Sunday, 18 August 2013

REVIEW: Oh My Goddess! First End

*MAJOR SPOILERS AHEAD*

Skuld is recalled to heaven to sort out an escalating bug problem. Megumi calls in to the Morrisato residence with a flat tire on her bike to ask K1 for a lift to the campus with the aerodynamics class. They set off in K1's bike with sidecar. K1 is distracted along the way by seeing the celestial bugs running across the road. He swerves to avoid an oncoming truck and dies, protecting Megumi of whom suffers little injury.

The bug problem in heaven worsens to the point that everyone has to evacuate through the gate to the Morrisato residence. We 'learn' that heaven is a time frame out of line with earth, and that they are ahead by a few days. The bug problem and demise of yggdrassel was caused by K1's death, who turns out to have had some anomaly within him similar to the OVA episode. yup thats right, K1s death was caused by, um, K1's death *claps sarcastically*

Belldandy is distraught by her beloved's death, and one by one the gods and goddesses faze out of existence.
Skuld uses her bug catching machine to somehow create a vaccine which is to be sent back to heaven after Urd establishes a connection.

In the new universe Belldandy decides to not be closer to K1 by deciding not to attend NIT. They win tickets to an island vacation. They visit a tall tree during this vacation. Belldandy talks to it; its dying.

Later on in the year Tamiya and Otaki create an event to try and shoot down a ghost on the school roof that turns up every now and then. Belldandy, who is not attending NIT in this universe, has become like a local legend among students and now they get to see her by being treated from their wounds when shot down by Urd, Skuld and K1. The prize of shooting the ghost is 1 million yen, which Den and Dai dont have, hence why they need the help to shoot down the attendees. The ghost shows up and attacks K1. A week passes and Urd tries to figure out what it was from up in heaven, thinking it was of demonic origin.

In a nutshell because I don't want to write anything more about this, K1 spends all his time saving up for a ring for Belldandy for christmas. Urd doesn't arrive back. There is a massive Christmas party at the Morrisato residence with the motor club guys. K1 and Bell exchange presents later that evening. His present to her is the ring.

K1 gets trapped in snow making Belldandy think things are going wrong again. This is later confirmed with the arrival of Megumi with a flat tire, making Bell think that fate is trying to make that fateful day repeat itself wayyy earlier then scheduled. Skulds past memories are reclaimed and she helps out. Urd turns up at Nekomi tech and creates a spell that opens up a connection with hell, but destroys the Nekomi Tech dorms.

Hild turns up and explains that the universe reset was only half completed. They should have dealt with resetting Nidhogg as well as Yggdrasil, as now there are 2 different versions of each or something. She takes Belldandy to another dimension for a bit where K1 has another girlfriend because Belldandy never existed there.

With help from Hild, they do a massive reset to Yggdrasil as well as Nidhogg this time and everything starts out the same, apart from this time Belldandy gets to Keep K1's ring which survived the reset thanks to Skuld. The end.

---

The worst thing about this book is that its not canon. It means that I couldn't care less about it, which means my attention span wasn't going to be all there from the get go. I'm not saying its a bad book. Its a very good book. It has some really really good moments which is completely in tune with the overall feel for the OMG universe.

But who in their right mind would spend money on fan fiction? Apparently me, because thats exactly what this is, and exactly what I have purchased. *facepalms*

So what if its written by Urds Japanese VA?
So what if some of the pictures are drawn by Fujishima himself?
So what if its printed and presented by Dark Horse?

ITS STILL FAN FICTION!

I guess buy it cheap on eBay and judge it for yourself. You'll find my copy there very soon.

Overall 6-10. Average. Doubt I will ever read it again.

Wednesday, 7 August 2013

The Dissociation of Haruhi Suzumiya- novel 9

*MAJOR SPOILERS AHEAD*

Set in April.

A few days have passed into the new school year. The SOS Brigade members have all graduated up a year, with Kyon and Haruhi's class 2-5 being surprisingly largely unchanged.

Its after school and Kyon and Koizumi are walking to the school courtyard. When they arrive its full of club stalls trying to attract new members. The computer club are nearby showing off some new fortune telling software they have created. The boys join up with Yuki who is sitting reading alone at a stall marked 'Literature Club'. Soon the student council president and Emiri Kimidori turn up demanding to see Haruhi so that she doesn't get up to trouble by also attempting to attract new members to her illegal club brigade. Kyon realises that the only strange entity yet to join the brigade is a slider, and wonders whether that inevitable person is among the freshmen.

Haruhi turns up with a cardboard box and Mikuru in tow. They are both dressed for the occasion, with Haruhi donning a Chinese dress and Mikuru in her maid costume.

Haruhi and the student council president have a go at each other. He tries to ensure that she wont try to recruit new students into the illegal SOS Brigade. He asks her whats in the box, and she brings out Literature club signs, apparently to help Yuki out. However when the president leaves they peel away at the coverings of these signs to reveal SOS Brigade lettering underneath.

Haruhi pulls out an LCD display and a DVD player from the cardboard box and asks Kyon to go find a power socket. Kyon asks over at the computer club stall and they give the go ahead. The computer club president says he's looking at retiring and wants to ask Yuki if she would step in his place instead. He says that she has come over a few times and has blown them away with her computer skills. Apparently she's done things like replace Windows XP with something better written which is still compatible with every piece of software.

The LCD display is hooked up and Haruhi jams in a DVD. Its explained that over spring break the SOS Brigade filmed a trailer for their latest film project- The Revenge of Yuki Nagato Episode 00. Apparently Haruhi got the idea after being annoyed with how many lame American blockbusters start out as an awesome trailer. So her idea was to make an awesome trailer that ends up as an equally awesome movie- to be shown at the school festival later on that year.

When Haruhi takes Mikuru away to flaunt their attire around the school grounds, Koizumi warns Kyon that ever since the last day of spring break, he has been kept up most nights with closed space duty, in which until now hasn't been an issue for about a year. Kyon says that Haruhi hasn't been board enough to make celestials cause havoc in closed space. Koizumi agrees, but then he says that something significant happened on that last day of spring break.

Kyon and Sasaki in middle school
Kyon recalls his memories and realises that the last day of spring break was when the SOS Brigade set off to a flee market. Just before meeting up with the others that morning when parking his bike at the station he bumped into an old middle school classmate named Sasaki. She then introduces herself to the others as one of Kyons 'closest friends' before leaving to catch a train. Koizumi jokes with Kyon saying that Haruhi may have gotten jealous of Sasaki for their time together during their final year of middle school, though Kyon only ever thought of her as a friend. They became friends when they were forced into the same cram school.
Koizumi explains that the celestials are more aloof now, standing around like they dont know what to do. He thinks it could emphasise Haruhi's shock at realising Kyon had a social life in his third year of middle school, and with a girl no less.
Haruhi comes back with Mikuru without having wooed any freshman to joining their 'club'.

The only interesting thing that happens next is Tsuruya coming into the club room to invite everyone to a blossom viewing party sometime during the upcoming golden week.

The following Saturday Kyon is supposed to meet with the others for another round of phenomena hunting around the city. Kyon wakes up early for a change and sets out to the train station meeting point. For once, none of the other members have arrived yet. However Sasaki is there, along with a few others that makes Kyon fret quite considerably. Standing there with Sasaki is members of the Mikuru
Kyoko Tachibana, Kuyoh Suoh and Sasaki
kidnapping group from February. Sasaki introduces Kyon to one Kyoko Tachibana, the ginger haired smiley girl of whom he previously thought of as the leader of the kidnapping group.
Sasaki then introduces Kyon to a girl he had never noticed until now, a small black haired girl dressed in a black uniform with hair coming out and down from all sides. She introduces herself as Kuyoh Suoh, but does so with such poorly spoken delivery that Kyon suspects her to be like an even worse emotionless version of Nagato.
They make small talk whilst Kyon tries his best to be as defensive as possible. He asks them where the time travelling bastard is, they say he's around but didnt want to be involved in the meeting.

Soon the whole SOS Brigade turns up. Haruhi and Sasaki make small talk whilst Nagato and Kuyoh stare at one another. Kyon notices Nagato's rage building up inside her. The same could also be said of Koizumi when staring at Kyokos sickly smile. Mikuru offers a handkerchief to Kyon asking if he's alright.
Sasaki says they should leave now, and Kyon makes her promise not to turn up at the local cafe.

At the cafe Haruhi states that everyone should pay for themselves owing to how nobody arrived late. Kyon looks at her like shes calling BS again.
Haruhi says that they will all stick together during their latest city scout for aliens and anything else weird or out of place, and so thats just what they do. Kyon is mentally prepared to bump into  Sasaki's group at any time, but they never do.

That night Kyon's bath time is interrupted by a phone call from a girl, and without any warning the world is somehow split into two different dimensions.

α-
A strange girls voice reaches Kyons ear. He has no recollection of who she may be, and she only phones to tell her "upperclassman" (implying shes younger than him) that she wanted to hear his voice, and that she may be needing his assistance in the future. She then hangs up before Kyon can even get to ask who she is.

After his bath, Kyon decides to phone Koizumi to ask of his impressions of Sasaki and co, concluding that they are not posing as a threat, for now.

β-
Sasaki's voice reaches Kyon ear. She asks him to meet at the train station tomorrow morning for a peaceful chat to hear about their side of the argument. Kyon agrees only so that he can argue with them some more without the others around, though he has no ill will for Sasaki herself.

After his bath Kyon phones Koizumi for advice. Koizumi says that Kyoko Tachibana is more of a regular human than those from The Agency, but of which have knowledge of Haruhis ability. Her band of people are similar to The Agency but have a different take of what they believe. He then says that she is the type of person who was probably against the idea of kidnapping Mikuru.

Next Kyon phones Nagato and asks her for advice. She says during their short meeting she didn't communicate much with Kuyoh Suoh and found her incomprehensible. She then says that a meeting with them would presently be OK and that at the moment they pose as a low level risk.

α-
The next day, Sunday. Kyon takes it easy and relaxes at home.

β-
The next day, Sunday. Kyon wakes up earlier than his sister for the second day in a row. He leaves the house despite the rain and meets with Sasaki and co at the SOS Brigades usual meeting spot.

'Fujiwara'
Sasaki, Kyoko Tachibana and Kuyoh Suoh are all present, all with umbrellas. Kyon asks where the time traveller guy is and they say he couldn't see the point in waiting out in the rain. They make their way to the usual SOS brigade cafe and join the time traveller jerk sitting at the usual table.
Before talks get underway, Kyon asks the name of the guy. He says names are not important but eventually refers to himself as 'Fujiwara'.

Kyoko explains to Kyon that 4 years ago she found herself with the knowledge that a young girl she had never even met before was an entity that could be considered a god. Soon enough she found other people that shared the same knowledge and eventually together they found the girl in question: Sasaki.

Kyon nearly spits his drink out of his mouth but lets Kyoko continue. She explains that her faction then found a group of other espers called 'The Agency' that firmly believed that the girl with god like powers was Haruhi Suzumiya. After much talks, the two groups could never convince the other and so communication disintegrated completely.

Kyoko goes on to say that she feels that Sasaki was the girl that was truly intended to have the god like powers, and not Haruhi.

She somehow managed to band together with a time traveller and a humanoid interface and made their presence known to the SOS Brigade by kidnapping Mikuru before confronting Sasaki and telling her that she's something that could be considered a goddess. 

Kyon isn't convinced. Sasaki is uninterested in the conversation of her being considered anything special. Kyon asks Fujiwara about what he thinks and he says that it doesn't matter to him who the supreme being is. Kyon then asks Kuyoh but she's non responsive. In fact its almost like she's not really there at all.

Kyoko gets frustrated and invites Kyon to hold hands. He is then asked to close his eyes. When she tells him to open them Kyon looks around. They are both still at the table but the others are gone. In fact nobody else is in the room. Kyon walks about and realises that she has taken him to closed space. They walk around outside. The rain has stopped and there isnt a sound to be heard. Kyon realises two things, the celestials are nowhere to be seen, and the colour of the world is mostly white, not blue grey monotone like he's seen before.

Kyoko says that this closed space is created by Sasaki, and that its brighter white shades and the fact there have never been any celestials here mean that she's happy with the world just the way it is, both consciously and unconsciously. She argues that because of this, it makes her the rightful owner of the power.

Kyoko gives Kyon some time to think it over. They return to their seats in the cafe and she brings them back to the real world.

Emiri Kimidori saving the day?
Just as Kyon is about to give his verdict on whether he will help them, Emiri Kimidori interrupts posing as a waitress. Sensing what she really is, Kuyoh grabs her arm and seems unsure as to what to do next. Kyon wonders why Emiri is working as a waitress and concludes that she may have always been working here. If Kuyoh can mask her presence then maybe Emiri and even Yuki can too.

Emiri plays the part of an average high school girl beautifully, and Kyon does nothing to give away her true identity. In the end Kuyoh lets go of Emiris arm and walks out. Sensing that its time to end the session here, Kyoko calls it a day, leaving Sasaki and Fujiwara at the table.

α-
The next day, Monday.

Kyon decides to eat his lunch with Yuki in the club room. He uses this opportunity to ask her about Kuyoh. She says Kuyoh is from a different faction than the Data Overmind called the Heavenly Canopy Dominion, the same faction that trapped them in a mansion at new years.

After school Haruhi gets worried about Kyons grades. She's bothered about what Sasaki said about how she wouldn't be surprised if Kyon ended up in cram school again. So Haruhi takes this opportunity to go over Kyons notes.
Its getting quite late by the time they head on over to the club room. Mikuru escorts them inside to find that roughly 10 freshman want to join the brigade.

β-
The next day, Monday.

Kyon and Haruhi fall asleep in class. Kyon dreams of a past event in middle school with Sasaki. After waking up Sasaki is brought up in conversation with Taniguchi and Kunikida, but nothing important enough to talk of here.

After school Haruhi gives Kyon her bag and tells him to meet her at the club room. She then briskly walks off somewhere. Kyon is the first to arrive at the club room. Even Yuki isn't there...

α-
Haruhi arrives and the first thing she does is chuck everyone out of the clubroom so that she can dress Mikuru.

Kyon takes a head count of 11 freshmen. After they are allowed back inside Haruhi sends him to collect more folding chairs from other classrooms. Once thats done there is still one new student without a chair. He realises that there were 12 freshman, not 11.

After fussing over making tea for everyone, Haruhi asks if anyone has any questions. A boy tells them that when he was in middle school, rumour had it that somewhere in the city there existed a legendary rebellious club that did their own thing, and that he never expected to end up in that school. He then asks Haruhi what the club does. She lifts him out of his seat and chucks him out into the hallway. Apparently her screening process was fully underway. She tells the others that the club is not a place just for gawkers, presumably ones that would like to stare at Mikuru.

mysterious freshman girl
Haruhi tells the prospective new members about all their adventures thus far. Well obviously not everything that Kyon, Mikuru, Koizumi or Nagato would know anything about anyway.
During her speech, Kyon notices one girl in particular that seems to be caught up in Haruhis stories. Afterwards she's also the one who initiated clapping once Haruhi was done talking.

Haruhi tells the freshmen to leave. Once they are gone, Kyon tells Haruhi that he expects she has scared most of them off from ever showing up again.

β-
After a short while Mikuru turns up. Kyon brings up Fujiwara in conversation as well as other possible time travelers. She says that she doesn't know of their intentions as she wasnt told. However she doesn't think its anything bad.
Mikuru is physically able to talk about things that were once classified. It becomes obvious that anything classified would render her unable to physically communicate anything about it. However, right now she is able to talk and she mentions the TPDD by name (Time Plane Destroid Device) and that it leaves traces in the timeline. She continues to say that the device makes users cross the surface of the time plane, but is rendered unable to continue her sentence meaning that whatever she was going to say would have been classified.

Kyon wonders that soon Asahina will start to physically mature which will signify her departure. He feels sad for Haruhi loosing a friend when that day finally arrives.

Kyon waits in the hall as Asahina gets changed. Haruhi and Koizumi turn up. Kyon wonders if they have been conspiring against him, but she says they only just met in the hallways on their way up. We later find out that Haruhi's detour to the club room took her to the school notice board so she could put up an application notice for new members to the brigade; freshmen invitations only.
Haruhi then says that she's had a sleepless night coming up with a questionnaire sheet for applicants. She starts up the computer and continues with the questionnaire document.

Kyon and Haruhi in unison ask where Nagato is. Haruhi checks the computer club in case she's there but she's not. She then phones her. Yuki is at home sick in bed. Nobody told them anything about this.
Haruhi then decides that they should pack up and go visit. Out in the hall waiting for Haruhi to finish undressing Mikuru, Kyon and Koizumi discuses that Yuki cannot get sick unless she's being attacked from the Heavenly Canopy Dominion AKA Kuyoh Suoh, just like last time in the winter mansion. They both look at each other and realise that war has started against the SOS brigade, with attack efforts concentrating on the brigades strongest member...

---

8-10. OK so before diving into the storyline here, I would like to point out that White Day was missed out. Heres hoping for a short story covering it at some point.

Apparently there was a baseball tournament around the time they needed to sort out Sakanaka's dog just before spring break. Its not implied whether the SOS Brigade were involved or not.

This book is somewhat strange. Its not a bad story but weird stuff is going on, preparing us for the finale.

Personally I find the β universe more interesting than the α. Though I guess that strange girl from α intrigues me. Us readers have been waiting for a slider to appear, so naturally I take it she jumped from another universe to α at the exact moment 11 other freshmen were being allowed to reenter the clubroom. Though this is just a guess at the moment. It would be interesting if she was a slider cum time traveller from β universe to force events to change for the better. Now that would be intriguing (If I'm right or wrong do not say so in the comments. Spoilers are spoilers, one way or another).

Up next: The Surprise.

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