Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Hayate The Combat Butler Chapter 441: Talking About Liking Octopuses On Sunday Reminds You Of Mendou-Kun, Doesn't It? -- Review and Synopsis

That's a nice pic of Nagi on the cover, isn't it? (lawlz, I've been waiting for an opportunity to say that since forever.)

Synopsis:  Just as predicted, the mysterious person from the previous chapter wasn’t who almost everyone expected it to be. It’s actually 8 (you haven’t forgotten about this sometimes homicidal bucket of bolts who is in love with Makimura-sensei have you?) and he wants the octopus because without it, he can’t marry Makimura-sensei for some reason. He attacks Hayate in an attempt to get the octopus but refuses to tell him exactly why he needs said octopus. Hayate dodges his attacks and then simply hands the octopus over to him.

Anywayz, “mysterious beauty” suddenly appears behind Hayate asking him why he gave away the octopus. Hayate is totally confused as he’s never even met this girl before. She then walks away with the cryptic message that if he doesn’t understand the sin he’s committed, then the ocean will never give him anything.
Looks kinda manly, doesn't she?
Hayate reports back to Nagi and company afterwards and tells her what happened. Alice chimes in and says that perhaps his “sin” was in giving away the octopus when it never belong to him in the first place when he had no idea what would happen to it. Nagi reasons out that it’s just an octopus, but Alice says that the woman cared about the octopus and it’s a lovely attitude.

Hayate is flustered and says that he would be right back. Hamster rushes after Hayate and Alice seems satisfied by his reaction while Nagi is all “meh.”
Octopus: Serious business
Hayate rushes off after 8 who is about to hand over the octopus to some fisherman with a boat full of em. Hayate asks what they’re doing with all these octopuses and states that he won’t let 8 leave. Suddenly, 8 attacks him seriously from out of nowhere and sends him flying back. 8 declares that he would never understand because he’s so popular with girls and that there’s a special octopus that he’s looking for no matter what he has to sacrifice.

8 then continues the attack and Hayate feels that he’s cornered and done for, but “mysterious beauty” appears from out of nowhere and effortlessly blocks 8’s punch with one hand. She calls 8 an “enemy of the sea” and proclaims that she is the one who fights for the peace of even a single octopus.
Nice one, Hata. Almost no one saw this coming... almost.
 Poof! WTF, it’s Ikusa! Well, he doesn’t say that outright, but he takes off the disguise and reveals himself to be a “lifesaver.” Hayate is like “WTF” … just like me.

Review:  Bwahaha! Hata is such a magnificent bastard. I have to admit, I never saw that big reveal coming about the “mysterious beauty” being Ikusa until the last few panels of this particular chapter.  On the other hand, Kyle Lee from mangahere totally called it. Here’s a screenshot to prove it and you can visit this link to the actual comment to confirm this.
Good job, Kyle Lee
I have absolutely no idea where the plot is heading from here, but at least the story is still steadily moving forward and it was nice to see 8 in action again. I don’t have too many thoughts about this chapter in particular, so let’s move on to some random speculations, shall we? Some of these are quite logical, while a few are pretty off the wall. Let’s wait and see how many of these predictions of mine actually come true. At the very least, I was right about the mysterious person from the previous chapter not being Ikusa. 

Also, Astronerdboy mentioned that the octopuses might be an Urusei Yatsura reference (I’m familiar with the series since it was shown in the early 2000s on Animax), and we have confirmation of that with the mention of Mendou in the chapter’s title.
As a side comment, for being a combat butler, Hayate’s really gone down hard on the tier list. He’s probably tied with or a bit better than Hina at hand to hand, but not with her two swords. I think Athena can still pwn him in a swordfight... but full-grown Athena is pretty much OP anyway. He can’t beat Housen on his own and now it’s been shown that even 8 can beat him up. What next? Gilbert can beat him when he's serious? Of course, perhaps this changes when he senses that Nagi is in danger.

10 year celebration project is the finale of this series

If you can recall from the previous chapter, there was a small announcement that there would be a 10th year anniversary project and no, it’s not the daily calendar that comes with volume 40 of this manga. In any case, MadMac, among others, has speculated that it might be a new anime and I’m inclined to agree. As to the subject matter of the anime however, given all that’s been happening in the manga so far and Hata’s seeming penchant for “flash forwards” via anime, I’d say that if it is a new anime, then it might be the finale of this series. Why do I say this? Well, there are several reasons that I can think of:

  1. It’s the 10th year anniversary celebration. 10 years has proven to be a pretty significant period as far as this manga is concerned. We know that Hayate and Athena first met 10 years ago, and recently, the whole King’s Jewel plot seemed to have officially begun 10 years ago as well. Furthermore, Ruka and Nagi made that promise to compete with each other with their manga again 10 years into the future. So what better way to celebrate the 10th year anniversary celebration than to end this manga with a full-blown anime finale? The anime might cover the month of December, or a little bit before that, since I’m sure pretty much everyone expects the series to end by that time… especially on December 24, exactly one year since Hayate first met Nagi and Maria.
  2. There are very few months left until we reach December. The current manga’s timeline has almost caught up with Heaven Is A Place On Earth and after that, we all know that Can’t Take My Eyes Off You and parts of Cuties will follow. Since CTMEOY takes place in September, then there are only the “ber” months left until we reach the final month.  
  3. The manga has probably already overstayed its welcome. It’s gone on for several hundred chapters and its popularity has steadily begun to decline over the years. Hata is a good storyteller when he wants to be and if it’s true that he has a grand over-all plot planned out in advance, then it would make logical sense to end this series using the anime and while it still retains some shred of popularity. The manga could simply continue on until it catches up with the anime’s timeline and there’s always room for OVAs and specials.
Ikusa: I'm too epic for you, 8.
Maria is future Nagi

Wait, hear me out first! Okay, what do we know about Maria so far? All we know is that she’s Nagi’s maid, she was the smartest student to have ever gone through Hakuo Academy, and that she is apparently “17 years old,” even though her mature appearance suggests otherwise. Now we can confirm through Makimura-sensei as well as Yukiji that Maria was once a student at Hakuo Academy, but that’s all that we really know. How can we be sure that she really is “17 years old” as she claims since she doesn’t even know her own birthday? What if she is really a much older, wiser version of Nagi? After all, they’re both pretty smart and Maria is actually relatively short given her age. That’s right, folks! Maria is future Nagi and she has been summoned to the past in order to prevent present-day Nagi from making a decision that she will regret somewhere down the line to become an hero!

Mikado is trying to revive Yukariko

Which is what he’s been planning with the King’s Jewels from the very beginning. Maybe the jewels act like some kind of reality altering device that grants a single wish when all of them are gathered together inside the Royal Garden.  After all, it’s been established that Yukariko was very special to him. Why do I say this? Why… because Hata’s made some Fate/Stay Night references in this manga before, of course! Remember Nagi dressing up as Caster and then getting scared of herself in the mirror? No? Lurk MOAR J00!

Hayate will inherit the Sanzen’in Fortune

And this will finally allow him to pay off his debt and leave Nagi for Athena marry Nagi. He’s already fulfilled the original condition set forth by Mikado when he (as Shin Hayek) made Nagi cry and apologize when he said that he resigned as her butler. Of course, this assumes that Hayate is even eligible for the inheritance in the first place… oh well, not all theories can be fool-proof.

Well, that’s all I can think of for now. I might add some more later if I remember something else. Let me know what you think.

Saturday, February 22, 2014

The Table Card (GUARD)

Have you ever been inside a fast-food restaurant during rush hour? One of your top priorities would probably be finding a table - and this is true whether you are on your own or if you have company. Once you've finally found a table, everyone will now want to approach the counter to look at the menu before they order; therefore, you are left with no choice except to leave some things on the table to mark your place. 

Alas! Some people just don't get it, and after you've placed your order and returned to your table, you discover that someone has set your things aside and is now seated on that table that you worked so hard to reserve for yourselves.

Ever get annoyed at these people who rudely take your table and then pretend that they never noticed your stuff? Then the all new, state-of-the-art, Table Card (GUARD) is the all-in-one solution for you. The Table Guard is a fairly conspicuous unbreakable, high-quality cellophane card that automatically reserves your table for you in a non-confrontational manner. Based on traditional ID card technology, this nifty little gadget prevents table snatchers from surreptitiously taking your table while you're on the counter placing your order. The colorful printout on the front of the card warns any would-be table-snatchers that this table has already been reserved and that they should find another one.

Here's how it works: Whenever you need to reserve a table for yourself, just take out your Table Card and leave it face up at the center of the table. That's it. It's just that simple! The Table Card does all the work for you and guards your hard-earned restaurant table like a debt-ridden butler guards his loli, otaku, hikkikomori, sometimes tsundere mistress. 
The front design
This version of the Table Card uses an image of the lovely Nagi Sanzen'in from Hayate no Gotoku! at the front of the card. The image was drawn personally by the manga's author, Hata Kenjirou and was then photoshopped and copy-pasted into the card by the inventor of this marvelous item. Naturally, this use of Nagi's image is completely unlicensed.

But wait! You're probably thinking, well, they can just flip the card over and pretend that they never saw the message... well, they're in for a big surprise! 
The "Anti-Flip" feature at the back of the card
Ta-dah! The futuristic design of the Table Card allows it to readily address this kind of situation. The back of the card uses original fanart featuring the same character by the inventor of the Table Card himself! Of course, someone could just take the card away completely and steal your table anyway, right? 
If they still insist on taking your place, whack em silly in style with these!
That is true... but that's why the Table Card is always a set and comes with these custom-made wooden nunchaku that you can use to beat persistent table snatchers into submission!
This premium item won't stay at this bargain price forever

So how much do I charge for this amazingly useful personal table reservation tool? Normally, I would have to charge $250 a piece just to cover the time, research and effort that went into the creation of the table card. However, because I want people to be able to make use of this amazing tool just so they can see how effective it is, for a limited time only, the table card will be on sale for the incredibly low price of $79.95

Do take note however that I will be selling these cards at a loss during this stage and therefore, the price could go up at any moment - even while you are still reading this article. To order the Table Card with wooden nunchaku combo, click the buy now button at the bottom of this page.
Special feelings in snow shirt.
But wait, if you order now, I'll also throw in this limited edition T-shirt featuring Nagi Sanzen'in and Super Idol Ruka Suirenji in their version of the "Special Feelings In Snow" meme that's currently trending in JAPAN!
Limited Edition Nagi Portrait Keychain

Furthermore, the first 100 buyers will also receive this cute, limited edition keychain of Nagi Sanzen'in and are entitled to a whopping 50% discount at $40 for the entire package.

In summary, if you order now, you'll get:

The Table Card featuring:
  • State of the art "anti-flip" design
  • Colorful, high-contrast artwork makes the card clearly visible
  • Made out of unbreakable high-quality cellophane plastic
  • A strap to turn the Table Card into a necklace
  • Custom red and black wooden nunchaku for persistent table snatchers
  • Intuitive, user-friendly mechanics
  • Lightweight, compact, but totally conspicuous
  • Perfect as a gift for all ocassions
In addition, you'll receive the following:
  • Ruka x Nagi special feelings in snow meme shirt
  • Nagi Sanzen'in limited edition keychain 
All for only $40

Do NOT miss out on this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. Click the buy now button below and have your own Table Card sent directly to your address today. Say goodbye to rude table snatchers forever!
"The Table Card" is not an actual premium item nor is it really for sale. What it is, is a plastic ID card protector that I customized with some cards that I printed out on photopaper and cut to the ID protector's dimensions. If you haven't already realized it, this is a parody infomercial. All the so-called "products" featured here are my own custom-made stuff, unlicensed for commercial distribution and made exclusively for personal use.

Monday, February 17, 2014

Hayate The Combat Butler Chapter 440: I Want To Meet Ika-Chan At The Beach. Actually, I Want To Meet Ika-Chan No Matter Where It Is -- Review and Synopsis

Not a fan of either of these two, but they do look quite lovely here.

Synopsis: We pick up from where the manga left off in the previous chapter, but not without a gag page featuring Hayate and Nagi and a full-color cover page with Hinagiku and Athena.

Anyway, Hina, Hamster, Chiharu, Kayura and Alice discover that the beachside restaurant where Hayate’s brother used to work has been destroyed. They’re confronted by a “mysterious beauty” who tells them that they won’t find the person they’re looking for here because the restaurant called life went out of business. The mysterious beauty points the group to an employment agency building and tells them that they might find the person they’re looking for there. The group decides that it’s pretty useless information and return to the hotel to report what they’d found to Hayate and company.
Fanservice of almost all the girls in one page.
Nagi states that this whole trip was a waste, but Hamster says it wasn’t, and brings out her secret weapon… a swimsuit. We get a fanservice page of all the girls present during this trip in their respective swimsuits. We then get a blatant Ikamusume reference panel; followed by a scene of Nagi stepping on a small octopus that looks nothing like the real thing. (seriously, Hata?)

There’s a brief conversation between Hinagiku and Chiharu wherein Chiharu teases Hina and tells her that she should try to seduce Hayate. Hinagiku responds by saying that Chiharu should do the same since she still believes that Chiharu has also fallen for Hayate. Chiharu almost quickly denies that, but decides it would be funnier to actually seduce Hayate just to troll Hina.

Meanwhile, somewhere else on the beach, Hayate is alone and thinking about his brother when he stumbles upon an octopus. Just like in the previous chapter, a mysterious person appears and tells him to hand over the octopus if he doesn’t want to die.

Review: Hmm… not much I can say about this chapter except that it’s still building up on the current plot, I suppose? At this point, it’s anybody’s guess where we’re going from here – although I’m not in a hurry for this manga to get anywhere, quite honestly. I’m personally enjoying these tiny, plot-advancing chapters, as tedious as they might be for some. Let’s just go with some random comments then.

Do I dare guess that the mysterious person might be Ikusa? It seems like it, but it’s also the most obvious speculation – which is never the right answer where Kenjiro Hata is concerned, so I’m not taking that bet, son!

Lovely full-color page there. Athena and Hina both look really pretty. I’d have preferred it if Nagi was there too, though… but I’m a hardcore Nagi fanboy, so that’s always to be expected.

The girls all look very cute in their swimsuits. I notice Nagi’s bikini is most likely the one she’s wearing on her swimsuit figure from Kotobukiya due to the star-shaped pattern, althoug the strings seem a bit different. I guess Hata was thinking, “I might as well get all the fanservice out of the way in one page.” I dunno about the Alice fanservice though. Nagi might barely be a teenager, but Alice is clearly a toddler.

I’d say miss “Mysterious Beauty” is probably the mystery silhouette person from the confession scene in the previous chapter.
Shinryaku! Ika Musume!
Finally, that Ika Musume reference was a nice touch… (Ika, Eiko and Chizuru in that panel.) the chapter is a blatant reference to that series after all.

Anyway, on to the next chapter. No break next week, so huzzah!

Random fanart insert from me
Oh yeah, have some “special feelings in snow” fanart. Thanks to Doughnut Gunso for the caption suggestion via Twitter.

Monday, February 10, 2014

DIY Arnis Nunchaku and Testing

I've been into nunchaku lately and over the last 5 years or so, I've accumulated quite a sizeable collection. Anyway, I recently bought my first paracord wooden nunchaku just to get a feel for how an authentic wooden pair handles. I mostly practice actual combat-applicable strikes along with the basic passes and switches - although I do enjoy doing wrist rolls on ocassion... anyway, I recently saw this video by Skallagrim on the futility of banning nunchaku because they're extremely easy to make and people who acquire them legally want to use them for martial arts and not for committing crimes... good stuff, but what really caught my attention is how quickly he managed to make workable nunchaku out of two wrenches, a chain and a carabiner.

So I thought... why don't I make my own pair out of my two arnis sticks? Good idea, me! Here's a little step-by-step on how I did it.
Materials I used. Sorry, I forgot to take a pic of the arnis sticks prior to sawing them off.
Here are the materials I used:
-2 arnis sticks
-Measuring tape
-Black marker pen
-My legitimate kamagong (ironwood) nunchaku
-The cord from an old shopping bag
-A small hand-saw
-2 small closed round hooks (bought in a set of 10 from a local hardware store)

And the steps:

1. Measure the length of the kamagong nunchaku with the measuring tape and then mark the 2 arnis sticks at the same length for cutting.

2. Using the hand-saw, saw off the ends of the arnis sticks along the markings made earlier.

3. Screw in one round hook at one end of each of the arnis sticks.

4. Thread the cord into the hooks to attach the sticks together and make a good strong knot. Make sure that the length of the cord in-between the sticks is about the same as the width of the palm of your hand. You can make them longer if you want a more combat-oriented nunchaku.

5. Profit!

Ok, so here is the finished product. I added in some orange electrical tape to serve as a sort of handle and make the nunchaku more aesthetically appealing. 
Not bad for a 15-minute hack job, eh?
The type of wood used for the arnis sticks is very light, thus, the nunchaku itself is very fast and light and great for spinning and freestyle stuff. Don't get me wrong, though. This thing can be used as a serious weapon as well.

Anyway, on to the test video!
I'm not too satisfied with the way I attached the cord. I might replace it with a legitimate chain later. Otherwise, the hooks are strong and stable, and the nunchaku as whole works pretty well.

Edit: Here's how the nunchaku looks right now with chains. Plan to make a three section staff the same way soon.

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Paragon of Justice: Crimson Ranger Episode 10: This Is My Justice!

The story so far: Pete Robinson was just another self-sufficient, lackadaisical otaku until one day, a red comet fell from the sky which turned out to be the super-powered paragon of justice and all-around busybody, the Crimson Ranger.  Pete is conned by the dying Crimson Ranger into taking the Red One Changer and taking on the mantle of the Crimson Ranger. Fortunately, Pete is not completely alone as he fumbles his way through the new role forced upon him. The spirit of the original Crimson Ranger returns to help him as a twin-tailed 13 year-old Japanese schoolgirl named Giselle Orchardwither with an annoyingly cute voice and who only exists in Pete’s head. Whether she is for real or a mere figment of Pete’s imagination is irrelevant since Pete is the only one who can perceive her.

Having finally come to terms with the fact that Miss Vanity had knocked him unconscious when he finally had the upper hand against Wrath, Pete Robinson awakens from his slumber to find Wrath and Miss Vanity arguing over how to take the Red One Changer from him. Stuff happened and somehow, Pete, the Crimson Ranger found himself once again face to face with Wrath – this time, in a fair fight with Miss Vanity having left the scene. This time, Pete is handily defeated by Wrath who shows him the huge gap in power between the two of them. Wrath takes the Red One Changer leaving a relatively uninjured but dejected Pete Robinson behind to wallow in despair. Baphomet, who had finally recovered consciousness urges him to snap out of it and offers to take Pete under his wing to show him how a superhero without superpowers fights and perhaps a way to regain the Red One Changer and save the world before it’s too late.


Pete Robinson: Pete is the epitome of average. The only notable thing about his character is that he is a video game and anime otaku and he loves to spend his meager salary importing weird things from Japan. Despite his hobbies, Pete is the type of person who does not hold strong beliefs and would rather go with the flow and avoid conflict if possible. Pete works as an employee at Games R’ Go.

Sheryl Harrison: A good friend of Pete who works as a manager at the hobby shop that Pete hangs out in. She has a very nerdy appearance and wears dark-rimmed glasses and has frizzy hair that looks quite reminiscent of overcooked spaghetti. Sheryl can be a bit of a control freak and likes to keep her shop nice and tidy. Lately, she has taken an interest in a comic book known as “The Adventures of Black Trojan”

Primela Rosenkreuz: Pete’s co-worker who serves as the secretary of Games R’ Go. A young woman with a model-like appearance that matches her trans-atlantic accent when she speaks. Most people wonder why she sticks to such a mundane job when she could easily be mistaken for a fashion model or actress. She seems to be on good terms with Pete.

Giselle Orchardwither: The original Crimson Ranger who currently only exists in Pete’s head. She takes the form of a 13 year-old twin-tailed Japanese schoolgirl with a snarky personality. Possesses supreme mastery of the pwnage powers of the Crimson Ranger.

Miss Vanity: A beautiful super-powered vigilante who wields an elegant broadsword. She seems to value fashion and beauty above all else, even going as far as to avoid a battle if it might result in a broken nail. She has 
since revealed her secret identity to Pete Robinson – a secret that only the two of them may ever know.

Baphomet: A self-proclaimed protector of animal rights who is a master of stealth. He wears a horned goat’s mask and appears to be a master of mixed martial arts – even going so far as to defeat an opponent who has been tainted with the light of RAGE using a triangle choke.

Wrath: The interstellar warlord and conqueror of worlds and ultimate ragequitter who is currently targeting Earth. Possesses an army of one-hit kill underlings who serve no useful purpose other than target practice for heroes of justice. He can also use the light of RAGE in order to invoke a human being’s pent-up anger and use this potential in order to transform them into a super-powered monster of the week. Upon defeat, a person who has fallen into RAGE transforms back into human form unharmed.

Episode 10: This Is My Justice!

Whoa! Whoa! Wait a minute… why are we here again? I thought you were supposed to be teaching me how to be a superhero without superpowers and all that. What are we doing hanging out inside a 100-yen shop?”
“While we’re on the subject, Pete, why don’t people notice that he’s still wearing that weird horned goat’s mask?” Said an annoyingly cute voice from inside Pete’s head.
“Patience, Crimson Ranger. If you’re going to follow in my footsteps… then we need the right tools.” Baphomet replied in his usual, deep, throaty voice.

After purchasing several items from the 100-yen shop, Baphomet led Pete into the entrance of the forest near the park. After around 30 minutes of walking, the duo finally arrived at their destination.

It was a grassy cliff that was overlooking the city. Pete gazed in awe at the magnificent view of his own city before him. He held out his hands at the cityscape as if he were trying to grasp the entire scope of what he had been trying to protect all along. It had not been very long ago when he had just been another ordinary individual in this huge city. Just another faceless drone destined to live out his insignificant existence drowning in a sea of indifference among other faceless drones. Those days seemed so far away now.

“Tell me, Crimson Ranger… what do you fight for?”

Baphomet held out a ridiculously sad-looking red hero mask made out of cloth that he’d bought from the 100-yen shop earlier.

“… could you not ask me that so solemnly while holding that pathetic looking mask out at me?”

Baphomet cringed and shuddered in place.


“Gah! Ok, ok… fine. You wanna ask me what I fight for? Seriously? Like, I have no idea. I mean, I’ve only been the Crimson Ranger for a short time and I’ve never really had the time to philosophically reflect on my role if that’s what you’re asking. It’s pretty hard to find time for that when I keep finding myself in one desperate fight after another.”

“Hey, hey… now you’re making me look like the bad guy here for forcing you to take my place.” Giselle Orchardwither said from within Pete’s head.
Ignoring the voice, Pete continued, “To put it simply, I’d say that I fight because I need to.”

“Ah yes, fighting out of necessity is a good thing, Crimson Ranger… a very good thing indeed… now put this mask on, chop! Chop!”
Pete Robinson felt a shiver down his spine from having heard such a line said in a deep, throaty voice by a person wearing a horned goat’s mask, but he reluctantly did as instructed.

“Now… fight me!” Baphomet immediately took up a battle stance.

“Hey, wait! I can’t fight without transforming!”

“Too bad! You can’t transform without your fancy necklace thing can you? Well, Wrath has it and I doubt he’s planning to give it back to you… so if you wanna get it back, boy! You’re going to have to follow my lead… now, prepare!”

Pete felt a sharp numbing pain on his chest which caused him to fall to his knees. In a fraction of a second, Baphomet had closed the gap between them and landed a sharp elbow strike to Pete’s solar plexus.

“… pathetic.” Remarked an annoyingly cute voice from inside Pete’s head.

Pete quickly snatched the mask off his head and began coughing violently.
“Gah! Cough! Cough! What are you trying to do? Kill me? I told you I can’t fight without transforming.”

“Hmph! You’re going to need to learn then… and fast. We don’t have time for a fancy training montage that compresses several weeks worth of martial arts training into one insert song… how long do you think before Wrath figures out how to use that fancy reality warping device for his own purposes?”

“The Red One Changer only responds to its true owner… so with the level of technology that Wrath possesses, it might take anywhere between 3 days to a week to crack it… don’t quote me on that though.” Giselle Orchardwither informed Pete.

“We have about a week. Nothing more.”

“Ok, but you still can’t fight, Crimson Ranger. I do not understand it. You fight very well when you are transformed… does the suit grant you enhanced fighting skills?”

“Yeah, that’s probably the best explanation for it. I’ve had some ‘training’ with that suit on.”

“Can you explain exactly what happens when you ‘transform?’”

“Well, it’s something like my body feels 100% lighter and I’m able to move freely and instinctively know how to attack and defend myself. It’s a bit like a strength/speed enhancing exoskeleton, I suppose.”

“Actually, Pete. Transforming doesn’t magically grant you any kind of martial arts skills… you were doing everything on your own, so I actually assumed that you already knew how to fight.” Giselle Orchardwither added.

“Eh… what? That’s the first I’ve heard of this, Giselle.”

“Ahem… not to interrupt your little conversation with the,” Baphomet made the sign for two quotation marks with his hands, “little voices inside your head, Crimson Ranger, but I think I’ve figured out a bit how the suit works… and how I can teach you to at least draw upon 5% of the power that you wield in your transformed state.”

“Um… and you figured that much out from my vague descriptions? You must be some kind of genius detective.”

“Yes, that’s part of my character’s archetype.”

Baphomet held his index finger up as if to lecture Pete.

“Allow me to explain: basically, your transformed state primarily enhances your current physical and mental abilities to superhuman levels. This is why your body apparently feels ‘lighter’ in this state and would also account for how you are able to effortlessly dodge bullet-fast attacks all at once – as long as you are able to perceive them… fortunately, your basic perception is also heavily enhanced by the suit… of course, this is just the tip of the iceberg and the suit apparently has several other abilities, but there’s no need to discuss those for now.

Let’s get to your basic fighting abilities. From what I’ve seen in our fight, you are wholly unmotivated when it comes to a normal fight, but your movement was not entirely inexperienced. Despite my vastly superior knowledge of martial arts, you managed to partially evade the blow and then stiffen up your muscles at the last moment at the point of contact before rolling with the strike in order to minimize the damage.
Since the suit does not seem to grant you enhanced knowledge of martial arts and you’ve been doing quite well despite this lack of knowledge so far, all that we need to do in order to teach you how to fight in your normal form is to use a stronger incentive to make you fight more seriously and awaken your true fighting potential.

Do you understand, Crimson Ranger?”

Pete thought for a while before replying.

“Yeah… basically, my suit makes me faster, stronger and have hax reaction time without teaching me how to fight… but that’s ok since I apparently already know how to fight, but it’s just that I don’t feel like it… so you’re going to use some kind of incentive to motivate me to fight.”
Baphomet nodded in approval. He then quickly pulled out a huge butcher’s knife from among the items he’d bought at the 100-yen shop earlier.

“Pete… I think you’d better learn how to fight and fast… I have a bad feeling about this.”

Sweat dripped profusely from Pete Robinson’s forehead.

“Thanks for stating the obvious, Giselle… except, I don’t think ‘learning how to fight’ works that way.’”

“Here I come, Crimson Ranger!”

Pete’s eyes widened in terror, his feet rooted to the ground. Every fiber of his being told him to run away before he got stabbed, but his body did not obey him and his feet remained planted firmly on the ground.

Time seemed to stand still and to Pete Robinson, it seemed as if he was watching his own murder take place from outside of his body – helplessly looking on as the knife-wielding masked vigilante called Baphomet closed the gap and prepared to land the mortal deathblow.

And then just like that, Pete felt himself snap back into reality. His body felt light and a million different thoughts coursed through his mind in that instant.
Moments before his knife could connect, a red haze obscured Baphomet’s vision and he felt his knife miss its mark. Before he could recover, Pete had already connected with a left hook to the side of his face. The punch snapped his head back, but being an experienced fighter, he quickly recovered his footing and began flailing the knife in front of him in a calculated figure eight. At this point however, Pete had already taken a step back to avoid getting cut.

Baphomet smiled from underneath his mask.

“Good job using the cloth mask to conceal your attack. Now you’re learning…”

Without warning, he lunged at Pete with his entire body aiming his knife for an opening near the side of his victim’s body, but before his knife could even reach its intended target, Pete had already stepped to the side. Having learned from his failed attack the last time, Baphomet made sure to use a more compact stabbing motion this time and was able to recover within milliseconds for another attack.

“Your neck is wide open!”

But again, Pete had managed to somehow step back and avoid the slash with almost superhuman reaction time at the last moment. Still, Baphomet was relentless and he continued to press on and attack. This time, he aimed for Pete’s chest – but his target completely vanished from sight.
Baphomet turned to his right side just in time to see that Pete had aimed two of his fingers at the eyeholes of Baphomet’s mask.

“It’s my win, Baphomet.”

“Pete, that was amazing! I never knew you could fight so well without the Crimson Ranger’s powers!” Giselle Orchardwither praised Pete in an annoyingly cute voice from inside his head.

Acknowledging Pete’s victory, Baphomet threw his knife to the ground.

“Good job, Crimson Ranger. That’s exactly what I wanted you to realize. That desperate fighting style wherein you deliberately leave obvious holes in your defense in order to lure your opponent into attacking one specific point of your body is a natural, instinctive fighting ability that only a few unique individuals such as yourself possess.”

Pete heaved a sigh of relief.


Staring at the red cloth mask in his hand that Baphomet had given him earlier, Pete finally remembered the decision that he had made not so long ago.

Donning the mask, he turned to Baphomet.

“I think… I’ve finally realized why I fight now.”

“Hmm… didn’t you say that you fight out of necessity?”

“No… I used to think that I did… for the longest time, actually. But now I realize that to do so would only be blaming her for my actions.”


“It’s this annoyingly cute voice inside my head who looks like a 13 year-old twin-tailed Japanese schoolgirl and who has a rather snarky personality… it’s a long story.”

“Ehe… never mind then.”

“Anyway, now I realize that I’m fighting… because she asked for my help that day…”

“That’s it?”

“Yeah, that’s basically it, I think. You see, when someone asks for my help, I just can’t ignore them… this is my justice.”

To be continued… See you in the next episode!

Next Episode Preview:  Things are really heating up! Giselle Orchardwither learns that her character was based on a tsundere loli who consistently ranks third in the popularity poll for a comic book wherein she is supposed to be the main character! Sheryl Harrison pre-orders Project Diva f 2nd for the PS Vita even though she doesn’t own the system. Meanwhile, Pete learns that orphanages are publicly funded! Also watch out as Wrath uses his reality-altering powers to unleash the zombie apocalypse on humanity. Unfortunately, doomsday the zombies are quickly decimated by overprepared doomsday preppers! More over-the-top super fighting action in the next emotionally intense episode of Paragon of Justice: Crimson Ranger!

Nakoruru: The Gift She Gave Me (Dreamcast): A VIsual Novel Review by Mid-Tier Guard

To Derek Pascarella, Marshal Wong, Duralumin, Lewis Cox, Piggy, Nico, Danthrax4, Lacquerware, EsperKnight, SnowyAria, VincentNL, cyo, and Ha...