August 2008


     This episode begins with a great commotion occurring at the junior high school, it seems that a new transfer student has arrived and he is even better than Fuji-pi at soccer. The new transfer student, Irisawa Kiriya has now become the new hot guy on campus, and all of Nagisa’s friends think that it would be wonderful to have him as a boyfriend even if he younger than some of the girls. This conversation leads Nagisa’s mind to wonder what it would be like to have Fuji-pi as her boyfriend, danger Will Robinson, approaching desire overload levels.

        Later during lunch Nagisa visits Honoka in the science lab where she gets a shocking experience when she touches one of Honoka experiments she working on for the upcoming science fair. After school, Kiriya has encounters with both Nagisa and Honoka at different times, Nagisa thinks he’s a nice guy, but Honoka just seems to blow him off. Then we see Posiony making fun out of him for getting blown off by Honoka, it turns out that he is Posiony’s younger brother. Kiriya tells her he is only interested in the girls because they defeated two of their allies.

      The next day at the science fair the project that Honoka, Yuriko, and the rest of the science club had worked so hard on is about to be presented. Nagisa is also attending the fair to support Honoka when Kiriya and Fuji-pi walk up and start talking to Nagisa, poor Nagisa gets all flustered being around Fuji-pi. Kiriya takes off leaving Fuji-pi and Nagisa alone, Nagisa goes to pieces trying to strike up a natural sounding conversation with Fuji-pi, and she even goes into higher overload level when Fuji-pi accidentally touches her.

       As Honoka’s group begins their presentation on lightning, we see Posiony watching them from behind the stage curtain. A few seconds later the electrical current in the building goes crazy and people begin to flee out of the building, and Fuji-pi helps evacuate the building. Honoka tries to get her friend Yuriko and the rest of the science club out of the building but some of them gets locked inside. All the doors to the theatre slam shut, and Fuji-pi tries to gets back inside to help Honoka and Nagisa. Both Nagisa and Honoka seem to think that this event is caused by the dark power again.

       Soon Honoka’s science project transforms into a electrical monster and begins to attack everything, Nagisa hooks up with Honoka and they transform in to Pretty Cure. Two of Nagisa’s friends were also trapped inside along with Yuriko and some other girls, and it seems that some of them might have seen the fight starting to happen. As Pretty Cure is about to attack the science project, Yuriko steps in front of it asking the girls to not damage the project but she is soon injured by the monster. Nagisa saves her at the last minute but she still asks that it not be destroyed. The girls call out Posiony. but she won’t stay and fight, she leaves the girls with the monster.

      The girls have no other choice but to use their main attack against the monster even if it will destroy the project. After the monster is defeated, the girls tell Yuriko that she got shocked and passed out, and then the science fair resumes. Honoka and the science club finished their presentation without any problems, and even though Honoka was the brains of the project they decide to name the project after Yuriko due to her dedication to the club. We never do find out if the project took first place but everyone seems to have had a good time. Well, that’s all for this episode.

       Well, this episode pretty much follows the same formula of the previous episodes with the exception that Posiony is much sneakier about her plots then the other bad guys. We also get to see how Honoka interacts with her fellow science club members, in a previous episode we saw how Nagisa had to deal with a girl crushing on her, and now we see how Honoka has to deal with Yuriko having a kind of infatuation with her.

      Also, we see that Nagisa has still not been able to come to terms with her feelings for Fuji-pi, while she is clearly attracted to him she still can’t help losing her composure around him, oh well. The introduction of Posiony’s younger brother into the school will probably stir the mix up, almost every girl is instantly smitten with him but Honoka just kind of blew him off. It seemed that Kiriya was quite shocked about this, and he seems to very intrigued by Honoka’s reaction or lack of reaction to him, I can almost feel him becoming attracted to her, it’s like the old saying, you always desire what you can’t have.

        The last really interesting thing was that Pretty Cure most likely was actually scene battling the monster by some students. When the battle took place there were at least five other students in the building, Nagisa’s two friends were asleep when the battle started and most likely didn’t see it or at least not much of it, Yuriko probably didn’t see their transformation but she did see the girls in their transformed state, but due to her being knocked out she might not remember everything. But, two other girls saw almost everything that occurred during the battle, I don’t know if they put two and two together, linking Nagisa and Honoka with the magic girls they saw.

     In most magic girl shows, close friends and acquaintances will sometimes actually figure out, or actually see that their friend is a magic girl, but they will almost always only hint at the discovery or just never mention it. It will be really interesting to see how the two girls who saw the battle will react and deal with what they saw.   

         This episode begins with Ran waking up to a beautiful morning and she tries her best to make some bento for her and Rui to eat during a hike they will be taking later.  Just as Ran is about to finish the bento Rui shows up with Midori, Ran tries to act like it’s a bad dream, Midori wouldn’t barge in on her date with Rui, would she?

      While the three of them are on the train to the country Ran asks Midori why she’s butting in on her date with Rui, and Midori tells her since she can’t be with Rin why should Ran be able to get all lovey-dovey with Rui. Once they get to the country they take a hiking trail into the woods. At the top of a scenic lookout Ran and Rui fall down a slope and Midori follows them down where Rui finds a hidden forest path.

       As they begin down the path, Rui sees a stone traveling Kami, as Midori and Ran begin bickering about the stone Kami, Ran hears a voice coming from inside the statute. Ran places her hand on the statute and she asks it what it wants, it tells her it’s name is Kashiwaba Iratsuko and it tells her to take him to Iratsume Sakura.

        Ran tries to lift the stone but it’s too heavy, so Rui puts it into his back pack, and then the group goes to a library to try and locate the “Sakura of Onjo” but they don’t have any luck until they run into a old man. Midori finds out the the Sakura of Onjo is gone and only it’s stump remains. The old man then tells them the legend of Sakura of Onjo, it’s a pure love story about a promised and never fulfilled love. He tells the group that the Sakura stump is nearby the library, somewhere around the parking lot.

        The group rushes outside to find the tree stump, but before they can begin their search Rui is dragged through the parking lot by the stone Kami until he ends up by a giant tree stump. Then the group sees a vision of the boy and girl being reunited in the afterlife. At first the girl is pissed at the boy for making her wait so long (hundreds of years) but soon his love for her makes her anger go away and they embrace and are reunited. Well, that’s all for this episode.

 

         Well, this was another enjoyable episode of Telepathy Shojo Ran, nothing too deep or too dangerous here. Alas, poor Ran, she can never seem to get any alone time with Rui, but what would she do with it anyways? Probably nothing. In the last episode, Ran’s friend called her a overly pure junior high school girl and that’s most likely true.

       The whole moral of this episode is that true love can last forever, the boy promises to return to the girl after three years, but on his way back home he dies, so instead of fading away he turns into a stone Kami waiting for someone to return him to his love. The girl who also dies waiting for the boy’s return and becomes a Sakura tree waiting for his return. In the end, even after hundreds of years and a little issue called death can’t keep the lovers apart. Overall this was a nice sweet romance tale with a happy ending.

       Now to my favorite subject in this series, Midori. I really love her sassy, self-confidante, and smart arsed nature. I found her response to Ran asking her why she’s interrupting her date with Rui quite funny, if I can’t be alone with your brother why should you be alone with Rui.

      Now for my smart arsed non-Japanese response to Midori’s situation; if I was Rin I’d be all over Midori, she’s smart, cute, she love to eat and he loves to cook, and she is clearly interested in him. He should cook her a nice meal then carry her to his room, and then take off those cute strappy shoes she’s always wearing and ………………………, and show Midori, the girl who’s been lonely her whole life some good loving. Oh wait, I’m digressing into the wrong genre, must shop writing now. Below are some cute pics of Midori.

       My next entry into my cute girl/ idol category is Marika, she is 18 years old and a model for the Girlz High website, her vital stats are H-153, B-86 W-60 H-86. Below are a few cute pics, click to view full size, enjoy.

 

        This episode begins with Judy arriving at Lock Willow Farm for the summer and she describes in a letter to Daddy that after two months she is still upset about him not allowing her to spend the summer with Sallie and Julia. Then the Sempleton’s show Judy a telegram informing them that Jervis will be stopping by for a visit, Judy is very excited and has to get ready to see him. When Jervis arrives they throw a surprise party for him, and Judy and Jervis share shy glances with each other.

       Later that day the postman arrives at the farm and Judy receives a letter from a New York publishing company telling her that they will publish one of her short stories in a upcoming issue and they also include a check for fifty dollars as payment. Jervis and everyone else is very impressed with Judy’s good luck and her entry into adulthood.

 

        That night Judy and Jervis have a conversation under the stars about how Judy feels and what she wants for her future. Jervis listens to what Judy has to say very closely and he is very supportive of Judy, and he tries to give her kind advice.

 

       The next day, instead of going to church with the Sempletons, Jervis and Judy sneak off to do some fishing at the river. After catching and cooking some fish, the weather starts to turn bad on them, so they decide to head back, but they get caught in a storm. As they rush back towards the house the storm gets very bad and Judy falls down a slope while Jervis is stuck watching her fall.

      Judy is injured and trapped at the bottom of the slope so she tries to make her way out of the ravine. Judy is very scared and manages to find some shelter under a overhang just then Jervis finds his way to Judy. Judy throws herself into Jervis’s arms and he hugs her right back, and they stay like that for a long time.

 

      The next day as Jervis is leaving the farm to head back to New York Judy thanks him for helping her the other day, then Jervis kisses her on the cheek and tells her to call him by his first name. Just before he drives off he tells Judy that he looks forward to her blooming into a beautiful flower. Well, that’s all for this episode.

      Well, in this episode quite a few interesting things occur to Judy. Firstly Judy succeeds in getting a story published in a New York magazine and she gets paid for writing it. The Sempletons and Jervis give their congratulations to Judy for entering the adult world of pay for work.

      Then as the episode progresses Judy confides a lot of her personal feelings to Jervis, feelings that Judy has never shared with anyone before, you can almost feel the growing connection between the two. Then for probably for the first time in Judy’s life she needed someone else’s help when she fell down the slope.

      It seems that as Judy has gotten older (she’s now about 17) that Jervis has become interested in courting her (he’s about 27), in the context of the time period of the show, pre-WWI it would be perfectly acceptable for a young man of Jervis’s age to court a high school senior. Back in those days girls from proper upper middle class or wealthy families would expect to be courted by guys that could properly take care of them according to their lifestyles so that meant that only college graduates or guys with an established careers would court them.

       As this series comes to a close it will be interesting to see how Judy will make her choices, and if or when she chooses to reveal her orphan background, and how those around her will react to the news.   

 

      This episode begins with Midori going away for a while and Ran looking forward to some alone time with her boyfriend Rui. At school one of Ran’s friends notices how happy Ran is and inquires about her and Rui’s status, and when Ran says that they are only studying together, she calls Ran a overly pure junior high school girl.

 

       On her way home from school Ran bumps into a girl from class and she gets a telepathic impression of sadness from the girl, Ran follows the girl home where she sees that the girl is moving away soon. The next day in class Ran help a guy (Yamashita) get a love letter back from his friends, then she sees him tear it up and toss it out the window.

         Later on, Rui attempts to help Ran study but she’s too concerned about Yamashita so they search for the pieces of the letter, and once they have all the pieces Ran uses her power on the letter. Ran discovers that the letter was written by the girl (Akari) she bumped into the other day. She and Rui returns the letter to Yamashita and Ran tells him he needs to consider the feelings of the sender, and she also learns by using her power that he couldn’t express his feelings in a better way to the Akari.

       Later that night Rui goes to talk with Ran about the situation and Midori shows up and agrees to help Ran, but she also tells Ran that there might be nothing they can do. The we see some flashbacks of how Yamashita and Akari first meet and became friends.

     Ran and Midori climb a tree outside Yamashita’s house and they use their power to animate a stuffed alien animal to try and convince him to meet with Akari and tell her his true feelings. But he still doesn’t go, so Ran and Midori combine power to convey Akari’s true feelings to Yamashita and in the end he leaves his house to meet her before she leaves town.

       The next day at school Yamashita goes up to Ran and he tells her that he knows she was responsible for what happened last night. Ran thinks that Yamashita has found out about her powers but soon he begins to ask her how she did it, did she hide in his room, or did she place a speaker inside the stuffed animal? Well, that’s all for this episode.

       Well, this was another interesting and enjoyable episode TSR but this time the crew doesn’t have to face any danger. The only enemy in this episode was a guy’s inability to tell his girl how he really feels, so it takes a good hearted magic girl to show us dumb guys how talk to a girl.

        So does any of this shy, unable to express his feelings portrayal of a Japanese guy surprise me? No, this kind of portrayal in anime is quite common, but the more that I read about real problems in Japanese society I feel that this portrayal might be more the reality rather than the exception.

       The Japanese government worried about low birthrates surveyed women involved in LTRs and marriages and found that very little to no sex is occurring in these relationships. When these women were asked what would it take for them to have more sex, a large number of the respondents replied that if he kissed me or touched me more often I would want to have more sex. Well, after reading that I think that the guys over there need to get some courage up and get some damn game.

       This episode begins with Moetan’s creative staff discussing the end of the series and how will they get their fans to buy the DVDs. Then we see a little skit of Nao killing Pastel Ink with a light sabre, and then we see Dandy (Da-kun) sneaking a glimpse of Mio’s undies while she is in the shower and he gets caught.

 

      Then the series switches to high school, where Mio is now a first year student, and she is caught daydreaming about a cute guy in her class. Then after school, a female classmate of Mio chases after her and she stumbles and falls to the ground, immediately Mio recognizes her as the stupid magic girl that she fought in the other episode. While walking home, the girl tells Mio that someone named Himawari changed her into a magic girl because she wanted her help in defeating Mio.

 

       After a while Mio hears a voice calling to her, and Dandy tells her that the voice is from another world. Soon, Mio receives a text message on her magic girl phone telling her that she is Pastel Ink from another world and that she has died and needs her help in the other world. Mio and the other girl (Magical Shizuku) transform and Dandy tells them to head to Alice’s house so they can travel to the other world. Upon arriving at Alice’s house, Alice and her assistant tells the King that they also heard the voice and are ready to assist them.

       Soon, Alice transforms into a magical girl and she uses her power to open a gate to the world where Ink is currently in. When the group arrives in the new world they discover that Sumi and her maid are also there but in this other world Sumi is no longer rich but she is instead very poor. After Sumi extracts some food and money from the group she gives them directions to where Pastel Ink is being held in a frozen slumber.

       As Alice and Mio are searching for Ink, Nao and Arks (Ah-kun) have laid a trap for the girls. Once the girls arrive at the secret base they are attacked by Ka-kun after he transforms into his human form, Alice tries to battle him but she and Mio are overwhelmed by his power. Soon, Da-kun shows up and he tells the girls he’ll handle this, and as Dandy and Ka-kun begin to battle Alice and Mio continue on in search of Ink.

       Alice and Mio have to fight their way through the secret base until they are confronted by Ah-kun (Arks) and he unleashes his secret weapon on the girls, Dark Ink. At Ah-kun command Dark Ink attacks the girls telling them that she will kill them. Dark Ink is very powerful, and soon she is close to defeating the girls when Tempura Sumi and Alice’s assistant shows up from their world to help them. Sumi manages to change Ink back to her normal self by calling her a grade schooler, and Ah-kun uses his fart attack to escape from the girls.

 

       Once the girls arrive at Nao’s throne room he tells the girls his master plan, he will use his magical powers to transform every girl with a “B” cup or larger breast size into a “A” cups. After hearing this all the magic girls get very angry and Ah-kun decides that Nao will not be able to defeat all the girls, so he changes sides and is killed by Nao.

 

      Then Nao transforms into a giant monster with naughty tentacle attacks and Mio uses her magic girl staff to summon mecha planes from their original world. Once the planes arrive, the king tells the girls to go ahead and show him the power of magic girls, and they get transported to the planes and combine to form a giant robot. The girls then use a giant magic girl sword to destroy the Nao monster and then they return to their world.

      Then the show ends with Da-kun getting caught playing with Mio’s undies again, and then it finishes with a montage of the girls with their animal mascots in various poses. Well, That’s all for this episode and this series.

       Well, this episode was a nice way to send off the series with a bang of fan service, oh wait, this series was nothing but fan service. This episode managed to showcase everyone of the magic girls’ “special” abilities and “talents”.

      This episode’s major theme was all about loli, in fact Nao master plan was how he would transform all the girls in his world into “A” cups. While all the male leads supported or at least thought that it wasn’t a bad idea but the girls had a different opinion about.

      This episode also took the level of potty humor to a totaly different, previous Moetan episodes used some potty humor. We see two Ah-kun fart attacks, and Ka-kun does a “full moon” attack and even Dandy chooses to reveal his full power in a “pointed” golden attack.

       Overall, I found this episode to be amusing but not very original. At least the earlier episodes were driven by plot and story but this last episode just seemed to be almost pure filler.   

 

      At the beginning of this episode we see the memory eating plant Kaiba approaching Warp’s planet. Then we get a narration from Warp about the history of that planet and how people have always strived to place themselves above other people and how the electrolytic cloud was placed to divide the upper dwellers from the people below.

        Then we get shown the birth of the fake Warp and how he comes to power and how he tries to hold on to power. After the fake Warp destroys the remaining Kaiba clones he is confronted by the real Kaiba, and at that moments the memory merchant lands at the palace with Hyo-Hyo and Neiro. He tells Neiro and Hyo-Hyo to find Kaiba and open his mind. Just then some security robots arrive and he tells Hyo-Hyo that he loves her and that he’ll hold off the robots while they find Kaiba. The memory merchant attacks wave after wave of incoming security robots.

      As Neiro rushes to find Kaiba the fake Warp and Kaiba begin a battle for control of the world. The fake Warp hits him with a lot of power but it seems to have no effect on Kaiba, then Kaiba counterattacks with his power and does painful damage to the fake Warp, Kaiba tells the fake Warp that if he discharges all his stored memories the whole planet will be destroyed. As Kaiba continues his assault on the fake Warp all the people killed in the previous episode begin to revive. Neiro arrives on the scene to help Popo, Cheki, and the others back to Popo’s ship.

      Then we move back to the memory merchants battle with the robots, it seems that he has defeated them for the time being. He then tries to stop the fans that controls the purple mist but nothing seems to work, so he uses his robot body to jam them shut. Then Hyo-Hyo finds him as he exhausts his supply of weapons on newly arriving robots, soon all that’s left of his body is the head and soon that is damaged and he dies, and Hyo-Hyo leaves the scene in tears.

      Then Neiro finds Kaiba battling Warp and she begs him not to kill him but Kaiba splits onto two forms, one of them is a childlike version of himself and he kills Warp saying that all he ever was is just a copy. Neiro tells him that he doesn’t know everything and he tells her that he contains every memory of everyone. The two Kaiba’s begin a conversation between themselves with the younger one telling Kaiba that since all everyone did with the things made to preserve happiness is cause pain and suffering so why don’t they join then let the oncoming Kaiba plant devour them and end it all. But Neiro calls to Kaiba and tries to toss him a memory roe and she tells him to learn this but the memory roe is knocked away by a blast.

      Neiro tells Kaiba that he is being crushed by his bad memories and that he must have some happy ones, so she goes releasing memories trying to find happy ones for Kaiba. Finally she release memories of Kaiba and his mother but the dark Kaiba says their mother was evil, but Neiro finds her way to Kaiba and holds him and she tells him it will be alright, she tells him the truth that his mother loved him and didn’t give him enough poison to kill him, but she gave him just enough to protect him from danger. The dark Kaiba says it’s all a lie but Hyo-Hyo manages to get the memory roe to Kaiba, and as the world is falling apart around them Kaiba regains control of himself and he learns the truth, and then he thanks Neiro by saying that before her he had nothing.

       Kaiba begins to release all his stored memories towards the Kaiba plant saying that he doesn’t need them anymore, he also tells the other Kaiba to do the same, and soon he even sends the purple mist at the Kaiba plant. A few seconds later the Kaiba plant explodes from consuming all the memories sent at it. After the explosion of the Kaiba plant we see Popo and the others standing around in silence in the aftermath of destruction, the sky has cleared and Neiro makes her way to a unconscious Kaiba, when she kneels at his side he wakes up and smiles at her. Well, That’s all for this episode and series.

      Well, the long enjoyable ride that was Kaiba has come to an end. At it’s heart, after you strip away all the science fiction, changing animation styles, issues of life and death, and other interesting topics, Kaiba is a love story.

       Kaiba, after defeating the fake Warp has to face his deadliest foe yet. Like all of us Kaiba has a constant internal struggle going on between “the better angels of our nature” and “the darkness that lies inside of our hearts” for us this might plays out on whether we choose to stop and help someone that we see standing by a broken down car on the side of the road when we are in a hurry to get somewhere. But for Kaiba, the person who remembers everything that has ever occurred has chosen due to his painful childhood to let the dark side of human nature begin to overwhelm the love between people.

       In my opinion this struggle is played out in the creation of the Kaiba plant and the appearance of the “dark Kaiba”, I think that since Kaiba chose to embrace the worse side of human nature he locked away the good things about life. So, I feel that dark Kaiba is the voice of all the poison inside his soul and the Kaiba plant was created to end his pain. The growing hole in his body signifies the emptiness and pointlessness of his existence, while Kaiba is all powerful he really had nothing until he met Neiro.

     This is why Neiro is finally able to reach Kaiba, through her love she shows him that he doesn’t need every-one’s pain and memories, their love in enough to fill the growing hole in his body. With Neiro’s help he chooses to “Confront the dark parts of yourself, and work to banish them with illumination and forgiveness” so in the end Neiro’s love causes him to expel all the poison and venom in his soul destroying the Kaiba plant and freeing himself and the world in the process.

      When talking about the power of love I think MLK sums this battle up the best with this quote about the battle between love and hate, “Hatred paralyzes life; love releases it. Hatred confuses life; love harmonizes it. Hatred darkens life; love illuminates it.”

      Overall Kaiba was masterful exercise in storytelling played across a ever changing canvas of science fiction and fantasy. Many have commented that the way the characters were visualized and drawn seemed childish in nature but I feel that this really helped balance the serious nature of the show. Love and hate; light and darkness; immortality and oblivion; hope and despair; when issues like these are explored in a series it at times can come across as pretentious or condescending when done improperly, but Kaiba through it’s exploration of these issues gave us much more than a visual feast, Kaiba gave us a feast for our minds.

      I’ll make no bones about this by saying Kaiba is the best show of 2008, I know that I’ll probably receive comments from fans pimping this hot show or that hot show, and that’s fine, fans are fans and that’s the nature of the beast. But I will say that this show will pass the test of time, down the road when fans of the next hot new thing have moved on to their next hot new series those old shows will fade to a one or two inch mention in the latest anime encyclopedia, while people will keep watching and discussing Kaiba years down the road.

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