. Past the expiry date. So I guess he’ll always be a transfer student right till graduation, eh?

Just when you thought Erio is slowly coming back to society with her part time job at Tamura Market, then comes along another weirdo in the form of Yashiro. I actually was curious to really know who this white haired girl is. She may be another wacko case like the initial Erio though it was only mentioned that she ran away from home. It is also vaguely hinted that she might have esper powers but I won’t got as far as saying that she’s an alien. I’d be surprised if she ever did. She may be annoying but only in the eyes of Makoto because he’s like somewhat a non-believer in this sort of things. But if you spend a little more time with her, you’ll find the things she has to say are motivating and to a point true. For example, her lecture on every human has potential to use their esper powers. Often, it is that hidden determination and will within us that gives us that extra power to do what is seemingly impossible and when we are on the verge of giving up or at our limits. And when that ‘miracle’ is pulled off, it feels like magic. They may not happen very often in our lives but they do happen everywhere, now and then. So really, who is that Yashiro girl anyway? Was even that meteorite summoning just a big coincidence or is she really something more than meets the eye? We’ll never know that’s for sure. Just more questions. Ironically, why pick a human spacesuit if she considers herself an alien? I guess the townspeople have seen too many weird happenings lately so they’re not really bothered if another one shows up. But if you’re hoping to find any supernatural stuff like the electromagnetic girl as in the title, don’t be because it’s a term used in Japan to refer to a person who holds crazy and odd beliefs.

An amusing section at the end of the episode is Makoto’s Adolescent Points segment. Over the episode, he adds or subtracts points he deems good or bad as part of his experiences growing up. The maximum being 5 points and the minimum 1 point for both sides of the poles. I’m not sure of his purpose in doing so but I guess it is for him to reflect the satisfaction of his life during his high school years because he believes this is the culmination of his life is. So I can safely say that whenever he does something good and favourable with the girls, he adds them and vice versa when something unfavourable happens. It is definitely a minus when it involves Meme. Haha! There are good times and bad times so there may be times he has a positive total and on bad days he will end up with a negative figure. By the end of the series, his total adolescent points stands at +3. Yeah, the penultimate episode gave him lots of good adolescent points and raked up as high as +19. However here weren’t any Adolescent Points tally for the final episode so I’m not sure where or how the points went. But I’m sure that smooch attack by Meme in the final scenes would have taken away all his Adolescent Points. He may even break his own record. Seeing that the meteorite crash took a devastating -20 out of his tally, I guess that eat up lots of his hard earned points, eh? Though this Adolescent Points may serve like a short recap of important happenings during the episode, Makoto isn’t the only one who has those points. Meme and Erio too have theirs but only twice and once respectively. Meme as usual being the wacky one has her points in thousands and in the end, ends up with zero points because probably all those ‘good’ stuff she did to Makoto cancelled out the horrible fact she just turned 40. Haha!

The drawing and art style seems pretty familiar. Then I realized it’s from SHAFT. Those guys who brought you Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei, Pani Poni Dash, Arakawa Under The Bride, Maria+Holic and Bakemonogatari. Though their signature style may not be obvious, but there are some moments that you will recognize them. Something about the drawing of the female characters bugs me. They way I look at it, it’s as though they are drawn to a very cute manner that makes them look like living dolls. Especially Erio, Ryuuko and Meme. Maybe it’s their lips, cheeks and the smile. Sweet but a little creepily sweet.

I may not have heard Ai Nonaka very much recently but she is still recognizable as the eccentric Meme. Her voice definitely suites the crazy single mom. Something you can expect like Fuuko in Clannad and Fuura in Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei. Asuka Oogame (Mikazuki in KissxSis, Liz in Omamori Himari) voices Erio and she does make her sound insecure and feeble after being brought down to Earth. Other casts include Miyu Irino as Makoto (Syaoran in Tsubasa Chronicle), Emiri Katou as Ryuuko (Kagami in Lucky Star), Mai Fuchigami as Maekawa (Hinako in Honto Ni Atta! Reibai Sensei), Yuka Iguchi as Yashiro (Index of To Aru Majutsu No Index) and of course Kana Hanazawa as Hanazawa (I feel when they introduced her character, it was supposed to be a joke referring to this real seiyuu herself). In keeping with the weird theme, I also find the opening theme and animation to be just weird. More like “WTF is it about” if you ask my opinion. Os-Uchuujin by Asuka Oogame and Shinsei Kamatte-chan feels like Erio trying to sing in her space alien voice which makes it sound odd. Then we have those background vocals that go “Lalala la lalala”, and it sounds like they are singing aliens. The ending theme is Ruru by Etsuko Yakushimaru. Yet another weird piece, it starts off with a soft and slow singing accompanied by a solo piano before it turns into a carnival or song fit for the circus. I thought there were going to be different ending animations for each episode but I guess it becomes fixed by the third episode. The first one has UFOs, the second one paying tribute to E.T. with that trademark bicycle flying across the moon before fixing it with a very Erio-focused animation.

Whether you believe in aliens and supernatural stuff, it is totally up to you. As we learn here, just because somebody believes in something so absurd and impossible in real life doesn’t mean it’s right for us to tell them it is wrong to believe in that ridiculous belief. Whether it’s to fly or being an alien. That belief works out as their hope. So how many Adolescent Points have I raked in for this series? Get to watch this series = +1; Half-assed ending = -3; Didn’t make it a habit to call Ryuushi = +1; Meme the amusing and bubbly aunty = +3; Meme the amusing and bubbly aunt which makes her an annoying person = -3; Finding Yashiro annoying = -2; Comical moments = +1; Ruru is a nice ending song = +2; Total Adolescent Points = +/- 0. Hah. That pretty sums it up. Okay everybody, start singing with me, “I believe I can fly… I believe I can touch the sky…”.

Hen Zemi

April 14, 2012

Humans. A very complex species that is very hard to understand. That is why we have topics like sociology science to study the human behaviour and characteristics to further comprehend how the human mind works as an individual and a group in society. Well, even though that I am one of the Homo Sapiens, I consider myself naive in knowing my own species. Except for maybe all the bad parts in general. So I thought what a better way to help me understand humans a little more than to watch Hen Zemi. Okay I admit. It was just an excuse to watch this very odd show.

This series is also known as Abnormal Physiological Seminar and revolves around a group of students in the above mentioned class or seminar. When you see the word ‘abnormal’, it should have been an indication that whatever research that the class does won’t be by the book. Yes, what you’ll see here are mainly very strange and odd researches. So weird that it may look perverted in the eyes of others. So bloody unusual that it will definitely look disgusting to the eyes of ‘normal’ people. Really. If you want to know what I mean, just watch it. But you have been warned. If you can’t stomach some of the researches (albeit not graphic) you might want to consider watching something else.

Of all the students in this class, I guess the most ‘normal’ one would be Nanako Matsutaka. You’d be asking what is a normal, nice and shy girl doing in this class filled with absolute weirdoes? Well, one thing. She is in love with Komugi Musashi who is a student in this seminar. I guess when you’re in love, you’re pretty much blinded. She may be in this class just to be close to him but perhaps she didn’t read the fine print of the class she is signing up for. Yup. Lots of sexual harassment-like assignments and eccentric classmates that confuse her make her daily life a living hell. Can she make the grade? Sit tight and grit your teeth girl. You’re in for the ride. The other peculiar students in this seminar include Miwako Mizukoshi (has lots of perverted fantasies to the point she can actually fantasize and drool right in front of everyone), Yesterday Taguchi (a degenerate manga artiste wannabe), Hishiyasu Ichikawa (punk rock bassists and with a passion for filming) and Makiko Gregory (the elusive half Japanese half British blonde). Their professor is Kenji Meshiya and when I first look at him, I thought he resembles like those ugly monster orc creatures you’d see in RPG games…

Episode 1
Matsutaka is on her way to class but was stopped by Komugi as warning. Seems if she heads down the flight of stairs, she’ll risk getting her skirt being taken by Ichikawa who is doing some experiment of rare pictures and showing them around from the kindness of his heart. WTF?! Komugi isn’t the nice guy he is. He gives Matsutaka a choice to either be indebted to Ichikawa in helping him complete his research or him for warning her. Matsutaka thinks hard about her choice and after all, she joined this class because of him. She never did well even if her weird research of farting in the bath may raise an eyebrow or two, Meshiya failed her. Her embarrassing explanation didn’t even help. So if she wants to pass, she’ll have to simulate a live indescribable fart to him. Meanwhile Taguchi is trying hard to finish his manga deadline since Makiko isn’t here to help him put in the colour. He is further bugged by the flies in the room, in which is part of Mizukoshi’s experiment in raising fruit flies in her auditory canal using her ear wax?! DISGUSTING! Mizukoshi is the top student and Matsutaka is being told to learn from her. This has Matsutaka think that Mizukoshi and Komugi are compatible with each other (Komugi’s last experiment was wearing diapers underneath his pants in public) that’s why they are going out together. Taguchi seems to be interested in researching borders so he convinces Matsutaka to touch his finger. Then he concludes that there are no borders between her finger and tits and that it will be alright to touch them. Mizukoshi really wants to volunteer herself for this one. Makiko shows up so Taguchi has her fill in the colours of his manga page. Outside class, Komugi goes talk to Matsutaka. Since Komugi has Netorare (NTR) fetish (obsession of seeing your girl going out with other guys), he doesn’t mind Mizukoshi hanging out with the other boys. He continues explaining the importance of true value and roundabout imagination which is better than straightforward truth. This causes Matsutaka to feel embarrassed. As for the favour, he wants her to treat him to dinner. I’m not sure about his choice food which made Matsutaka’s face go redder because it has something to do with her period.

Episode 2
Matsutaka and Mizukoshi walk in and to their surprise see a guy in some perverted cosplay with Makiko. That guy is Yuji Horii and is Meshiya’s senior whom he respects very much. He is famous for making some adult game called Pinal Mantasy back in 1998. Never heard of it. But currently he is living in a hut by the river and only contacts Meshiya when he needs money. Eh? In contrary to his nickname the White Wizard Holy, it is nothing near anything holy because he is nicknamed so due to his love for bukkake!!! The gang go out for a drink and it seems Horii takes a liking for Mizukoshi due to her perverted fantasies. See how hard Matsutaka is trying not to listen to their sick conversation? Horii talks about fishing. A different kind of fishing. The kind where you hang your naked body with hooks through your skin! He thinks Makiko’s white skin is perfect for it. Moving on to Horii’s living-by-the-river, actually his hobby and his real job is to find people like them for corporations. Seriously? For now Horii wants them to study under the guidance of Meshiya. Makiko notices all the customers gone. Looks like they went outside to puke after hearing their sick conversation. Later all the seminar students gather for a nabe meal. But it’s not going to be just an ordinary nabe. They have to put something odd in it. Let’s just say everyone brought something really odd. Except for Matsutaka’s bananas which are considered normal. So when the lights go out, they’re supposed to put the ingredients in. That’s when Ichikawa realized that in this darkness, they’re supposed to do something. Mizukoshi already lost herself in her sick fantasies as Matsutaka was told to move her legs because Komugi dropped his chopsticks. Then he mentions about being able to see her skirt even though it’s pitch black. Though Matsutaka feels embarrassed this concludes that embarrassment isn’t always something external but internal. With that, Matsutaka starts unbuttoning her shirt and wonder if Komugi could see what she is doing. However time is up and the light goes back on. I wonder what would happened if she had undressed halfway. So we see Ichikawa playing his bass naked and Taguchi trying to suck his own dick!!! Inside the nabe, only Makiko put in her underwater motor… They were also supposed to put in the tampon but Makiko used it. She thought of giving it to them to use, causing Ichikawa to puke. In the end when everyone has a beer, Matsutaka wonders why hers felt warm like body temperature. Komugi’s pants are unzipped…

Episode 3
Matsutaka and Mizukoshi are handing out flyers advertising the seminar wearing hot stuffy animal mascot suits. However Mizukoshi is enjoying it because she’s wearing nothing underneath! Matsutaka goes back to the classroom to cool off but finds it locked. Komugi is there and since he notes that Taguchi has the key, he leads her since it’s hard for her to see properly in that suit. He buys her a drink and she refuses to take off the headgear because she is embarrassed that he’ll see her sweaty and sticky forehead. However Komugi also has sweat fetish and really likes her smell. His smooth talking convinces her to allow him to take off the headgear. But it’s just a ploy to show a newbie, Anna Katou the kind of research that this seminar is doing. So Matsutaka was just being used… Anna is being introduced by Meshiya as a new student. Due to her red head, Matsutaka thinks she’s an ex-delinquent. Everyone has their turn introducing themselves but did everybody forget Matsutaka was there? Yeah, her turn was skipped. Anna is pretty nervous in introducing herself but when she sums up her courage, she blurts out she never had a boyfriend in her life. Taguchi and Ichikawa discuss if this is a big joke (because she has big boobs and besides, delinquents making it into college?). Taguchi gets kicked in the face by Anna. Well if they find it all too weird, then shouldn’t she be in this seminar? Taguchi starts fantasizing about an after-school meeting with the delinquent and smells her shoes but was beaten up again. After Komugi asks her about some question that he asks every girl just to see their reaction (something about letting it inside them), Anna blows her top and wonders is an inexperienced delinquent that weird. Since she promised not to hit, Taguchi and Ichikawa answered yes. Matsutaka feels she is somewhat similar to her. After class, Matsutaka talks to Komugi as she wonders why is Anna trying so hard to be seen as an abnormal person. He thinks it’s a test of courage. He throws back the question to Matsutaka of why she entered this class. She couldn’t answer. Matsutaka thought he’s going to give a romantic answer but it turns out to be a desire to eat raw liver. Meanwhile Anna is determined she’s going to lose these shackles she had for the last 20 years as this seminar is her only hope.

Episode 4
Anna and Matsutaka are heading towards Horii’s house as invited. They see Makiko outside and she cut her finger while cutting vegetables. Inside, they see the guys arranging food over Mizukoshi’s naked body! She’s using herself as a giant platter! As they dig in (Mizukoshi just loves the pleasure of chopsticks touching her body), Meshiya opens his New Year speech about media manipulating the meaning of crimes. Which means people like them have to be careful on what they do. Anna and Mizukoshi find it hard to eat off her body. Then everyone finds out that Horii is Mizukoshi’s new boyfriend. Horii wants new girl Anna to drink from Mizukoshi. She is rather reluctant and he actually was going to cut her with his samurai sword! She is saved when Ichikawa dived his entire face into the sake. Meshiya concludes that he did so to protect a classmate so he tells Horii that bloodshed during a feast is forbidden. He agrees and puts away his katana. Komugi then feeds Mizukoshi and tells her that he’s gotten over her. Then he has an idea for their first experiment of the year. He wants to see how many meat Mizukoshi can eat. I guess he hasn’t gotten over the grudge. Everybody starts force feeding her because Meshiya will give every participant an ‘A’ as goodwill. Taguchi thought Komugi spilled his sake but Horii can tell that this ‘final tears of vexation’ isn’t hidden seppuku but hidden ejaculation. He acknowledges Komugi as a true man. Matsutaka wonders if she has a chance with Komugi again.

Episode 5
Anna visits Ichikawa’s house to discuss the seminar and despite his mom knocking on his door and being told to go away, she opens anyway as Anna sees him naked playing his bass in front of mannequins! I guess mommy has seen this so many times that she isn’t the least surprised. Ichikawa is being rude to his mom and his guest but mother plays it cool. This is the first time her son has a girl over so she’s quite nervous. She leaves to get pudding as requested by her son so as not to interrupt them. Anna is here to discuss about their next project which will be done in pairs. They will be first and she got the map to his house via Taguchi’s map (amazingly she got here despite the horrible drawing). Then she hands him a package that Taguchi forgot to return to him. Upon seeing the adult mags, he throws it into the bin. Anna picks it up and a condom drops out. They both try to get it and their hands touch. Ichikawa’s mom happens to open the door (the store is out of pudding as she reports). Ichikawa continues berating his cool mom as she thinks Anna should stay for dinner. Since he can’t let the guest eat her sh*tty food (OMG!) he has her order the finest bento. Ichikawa tells Anna that the reason Taguchi is doing this is to tell her that Ichikawa is a big boob lover. That guy is probably jealous because Anna is cute though he has Makiko and can’t do anything himself so if she’s going to get taken, might as well set them up so he owes him one. In short, he’s trying to get on her good side by showing how much he cares for his friends. Anna deduces Ichikawa as the only child and for her she has an older brother, also a delinquent and toughest in Kanazawa. Because of him, no guys got close to her. Though that is the cause of her ruined love life, it’s better off than some guy who is stuck in his teenage angst years because his parents are so kind. The duo had a standoff and their faces are so close that it may look like they’re kissing. Oh, mom saw that too. Back to their presentation’s topic, Ichikawa has an idea of going along with Taguchi’s plan to see his reaction. He was about to suggest about doing it when mum again pops up. This time he blows his top. Anna leaves but why is she keeping the condom? Next day, Taguchi asks Ichikawa about his present. Taguchi is shocked to hear that he has used it as Ichikawa further mocks how tiny his buddy is seeing the condom was too tight. That must really hurt, right?

Episode 6
Matsutaka is sick and resting in bed. After smelling her own body sweat, it never dawn to her that Komugi was unzipping his pants next to her! His logic is that since he has trouble urinating which leaves a spot in his boxers, he wondered what she would say if he put it over her face! I think Matsutaka’s fever isn’t going to go down with this shock. Plus, seems Komugi has a duplicate key to her room! And he is the last one to finish the experiment. What experiment? After Komugi takes a picture of them with his secret camera, he shows her several pictures previously taken in secret by the others in her room! What the heck are they doing and violating her stuff?! Especially Horii and Mizukoshi doing something really unholy on her bed! Though this assignment by Meshiya has been on for about a week and the rest taking turns, Matsutaka feels this is too much and trespassing and using her as research material. However Komugi says that this is all to help her since she failed her last assignment. Matsutaka hides herself under the blankets and refuse to let Komugi satisfy his sweat fetish. She agrees to get out after she has change. But his experiment isn’t over and will record himself helping her change. However Matsutaka has discovered him so technically he is disqualified. All that can change if she cooperates. He plans to ditch his original experiment and complete the scenario of taking care of her while she’s sick. But the catch is instead of pretending to be asleep, she must behave that as if she knows that he is changing her clothes while sleeping. So Matsutaka has no choice but to cooperate (probably she’s still hanging to that little chance that he may like her back). The next few seconds are omitted. Once Komugi is done changing, Matsutaka feels very embarrassed. Then Komugi starts coughing. Looks like he caught her sickness. Three days later, Meshiya is impressed with the turn of events in which Komugi trespassed Matsutaka’s room and make her take care of him after catching her cold. And all Matsutaka got was just a pass. Now she’s going crazy that Komugi’s the only person she can marry.

Episode 7
In class, Taguchi seems down though his manga was published. Makiko explains to Matsutaka she isn’t sure if it’s because of the promise. Flashback reveals Taguchi was excited and Google about comments on his manga but saw comments it was boring. Makiko thinks he is trying to show his weak side hoping she’ll do whatever she wants with him. Matsutaka is worried Taguchi may let do perverted stuff on her like be in a train without panties but Makiko notes she already done that. Taguchi mentions he’s supposed to fondle her breasts and the thing is he has never done it. Matsutaka remembers that in one of the assignments that Taguchi has done that kind of stuff (on Mizukoshi). Then it’s revealed that it was Makiko who suggested it. Makiko asks for Komugi’s opinion on Mizukoshi (some perverted stuff) and then notes that Taguchi also had done the same on her while she’s sleeping. Taguchi tries to explain the precision work he loves doing so much so Makiko tells him to do what he wants and strips her top. Taguchi gets upset that this is what he want to do and runs away. Makiko leaves after him. Matsutaka asks Komugi about what Taguchi really wants to do and as explained, it is something like co-dependency. Something about excessive emotional or psychological reliance on a partner like ruin your own life for the sake of someone else. So the reason he’s hopeless is because he avoids fulfilment and doesn’t do anything as he is afraid of things falling apart. I didn’t understand the rest of Komugi’s explanation but the way he saw the magnitude Makiko’s ‘greed’, it turned him on. Makiko catches up to Taguchi and as they hold hands, they promise to kiss when things like meteor falling down or another alien race takes over the world.

Episode 8
Meshiya shows his class a video of a woman playing with balloons. I don’t understand how this is related to collective unconsciousness as he points out. In short, a perverted unconscious fetish lies dormant inside of everybody and a person’s pervertness is defined during his/her childhood. He has them share anecdotes of their childhood. Taguchi relates how a girl came to bath with him and he got distracted by her boobs. Makiko couldn’t remember hers so Meshiya thinks some trauma caused this self defence mechanism to make her have amnesia. Ichikawa was being bullied and it’s the same for Mizukoshi as she was forced to confess to an ugly guy. Meshiya notices Komugi enjoying it so he mentions about making Mizukoshi crying like then would be awesome (turning that pervert on). Komugi’s anecdote turns out to be a complete messy relationship. His father is his grandfather and is the son of his father’s wife and grandfather. Get it? Soon after, the seminar ended. Anna wonders why she thought of her brother back then. Meshiya rejects her report and later when she talks to Ichikawa, he excuses himself to go film a documentary. The kind where there are violence and beating up. Yeah, Anna tagged along to see. Ichikawa explains the heart-wrenching documentary about cross-dressers and masochism. Ichikawa’s job is to film private matters on demand and he doesn’t want Anna to tell the rest since this will be his thesis. Seems Anna has her own embarrassment and wants Ichikawa to help out. She dresses up as a maid and has Ichikawa film her. However it’s not coming out. What’s not coming out? When she greets customers in this form, she has urinary incontinence. Ichikawa guesses that since her report was rejected, she wants Meshiya to reassess it with a video included. She also thought she could rid of this useless obsession. Ichikawa vows to take that obsession and turn it into something meaningful. As Matsutaka heads to class, she is surprised to see Anna in a maid outfit serving them. Meshiya though rates her highly but notes he could’ve rated her higher if she had done it before him. Anna seems confident and notes the word ‘hen’ in ‘hentai’ stands change.

Episode 9
Ichikawa visits Anna’s room. He spots her diary and wants to read it. She claims she forgets things easily. The reason she called him here is to suggest if he wants to live a wild life with her for a week. Yes, it’s part of the assignment for the girls as they have to make their summer as rotten as ever. With Makiko choosing not to bath and Mizukoshi selecting living with kitchen waste, she got this by elimination. But Ichikawa isn’t thrilled. She prefers her to call over another guy and will tape it for her. He says abnormal is a method not a purpose and since her brother is at fault for making her a virgin, why not let him take responsibility. Anna starts telling how her brother may be the toughest delinquent and was somewhat relieved when he was with her. She discovered that he was only saying he is the toughest so guys would stay away from her so she ran away from home. She loved him back then and would’ve done anything. Ichikawa doesn’t buy her story and leaves. He also tells her to get a decent boyfriend. Outside, he sees a letter addressed to Anna. Suspecting something amiss, he dressed up as a lover and meets Anna’s brother and pretends to be Anna’s lover. That night, Ichikawa visits Anna and tells her he has met her brother. And he doesn’t look like a tough guy. He shows her the letter which has her handwriting and read what was inside. Anna insists she didn’t write the letter so he wants her to let him read her diary. Later when Ichikawa passes her the letter, she opens and finds it empty. But behind the seal is the address of her family’s home. Ichikawa mentions he scouted this address for 4 days and observed a naive looking guy coming in and out. He deduces she lived in Kanazawa her entire life till she entered college. All what Ichikawa is saying seems to be shocking Anna. From the diary he has read, some pages have the same sticker seal. The pages are written in Kanazawa dialect and there are photos of random delinquents. Referring to his ‘interrogation’ with her brother, he mentioned Anna was always tormenting him. She entrusted that letter to her brother and told him to send it to her when she needed it. He also said Anna wanted to remain naive. By receiving the letter, she probably focus on the pages with that sticker in hopes of finding a way to be normal (brother mentioned about her acting out another personality but once she returned to normal, she always giggled insanely). So from what I understand, Anna has a split personality. Anna always wanted to change and wonders if she has gone back how she used to be. Ichikawa feels she would’ve reverted back to normal in no time. He mentions about her great potential for the seminar and suggests doing it if she doesn’t return to normal. In class, Meshiya reintroduces Anna to everyone. She was a separate identity created by herself to enter the seminar. Her past records and Ichikawa’s videos have confirmed its credibility. Anna discards her red hair and looks forward to work with them. Ichikawa gives back Taguchi’s condom.

Episode 10
Matsutaka is disheartened to know that Meshiya has a folder in his computer with her name in it. It’s filled with lots of photos that are going to be posted on an amateur porn site! Mizukoshi relishes the time when she and Komugi used to take photos of them in the middle of action and posting it online for total strangers to see. Though they uploaded it in real time, it was deleted once done. When Anna comes in, she sees a bottle drink and asks for permission to have a taste. The rest think it’s an indirect kiss but nevertheless she goes ahead. Meshiya knows Anna has observed everyone’s reaction to the indirect kiss so she accounts her analysis and she is spot on in evaluating what was on everyone’s mind. So when it’s her evaluation on Ichikawa (something about him having a hard time discarding her old identity), Ichikawa decides to tell her the truth. That bottle was actually used by Komugi to attract Matsutaka’s attention and not her. Because the last time she tried to steal an indirect kiss and he was wondering if she would try again. Of course she wouldn’t because his pee was in the bottle the last time. Though Anna is taken aback, she mentions how delicious it is. But as Ichikawa points out, this time it is blended with Taguchi’s milk serum. This has Anna running out of the room. Taguchi is thrilled that Anna said it was delicious (Matsutaka felt relieved she didn’t drink it this time). Komugi explains about indirect bonding and how professionals can experience sex over a time lapse simply by walking into a place where a woman was moments ago. Furious Anna rushes back in and inserts the bottle right into Taguchi’s mouth to let him taste his own indirect blowjob. Then she unties her hair and proclaims she has returned to herself before the indirect kiss. This causes Ichikawa to go crazy, screaming like a mad person.

Episode 11
Matsutaka enters the class to see the guys turning the room into a sauna. Derived from how a group of manga guys worked so intense in the dead of winter that their body heat was enough to provide warmth. As explained by Meshiya, everyone is trying to be Wanakin Skywalker (?!) by abandoning their desires for a month and they are in their 20th day. So I guess this means the slightest deviant thing would turn them on. Taguchi accidentally drops his handphone at Matsutaka’s feet. He gets turned on and drops his pants! He felt reborn? Behold his red saber? Then he climaxes by just imagining Matsutaka in her undies. Meshiya feels this training is going out of control. Taguchi admits that he has fallen to the Dark Side and by using the Force within him, he will challenge the record of consecutive ejaculations. He agrees but warns he must do it by himself with no aid. Everyone except Taguchi and Matsutaka leave the room. She has to observe because she needs to put it in her next report. Oh, the horror Matsutaka has to endure. Power after power. It’s no surprise that she’s rather ‘dead’ after the experiment. She is so tired she doesn’t have enough energy to put up with Komugi’s jokes. So Taguchi got 13 ‘powers’, beating Komugi’s personal record of 10. Matsutaka wonders if he will try it on her and if this would work on him. She flips up her skirt but his eyes were focused on Anna’s boobs. He wasn’t listening to Matsutaka so she got upset and tells him to ask Anna to help him out instead. Next day, Meshiya is disappointed that everyone has fallen to the dark side. When Komugi mentions he achieved 15 powers, Taguchi doesn’t believe him and is confident Matsutaka can vouch for him. But when Anna mentions she can make guys ejaculate just by looking at them, Taguchi seeks her help to beat Komugi’s record. Matsutaka snaps and is going to kill him.

Episode 12
Matsutaka thinks Komugi is going to do something romantic to her face when it’s just him noticing about her earwax. He wants to clean her ears. At the park, Matsutaka puts her head on his lap while he starts digging. Though embarrassed, she still feels good. Then for the next ear, she thought of getting up over to his other lap but he insists on doing it on the same lap. Now she is more embarrassed. Komugi’s dirty comments didn’t help (“It’s so dirty like as though somebody came in your ear and left it all there”). At the end, she took up his advice of handing it as her report. Though she passed, now Meshiya wants to dig her ears and this time she is experiencing pain. Later Taguchi enters the room to see Komugi shirtless. He has Taguchi help put a wet compress pad on his left shoulder he injured yesterday. Taguchi felt odd in seeing the body of a naked man. After that as they sit together, Komugi notes this is the first time they’ve been alone together in this room. Since Taguchi denies Makiko is his girlfriend, Komugi wonders if it would be okay if she confessed to him instead. Though Taguchi couldn’t care less but his body reaction seems to be like as though he is breaking down. After suggesting all the other girls, Komugi says that he can tell who wants to be embraced by him. He pushes Taguchi down and is okay if they do it. Oh sh*t! He is willing to do this BL experiment as Taguchi panics. But who couldn’t be more panicky than Matsutaka who is hiding behind a wall observing them all. She halts the experiment and Komugi notes they could’ve kissed if not for her interference. But it seems Komugi is killing 2 birds with 1 stone. While Matsutaka was observing, there was a hidden camera to record her reactions. He suggests they can continue later and Matsutaka be the camerawoman. No thanks!

Episode 13
The gang are heading towards the hotspring inn and are split in 2 cars. Matsutaka and Makiko have to put up with Taguchi and Ichikawa noisy rock singing and their dangerous sliding and weaving in between the traffic on the highway! Makiko is just cool eating her food and offering some to Matsutaka. She couldn’t because she remembers she forgot to go to the toilet. Then they talk about dipping into the hotspring which is a mixed bath and the unsanitary and unhygienic act of soaking anything else but your body. Because Taguchi said something disgusting, Ichikawa puked outside. While speeding! Then Makiko mentions something about her period starting today so Ichikawa responds with some physics thingy that it’ll never leak due to the water pressure. All this is worsening Matsutaka’s condition. In the other car, the rest are wondering how Horii is supposed to reach the destination when Mizukoshi receives a call from him to pull over at the next stop. She calls Taguchi but speeding Ichikawa already passed it. Matsutaka begins to worry. Blaming him for it, Ichikawa eases on the peddle and goes slow. Now she wants him to floor it to the next stop. Komugi’s car stop at the next stop and with instructions, they open the trunk to see a bag. Inside it is Horii half naked! He almost froze to death?! And he planned to stay like this all the way? Continuing the journey, Horii wants Mizukoshi to warm him up via joining energy. You can make a good guess on what it is. The next car was shocked to see their act so Meshiya gives them a death stare to mind their business. With Horii feeling much better and warmer, he notices Anna totally ignoring him and not taking the horny subway express with them. He thought she is worse than before but Meshiya explains certain things had happened. Anna continues to give Horii the cold stare. Komugi asks if the man they love most were to die, what would they do. For Mizukoshi, she would do it with the corpse (this fact even aroused her). They get message from Taguchi that there is an accident ahead so traffic is not moving. Things are getting bad for Matsutaka but it is what is getting interesting for the rest. She can’t hold it in any longer so Makiko offers her to do it in a food packet. She assures the foodstuff in it won’t go to waste (mind the pun). I guess she has no choice but to attend to this emergency call of nature. Once they arrive at the hotspring, Horii notes how good this foodstuff taste. I don’t know if it’s real or not. And everyone has a good time soaking in the mixed bath.

OVA 1
Before the TV series, the first OVA was released. Though it is almost 30 minutes long, it is split into 3 short segments. In the first part, Meshiya fails Matsutaka for yet another disappointing assignment. There goes her autumn outing session. So it’s either redoing it again or putting on men’s clothes and get sprayed by water. Between the devil and the deep blue sea, huh? She chose the former. While walking her way home, she thinks back why the heck she joined this seminar. Plus, the assignment that was given to her is to research if having sex would make her beautiful. You read that right. And she failed because her research didn’t include any raw sexual experiments. Matsutaka felt a panty dropped on her head and thought some lady dropped her laundry. To her shock, she sees Komugi up on the pole trying to steal panties with his fishing rod! Part of his remedial assignment he says? Waiting for the time of the day when human eyes adjust to the dark so they can’t see? Well, he should be glad that Matsutaka was the only one who caught him red-handed. He shows her his bag filled with female underwear! Fruits of his hard labour?! Apparently his assignment is to research the lifestyle of a panty thief. He is supposed to steal them and use it as bait in his room while observing the thief stealing it. But stealing? Can’t he just buy some? Well, for realism and Meshiya wouldn’t approve of him using ‘fakes’. But even so, stealing? Komugi surprises her if she would give hers. But he was just pulling a fast one and asks for her assignment topic. It’s a little embarrassing to say out, don’t you think? He suggests that they should do her assignment together. Matsutaka’s heart is beating in this give and take situation but first, he wants her panties. Then he borrows her handphone to snap several shots of her. Why is Matsutaka willing to do it all obediently? Remember, she’s in love with him. So about the sex part? He doesn’t know what she’s talking and goes off. Next day, Matsutaka gets called by Meshiya and she thought it will be another earful. However he is impressed by the turn of events. Seems the picture Komugi took was sent to him. He is aroused by her erotic position? But good thing he’ll turn a blind eye to her assignment. Then when she mentions about Komugi’s assignment, Meshiya says he didn’t give him any this time. Oh dear. Does that mean…

In the second part, Matsutaka wants to ask Mizukoshi something over lunch but she refuses giving diet as an excuse. When Komugi turns up, Mizukoshi runs away. So I guess he’ll have to do, eh? She’s asking about appealing part time jobs so he suggests getting contracted with a faeces farm! Really! The kind where they really eat your sh*t! How can he coolly talk about faeces over lunch? See how the others around lost their appetite?! Anyway Komugi did do that job once. Komugi learns Meshiya handed Matsutaka another one of those assignments. Sexual perversion in the workplace. I’m sure she can really find lots of them especially in offices. Komugi gives more examples with the first couple relating to poo and his personal one whereby he did a part time job as a pizza delivery and ‘sauced’ the pizza! Though he was just acting. Continuing his examples with eel farms (the disgusting way they eat and were used on a female worker in a bathroom) and the candiru fish in the Amazon (believed to go into other creatures’ ‘holes’ and eat them inside out. That’s why women who swim in the Amazon where chastity belt). I guess Matsutaka couldn’t take more of it and later pukes at the toilet. And to think Komugi was so calm explaining all that disgusting stuff while stuffing food in his mouth! She hears Mizukoshi in the next cubicle and tails her out. Mizukoshi meets Komugi to give him her package. Don’t tell me it’s her waste… I’m not sure if Matsutaka couldn’t tolerate anymore of this disgusting talk or felt jealous that she walked away. Mizukoshi receives her pay from Komugi and truthfully asserts she really wanted to do it with him. But he’s not interested in it. Meanwhile Matsutaka again fails her assignment because Meshiya isn’t happy she turned her research into some poem. Candiru boy eating the miniscule feelings in my heart? WTF?!

The third part sees Matsutaka being called by Ichikawa for an assignment. He asks her straight if she knows what NTR means and if she would sleep with him or if not Komugi. You can tell her reaction to that question. The reason he’s asking this is because of his interested in porn footage. He shows one with Mizukoshi and Taguchi engaging in sex!!! OMG!!! Matsutaka is shocked because she thought Taguchi is in a co-dependency relationship with Makiko. Ichikawa lets her know the truth that his ultimate desire is to rid of Makiko. Matsutaka goes crazy over the fact that Mizukoshi is doing it with another guy since she and Komugi are going out. But taking a closer look at the footage, she sees Komugi happily peeping on their unholy act. Ichikawa says Komugi has NTR. Matsutaka gets more explanation of NTR from Meshiya (that guy really knows his stuff) but he asks her about her reaction if her boyfriend had sex with another girl. It’s not just a simple no that he is looking for. It’s about how he caresses other girls and does other perverted things differently than her. I’m sure Matsutaka got enough of Meshiya’s ‘guidance’ and leaves. Outside she meets Ichikawa and Mizukoshi. The latter reminds him not to pull off pranks on his juniors and it seems he has spy cameras on his shoes! But Mizukoshi knew he was filming up her skirt and didn’t say a word because she knew he would upload it on the web (cue for her to fantasize and drool). She even thinks she should upload that NTR footage. Matsutaka has had enough of them and excuses herself. Soon Komugi and Ichikawa come by and he’s got some juicy footage of it all. They are confident they will get high grades for this assignment. Meshiya also agrees because this assignment has fulfilled everyone’s abnormal taste with Taguchi’s dedication to be a degenerate, Mizukoshi’s abnormal masochist image, Ichikawa’s cold blooded filming skills and Komugi NTR fetish. With Matsutaka’s innocent reaction that was pretty good, he will also give her a high score for participating. However he wants to know which one of them this idea stems from. The students are stumped because they thought it was the professor’s. Meshiya reveals an anonymous person sent it to him in a letter and thought it was one of them all along. Well, I can think of one more person in the seminar that is missing from this picture. As Matsutaka laments the weirdness of this seminar and how she doesn’t fit in, she sees Makiko. She confronts him about Taguchi and Mizukoshi but it seems she already knows about it. Matsutaka wonders which part of that pervert she likes but she points out that is not the case because the kanji word for love and weird are almost similar. As the other students try to figure out who was behind this idea, Taguchi starts panicking and thought Mizukoshi just wanted to f*ck him. He gets punched. Taguchi narrates how he longs for the day Makiko will show courtesy to him but that is on a groundless assumption she never abandons him. Though he likes taking risk, he still needs insurance and Meshiya’s instructions were supposed to be that. Now that the idea came from an anonymous person, he is afraid this will lead to a misunderstanding to Makiko that he wanted to do it with Mizukoshi. Yeah, I guess that blonde is the big mastermind behind it all, eh?

OVA 2
This OVA came out after the TV series ended and as usual is split into 3 parts. The first segment sees Anna in a crowded lift. Naturally everyone reacts when they hear a fart. Anna admits as the culprit even though she wasn’t and receives piercing stares. This is part of her report but Meshiya fails her because it seems she wasn’t enjoying it! Yeah, only weirdoes would. Then he shows her Makiko’s report that was observing Anna doing the experiment! It was accepted! Anna confronts Makiko about making her the subject of her experiment. Worse, Makiko admitted all the farts came from her! Anna apologizes for being useless but she notices a different smell in Makiko’s fart. She asks if she is eating properly. Makiko shows her some meal from Mizukoshi. Seems she is a helper in her part time job and in an experiment to see if one can make poo smell like used rag to wipe spilled milk. WTF?! Who cares. She got the money. Anna can’t understand how she can be so calm with these weird experiments so Makiko tells her about some school she saw on TV. That school used Spartan-like techniques for a summer camp by making students doing tough and embarrassing stuff. Lots of boys and girls cried and left. The last kid standing held a refreshing aura. She wonders if Anna would like to feel like that kid. Plus, if she doesn’t like what she’s doing, she doesn’t need the guts needed for it. Anna dismisses she is running away and is doing it to change. Anna relates how her precious teen years slipped away because of her famous delinquent brother. Makiko treats her to lunch and boy, Anna is so drunk to the point her dirty secrets are coming out. Like blaming her brother for making her remain a virgin. Makiko looks pretty good to her so Anna kisses her on the lips! I’m sure the shop owner is pretty much shocked. Then Anna passes out as Makiko orders another bottle of sake.

In the second part, Matsutaka runs into Komugi on a hot day. She is a little nervous because she heard from Taguchi that Komugi and Mizukoshi had separated. Since Komugi is standing higher than her, he lets her known of her ‘clearly visible’ part. I guess in this heat, it’s natural not to wear a bra, eh? While Matsutaka is clearly embarrassed, Komugi continues about the people especially guys naturally and unintentionally exposing their private areas and that it is natural instinct for everyone to focus their eyes on that part. This is sex appeal? He goes on about girls covering their parts they don’t want to see most with a piece of cloth called panties. Matsutaka can’t take this anymore and forces him to join her to drink beer. She feels guilty for doing so but keeps reminding herself he and Mizukoshi are already separated. But then again, he’s not the kind of guy that’s bound too much either. For several moments, Matsutaka let her guard down and Komugi got a peek at her breasts. So he starts discussing about boob size but that doesn’t matter when you’re doing it because all you’ll be doing is feeling, fondling, licking… Then he mentions about the importance of nipple size. He analyzes Matsutaka’s and describes Mizukoshi’s, whom he can even tell how it smells! He advises Matsutaka that if a guy comes up to her for advice, he needs to change his perception of nipples preference first. That’s because he doesn’t want to see them both hurt! Nipples are like missile buttons? Yeah, make a good consideration before you press them. Once Matsutaka confirms he and Mizukoshi are no longer together, he is grateful to her as his seminar partner and is going to close up any love affairs for the time being. Matsutaka thought things would get awkward after the separation and that he would target Anna next. But he says taking notice of one’s own fault is a wonderful aspect of love. Then they drink up and cheers. To her nipples. Next day Matsutaka waits at the rooftop thinking back that it wasn’t just her nipples that was just visible to him. She starts thinking Komugi called her out here because he wants to go out with her. Actually it’s just a setup so that Taguchi and Ichikawa could film her undies from beneath.

In the final part, Matsutaka sees Mizukoshi talking to a boy before their next class. He seems disappointed. But it seems Mizukoshi is drooling over her fantasies about how guys would use her image as a tool for their carnal desires every night. They even develop fantasies for their partner that they wouldn’t even touch. Talking about Mizukoshi’s future, she wanted to become an idol before. Matsutaka thinks a gravure idol suits her. As for being a newscaster, she feels she wants something freer and not tied down because by being an idol she get to do fan conferences (fans not washing their hands and shaking hers in hopes of making her pregnant! WTF?!). After all, guys are like animals. They prefer to release their semen inside a woman’s body like they naturally should. Otherwise they would feel so empty. Then her handphone rings and Matsutaka is shocked that Mizukoshi but a rotor inside her, ahem, and it stimulated her when it rings. Earlier on she left a message in the boy’s toilet to call this number at this time. As part of her experiment, that guy earlier on, she was to send an erotic mail that would make her look like she mistook him for another guy. She’ll act like she will accidentally find out the mistake and plead that he should act as if nothing happened. This is to see the reaction of that guy at every step. Mizukoshi thinks of taking a picture of Matsutaka’s nipples and using it as hers to send the mail. This has Matsutaka wondering if Komugi had used her like how Mizukoshi tested on other people. She says she was planning to give her a chance since she’s not doing well in the seminar. Mizukoshi is still bent on taking her nipples but Matsutaka notes the difference in their breast size. She only plans to make the top part visible so not much difference is seen. After getting assurance this won’t be leaked anywhere else, Matsutaka reluctantly exposes her tits for her to snap. Mizukoshi looks behind and realizes a heavily panting guy at the far back of the class to be the one who rang her. Matsutaka wonders if this guy she is sending the mail is her boyfriend so this accidentally reminds Mizukoshi about her breakup with Komugi. She apologizes but Mizukoshi is okay with it seeing strange and love are 2 separate things and is able to switch between them. As for punishment for reminding her, she tickles Matsutaka. In the train, Matsutaka is nervously standing next to that texting pervert who thinks Matsutaka is the girl with the rotor. Yeah, he seems excited. Actually the rotor is with Mizukoshi and she’s enjoying the stimulation. As for that earlier guy, he too is in the train and sees Matsutaka’s nipples and thinks it belongs to Mizukoshi.

Love = Weird = Perverted?
Hmm… For most of the explanation part, I have to say it was hard and I couldn’t really understand what they’re trying to get. I’m no sociology student so should I blame that part for not being able to comprehend their clarification? So in a way it takes the fun out while I’m watching the series. The only thing that I see in these series is the weird and outrageous experiments that won’t ever be useful in our daily lives. I’m sure there are tons of human reactions for every situation, making lots of possibilities. But to conduct such disgusting experiments and enjoying it is another matter. It won’t be my place to call everyone perverts but it’s just too odd not to. Sure, these weird experiments are supposed to be a method and not purpose as said but the way they are doing seems to indicate that they live to do it. Well, if you don’t love doing something, you won’t be able to do it wholeheartedly, right? That’s why a bunch of oddballs and abnormal people are best suited for this field of work.

Amazingly it boggles my mind to know that Matsutaka can still last so long in this seminar. Is her love for Komugi really burning that strong? She gets sexually harassed every day in the name of research and even if some of it goes overboard, reporting to the police never really did cross her mind, did she? It’s a wonder she didn’t die of heart attack too. Don’t say the experiments she has to put up with and do herself. What about all those rejected papers by Meshiya? Shouldn’t that at least give her a hint that she isn’t cut out for this kind of class? Which means to say, that despite her innocent and normal appearance, to be able to withstand all that makes her a weirdo too, right? Right. I guess without her, the seminar will not be as fun and lively as we know because everyone loves using her as a research material and enjoy seeing her reactions. Who better than to pull of those natural shocked, distressed, upset, flabbergasted and traumatized reactions and expressions but her. That’s right Matsutaka. In that sense you are an invaluable source of data and information for the rest. Don’t take it the wrong way. Besides, if she really does hook up with Komugi for good, do you think he will change? I foresee the worst that he may do more unholy experiments on her! Better think twice if you want to make this guy your man.

Of all the weirdo students in the seminar, Komugi has got to be the coolest. He is not afraid to show his perversion and when he does, he is very cool with it. You could say he is quite good in what he does. Be careful if you want this guy as your boyfriend because he loves seeing his girl doing it with other people. Makiko also seems cool but the fact that she is so is because she rarely puts up any emotions. Her voice even sounds deadpan and monotonous. But her research methods are still as ‘lethal’ so don’t underestimate this quiet girl. Mizukoshi’s drooling fantasies are quite disgusting if you ask me. She easily salivates which looks rather repulsive. Then she puts on a moronic face that indicates she is in paradise. She is not afraid to do any kind of sexual experiments and even loves doing it whether you are her friend or total stranger. She may be every perverts and those with high sexual drive’s ultimate fantasy but for many other ‘normal’ people, we have a term that may describe her well. It’s called “slut”.  No wonder she and Horii are going well with each other because they are really over the top perverts. That semi-bald guy may be a senpai in Meshiya’s eyes but to me he’s just some dirty old man. Really. I don’t understand Anna’s split personality and her determination to change. Was she that desperate that this seminar was her only cure? Rounding up the group is the noisy Taguchi and rude Ichikawa. You can’t have a lively group without this bunch of clowns. I’m not sure if Ichikawa and Anna are going steady since there are a few episodes that hinted they work well together. Same thing for Taguchi and Makiko but that is only because they are in some co-dependency relationship (something which I don’t understand either).

The drawing and art of this series somewhat make the characters look a little like the chibi type. Well I won’t say it is totally horrible but it’s not that good either. So much so I had trouble differentiating between Mizukoshi and Anna. Especially when the latter loses her red head after her split personality was revealed. Ironically, I find the TV version’s art and drawing to be way better than the OVAs. The OVAs were just unrefined that it was obvious. And you thought that OVAs should have some quality but I guess in some cases it is the opposite. The only difference is of course the censored scenes. You get to see tits and other suggestive scenes in the OVAs as compared to the TV series which are either strategically blocked, cut out, replaced, altered or zoomed. Of course you can view all this if you buy the DVDs. Especially the altered scenes in which if you watched the TV series, it feels like it doesn’t make sense. Take for example the scene whereby everyone uses Mizukoshi’s body as a platter. In the TV series, you thought Mizukoshi’s body was that big because all you can see in the background is just some plain brown backdrop. But if this was the DVD, you can see the contours of her body and other parts. Another example is when Komugi ejaculated in his pants. In the TV series you do not see any wet spot on his pants so you might be puzzled why the heck Horii spotted him do so when there is no patch there. Then altered scenes like Mizukoshi’s clothes were being torn to bits by dogs instead of remaining clothed.

I’m not sure what kind of job that these people will do once they graduate. I just couldn’t imagine devoting themselves into doing such disgusting experiments in which ‘normal’ people would consider as a waste of time and money. Just what Meshiya is trying to achieve with researching all these weird behaviours? At least I know you should never do them in real life. Anywhere, anytime, to anybody, anyhow. Before you start condemning or stereotype such people, let me remind you that we are all weird in our own ways. Some are just weirder than others. And if you open your eyes, you can find many weird and funny stuffs happening all across the globe. One may even be happening right in your backyard now. Maybe I should try out an experiment of my own. How about watching animes for 24 hours straight without eating and sleeping? Nah. I wouldn’t enjoy that.

Haiyoru! Nyaruani

August 19, 2011

Imagine if you have a deity living with you. What about a group of deities then? Does this mean you are really one lucky son of a gun? Unless you are those Cthulhu creatures like in Haiyoru! Nyaruani, then it’s a totally different story. And this series isn’t really an adaptation from those short stories from H.P. Lovecraft though from what I observe (though I may be wrong) there are terms used from it. This one is based on a series of light novels by Manta Aisore, it was adapted into an ONA back in March 2010 before the TV series followed by the end of that year. Well, since I didn’t read the novel, so I’m not sure if they’re really inter-related.

In this case, the story as I have read the synopsis centres around a formless Cthulhu named Nyarlko. However for some reason she is staying in a form of a silver-haired girl. Probably she’s in love with this normal high school kid that she is living with, Mahiro Yasaka. Apparently his ‘normal’ life came to a halt when he was chased around by aliens and was saved by Nyarlko. Oooh. Too bad I really wanted to see how that happened since I have a feeling it would be a funny encounter. I mean, after the opening lines that “the anime that always creeps up beside you with a smile”, that has got to mean something cute and funny rather than horror, right? Plus, the novel itself has been described as “high-tension, chaotic comedy”. That’s too good for me to pass up this chance. I just have got to check it out.

The ONA is only 1 episode long though it contains 9 very short episodes string together. All of them lasting around a minute or so except for the final one which runs close to 6 minutes. With the running time this short, that will be hardly anything to develop, right? So basically they are just short skits of Mahiro, Nyarlko and their pals as that poor high school kid try to keep that weirdo Cthulhu from stepping out of line.

Certification
Nyarlko decides to hope on the bandwagon of certification and start ad Cthulhu Certification Programme and make “The Creeping Nyarlko” the examination material. She was so into it so much so Mahiro had to stab her hand with a fork! It’s bleeding! When she even tries to lure viewers that it comes with ecchi photos of them, she gets another fork stabbing. Ouch!

Loyalty
Nyarlko notices that her pet Shantakkun is taking a liking to Mahiro. He wonders if she’s jealous. To prove that it is still loyal to her master, she orders it to come to her. Unfortunately it went over to Mahiro’s arms. Sadly, Nyarlko had to beat it up real badly and lie that it really came into her arms. Heartless!

Body Pillow
Mahiro spots Nyarlko using her PC to combine her hobby of vocational expertise to design a cover for a body pillow. Turns out to be a top-naked body of Mahiro. He stabs her hand with a fork. Though she decided to make it for her personal use, she gets another stab. No way is he going to let his image be used.

Galge
Mahiro spots Nyarlko playing the hottest galge in town called Lovecraft Plus. He reminds her not to do stuff that pisses off people. She continues that this game the heroine has to try to get the main character to fall for her, though most people will experience a decline in sanity before achieving it. Mahiro is surprised that the game isn’t banned.

RPG
Nyarlko watches Mahiro play an RPG game. She recommends one that is popular, which is Hainyaru Fantasy XIII. The feature of this game allows the monster you defeated to join your party. But when they join, they’ll ask you for money and once you’ve paid up, they get angry and will have no intention of joining you. Would it be better to just kill it in the first place?

To Be Continued
Mahiro and Nyarlko host a segment whereby viewers can asks question about The Creeping Nyarlko light novels. The first letter asks why is Nyarlko’s lunch break was after the 3rd period in volume 1 but after the 4th in a short feature in another magazine. Nyarlko couldn’t answer and rips the letter apart and says “to be continued”!

Cooking
The duo host The Creeping SAN-minute (3 minute) Cooking Show. However words and ingredients Nyarlko says or introduces are censored out! Does she slip her tongue and say something about the Washington Interspace Convention? When Mahiro finds out that this show is The Creeping SAN(ity)-minute Cooking Show, she stabs her hand.

Treading on Sacred Ground
Mahiro asks Cthuko about the time she helped out evil Nodens and waited in R’lyeh just to meet Nyarlko. Something which could make her a criminal. She rather not talk about it but Mahiro says he’s not trying to accuse her but wondered since her uncle works for the Planetary Protection Corporation, she could’ve used that connection to meet Nyarlko instead. She burns his manga and warns him that there will be no next time. Mahiro is clueless what he has done to deserve this.

First Love
Cthuko wants Mahiro to teach her to cook as promised. In the kitchen, Cthuko wants to make something that Nyarlko that will do something ecchi with her. Since there isn’t that sort of thing, she decides to make a simple cake. The preparations include using Cthuko’s hands to melt the butter, Cthuko eating the tart that’s supposed to be used to make the cake, using her energy ball to let the cake mixture set. Later he asks why is she infatuated with Nyarlko. She tells her story back when she was in Space Kindergarten, she got picked on a lot when they play “make-believe Saint Seiya” due to her Pisces horoscope. She was being made the baddie and couldn’t retaliate. Since she didn’t have many friends back then, she was happy that she was invited to play even if it was a baddie part. But it became harder to bear and gotten sick of it. She wanted to get out but couldn’t. That’s when Nyarlko appeared and blew away the bullies in some “unofficial player” story. Cthuko found her cool and that’s when she first took a liking for Nyarlko. After Cthuko goes about to get some black tea, Nyarlko comes in and Mahiro asks her if she remembers about her kindergarten days. This brings back nostalgic memories as she retells how she blasted everyone away when everyone was playing make-believe. In the sense that she’d staged an armed intervention against them and walk away after defeating both sides. Mahiro learns that she was the one who also staged the make-believe Saint Seiya, Cthuko was also blown away with everybody else. He says that this isn’t what he heard for Cthuko when Nyarlko adds that she left them with a signature phrase: “Make-believe time is over!”. Plus, she earned the nickname, The Idling Breaker (A Certain Nyarlko’s Idling Breaker – parody of that Index series). This proves she’s really a despicable kid. That’s not supposed to be a happy ending, right?

If the bite-size of the ONA felt like just an ‘appetizer’, then I’m sure fans will be glad that the TV series entitled Haiyoru! Nyaruani: Remember My Mr Lovecraft came out later in that year. However, if this is supposed to be the ‘main dish’, then I’m sure that from my point of view it won’t be ‘satisfying full’ since the TV series is just over 4 minutes long! Calling it an alternate retelling doesn’t seem appropriate because it’s more or less the same thing. As I’ve said, I didn’t read the novel so I wouldn’t know. The only difference is that at the end of each episode, there will be a countdown on the number of days (decreasing by 7 days in each episode’s passing) to the impending doom of mankind as we see a huge rectangular alien space ship approaching Earth. Ooohh. I guess even amidst all the nonsensical comedy, there will be something big and shocking looming and time will only tell at the end what it is, eh?

Episode 1
Nyarlko cooks Mahiro some breakfast and has the cheek if he either wants wagashi (a traditional Japanese sweet) or watashi (me – referring to herself). Because Mahiro puts up his usual disappointed face, she goes on ranting about the disappointment of fans not getting to see something steamy between them since this novel is adapted into an anime. I thought it was just her pent up desires all along. Then Cthuko wants Nyarlko to mess her up so she chides her being a sex maniac. She’s the one to say! Cthuko goes on about Mahiro can eat his breakfast while Nyarlko can gobble her up. Nyarlko quickly gives Mahiro an extravagant breakfast and pesters him to eat. But when Shantakkun eats it, it collapses. It’s spiked! However Cthuko and Atoko are eating it and find it delicious. Erm… Who is this Atoko girl in a black kimono? How the heck did she come in? The countdown starts off with 70 days left till humans become extinct.

Episode 2
Mahiro introduces Atoko who is her old classmate during high school. Mahiro thinks Atoko seems fairly normal but Nyarlko tells him not to be deceived because she’s really a pervert. Is she one to say? She proves it by asking Atoko to say her favourite 2 words: AV Actress. Huh? Nyarlko proceeds to put words in Mahiro’s mouth, claiming that he promised to marry her. Atoko says that Nyarlko called her down for an important mission, thus her visit. Nyarlko tries to change the subject. Then Atoko starts speaking like a married wife like wanting to wash her back and suggesting things that seems to indicate sex (eels for stamina?). Nyarlko vehemently objects so Mahiro tells her back that she too can’t actually talk like that too. In the confusion, Nyarlko spouts that Mahiro likes her more. Then Cthuko walks in. Atoko sees her and finds her very cute and wants to take a bath together. Feel like punching her too? Another sicko joining the gang. And yeah, 63 days left till humans’ extinction.

Episode 3
Atoko talks to Cthuko if she has done *** and ***. All of her next sentences at least has a censored word regarding her impression and thoughts about her being a ***. Ironically despite Cthuko being bold when it comes to ‘it’, she’s embarrassed with that topic with Atoko. Nyarlko brings another one of her friends, Nyarue to come over and play. After introducing her to Mahiro, Nyarue is taken in by his kindness and her mind goes crazy wondering if he has fallen for her. Perasan. She even starts wondering if it’s okay to love him too. Mahiro ponders her carrying a baseball bat so Nyarlko just says that she’s the athletic type and wouldn’t go further than that. Nyarue gets panicky and after asking if Mahiro would be comfortable going out with her, she bursts into something hideous that could only be mosaic out. So is that burnable trash she turned into? Probably not. Ah, 56 days left.

Episode 4
After a long silence in the elevator, Atoko says to Nyarlko “If you open your heart up, you won’t need to strip all the time”. Huh? Mahiro notices Cthuko playing an old console. She gives a swan metaphor that even if it looks calm on the surface, beneath the water its legs are kicking like mad. Thus this console may look old but it’s hi-tech on the inside. For instance she can store her blood type in it. Uhn… Then Mahiro notices something wrong with the goldfish and is upset if Cthuko did something to it. She admits she fed it something… From space. The goldfish has legs! Cthuko is so dense that she thought the goldfish is having an image change. Later Nyarlko is saying something about lots of people thought it was wrong but since someone famous was asked to make it, they couldn’t refuse it. Mahiro replies that there’s no problem since everyone is happy with it. Is that a shadow of a reindeer? I didn’t understand this part. Oh, 49 days left.

Episode 5
Everyone soaks in the hotspring. However there will only be 1 scene in this episode. And that single scene is of Shantakkun soaking inside a tub. Our minds will go wild after hearing those ambiguous talks from the girls. Touching here, rubbing there, splashing here, fantasizing there. Nyarlko tries to tease Mahiro alone on the other side that there are bouncy boobs here but he isn’t buying it. I guess Cthuko and Nyarue got too excited that they couldn’t control themselves over Nyarlko.  Ah, all those ambiguous stuff… Things coming out… Body shampoo lah… Touching in weird places… Are we viewers being ‘duped’? Atoko’s poetic verse: The bath is like life’s laundry machine. Say what? Remember, only 42 days left.

Episode 6
Cthuko wants to buy a scarf to wear together with her beloved Nyarlko so she gets a part time job. Mahiro finds out from Nyarlko, mocking that pervert for taking up a job so much so she wants to laugh. He says back that she should get a job herself but she insists that if she does, she would have already lost. Cthuko is seen heating a frozen food upon a customer’s request. She uses her body heat power too much that the whole store exploded. Next she is seen taking orders from a customer. However the customer keeps on changing, cancelling and adding items to her order. Cthuko is so confused and at the end of it when the customer asks what was her original order again, she explodes. Then working as a petrol pump attendant, Mahiro strongly advices not to work here. Yeah, don’t want it to go mega boom this time. Back home, Nyarlko spots Cthuko knitting a scarf and wonders about her part time job. Her reply: If she works, then she has lost. Ah, same thinking… Tick tock, tick tock, 35 days left.

Episode 7
Atoko requests Mahiro to help her find a site that she visited but do not know how to get there since he’s PC-literate. Seems there is a semi-naked picture of Atoko on her desktop and whenever the mouse goes over the icons, it makes weird ambiguous sounds. Is this some kind of test? Anyway Atoko couldn’t remember the page and only know it had dogs in it. Browsing through her history, he notices she went through 100 adult sites in a single minute! WTF?! After 2 hours of browsing through the many dog pictures, Atoko finally finds the one she wants and finds it cute. And that’s it. THAT’S IT?! I’m not sure about Nyarlko and Mahiro in some scene which is supposed to be in 3D, though it’s the same recycled scene. 28 days left to the inevitable.

Episode 8
Nyarue is in panic mode as she is seen explaining herself to Mahiro. Something about she was very focused on protecting him from night-gaunts but she soon turns tsundere giving an excuse she’s doing this not because she’s attracted to him or anything. Realizing she’s been a bundle of nerves, she wishes for him to forget what she said and reveals she didn’t had a good night’s sleep last night. Then she returns to her scatterbrain self after revealing she was actually half asleep and saw her scary face in the mirror (thus there weren’t any night-gaunts). However Mahiro just wants her to fix this as soon as possible. Seems he is in a public toilet and the door and roof are all broken down! But that isn’t going to happen since she panics and turned into a mosaic blob. Only 21 days left.

Episode 9
Mahiro finds himself in the RPG world. Seems an hour earlier, he was coaxed by Nyarlko and Atoko to play an RPG game that has some virtual realism. Turns out that it was too real and that he becomes involved in the game. Plus, he has very low life points but absurdly high magic points. He must be thinking this is some sort of a sick joke. Then a weird creature appears before him, asking if he wants to become stronger. Thinking this must be one of those scripted events, he accepts the wish and is given an elixir. He gets pissed off when he finds the potion is just leftovers. I don’t know how but after an hour later, he manages to get back out and has learned his lesson never to try anything those girls recommend. He should’ve known this from the start. How time flies because there is only 14 days remaining.

Episode 10
Mahiro sees a news report about the increase of residents missing lately. Everyone gathers for nabe but the girls have their different interpretations of it. Nyarue thinks it’s to eat up for tomorrow’s battle. Atoko thinks it’s when poor inferior males gather to circle around it (a guy in a 3D headgear with a bouquet of flowers in hand?) and her heart quivers at that thought. Cthuko mixing in weird things while Nyarlko couldn’t resist herself by mixing some mosaic thingy to turn it into a darkness nabe. She gets a bump on her head as punishment. Then they hear a loud deafening crash sound. That large rectangular alien ship crashes into the city on his house and it’s only a short time before the downfall of mankind… Oh dear, it is finally here…

Episode 11
As panic spreads throughout the region, Mahiro realizes this is what the mission Atoko mentioned earlier on. Unfortunately Nyarlko says he can’t follow because he’ll only be in the way. She tells him not to worry since the Planetary Protection Corporation will fix everything and that they will erase everyone’s memories with a tool that suspiciously resembles to the one used by the Men In Black. Nyarlko wishes that they’d do fun and happy things when they return but Mahiro is sceptical since her words sounded like a hint that it is the end. For once, the scene gets heart-warming as Nyarlko hugs Mahiro. She wants him to promise that if she returns, he’ll let her hold him like this again. He promises her that and those words were enough to give Nyarlko the strength to do her best. She promises that she will come back and confesses that she loves him.

Episode 12
This is supposed to be an unreleased episode from the TV series and was released with the box set with the other episodes. The mystery to what happened at the sudden abrupt end of the TV series is answered here. Mahiro’s house is packed with boxes. He is wondering when Nyarlko and co is coming back. Speaking of the devil, the girls arrive home with a happy expression. They thank him for watching over the house. It’s revealed that the girls just went to a Space Comiket, the Corporation took the humans up to get limited edition figures but erased their memories after. So was everybody fooled by their hobbies? Nyarlko insists that Earth was in a major crisis and if they hadn’t collected some rare figures and create some triangular magical barrier, Earth would’ve been destroyed. So they protected the Earth with sexy figures? Don’t mind the small details, eh? So basically they went up to Space Comiket to get figures to save the Earth from destruction. Yeah, it was a battlefield out there. Plus, Mahiro was stuck at home so that the Space Delivery could tell where to deliver the goods (so the ship that stuck to his house was just a pointer?). And Nyarlko didn’t tell him because she thought somebody told him. But apparently nobody did. Now at close to boiling point, Mahiro finally asks why he still has his memories intact. Nyarlko mentions about the promised hug and kiss when she return and after that she would erase his memories. Now a deadly aura is emitting from Mahiro and after a long absence, it’s that fork punishment! OUCH! She’s one bad girl, he’s one mad boy, it’s one ‘sad’ world. The final antic from Nyarlko that since the TV anime is over, it’s time for the drama and make it a romantic porno! You know what Mahiro is going to say about that, right?

The Perverted Call Of The Cthulhu…
Haha! What a chaotic end. The world was saved thanks to the hobbies of otakus. Is that what they’re trying to say?! For a very short series, I have to say that everything was just okay. Some of the jokes requires viewers to have some knowledge about the novel so if you are one who doesn’t read (like yours truly), you’d find that the jokes are hard to understand and at some point very hard to follow as you won’t be able to follow it. I skimmed briefly over Wikipedia about the Cthulhu Mythos and from what I see, there is quite a following on this fictional cosmic entity. Speaking of the Lovecraft guy, I think he has made several cameo appearances in the series with his mug shots appearing here and there. Yup, I think that real picture of his face has got to be him. Otherwise, why use the name Lovecraft, right?

I don’t know if the Cthulhu and other creatures under this mythos are as odd as portrayed by the girls here. When especially they are quite perverted. Nyarlko’s love for Mahiro and her intention to do ecchi things with him makes you think if she has some unfulfilled desires pent up inside. Same case with Cthuko towards Nyarlko. She may just sound shy but as far as Nyarlko is involved, anything goes. Don’t be fooled by Atoko’s kind demeanour too. She’s just like them though I’m not sure if she’s into Nyarlko or Cthuko. Maybe both. And Nyarlko really has the cheek to tell them off for being perverts when she is really one herself.  Nyarue is pretty funny herself whenever she goes into panic mode and then poof! She turns into a mosaic blob after burning out from embarrassment. Is she really attached with the baseball bat? Thank goodness Mahiro has a way with dealing with them (most of the time) especially Nyarlko. I just love it when he sticks his fork into her hands and it really bleeds profusely! This is evident in the ONA but none in the TV series (I guess you can’t show blood and gore here but heck, what’s the difference?). Nyarlko will go into profuse apologetic mode after that and though she usually doesn’t learn from it, it rather makes her cute to see her like that. Forgive me if I sound like a sadist. And erm, with 4 deities around him, doesn’t this look like a harem? It didn’t go that way.

The animation is Flash-based so it’s a little refreshing to see a slightly unique art as the characters are visually cute. However, the conventional ink and paint base is also used but only for the ending credits animation, which oddly lasts as long as the short episode itself. So with 4 minutes of air time, half of it is dedicated to the ending theme, Koi Suru Otome No Catharsis by LISP. The song beats to a lively and bouncy tune. Hear any longer of it, I think I’ll be going “Anata wa yuujou, yuujou~” with “Watashi wa aijou, aijou~” and “Futari wa joujou, joujou~”. Since ink and paint was used for the animation, the characters here look like your typical bishoujo characters. In fact, they look good and pretty so I thought it must have been a wasted for them to look like this in the ending credits. It’s worthy of those kind of animation if this story was longer and had more drama and development in it.

The opening warning notice about sitting in a well-lighted room and at a safe distance may be typical and seemingly imposing (a hint of the impending ‘invasion’?). But if you read at the few lines at the bottom, some of them are nonsensical and quite funny. Among them include “This is a low action anime”, “The pen tablet broke…”, “There will be not much movement in this episode”, “This episode will move more than the last time”, “Her SAN is almost at zero” and “Wishing you a Happy New Year”. And for a short series, is even having a next episode preview necessary? I mean as far as I remember, they don’t really seem to be narrating on what is next but rather go on ranting on random and nonsensical stuff that don’t really matter. The scene of the next episode preview is a live action scene though we see a CGI of Shantakkun spinning round and round and round and round… And some of the episode titles too are weird and don’t make sense to the particular episode. It’s like somebody just randomly named it for the sake of having a title. Like episode 2’s “Endless Christmas” and episode 3’s “To The Market”. Huh? Did any of that happen? Of course there are some which are meant just to make you laugh. Like 2 of the episodes having the title Naiyou Mitei (Content Undecided) and the episode after that, it is still undecided. Episode 9 has got to be the most ridiculously longest title that never made sense. It’s long enough to fit the maximum word character of Twitter. No, maybe longer. At first I thought the narration was one of the random spouting before I realized it was the title itself! WTF?!

I’ll be sure to keep in mind the next time when there are aliens trying to invade us, it is just a universal version of Japan’s famous Comiket convention. Hey, even the influence of anime, manga and games have spread to the far reaches of the galaxy. I mean, who would travel millions of light years away just to destroy our planet. But otakus will travel even double that distance to get to their favourite must-attend convention. Having a deity living you may or may not be a good sign. In case if there is one, just remember to keep a fork in hand. They can come in handy when taming perverted deities.