SUBWATCHER EPISODE 3 – HOW GINTOKI MET SHINPACHI

Episode recap time!

LAST TIME ON SUBWATCHER, THINGS GOT A LITTLE SHAKY WITH THE CONCLUDING MOMENTS OF THE PREMIERES. IN FACT, LET’S GO RIGHT TO THOSE AFTER THE EXCEPTIONS ARE COVERED. ON AKAHORI GEDOU HOUR RABUGE, A LOOK WAS TAKEN AT THE LIVES OF THE GEDOU OTOME-TAI AND LOVE PHEROMONE. WHILE THE GEDOU OTOME-TAI’S DAY WAS CERTAINLY STRAIGHTFORWARD AND REALISITC, LOVE PHEROMONE’S… WELL… THE LESS THAT’S SAID ABOUT THEIR SCREW-UPS, THE BETTER.

NOW BACK TO THE PLOT, IN GINTAMA, GINTOKI CONFRONTED KATOKEN ABOUT WHY HE GAVE UP ON GETTING HIS LIFE BACK IN ORDER. AS IT TURNS OUT, IT’S ALL THE FAULT OF THE LAND SHARKS WHO WERE ACCOMPANYING THAT AMANTO WHO PLANS TO DESTROY EDO. AFTER GOING BACK TO GET HIS CONTRACT, THE YOROZUYA FOUND THEMSELVES IN A TRAP SET UP BY THE AMANTO KNOWN AS KARIYA. AFTER LEARNING WHY KATOKEN WAS EVICTED, THE YOROZUYA RUSH AS FAST AS THEY CAN TO KARIYA’S EARTHQUAKE MACHINE SO EDO CAN BE SAFE FROM DESTRUCTION. WITH THE EARTHQUAKE MACHINE DESTROYED AND KATOKEN’S VIEWS ON LIFE CHANGED, THE YOROZUYA CAN RELAX, KNOWING THAT THEY HELPED THEIR CLIENT OUT FOR THE BETTER.

AFTERWARDS, ON KOTETSUSHIN JEEG, AS THE DS ABSOULTION ZONE BEGAN TO EXPAND BEYOND KYUSHU, AND ENDED UP DEVOURING BUILD BASE, KENJI MANAGED TO DESTROY THE HANIWA PHANTOM GOD WITH THE HELP OF SOME OF THE KOTETSU JEEG’S ATTACKS. EVEN AFTER ALL HE WENT THROUGH JUST TO GET AN EXPLANATION, KENJI STILL DOESN’T KNOW WHY HE HAS TO BE PROTECTOR OF THE EARTH. MEANWHILE, DEEP IN THE HEART OF KYUSHU, THE ENEMY BUILD BASE FOUGHT FIFTY YEARS AGO, QUEEN HIMIKA, REAWAKENED, AND SENT HER THREE MINIONS, AMASO, MIMASHI, AND IKIMA, OUT TO ATTACK BUILD BASE WITH A SHAPESHIFTING HANIWA PHANTOM GOD POWERED BY HIMIKA’S SOUL. WITH BUILD BASE ALERTED OF THE INCOMING DISASTER, KENJI GOES OUT TO FIGHT THE HANIWA PHANTOM GOD KNOWN AS MAGURA, WHILE HIS AERIAL BACK-UP, THE BUILD ANGELS, TAKE CARE OF HIMIKA’S MINIONS. WITH A SUCCESSFUL VICTORY AGAINST THE JAMA KINGDOM, HIMIKA’S SERVANTS RETREAT TO HELP HER PLAN THEIR NEXT ATTACK, WHILE THE COMMANDER OF BUILD BASE, TSUBAKI’S GRANDMOTHER, SWEARS THAT THIS TIME, HIMIKA WILL SURELY BE DEFEATED.

FINALLY, ON TOKYO TRIBE2, AFTER MERA’S SURPRISE ATTACK AGAINST TERA IN MUSASHINO, HE LEADS KAI ON A CHASE AROUND TOKYO. THE RESULTING BATTLE RESULTS IN A BRIEF INSIGHT OF WHAT THEIR PAST WAS LIKE, AND A VAGUE RECOLLECTION OF THE EVENTS THAT LED TO MERA’S TURN TO THE DARK SIDE. AND JUST WHEN YOU THINK THAT THE BATTLE’S GONNA BE OVER, TERA STEPS IN IN A HEROIC SACRIFICE, TO SAVE KAI FROM DEATH. BUT BEFORE HE PASSES, HE REMINDS MERA OF THE GENUINE FRIENDSHIP HE AND KAI SHARED BACK THEN. WITH THE LEADER OF THE SARU GONE, MERA CAN NOW FOCUS ON THINGS RELATING TO BUSINESS OTHER THAN PERSONAL MATTERS. IN OTHER WORDS, BUSINESS INVOLVING BUPPA’S SON, NKOI. AND TO MAKE SURE TERA’S DEATH WAS AVENGED SUCCESSFULLY, SOME MEMBERS OF THE SARU CARRY OUT THEIR REVENGE BY “WU-HUNTING”.

THREE CONCLUSIONS TO SATISFYING PREMIERES HAVE BROUGHT TO RISE THREE NEW STORYLINES: ONE THAT CONTINUES THE EXPOSITION, ONE THAT CONTINUES THE PLOT, AND ONE THAT EXPLAINS  HOW EVERYONE GOT TO WHERE THEY WERE IN THE FIRST PLACE. OH, AND THERE’S CATGIRLS TOO, IF THAT’LL HOLD YOUR INTEREST.

UP NEXT: EPISODE 3: HOW GINTOKI MET SHINPACHI

LETS BRING IT ALL BACK TO THE VERY BEGINNING.

Now that we’ve got that out of the way, onto Gintama episode 3!

*hover over picture above for translation*

In the last two Subwatcher episodes, I covered the one-hour Gintama series premiere. Of course, this took place a year after the true beginning of Gintama… which starts here! The first thing I’m going to explore that was shown in episode 1 is how Gintoki and Shinpachi first met.

It all began 20 years prior to the true beginning, when the Amanto came to Japan, and went to war with the samurai. The samurai class declined and Japan forever lost its name, “The Land of the Samurai”. The streets of Edo were now filled with all different kinds of aliens, from extremely humanesque to humanoid to just plain inhuman.

In the present day, we meet the narrator of this exposition: Shinpachi Shimura. Years ago, his father, one of the former samurai, passed on, commenting that he would never get to see the cloudless Edo sky one last time, since the sky is full of Amanto spacecrafts from strange lands. Shinpachi and his sister Tae were left to run their father’s dojo, but they didn’t have enough money. So, Shinpachi had to get a part-time job at a tea house. And that’s where he met him: Gintoki Sakata.

Our protagonist, ladies and gentlemen.

You see, at the teahouse, Shinpachi worked as a waiter. And they didn’t just serve tea, either. They sold milk. Shinpachi was told to bring it over to a table of Amanto who look like talking jaguars dressed like they were rejects from a space opera. They tripped Shinpachi, which caused him to indirectly spill the chocolate parfait of the person at the table behind those asshole aliens: Gintoki. Gintoki, thanks to the chain reaction, blames the Amanto for spilling his chocolate parfait, ruining his one-parfait-a-week diet to keep him from getting diabetes. After  calling the Amanto out on it, he kills all three of them with his wooden sword and just leaves. All that Shinpachi can think about now was Gintoki, and his thoughts about him: his actions showed that he was too fierce to be a samurai, yet too focused to be a thug.

Not long after Gintoki left, the police showed up at the teahouse to investigate this “international incident” (since one of the murdered was the ambassador of their planet). They immediately pin the blame on Shinpachi. Why? Gintoki’s bloodied sword was stuck in his apron. So Shinpachi does the most logical thing possible: chase down Gintoki with his sword in hand, calling him out on framing him.

Gintoki: "Sorry but that's what bandits like me do. Pin the blame on the sole witness."

No, bandits don’t just pin the blame on the closest person.

Gintoki, while being chased, continues to ride on his motor scooter like it’s no big deal, commenting on Shinpachi’s honesty: giving back the wooden sword that he offhandedly mentions buying on a school trip. Shinpachi retaliates, blaming Shinpachi for getting him into trouble with the cops and his manager. Gintoki doesn’t care cuz he’s a badass like that. You want to know what’s even more badass? He manages to stop his motor scooter and tilt the back up so that it hits Shinpachi, who was about to attack him from behind, right in the crotch. It’s hilarious, I know. But it goes right down to my standards for assholery when Shinpachi is confronted by his sister, who walks out of the convenience store that he and Gintoki stopped in front of. Otae immediately starts beating the shit out of Shinpachi for messing around and not being at work. Which gives Shinpachi, who seemed pretty obnoxious up until now, some sympathy points.

Sympathy scoreboard: Gintoki Zero, Shinpachi 1, Otae -1.

You may think “it’s funny until it happens to you”, but I think “it’s cruel until it happens to me”. But I’m not one for punches and kicks, if you catch my drift. 😉

Anyways, this act of sister-on-brother abuse makes even GINTOKI sweatdrop. He then runs off so he won’t miss his soap opera reruns. Otae then catches up to Gintoki, gets on the back of his motor scooter, and smiles at him. Why? A follow-up to the offscreen beating he gets. Back at Shinpachi’s house, he apologizes to him and Otae for acting like that, saying he went overboard on his big introduction scene. Otae tells him that “Sorry” just won’t cut it, since it’s thanks to him that her family’s dojo will probably no longer be able to do business. She then goes to tell Gintoki about how since twenty years ago, samurai and swords, as well as dojos, started dying out as more and more Amanto settled in Edo, causing it to grow beyond recognition. With all their students gone, Otae and Shinpachi have resorted to working at part-time jobs to get the money to keep their dojo going. After explaining a bit of that, Otae tries killing Gintoki, but is stopped by Shinpachi. Another sympathy point for Otae just flew out the window thanks to that. Gintoki tries to stop Otae’s rage by telling her that even though he can’t commit seppuku (it’s against his religion?), he does clean up his own messes. How? His job as manager of Yorozuya Gin-Chan (or Odd Jobs Gin), a company whose purpose is to do whatever he’s asked to do, or in short, perform odd jobs. Shinpachi and Otae aren’t impressed, and start beating him up for claiming that he’s the cause of their problems, rather than the solution to them.

Sympathy Scoreboard: Gintoki 1, Shinpachi 0, Otae -3

Otae sure does lose a lot of sympathy points. It’s just too perfect to reason why she was raised by gorillas. After Shinpachi and Otae talk about whether or not they should give up protecting the dojo, an Amanto with green skin, a pointy nose, and a purple leisure suit walks in, claiming to be someone that Otae and Shinpachi’s father owed money to. He demands that they give up their money or sell their dojo, as part of a deal he had with their father some time ago. When he insults her father for leaving nothing but debt when he died, Otae punches the Amanto square in the face. One sympathy point earned. The Amanto tries to punch Otae back, but is stopped by Gintoki, who just recovered from his beating earlier. And just like that, the Amanto stops his attempts to get the dojo, and instead decides to make Otae pay off the debt her father owed him by working at his business: a flying nightclub where the employees dress up in “high-leg” outfits. Why “high-leg” outfits? That happens to be that Amanto’s fetish.

If there were heavens based around fetishes, this would be one of them.

Of course, it wouldn’t be my heaven. You wouldn’t even want to know how I view my personal heaven.

Anyways, since nothing good but pain will come from selling the dojo, and that it’d be better to suffer protecting it, Otae decides to take the Amanto’s job at his nightclub, much to Shinpachi’s dismay. After Otae leaves with the Amanto, Shinpachi takes out his anger by slicing the air with his sword, complaining that all Otae talks about now is their father. While Shinpachi does this, Gintoki, who’s still in their house, bakes a cake and eats it whole. Why? To make up for the parfait he lost in the restaurant earlier. After finishing up his cake, Gintoki asks Shinpachi why he didn’t go after Otae. Shinpachi explains that it was Otae’s choice to go. This leads to him telling Gintoki that Otae is all about duty and compassion, like their father was, and that the kind of thinking that involves protecting the things the protector’s parents cherished just gets in the way. (Hey, don’t blame me if it sounds confusing.) Gintoki tells him that samurai like himself don’t need to think about how they should act, but draw their sword when something dear to them needs protecting. After giving him those words of advice, Gintoki and Shinpachi ride off on the former’s motor scooter to get to the Shabu Shabu Nightclub before it takes off into the skies. The only problem? The nightclub is about to take off in a few minutes, and Gintoki doesn’t want to act reckless. The police don’t want him to act reckless either, since they share the fact that it’ll hurt if the motor scooter crashes. While Gintoki’s being told off about not reacting to the police’s concern, Shinpachi notices the nightclub taking off, so Gintoki decides to kick it into high gear… which has the police chasing after them in hovercar mode. With no other way to get to the nightclub from the ground, Gintoki decides to carjack the police car. But we don’t know that until he and Gintoki crash into the nightclub to save a reluctant Otae from being raped by the nightclub owner.

Sympathy Scoreboard: Gintoki 2, Shinpachi 1, Otae 1, Creepy Alien Manager Guy: a death threat from the PTC.

Don’t worry, he’s not really raping her. It’s just some extremely suggestive humping. Also,  if you don’t know what the PTC is, it’s the Parents Television Council, a group of die-hard soccer moms who are against anything “age-inappropriate”, which, most of the time, is Family Guy. And a death threat from them is equal to about -9001 sympathy points. (Note the negative sign.) The moral of the story: don’t listen to the PTC. If they think a show you and your kids like a lot is inappropriate for your kids… shrug off their warning and keep on watching.

Back to what’s really important, Gintoki and Shinpachi crash the police car they stole into the nightclub to save Otae from being raped(?) by a the freaky alien nightclub owner. While Shinpachi and Otae try to find an exit (after telling the aliens “Screw the safety of my dojo! My sister’s smile is enough to make it important!”), Gintoki fights off the Amanto nightclub owner’s lackeys in his crazy but strong fighting style. Sadly, he doesn’t even last at least a minute against them, and starts running from the surviving lackeys, trying to catch up with Shinpachi and Otae. After a bit of running, they all end up in the engine room, confronted by the Amanto and his henchmen. The Amanto tells the three that the country and sky now belong to the Amanto, and it’s useless for them to try and get it back from them. Gintoki, however, decides that the country and the sky are unimportant, and that protecting Shinpachi and Otae is enough. Why? Gintoki says, in a dramatic fashion, that he’s failed to protect many things, and has nothing left. So if he sees something falling, he’ll pick it up. He follows this up by destroying the nightclub ship’s engine, causing it to plummet into the sea. Gintoki, Shinpachi, and Otae made it out okay, so we’re led to believe that those dirty Amantos got killed as the ship fell. But as it turns out, they were just arrested. The episode ends with Shinpachi looking over at Gintoki (who’s arguing with a police officer about the earlier carjacking), coming to the final decision that his purpose in life or as Otae calls it, his “sword”, is to protect the dojo while working for Gintoki as a favor for saving him and Otae, thanks to a talk from Otae, and the memory of an excerpt from his father’s final words: that even if you have to give up your sword, you should never have to give up the one in your soul.

"Hey! Stop fighting, you two! One of you needs to give me a ride home!"

So that’s how Gintama began. But that’s only the first part. My thoughts on this episode: 8/10. The animation, design, 2D/3D integration, art, voice acting, and nearly everything else was top-notch for a shounen series. The only problems? First off, all the slack Gintoki got from Otae and Shinpachi earlier in the episode. Secondly, the name that Shinpachi calls Otae by. Instead of something found in commonplace anime like “onee-san”, “onee-chan”, or even “onee-tan”, they go for something a little more close to the time period they’re supposed to be in (despite all the obvious anachronism): “anee-ue”. Even though it’s a change of pace for anime, it still sounds pretty damn weird. But in time, I’ll get used to it. Just like I get used to everything else in life. Well, except Carrie Savage’s performance as Lua Klein in the English dub of Baccano!.

Next up is Akahori Gedou Hour Rabuge… WITH CATGIRLS! And evil plants too, I guess.

The episode begins at the station TV66 on the set of a show called “Geki House”, run by a young and popular idol known as NyanNyan. Coincidentally, Love Pheromone has been asked to come on as special guests. Aimi is pretty pumped up for the whole talk show thing (and her creepily hot-blooded animation style and instant muscles show it), getting ready to steal the show from NyanNyan once they go onstage. Kaoruko doesn’t think that’s a good idea, since the only reason they agreed to go was to sell tickets for one of their live shows. Aimi counterpoints that by saying that they won’t be able to make it big if they don’t show up on some regular talk shows. Aimi finishes it off by claiming that she is going to steal the show’s spirit from NyanNyan, who she claims is an empty-headed idol and nothing more. But it’s then that we actually meet NyanNyan (voiced by Maria Yamamoto, voice of Kanae in Elfen Lied), and her two co-hosts: Ryoko Nyantani (voiced by Ryoko Shintani, voice of Natsuki in DearS) and Hitomi Nyaeno (voiced by Hitomi Mieno, lyricist for the OP of Witch Hunter Robin). Thanks to Aimi’s fetish for beautiful girls (particularly the ones with big tits, which Nyantani possesses), she immediately finds them EXTREMELY cute.

Don't you find them cute too? I sure do!

After Aimi’s sucker-punched out of one of her “fantasies” by Kaoruko, NyanNyan, Nyantani, and Nyaeno head off to get into make-up or something. But as they leave, Kaoruko notices something of theirs that fell onto the ground: a picture of Love Pheromone during one of their performances with the words “Dumbass” and “Moron” (or for you Japanese learners, “baka-hetare” and “aho”) written over them, which makes Kaoruko VERY suspicious of NyanNyan’s activity.

And now, for a bit of background to “Geki House”. Even though it’s filmed in a TV building, the narrator claims that it takes place in the titular “Geki House”, a mysterious shop that aims to find the “Geki Rare Goods”, wanted by nearly everyone in the universe, which are believed to exist somewhere in the world. Where? NOBODY KNOWS. And curiously enough, in one of several connections between the other animes in this series, the Geki House looks sort of like the restaurant Penny’s from TOKYO TRIBE2.

Okay, so for most of the show, Kaoruko tries to sell a ticket to the Love Pheromone live show on the show, but is interrupted by NyanNyan so that they can advertise the goods THEY want to sell: an underarm pillow (which comes with sleepy scent), Weekly Magazine “Ore no Hitozuma”, the Namamugi Namagome Namatamago (raw wheat, raw rice, raw egg) Generator, and a “Pot of Love”. And they all sell out in record time. While Aimi is overjoyed by the NyanNyan trio’s antics (their “cute pose” as seen above, the “nuclear cheeks” that appear when someone tries to be mad AND cute simultaneously, and a “choi-mellow” as seen below) to the point of headdesking out of sheer perversion, Kaoruko keeps getting pushed off to the side by NyanNyan in favor of their products, to the point where she gets an extra-heavy $500,000 Butsudan (a cabinet for holding a Buddha statue) dropped on her head. Poor Kaoruko… Her sanity and sympathy are the only things keeping her in place as my favorite female character in this Subwatcher…

I'm saving all of you a convoluted explanation just by posting this pic.

Also, during the last part of the show we see, where they sell the Pot of Love (or Koi no Rutsubo (actually Tsubo, but the Ru is extra)), we find out that all of their items are selling out so fast not because of their cuteness, but the pendants they wear on their maid costumes. Aimi falls victim to such a pendant. Not to mention that after recovering from her Butsudan-to-head experience, Kaoruko notices a “ど” on the underside of the pot. What does “Dotsubo” mean? NOBODY KNOWS!

After the show, while Kaoruko is trying to snap Aimi out of her cuteness/pendant-induced daze, they’re confronted by NyanNyan, who show off their TRUE personalities: jaded, cigarette-smoking bitches who, after forcing Kaoruko to jump so they can see her bouncing breasts, insult them as both the comedy duo, and the “allies of justice”, which they claim they stole their name from. And boy, the things they say about Love Pheromone are VERY insulting. I mean, look at what they say about them in their “allies of justice” mode:

That's a lie!

That-! Um, well... that "crappy power suits" thing was DEFINITELY a lie!

Ah, nothing says “That one, though, is true” better than a variation of a quote from The Men Who Stare at Goats. But seriously, you just don’t insult a man’s inspiration for a 52-chapter (currently 20-chapter) original fiction over a year before it happens WITHOUT his knowledge!

But then, something happens. NyanNyan points out Aimi’s small breasts: something that you should NEVER do UNLESS you have a fetish for getting blown right the fuck up. That causes Aimi to transform into her Love Pheromone mode. Kaoruko transforms too for no other reason than feeling deeply insulted. After noticing that the “Love Pheromone” comedy duo and the “Love Pheromone” superheroine team (who they claim act good despite their “evilness”) are the same (something nearly everyone fails to notice), NyanNyan reveal themselves as a trio of evil catgirls bent on taking over the world via their evil hypnotic wave: Black NyanNyan!

It's like adding catgirls to an ELECTRICAL STORM!

Aimi, despite finding this out at the last second, claims that she knew about Black NyanNyan and their hypnotic wave all along. In response, Black NyanNyan summons their ultimate weapon: an enormous (and for some reason, masked) Maneki Neko (cat statue of prosperity) that fires missiles out its paw. The first missile it fires fails, thanks to Aimi’s fake breasts in her power suit made out of an incredibly bouncy rubber-like material known as Paff Paff X. Black NyanNyan sweatdrops in surprise to Aimi’s unintentional defense, along with their cat statue. Aimi then manages to defeat Black NyanNyan and their Maneki Neko, which happens to take down the entire building, even though the attack was WAY above ground and from the inside! And to keep up with the show’s status as the Fanservice Series of the Subwatcher, Aimi’s attack against Black NyanNyan causes them to lose their clothes. Remember the preview for the 3rd episode of TOKYO TRIBE2? Of course you don’t, I haven’t even mentioned it to you until just now. Well, the black guy announcing the previews, Falcon Jogasaki, mentions there being “ERO AND ACTION”. Well then…

Here's the ERO...

Later that evening, Aimi and Kaoruko catch the news report of Love Pheromone’s (or rather, Aimi’s) destruction of the TV66 building, complete with NyanNyan claiming that Love Pheromone just up and attacked them out of nowhere. Kaoruko’s angry they they didn’t learn their lesson (villians never do, because in anime, MORALS ARE FOR THE WEAK), But Aimi’s still fangirling them, much to Kaoruko’s dismay.

So, long story short, this Love Pheromone episode was pretty damn enjoyable. NyanNyan was very cute, at least, until they got ahold of cigarettes. But out of all of Aimi’s lines, two stood out. The first one talked about how in Japan, there’s a law that says that comedy routines have to be carried out in the Kansai dialect, which is why she and Kaoruko speak Kansai when doing their Love Pheromone comedy shows  while outside of that, they’re all about the standard Japanese. The second was Aimi’s statement that flat chests are NOT to be messed around with. In fact, despite their commonplace in the female Japanese population, they are a status symbol! At least, according to one Konata Izumi.

Next up: part 2 of the Akahori Gedou Hour Rabuge episode, this time the focus switching over to Gedou Otome-tai.

It all starts off with Utano going outside to get the mail. Sadly, the focus given on her wooden sandals pretty much made me a LITTLE uncomfortable, but not enough to get all sick to my stomach. Eitherways, Utano finds a letter in the mail and brings it back in so she and her sisters can read. As it turns out, it was mailed to them 5 years ago, but the letter got delayed for unknwon reasons (it was likely that one of the postmen went on a murdering spree) and kept getting delayed until it was finally shipped out. Included with the letter was a seed. And like any other time something in this series needs some exposition, Akumako appears and explains everything: that seed is a seed for the “Flower of Evil”, which Akumako explains is a flower that causes terrible things to happen once it blooms. What terrible things? NOBODY KNOWS! However, Akumako comes up with the idea of mass producing the seed so she and the Gedou Otome-tai can wreak havoc on the city by way of scattering the seeds all over the town. The sisters, however, are HIGHLY reluctant to do such a thing, but decide to go along with it anyways. Later that day, before she goes out with her sisters to do as Akumako’s plan dictates, Utano plants the seed that came with the letter in the Hokkes’ backyard.

Tha backwards "く" makes the sign look automatically cute.

Later that night, the Gedou Otome-tai and Akumako go out to the center of the city to mass produce the seeds for the Flower of Evil. After scattering them amongst the street with their magic, the Gedou Otome-tai automatically feel guilty for what they have just done.

The next morning, the sisters (and Akumak0) watch the news to see how fucked up the city got last night. As it turned out, the seeds of Evil didn’t produce the building-destroying, road-wrecking monster flowers Akumako predicted. Instead, it produced several nice flowers throughout the city, on the streets, sidewalks, and rooftops of buildings. All of this really doesn’t affect the townspeople at all. Akumako, however, is devastated. And not just because of the Gedou Otome-tai’s failure at doing something evil…

"Those flowers you grew covered up our only sign of product placement!"

Since it’s a really nice day out, thanks to all the flowers, the Hokke sisters change into their Gedou Otome-tai outfits (since it’s much nicer to wear than their regular clothes) and relax on one of the flower-covered rooftops. Akumako tries to make them stop, but she just realizes the same that she did the previous episode: even though they continue vowing to be excellent evil, the Gedou Otome-tai are just too good at heart to actually go along with it. They’re much better at making flowers over wreaking havoc, and this episode shows it a lot. In the midst of their relaxation and attempts to make Akumako forget about the whole “EVIL IS THE WAY TO GO” deal for at least ONE day, the other sisters realize that Utano’s not there. In fact, she’s down near the area where the planted the Seed of Evil that came in the mail, depressed that it didn’t grow like the other plants. However, with the support of her sisters, her light-based magic, and a tear that results from the failure of the second, the flower finally grows into a pretty sunflower. While admiring its prettiness, Otone tells Utano that the sunflower (and to a lesser extent, the letter) must have been a way for their parents to communicate to them: the flower is full of their feelings, always saying “Always do bad deeds!” with a smile on their faces. While doing just that, Akumako is honestly confused by all that’s going on.

She's all about the evil, and not about good. She's the only true evil in this show.

The episode ends at night, while praying to God/Buddha/their parents/whoever they pray to in Japan, Otone looks out and notices the spirits (or rather, apparitions) of her parents outside, looking over at them from the sunflower.

This Gedou Otome-tai episode was rather interesting. Not as enjoyable as the Love Pheromone ep, but still, pretty nice. There were a couple of sound issues, but that didn’t affect the dialogue at all. But out of everything I saw in this episode, I finally realized something: the Gedou Otome-tai are only willing to do evil stuff on their own volition when they remind themselves that their parents wanted it, but when Akumako, the only real evil in this show, tells them to do it, they automatically refuse because, well… Akumako’s just too fucking evil! They only agree to go with her plans when she mentions their parents’ dying wish for them to become excellent evil one day. So basically, their parent’s wish is the one thing that gives them the courage to do the evil deeds they’re told to do.

Overall, the episode was pretty good. Not as good as the Gintama episode, but pretty enjoyable. The sub quality has improved slightly. They’re FINALLY spelling Aimi’s name right, but with Akumako, it’s still Akunoko with them. Or in one case, Akuno-kun. There was a slight misspelling of Nyaeno as Nyaino, and finally, the real name of NyanNyan, Marinyan Yamamoto, was misspelled “Mariam”. The sub notes were good as well. Some of them explained some hard-to-comprehend stuff, like the meanings behind NyanNyan’s sellings (the Namamugi Namagome Namatamago Generator gets its name from a tongue-twister, for example), comparing the difference between Kansai-ben and regular Japanese to the difference between Cantonese and Mandarin Chinese, and, in another case of their “pointless notes”, the definition of a Holstein. It’s a cow from Germany that supposedly has large udders, since it’s mostly used as an insult towards big-breasted women. Now, for any of those that actually watched the episode after hearing my good word about it, you may be wondering, what was the deal with the chick voiced by Kikuko Inoue?

It's the PTC! Everybody get back inside the house!

The PTC: the Messiah of those who support the V-chip, a rare breed in today’s America.

To answer your question, that woman above is Kikuko Inoue’s character in her ongoing satellite radio show since 2003, Kikuko Inoue’s Caramel Town. The radio show is approximately 15 minutes in length, and is hosted by Inoue with cohost Ryou Hirohashi (voice of Kyou Fujibayashi in CLANNAD and Chane Laforet in Baccano!, two preliminary Subwatcher series). I have no idea what the radio show is about in general, but  from what I saw in the AGHR episode, I can deduce that Inoue’s character lives in a peaceful town that the radio show is named after, and if there’s trouble going on, she switches into her alter-ego “Caramel Police”. In the AGHR episode, the trouble she apparently notices is probably the Flower of Evil, but since it’s so late at night, she decides to sleep instead. It was probably in the episode only for the point of promoting the radio show. If you’re interested here’s Caramel Town’s homepage.

Now that we have the start of the beginning, the evil catgirls, the evil plants, and Kikuko Inoue out of the way, let’s move on to Kotetsushin Jeeg!

The episode begins with a flashback to 1975, not long after the end of the Vietnam War, but seconds before the creation of the fog cloud that covered Kyushu. In this flashback, a much younger Miwa (Tsubaki’s grandmother and the main female protagonist of Kotetsu Jeeg) is flying away in her Big Shooter from what looks like the forces of evil. She makes it out to the ocean, only to find out that Hiroshi (the as-of-yet unseen in this series protagonist of Kotetsu Jeeg) is still on that island.

Back in the present, Kenji decides to celebrate his victory against the Kagura with some food. And by some, I mean A LOT. Which slightly worries Tsubaki. Speaking of which, Tsubaki decides to ask Kenji a question.

"Hell no! Now where's my goddamn exposition?"

Kenji simply replies by asking Tsubaki if it’s the same for her, then switching the subject by demanding the questions he never got the chance to ask, like what Build Base is. Thankfully, this series Mr. Exposition, or rather, Mrs. Exposition, shows up in the form of Miwa Tamashiro. She proceeds to treat us to a flashback to 1975, which is supposed to be either a recreation of Kotetsu Jeeg‘s ending, or the final battle that happened AFTER the ending of Kotetsu Jeeg. It’s really hard to tell. But first, a little bit of build-up. Fifty years ago, the Haniwa Phantom Gods under the control of one Queen Himika and the Great Jama Kingdom, began its 46-episode march against humanity. However, the government knew what they were dealing with beforehand and the invasion that would result, thanks to some results conducted by Shiba. The government built Build Base as an attempt to stop the Great Jama Invasion. However, the battle in Kyushu grew fiercer each and every day. The longer the battle, the more destructive the results were. The defense force, made up from the JSDF and foreign militarys, faced this desparate fight against the Great Jama Kingdom, to the point where they started evacuating Kyushu when the battle reached its breaking point. And when it reached this breaking point, the military launched a full-scale attack on Aso, where the Great Jama Kingdom was headquartered. However, the military crafts were dropping like flies, so Build Base sent out their trump card: the original Kotetsu Jeeg, piloted by Hiroshi Shiba, which, according to the original series, is Dr. Shiba’s son, and the main character. And his Jeeg is a lot more colorful than the Kotetsu Jeeg we see in this series.

Toldja I had a Spin Storm in store for ya... in picture mode!

Hiroshi managed to defeat many Haniwa Phantom Gods (they were easier to summon back then) in his Jeeg with several familiar moves such as the Spin Storm and Knuckle Bomber, plus ones we’ve never even heard of yet like Jeeg Chop and Jeeg Breaker. The Jeeg here even gets to use drill arms to defeeat a Jama airship that looks like a giant cross. After taking care of them, Hiroshi and the Jeeg finally meets up with Himika, who attacks him with TWIN FIRE DRAGONS and a rain of BLACK ELECTRICITY. But even THAT doesn’t stop Jeeg from turning into a robo-centaur with a jousting spear and charging Himika head-on RESPECTIVELY. Sadly, the black electricity causes Jeeg to lose a majority of its power. Angered to hear that Himika and her goons managed to take down the Big Shooter containing Miwa (who Hiroshi refers to as Micchi), Hiroshi puts the last of his and the Jeeg’s strength into the bronze bell in the Jeeg’s forehead, and uses that to put Himika and her servants into an eternal slumber (which wasn’t so eternal), and form the DS Absolution Zone.

Ever since the day of the first defeat of the Jama Kingdom, nearly evert investigational institution in the world (save the Galaxy Police Federation; they’re busy dealing with Love Pheromone and their constant screwups) began researching the DS Absolution Zone. However, all of them had no luck finding out any details about the DSAZ or its origins. They may have a chance, though, now that they’re inside it. She follows this up by giving Kenji a simple explanation of the Jeeg: the pinnacle of human wisdom, the ultimate sakimori (a guardian of Japan stationed in Kyushu to protect the country against China in 663 AD; something that even Kenji doesn’t know about). And after that, she finally answers Kenji’s question of why he has to protect the Earth. It’s vague, but apparently, he was destined BY FATE to inherit the name of Kotetsu Jeeg. Again, Kenji says he doesn’t really get it, but nonetheless, he finds it awesome. While speculating how others would react, he’s snapped out of it by Tsubaki, telling him that this whole “chosen one” thing is serious, and that it isn’t a kind of game where you don’t have to be serious. Kenji is left speechless by Tsubaki’s outburst, save for letting her know that he knows it’s serious. All that’s left that comes out of his mouth is this question:

Didn't you read the translator's notes?

Tsubaki, appalled at his changing of the subject, calls him an idiot and walks off. Seeing that there’s currently nothing to do, Kyo takes Kenji over to Build Base’s dojo for some training. But first, we switch back to the antagonists, after Miwa deduces that the chances of Himika attacking again are high, that is, if she saw the new Jeeg’s power

Meanwhile, in Himika’s cave, she thinks about the events of 50 years ago (or in her case, yesterday), and how Ikima and Mimashi appeared to finish off Jeeg… and how the power of the Bronze Bell froze them in place. It also reveals that the Jeeg used a sword that emerged from the energy of the Bronze Bell to send Himika into her deep 50-year sleep. After flashing back on those events, Himika decides to carry out her plan of having her servants bring the power of the Jeeg to her, giving Amaso part of her soul (again, by kissing, only it’s much creepier because it’s Amaso) that will awaken the Haniwa Phantom God Mezura.

Back at Build Base, Kyo has decided to take Kenji to Build Base’s dojo for some further training in the art of judo. Long story short, Kenji gets his ass handed to him by Kyo.

Palm-to-Face style, how'd ya like it?

After his training is finished up, Kenji is given an Icy-Hot by Kyo to dull the pain in his back from the attack shown above, followed by Kyo proceeding to tell Kenji that he needs more judo training if he wants to avoid injuries like that again. He follows this up by telling Kyo not to worry Tsubaki so much, telling him that she won’t let him off easy if he loses in a fight against the Jama Kingdom. Of course, Kenji knows this already.

Meanwhile, in the smoking lounge, Shiba and Miwa talk about the exposition the latter delivered to Kenji, while the former replies by saying that Kenji won’t understand all of that with his head, and that if there’s anything they can do, it’s to believe in his inner power. After watching Shiba smoke from his big bag of tobacco for a few more seconds, Miwa heads out into the main hallways to have a talk with Tsubaki, starting it off by asking her about her doubts of sending Kenji into battle against the Great Jama Kingdom. Tsubaki, however, is only worried, primarily focusing on Kenji’s reckless behavior. Despite sympathizing with Tsubaki’s anguish, Miwa tells her that piloting Jeeg and fighting the Great Jama Kingdom is Kenji’s destiny. And with that Tsubaki tries to accept the fact that now that they’re in the DS Absolution Zone, things won’t be the same now as they were back then. Miwa restores her hope by telling her that Build Base is fighting to put an end to the DSAZ, and regain the days like those that Tsubaki spent with Kenji back then. All so that they will never have to fight the Great Jama Kingdom ever again. The last thing that Miwa tells Tsubaki is to support Kenji, since Big Shooter (which Tsubaki pilots) and Jeeg (which, obviously, Kenji pilots) are one in the same just like they were 50 years ago, with Miwa and Hiroshi piloting them respectively.

"Back in my day, man used to walk on that moon. Nowadays, everyone's more concerned with Mars..."

Their sweet moment, however, is interrupted by the sighting of a Haniwa Phantom God. In reaction, Tsubaki runs off to launch in the Big Shooter with Kenji and Kyo. One Big Shooter launch later, the scene switches to Kyushu to show the Build Angels deciding to attack Mezura while Jeeg is given the time to transform. Again, the transformation scene, while looking like stock footage, has some new animation (like the preparation of the launching bay for the Jeeg Parts), as well as a change in colors (darker in shade to match the change in environment) and background (again, environment change). After the change, Kenji faces the Mezura, as we finally find out what it looks like: a giant metal/rock horse (later, horse-man) with a mohawk with an extra mouth in its throat.

It's both scary AND ridiculous AT THE SAME TIME. Just the way Go Nagai likes it.

Kenji decides to start his assault against it with the Jeeg Beam (twin eyebeams), which the Mezura swiftly dodges. Tsubaki tells him that long-range attacks won’t work, and that close combat is the way to go, paired with Kyo’s suggestion of the Magnet Rope, which is a series of lightbeam-ropes emerging from Jeeg’s chest that’s capable of forming a lasso (which happens to amaze Tsubaki). Even though he’s generally an idiot when it comes to actual school stuff, Kenji sure managed to know the attacks the Jeeg was capable of in such a short time. Or maybe he’s taking Anime Physics Law 44 (say an attack’s name, it becomes more powerful) into his hands. The Mezura just manages to drag the Jeeg  behind it and shake off the Magnet Rope, changing its form into something more humanoid than your standard horse, punching the Jeeg out and tearing off its right arm with its teeth. Tsubaki tries attacking it with missiles from the Big Shooter, but they’re ineffective. No longer able to stand the sight of Kenji getting his ass beat by the Mezura, Tsubaki remembers the words her grandmother told her, about Big Shooter and Jeeg being one. As a result, she fires more Jeeg parts out of the Big Shooter, this time using them to attack Mezura. Kenji, after thanking Tsubaki for saving his ass, uses the arm Tsubaki attacked the Mezura with to attack the Mezura even harder. That is, before attaching that arm to where the Jeeg’s previous arm used to be. He uses that arm to form spikes in his hand and bitchslap the Mezura so hard, that fire comes out the back of the hand. And so the Hell Slap was born (or maybe reborn). However, even with a partial title drop, the Mezura still isn’t down, even with half its head missing. Kenji decides to use some heavy force against it with the Jeeg Bazooka, removing his replacement arm and replacing it with the Bazooka (like how the drills from the flashback replaced the original Jeeg’s arms). Even though the impact is replaced by the crumbling of the Mezura, the Jeeg Bazooka does its job, the Jeeg (and Kenji) having defeated the Mezura with great accuracy. And needless to say, Kenji is excited, telling Tsubaki that he did it.

"I saw the explosion... And now, to pose before it. Cuz it's SO badass."

Overall thoughts on this episode: excellent. Apart from the slightly ridiculous-looking Mezura and the scene with Himika coming close to kissing Amaso, the episode in whole was well done. Fight scenes were shown in both full animation and still shots. A great way to prevent wasting the animation budget. The 3DCGI animation was clearer than before (I personally thank the Turk that worked on the CG last episode), and the overall designs were great as well. Not to mention that I was rather impressed with Daisuke Ono’s somewhat perfect English with Kenji’s line “Hey, c’mon!”. However, while Mako Hyoudou does good at voicing Miwa as an old lady, her voicing as Miwa as a teenager… not so good. I mean, that shriek… The subs are also finally dishing out some explanations to vague concepts, like sakimori (see above), and Gozu and Mezu (the ox-headed, horse-headed demons that torture souls in Japanese hell) Also, I think that Tsubaki may be gunning for my favorite female character in this Subwatcher. You better watch out, Kaoruko. Tsubaki has more in-show characterization so far.

And an affinity for saying phrases that have been used to hell and back.

But mostly, that phrase is used in the shows with Aesops, or morals and life lessons. But IMHO, who really needs morals? Because in anime, MORALS ARE FOR THE WEAK. Even if they do improve characterization, it’s better that if anime DOESN’T become all preachy and up its ass with messages like South Park. And even then, SP is still watchable. But since it’s not anime, enough of that. I’ll get back to it once I find a perfect chance to explain why I sympathize with even the most unsympathetic of main characters.

Finally, we get to the most nauseating, violent, gruesome, and quite possibly most interesting episode of the night: TOKYO TRIBE2 episode 3. Be warned: a nauseating image or two will follow. Thankfully, they’ll have separate links rather than out-and-out pictures.

Describing last episode was simple: Kai and Mera chased each other around Tokyo, providing some vague backstory, their chase ending in Tera’s death. While Kai mopes about it, Buppa sends Mera and Skunk to put his rather attractive son Nkoi in his place. Also, some SARUs go to avenge Tera’s death by going “Wu-hunting”.

This episode may be a little more difficult to explain, but I’ll give it my best.

It all starts at a karaoke bar/love hotel. One of the WU-RONZ members, Namihei (the mook with the one strand of hair standing straight up), heads into the building to go find Nkoi, being told that he’s on the third floor. Before Namihei can even board the elevator, the SARUs from last episode sneak up behind him and point a gun at his head.

Only one makes it out unharmed. The other shows up a lot more later on.

Granted, this ends up with the SARUs continuing to point that gun at Namihei’s head as he goes up to visit Nkoi. It turns out he is in the room the guy at the front desk said he was in… only he’s with a girl. And he’s screwing her. We don’t actually see what’s going on, since it’s pretty dark, but I think that has to be one of only a few times where I have heard “I’m cumming!” in an anime OUTSIDE of hentai. But that was just in the subs. Meanwhile, down the hall, Nkoi’s large friend Galileo is busy playing Brain Training on his DS. Only on there, he manages to go beyond the impossible and get scored a Brain Age in the negative digits. But that doesn’t stop a schoolgirl there from trying (and failing) to persuade him to have sex with her. While trying to find another guy who’s willing to do her, she notices the SARUs, which fire back at her to get her out of the way. Nkoi, noticing that there’s someone outside, stops having sex, pulls out his knife and starts stabbing the green-shirted SARU in the groin, causing a surprising amount of blood loss. In retaliation, the head SARU out of the three points his gun at Namihei’s head.

...AND HERE'S THE ACTION!

Unamused by his actions, Nkoi disarms the SARU and points his gun right at his head, while he sics Galileo on the remaining SARU, who gets the fuck out… but Galileo follows him anyways. After Galileo leaves, Nkoi politely, yet creepily asks the SARU  he’s facing his intentions. When he won’t answer, Nkoi proceeds to empty out all the bullets in his gun… by shooting at the area around him. He doesn’t really kill him. Oh, no. It’s much worse. He splits his face open with using his knife. I will link the picture to you below in the “Most Nauseating” category. Anyways, after taking care of that SARU (leaving his fate ambiguous), Nkoi asks Namihei what he came for. He’s told it involves Buppa, his father. Outside, the lone SARU left (the one with the glasses) heads off in his car, Galileo following him at his full speed. However, the most interesting part of that scene I saw was the girl in the Gothic Lolita fashion walking past. Sure, it’s at the edge of the screen, but it’s pretty interesting seeing something used in so many moe/fanservice series used in a show that’s outside that norm.

"Oh, this thing? Everyone knows umbrellas make gothic lolitas look cuter!"

But not in this show. In this show, while you’re far from ugly, you’re nowhere near cute. Unless you’re Nori.

Meanwhile, back at his apartment, Kai is busy continuing to mope around in his apartment over Tera’s death, listening to his hip hop records. After about a half minute of nothing but Kai’s thoughts and Jap-rap, a little bit of cheering up drops by in the form of Hashim and Shokicho, who came back from a store (named after the show’s pormenteau, TT2) with several bags full of stuff they got from the grocery store, which Hashim claims they got as part of a “taste the new products” fair going on this week. While he shows Kai the DVD set he got for ZZZ Gundam (Triple Zed), Hashim tosses a bag of snack food and some salsa over to Shokicho to put in the microwave. However, Shokicho’s having trouble getting the salsa bottle open, so Kai decides to help by heating up the lid slightly to make it easier to remove. And what was the salsa for? Well… it was for this:

I assume it's a tostada covered with salsa, chocolate sauce, sour cream, and Thousand Island Dressing.

Whatever it is, it looks disgusting. It must taste disgusting too, since after Shokicho ate some, he started slowly throwing it up. In a chain reaction, Hashim pukes in the grocery bag. The ensuing image of him in sorta-chibi mode with some vomit on the edge of his mouth and snot coming out of his nose comes off as rather disgusting, even moreso that what happened to that poor SARU’s face. Shokicho and Kai, however, find it pretty hilarious, but Kai gets serious for a bit after looking over at Tera’s hat on his shelf, which he says is the one last thing Tera has left him with, probably to honor his memory with.

Meanwhile, with the SARU that escaped the wrath of Galileo, his car is veered off the road by a car gaining on him (belonging to who-knows-who) and a truck he nearly runs into. Likely severely injured, he calls up Kai on his cell phone to let him know what’s going on. But first…

"I mean, look at all those who disapprove of the Tokyo loli ban. Why else would they be against it?"

Nkoi, after having left the karaoke bar/love hotel where he attacked those SARUs, has been called over to his father Buppa’s regular house. He and Mera are sitting to the side as Buppa talks with his two colleagues, the old but badass-looking Anago (he even has a scar!) and a rather annoying-sounding peach-skinned man in a business suit named Dr. Baraki Nakayama. Nkoi suggests that he and Mera leave, but Mera stays anyways, refusing to give Nkoi an honest reply. Meanwhile, Buppa, who looks not as fat as normal when wearing a suit, talks with Anago and Nakayama about a subway that’s about to open known as #13, and how he’d like Mera and Nkoi to do a job involving said subway. Nakayama suggests that Buppa (or… someone) shows Mera and Nkoi around it first. But the subject is quickly changed to Buppa’s “hobby”. Buppa pretends not to know what he’s talking about, but Nakayama knows what it really is, currently referring to it as a “game”, and that he should be careful if the police try and get involved in it. Not to mention that Buppa may be unable to continue if he goes beyond his (Nakayama’s) power. While they continue rambling on about whatever, Nkoi just sits there, glancing at Mera rather antagonistically…

Back with the SARUs, Kai, Hashim, and Shokicho make it to the site where the SARU who called Kai earlier crashed. All Kai can get out of him is that the other two were knocked off in Bukuro. Before any more info can be leaked out, Galileo appears and attacks Kai. Hashim manages to hit Galileo over the head with Kai’s bat, allowing Kai to attack Galileo back by hitting him in the knee. But, to no avail, Galileo throws Kai off of him and onto the back of a trash truck. Which inspires Galileo to continue his pursuit and attack, sadly. As the two continue to fight on the trash truck’s end, Hashim and Shokicho decide to follow the truck. Their pursuit ends when the trash truck reaches its destination: a tunnel leading to a trash dump (which is below ground level in Tokyo, interestingly enough), where Kai and Galileo are thrown off into the dump with all the other trash.

Yes, Kai. Everything stinks.

Meanwhile, at a nightclub, Nkoi is busy hitting on twin sisters (if the name “Onee-sama” says the truth), talking with them about Subway #13, answering whatever questions they have about it, like if the rumor that the line’s departure station will be in Bukuro is the truth (it is), and telling them that he’s in charge of setting it up. However, one of the girls notices Mera sitting off to the side with Skunk. Envious of how his girls are being attracted to him, Nkoi darkly asks what Mera’s planning behind Buppa’s back (even facepalming one of the girls out of the way so he can be super-serious), like if he’s going to kill him in revenge for the death of his parents (Mera’s parents, that is), which Nkoi says was caused by Buppa. Nkoi then proceeds to tell Mera that Buppa’s reign belongs to him, whle emptying out a bottle of liquor onto his head. Skunk decides to take action, but Mera stops him from doing so. Before leaving, Nkoi tells Mera to meet him tomorrow morning so they can work on the subway, or something. However, before he can actually leave for real, Nkoi looks up at the sky, getting very cloudy, wondering if Galileo’s having any trouble.

Really? Mera should be the one calming down. I mean, look at all that sweat!

Meanwhile, back at the trash dump, Kai thinks he lost Galileo and tries to get his bat back, but Galileo bursts out of the trash pile and attacks Kai. Kai fights back using his bat, but much to his dismay, Galileo bends it. Just fearful about what Galileo exactly is, Kai doesn’t think to fight back anymore. But not all hope is lost. I mean, a magnet… lift… thing comes down from above and hits Galileo right in his head. Seeing his chance to escape, Kai boards the lift so he can get out. However, galileo is holding onto the bottom, about to throw Kai back down into the trash dump. Kai immediately reacts by kicking Galileo off. Needless to say, that was HILARIOUS. After getting up there, Kai thinks he’s safe, but Galileo decides to go for escape plan B: climb up the inconveniently placed ladder from the dump up to ground level. Hashim and Shokicho arrive there at the dump (FINALLY!) after making their way through a rather long tunnel. Even though Kai can’t hear them, they decide to follow him anyways. Kai manages to lose Galileo by sneaking into a small tunnel leading to the new subway that was being talked about earlier. However, Galileo manages to catch up with Kai… where we find out that he’s so superhuman because he (or at least his hands) are robotic, and therefore super-strong. The shock Galileo feels when he sees his hands gives Kai some time to get a head start, once again setting off the chase between him and Galileo. Speaking of which, Galileo isn’t really too fond of anyone talking about his hands.

"You know how painful alone time would be with hands as strong as mine!?"

Pass the brain bleach, please.

The next morning (which isn’t really that far off from the last scene; think graveyard slot time), Mera and Skunk arrive at the site of the new subway to meet up with Nkoi and an unknown man called Tanabe. However, they’re late. Mera’s reasoning is that he entered a VERY small street. As in, he nearly wrecked all of what was on either side of him. He even broke down the gate… Anyways, back to the main plot and stuff, Mera, Skunk, Nkoi, and Tanabe go down in an elevator to the main subway area. During this time, Tanabe explains that the subway isn’t the only thing being built, but a collection point for rainfall from the Kanda River and a collection for rainfall is being built as well, under the gigantic Tokyo Route 8. However, Nkoi, being the bastard that he is, locks Mera inside the collection point, and forces Skunk to hang up on Mera as he calls Skunk for assistance in getting out. And in an even more interesting turn of events, some members of the Shinjuku HANDS manage to get int he collection point, and hold Mera at gunpoint. So Mera has no other choice but to fight them… So with Mera up against the HANDS, and Nkoi taking notice of the chase between Galileo and Kai, TT2 ends another episode with yet another cliffhanger.

Who will win?

Overall, this episode of TOKYO TRIBE2 was better than episode 2, but not as good as the premiere episode. The pros of this episode included the added quality to art and animation, the fast-paced sequences that didn’t shift the storylines much, and the first steps of making Mera a likable character. While he did kill Tera and he wants to kill Kai, we still don’t know the reasons behind the latter, and we all know that Tera sacrificed himself, so it wasn’t like Mera MEANT to kill him. This episode gives Mera a bit of sympathy, which further emphasizes the asshattery of Nkoi. The cons of this episode: not many. A majority of the cons came from Hashim’s strange design and facial expressions. Also note how he looks more chibi-ish than the other characters. But since he’s a comic relief character, it’s expected. Some of Nkoi’s actions were pretty damn unlikable. The subs were mostly on track, but with tiny mistakes (“rink” instead of “drink”, “dpn’t” instead of “don’t”, and “folllow” instead of “follow”) But I digress. This episode was a rather great one, if you overlook the cons and everything. The nauseating stuff was rather tolerable at points (the SARU who got his face sliced) and others… not so much (snot-nosed Hashim after puking in a grocery bag: FAIL). And Galileo… trust me, you WOULDN’T want to meet him in real life. HE WILL BREAK YOU.

Eep.

Overall view for the night? Not as strong as the other two times. By far, Kotetsushin Jeeg had the best episode, with some background on the previous events, a sort-of official answer to the “big question” I had up last week, and made Tsubaki more likable to the point where she may as well be considered the second-best female character in this Subwatcher. Gintama, while providing a fresh start to the season-long official introductions, kept dealing out too many “unsympathetic character” points to Otae and Shinpachi. Akahori Gedou Hour Rabuge had a good episode. I liked the Love Pheromone episode better than the Gedou Otome-tai one. What can I say? Cute girls who act like catgirls are just one of a number of my fetishes. TOKYO TRIBE2’s episode was good too. Just a little too nauseating for the number 0ne spot. Now it’s time for title explanation!

HOW GINTOKI MET SHINPACHI
But what does it mean?

Obviously, the Gintama episode was where Gintoki met Shinpachi, and vice versa. However, there were no fake orgasms, like in the movie where I got the title from, How Harry Met Sally. There wea, however, a REAL orgasm in the form of that chick Nkoi was doin’ it with earlier.

  Best Scene: Gintoki killing three jaguar-aliens (one of which was their planet’s ambassador!) over a spilled chocolate parfait.
  Worst Scene: 1975!Miwa’s shriek in reaction to an attack to Big Shooter.
  Funniest Scene: Kai kicking Galileo off the lift, with an added “What the fuck?” for extra hilarity.
  Creepiest Scene: Utano walking in her sandals. *shudder* Lolis and foot fetishism were never supposed to mix.
  Most Nauseating Scene: Either when that SARU got his face sliced open or the look on Hashim’s face after puking in the grocery bag.
  Sexiest Scene: Aimi stripping Black NyanNyan of their clothes with her lightsaber beam katana.
  Cutest Scene: NyanNyan and her friends, obviously!
  Awesomest Scene: Gintoki killing three jaguar-aliens (one of which was their planet’s ambassador!) over a spilled chocolate parfait.
  Most Heartwarming Scene: Tsubaki and Miwa’s conversation about Kenji and how he’s Build Base’s only hope in destroying the Great Jama Kingdom.
  Saddest Scene: When the Seed of Evil Utano planted didn’t bloom. Her tears just got to me.
  The Highlight: Gintoki killing three jaguar-aliens (one of which was their planet’s ambassador!) over a spilled chocolate parfait.
  Biggest Question: Who’s more uneasy to look at: Utano or Hashim?

Next time on SUBWATCHER: Gintoki and Shinpachi meet Kagura, the Hokke sisters meet a Kaiju who used to work with their father, Build Base faces an underwater enemy, and the aftermath of of the Kai vs. Galileo chase AND the Mera vs. HANDS battle is revealed! All this and an almost nightmarish dramatic expression from Shinpachi on the next episode of SUBWATCHER!


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