March 2008


“One of best things in life, having a good armful of Loli!”

     This episode picks up the next day when the crew is having coffee, Solesta thanks Rahzel for saving Vincent, but Rahzel suspecting false gratitude asks Solesta what his goals are? Solesta tells Rahzel that Vincent was the illegitimate child of a king and one of his servants, but due to an illness the entire royal family died leaving the child the successor to the throne. Solesta goads Rahzel again, and they start bickering, Alzeid tells Solesta to stop picking on Rahzel making Solesta angry, Alzeid releases Rahzel from the no magic use promise by telling her if she thinks it’s really dangerous go ahead and use magic, but she says that she’ll keep the no magic promise. Later, Rahzel tells them a story about how when she was a child her father forbid her to use magic and gave her a knife and sent her on a small adventure, but she figured out that her father was watching over her. She tells Alzeid not to protect her like her father did but if she’s really in danger to please help her, and she’ll do the same for him.



     That night some bad guys ambush the hotel that the group is staying at and Rahzel protects Vincent without using magic, but Baroqueheat surprises Rahzel by telling her he’s sorry then he attacks her, rendering her unconscious and helping Solesta grab Vincent. Later Alzeid makes his way to Vincent and Rahzel’s hotel room and sees the damage and figures out that Solesta was behind the whole thing and that it was a trap for Rahzel. The next day Vincent awakens to find himself alone, and Rahzel is tied up and held captive by Solesta and Baroqueheat, Solesta comments on how Alzeid could be fond of such a helpless child.


     Rahzel provokes Solesta into slapping her, and Baroqueheat says she went too far, but she says she feels like she won the battle. He tells her that she’ll have to put up with it until Alzeid arrives, Rahzel has not intention of staying put, she injures one of her hands escaping the handcuffs. Later, Solesta is waiting for Alzeid, he throws Alzeid a sword and says that they’ll have a no magic fight to the death. In the meantime, Rahzel manages to find Vincent who’s being held by Baroqueheat and some goons, she talks to him and after awhile he decides to switch back to Rahzel’s side surprising the goons.



     While Solesta is fighting Alzeid he tells him that when the wars and battles ended he lost everything, and that with the fake prince he can get everything back, and he tells Alzeid that he wants to go back to the days when he and was comrades in battle with Alzeid and Baroqueheat. As Baroqueheat is battling the goons Rahzel makes her way to Alzeid. During his battle with Solesta, Alzeid calls him perverted, he tells him that he gets no joy from battle or killing people, this unbalances Solesta causing him to lose his weapon. Just as Alzeid is about to kill Solesta, Rahzel steps in to save him, then Rahzel, Baroqueheat, and Vincent turn their backs on Solesta and leave him there all alone.



     Just as they are leaving, Solesta uses his magic to trap Rahzel and just as he’s about to attack, Alzeid uses his own magic and kills him before he can strike. Later in town, Baroqueheat sees Vincent off and Rahzel has a tearful meeting in the rain with Alzeid, and just before the end of the episode Rahzel’s father shows up. Well, that’s all for this episode, below are some screen shots.



     Well, it looks like Hatenko Yuugi is about to come to a close after watching this episode, after several interesting adventures with Rahzel, Alzeid, and Baroqueheat, Rahzel’s father shows up. He’s probably been watching after her the whole time and has come to recover his daughter after this last adventure, he probably feels she’s had enough of  “the real world”. But the main point of these last two episodes is about Rahzel learning that she has some limitations, with magic and without magic. Baroqueheat and Alzeid have both been trying to tell Rahzel that she’s overconfident and she has a lot of openings, and in the last two episodes Rahzel’s been caught off guard several times.

     One of the reasons that I like Rahzel’s character is that she is cocky but innocent, and Baroqueheat even said as much towards the end of this episode. Rahzel’s trusting nature almost got her killed in the end, she thought that after saving Solesta’s life everything would be alright, but he still attacked her from behind and only Alzeid’s quick reactions saved her life. One interesting thing in this episode was how Solesta couldn’t adjust to a more peaceful world, he wanted to go back to the days when he, Alzeid, and Baroqueheat were fighting and killing in the heat of battle.

     Alzeid tells Solesta that he gets no pleasure from killing in battle, but I can understand how Solesta feels, I spent 23 years in the military before retiring and I have had friends tell me that they sometimes miss the feeling of being shot at and the adrenaline rush of battle while serving in Iraq. While I really liked this anime I can’t believe that it was very popular in Japan, in recent years several shojo anime have been quite popular but Hatenko Yuugi was not done in traditional shojo style, so I can understand why this show probably never found a large viewership. 



This episode starts off with a flashback of Alzeid’s time in the military, and then the episode shows the crew visiting a new town. Alzeid begins by telling Rahzel to behave herself and stop getting involved in other people’s troubles, she walks away and gets involved in a fight by helping a young boy who is being harassed for money by four goons. After Rahzel has helped the boy they run into his guardian who insults Rahzel, she kicks him in anger, and he uses magic on her and just as she is about to attack him with her magic Baroqueheat intervenes stopping the impending fight.




     It seems that Vincent’s (the boy) guardian knows both Alzeid and Baroqueheat from back in their military days, later they all hook up at a inn. While eating, Solesta (the boy’s guardian) tells them about his current mission, and they talk about their past good times in the military. Baroqueheat even show Rahzel some pictures from the past, including one of Alzeid dressed as a girl after losing a poker bet. During the conversation Baroqueheat says he’s leaving and he plants a long kiss (not a peck on the cheek) on Rahzel, after holding the kiss for quite long time Rahzel slaps him, and then Baroqueheat says he’s sorry. Later, in her room Rahzel begins to think about what just happened, then Alzeid barges into her room and asks her if she was going to fight Solesta, she tells him yes, and he tells her that she would have been beaten. Rahzel can’t believe it, then Alzeid pins her to the bed and says you have too many openings.



     Alzeid then makes Rahzel agree not to use her magic for three days or he’ll dissolve their partnership, so she agrees. Later Rahzel asks Solesta if she can take Vincent out for awhile, and he says yes but he seems really annoyed when he finds out that Alzeid is in Rahzel’s room. Alzeid and Baroqueheat have a talk and he tells Alzeid that he’s leaving to guard the kid for Solesta, and that Solesta hopes that Alzeid will leave Rahzel and come with them.

     But, Alzeid says that he and Rahzel are companions so he can’t do it, he also says that Rahzel has a fatal flaw, she’s too overconfident in her magical abilities and she overestimates her skills. Solesta is listening to their conversation in secret and leaves when he hears Alzeid call Rahzel his companion. As Rahzel is out on the town with Vincent they get attacked by goons again and she surprises them temporarily and uses her physical abilities to protect Vincent and flee the attackers, but Rahzel thinks that these attackers are different from the other goons. They escape inside a storehouse and Vincent wants to runaway quickly but Rahzel tells him that their opponents are four combat trained men with guns so taking them on directly is no good, they have to be smart about it. The goons follow them inside the storeroom but Rahzel has set an explosive trap for them by using materials found inside the room, Rahzel and Vincent were hiding in a cellar when the explosion happened and they become trapped inside by debris, but Alzeid removes the debris and lets them out. Later we see Baroqueheat talking with someone about Solesta starting to loose control of his actions when Alzeid is concerned. Well, that’s all for this episode, below are some screen shots.



     Well, this was a very interesting episode for many reasons. First of all we get to see some of Alzeid’s and Baroqueheat’s past actions while they were in the military, and what their lives were like while in the army. Then we get introduced to Solesta, an old army friend (?) of Alzeid, this guy gives off a pretty creepy vibe when he’s around Alzeid, it’s almost like he has a Yaoi/man crush on Alzeid, which I find pretty funny since Alzeid has shown no physical attraction to males.

     Then the whole Baroqueheat giving a kiss thing was pretty interesting, to me it could mean tree things, first in keeping with his constant teasing/flirting with her this would be a normal progression, or he could be trying to show to Solesta that he’s with Rahzel instead of Alzeid, or he could be trying to induce a reaction from Alzeid. Also, in this episode Alzeid is trying to help Rahzel understand something, she’s never went one on one with someone truly dangerous like him or Baroqueheat, they’ve bailed her out many times without her knowledge when she’s let her guard down, and most certainly Solesta is as dangerous as them, and in a fight I think he’ll play for keeps, no holding back.

     Getting Rahzel to operate without her magic might just teach her something about herself and her limitations, and that can only serve to make her stronger. In the end, Baroqueheat asks Alzeid if the only reason he’s stays with Rahzel is because he considers her a traveling companion? In the words of one of my friends, there’s only a couple of reasons you’ll hang around all the time with a girl/woman your not related to, your either sleeping with her or your trying to sleep with her. Well, I’ll have to watch a few more episodes to see if he’s right. 


I’d like to wish everyone a Happy Easter and may you enjoy your holiday with family and friends, and if you can’t with family and friends today here’s some Usagi girl pictures, some drawn and some real to cheer you up.




I’ve updated my Candy Candy manga page again for the holidays, by posting an additional link to manga volume 4, so if you want to read this classic shojo manga (1975-1975) please go to my Candy Candy manga page.


     This episode picks up the next morning, and Nagisa is looking very depressed and sad after last nights discovery, Tomoya tells her that they don’t need to tell her family that their leaving for school this morning. On the way to school Nagisa lets it all out to Tomoya, all her sadness about learning how her father gave up acting and her mother gave up teaching because of her, she feels that she’s having her dreams at the expense of her parents, and she says she’s a terrible child, if only she wasn’t here, nothing Tomoya tells her can cheer her up. Tomoya tells her that they are doing it because they want to and that giving up now would be throwing every-one’s hard work away for nothing, so we’ve got to finish strong.



     Everyone notices somethings wrong with Nagisa but Tomoya tries to cover for her. Later they spent some time wandering around the festival and get separated, Tomoya runs into Nagisa’s mother in the hallway, and she tells Tomoya to take care of her daughter. A while later Nagisa wanders into the reference library and Yukine directs her to the section that contains recordings of old school plays, then Tomoya sees Yukine and she tells him that Nagisa is looking at old school recordings. He rushes to the library where he sees Nagisa watching her father acting, he’s very good, and at the end of the tape he receives an award and declares his love of the stage, and his wish to become a professional actor.



     As the play is about to begin everyone wishes Nagisa good luck, but as the curtain is raised all Nagisa’s feelings and emotions rush through her mind and she begins to cry on stage, Tomoya is in as much pain as Nagisa is in he struggles with whether to drop the curtain and rush to her or let the show go on, just as he’s about to drop the curtain Nagisa’s father rushes in and shouts to her to make her dream come true, and don’t be an idiot, a parents’ dream is to see their child’s dreams come true. He tells her that they changed their dreams to her dreams, and Tomoya tells her that she also carries Youhei and his dreams too.



     After a minute she composes herself and begins the play, Nagisa basically does a one person play that is the shared dream she and Tomoya been having, this time we see the dream world  in a more complete/complete form. After the plays finishes Nagisa and the crew receive a standing ovation, later Nagisa tells Tomoya that she remembers the rest of the dream, the dream girl and the junk doll decide to leave that world together, because the junk doll knows that there is a better and warmer place far away. Tomoya tells Nagisa that the play was wonderful, she asks him if that’s true, and he tells her that you know I never flatter. A while later Tomoya’s father shows up saying he watched the play and it was good, Nagisa admits that she sent the invitation to him, as he excuses himself Tomoya tells him to not to drink too much and he says OK.




     Then they both go back to the theater clubroom where a big after party is taking place. The next day Tomoya and Nagisa go on a date and have a great time together, at the end of the date they end up in the theater clubroom where Nagisa draws her and Tomoya’s name together on the blackboard, and finally Tomoya tells Nagisa that he loves her, and all Nagisa can do after hearing Tomoya’s confession is cry tears of joy. Well, that’s all for this episode, below are some screen shots.



     Well as we come to the end of this incarnation of Clannad I’ll state right now that as far as I’m concerned this was the best adaptation of a Key Visual project so far. So tonight I’ll just review episode 22, and in the next day or so I’ll do a full review of the series. This episode concludes the Nagisa arc in classic Key style, plenty of tears of sadness and guilt leading to tears of joy. Nagisa’s problems were mainly caused by her parents underestimating Nagisa’s growth in emotional strength, her growth in emotional strength was brought about by her relationship with Tomoya, their relationship gave her self-confidence and the ability to express her feelings more fully than ever.

     One might ask what did Tomoya get out of the deal, well despite having a tough guy image he really was a slightly damaged and lonely soul, his relationship with her gave him someone he could talk about things that he would never have told Youhei or Kyou, two lonely and caring soul making a perfect emotional connection. But in the end Nagisa’s problem were caused by her parents being unable to communicate properly with their daughter, their fear of causing her pain ended up causing her more pain later on, not until her father and mother really communicated their true emotions to her in almost a primal way was this issue cleared up. If you want read a more in-depth comment on this issue please read my post covering Clannad episode 21. Finally, Tomoya made clear his feelings towards Nagisa, in a previous episode Nagisa admitted in front of her parents that she loved Tomoya, but all Tomoya did was blush, but at the very end of Clannad he tells her that he loves her.


     This episode begins with the crew walking through some snow covered hilly areas when they get caught in a avalanche and swept downhill, when Alzeid wakes up he see a girl (Ludovika) who looks just like him sitting next to him, and the girl comments about how they look alike, and Alzeid says that their both albinos. When Baroqueheat and Rahzel rejoin Alzeid Baroqueheat makes a comment about an illegitimate child, after awhile some villagers come looking for Ludovika and they pull guns on the strangers taking them back to their village. Back at the village the headman gives the group an apology for the treatment, saying that they thought they were going to hurt her, and it seems like Ludovika has taken a strong attraction to Alzeid. They explain to Alzeid that because of her condition she can’t go out in the daylight, and he’s asked how does he does it, he tells them that she’s seems like a normal girl, just give her some burn protection and sunglasses and let her go outside, no problem.



     The headman is about to say more but is stopped by other villagers, they leave them alone telling Ludovika not to stay up too late, later Ludovika tells Alzeid that she was told that someone like her could never go out during the day. She asks Alzeid questions about the day sky and this causes Alzeid to have flashbacks from his youth, then Rahzel suggests that they sneak her outside for a look at the day sky. Later that night when the girl’s asleep, Baroqueheat says he has the feeling that they have been watched from the very beginning, and don’t the others feel it too, and isn’t it strange that this village doesn’t appear on his map? Later, when Ludovika’s asleep the crew leaves town at Alzeid’s request, he feels that it’s better this way, Alzeid says that he heard the villagers’ voices/thoughts and that they are plotting to kill them and use them for fertilizer, so it’s better to leave now. Alzeid senses that the forest is moving around them and Baroqueheat says that they have been walking around in circles, Rahzel makes fun of them, then Ludovika shows up and tells them that she’ll lead them out of the forest. The crew notices that they are being followed and Rahzel tells Ludovika to leave, but Alzeid asks Ludovika if she wants to stay and see the daylight, she says yes even though Alzeid explains the danger to her.



     Then the group gets attacked by the trees/villagers and Baroqueheat makes some H-anime tentacle and video game references, Ludovika is being held captive by a cage made of tree branches until Alzeid frees her. They fight a battle against the tree’s and the old man explains that Ludovika was born albino because of climate change and lack of sunlight, so isn’t right that they protect her and want human fertilizer to keep her alive. As Alzeid is about to be struck down from behind Ludovika steps in the way, taking the attack herself. When Ludovika is struck down the attack stops, and Ludovika dies in Alzeid’s arms as they watch the sunrise together, when she dies she transforms in to pure white petals that float away in the breeze. Alzeid deduces that the villagers were the spirits of the trees and that Ludovika was born an albino tree so she couldn’t use the sun as food so the villagers use humans as food for her. Well, that’s all for this episode, below are some screen shots.




Well, another episode of Hatenko Yuugi and the group stumbles into another adventure, but the main part of this episode is that we learn a little more about Alzeid’s past, and we also learn the reason for Rahzel traveling with Alzeid and what she gets out of it. In this episode Baroqueheat makes quite a few references to anime, games, and poetry, at one point Alzeid accuses Baroqueheat of being a Tsundere, now that’s pretty funny. Throughout the whole series Baroqueheat has been constantly teasing Rahzel about her lack of love/sexual experience and this episode is no different, below is a shot about a S&M reference,


now a haiku reference,


and a video game reference,


and the hentai anime references,




     While the teasing of Rahzel is quite funny the real guts of this episode is about Alzeid’s past, we learn that Alzeid was just like Ludovika, kept inside because of his albinism, and that the woman who convinces him to venture outside was none other than his father’s murder, he had to go outdoors or never have a chance to find her. We also learn that Alzeid’s learning to deal with his shortcomings has made him tougher in most situations. We also learn from Rahzel that her traveling with Alzeid has made her physically tougher, he pushes her to her limits and when she’s recovered he pushes her even more, this has made her better and tougher from traveling with him.

     Oh, and also, I think the whole point of the Ludovika and Alzeid storyline is that you can’t deny your nature, Ludovika even in human form was a tree and it’s a tree’s nature is to love the sun, and one mustn’t deny your nature even if it could damage you, the same goes for humans including Alzeid, it’s our nature to be outside and loved by the sun.


      This episode picks up the next morning with the crew debating whether they believe the villagers’ story, Rahzel seems to think that if Jean were to revive anyone it would have been the wife not a unborn child. Alzeid tells Rahzel to stop getting personal with everyone they meet, and Baroqueheat defuses the situation by suggesting that they go get some breakfast. While their eating breakfast, one of the boys from yesterday is shown being chased through the sky burial site, also the crew spends time playing a card game that Rahzel’s father invented. After a murder victim is discovered in the town square Rahzel and her group head back to the hotel to rest.


     That night a crowd gathers outside the hotel demanding that Jean comes outside, the group considers fleeing but Lalawel won’t because her father is locked inside a room. The girl goes outside and tells the crowd to stop and that her father isn’t a murder, but the crowd says if she’s protecting him she’s just as guilty. Jean comes outside and tells the crowd that Lalawel isn’t his dead wife’s unborn child, she’s just a child he found wandering around at the sky burial site, and that he killed his wife when she told him that her unborn baby wasn’t his, but her lover’s and that she was going to leave him. He then takes everyone to the secret room and tells everyone that this is where he killed everyone who hurt or threatened Lalawel, he felt that protecting her would be atonement for him killing his wife and her unborn child, then Jean pulls out a knife and slits his own throat, killing himself.



     After Jean is given a sky burial Rahzel thinks that he wasn’t the real killer and that he was just covering up for someone. They head back to the inn, and when they find the door open they hear a gunshot and rush to the source, where they find Lalawel standing over the body of the father of the murdered boy, and she says don’t look so surprised. She says that she has killed many people, the first one at age four, and that because he father loved her so much he always covered it up, she goes on to say that she doesn’t want to kill, and she wants to stop killing, and she doesn’t know why she kills but she says that she just can’t stop killing. Then as Rahzel attempts to go to her, she fires the gun at her and then sets the room on fire, as the hotel starts to collapse Alzeid and Baroqueheat grab Rahzel and escape the inferno, Lalawel is killed inside the blazing hotel. Well, that’s all for this episode, below are some screen shots. 



     Well, this episode finishes up last episode’s story arc, and in the end this arc was about Rahzel’s past and why she is the way she is. At the end of the last episode when the girl asked Rahzel if she was disgusted if she told her that she was a killer, Rahzel told her a story from her own past then asked Lalawel if she was afraid of her, and the girl said no, and Rahzel told her that her homework was to think about why.

      In this episode we find out that Rahzel killed her mother when she was young, her mother was going insane and her father left home, her mother’s anger and insanity was directed towards Rahzel until the point where she was so frightened that she killed her out of fear. This is one of the reason that Rahzel always tries to help people in their personal problems, it’s kind of like her personal salvation. So, at the end when Rahzel offered her hand to save the girl it was like she was offering her hand to herself in salvation, like she wishes someone would have done for her. Lalawel refuses the hand offered and perishes in the fire upsetting Rahzel because she couldn’t save her.

     But, in many anime salvation is a two way street, in the anime Haibane Renmei, Reki thinks that she can no longer be saved and that she’s beyond salvation until she reaches the point where she can reach out and grasp Rakka’s outstretched hand, she made the realization that she needed help to be saved and finally reached out to the hand warmly offered to her. Also, in anime like Kanon and Clannad salvation can only come from the care and love of others, and in wanting to be loved and cared for, so in the final analyse Rahzel is different from Lalawel because in her own sadness at the end of the episode she gladly takes Alzeid’s and Baroqueheat’s outstretched hands.


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