Part 64: Lets finish this. Please Conception: The Anime (Episodes 10-12)Special Update V: Lets finish this. Please Conception: The Anime (Episodes 10-12)
The game part of the LP is over, Ive rambled about my stupid thoughts on the game and the characters, and we were presented with the terrible knowledge that there is an ending where Mana becomes a human girl and follows Itsuki to Earth while taking on Mahirus life (including magically making Mahirus parents believe that Mana is totally their daughter).
But, before I can finally
We left off on Episode 9, where Itsuki gets led to believe that he has to do the Love Ritual with a dude only for Mana/The Star Maidens/Narc/Seiya to reveal that it was all a big prank to get Itsuki to realize something possibly It was unclear and stupid and also a waste of an entire episode that could have been used for anything else, namely character building.
Theres only episodes 10, 11, and 12 left. My guess is that well be focusing on Alfie for this episode, then well spend the remaining two episodes drunkenly wandering towards the final confrontation with Chaos/13th Phantom.
Episode 10 starts with Itsuki wondering about who the 13th Maiden is. He considers Mana, but writes her off because shes lewd and fat (Itsuki says that not even he would go for that. Dont fat-shame, Itsuki). Mana is secretly listening in on this and gets pissed off. I personally enjoyed Itsuki shit-talking Mana. Him going all No fat chicks is the only thing that ruined the moment.
Then we cut to him training with Alfie after the opening is finished (Mana says he only has the 12th Labyrinth left to seal). Gonna assume that were about to speedrun Alfies bonding route.
Love you guys.
Actually, this training thing goes differently than in the game. Itsuki pretends to get hit by Alfie and falls down, and the Star Children are then asked about what theyre supposed to do in a situation like that. Theres a cute scene where the Star Children (not confidently) suggest different things (like treating the wound or going after the Impurity). Paladin eventually shows everyone how its done by responding that everyone has to carry out their role (for example: rear guard heals Itsuki, second line defends the rear, front line counterattacks). Alfie gets a look of pride as the Star Children all start coming together about tactics.
God, I didnt even think about it, but I hope this entire episode is just Alfie, Itsuki, and the Star Children.
At the Stardust Labyrinths, we find out that Sagittarius is the last Impurity God that Itsuki needs to defeat. Shouldnt be too hard for them.
Although things go pear-shaped for a bit when Archer trips and Itsuki has to take a hit to protect her.
Seriously, I would have loved for this to have been half the series. Just Itsuki and the Star Children fighting together and strengthening their teamwork while having to constantly make adjustments to account for new additions to the team.
The next chunk of the episode is all the stuff about the Ophiuchus Labyrinth appearing and Mirei/Alfie having a brief run-in where Mirei is worried about her (because she knows that Alfie is the 13th Maiden) and Alfie being happy to finally go and meet Itsuki as the Ophiuchus Maiden. The big difference between the game and the anime is that here in the anime, the 13th Maiden seems to be required in order to tackle the 13th Phantom. Mirei is worried, but she doesnt seem to be as opposed to Alfie becoming the Ophiuchus Maiden as she was in the game. So hey, at least Alfie has some actual plot relevance in this version.
We also get a look at Alfies room as she digs out a special magic book that she obtained from Sola (titled: Maidens Charm My Birthday). Also, yes, those are off-brand Amazon boxes off to the side. Were in Japan, theres no skirting around that. You may as well just have the Tokyo skline visible over a nearby mountain range.
I guess that book is a book on love superstitions, because we then get scenes of Alfie trying to secretly do stuff to Itsuki that will supposedly make him realize the truth about her. For instance, she takes a strand of her hair and ties it into a bow, then attaches it to Itsukis back without him knowing and says that if he doesnt notice it in three days, then I guess hell realize he loves Alfie or something. Im not sure what shes getting at because her thought gets cut off as Mana immediately notices the strand of hair and cleans it off.
Then she tries another trick from the book where she writes Itsuki loves Alfie on an eraser and states that it will come true if she can use the entire eraser without anyone else touching it.
Which fails because Tarua shows up with a delivery. Alfie signs for it in pencil, Tarua tells her she has to use a pen; then, while Alfie is looking for the pen, Tarua uses the eraser to erase the signature for Alfie.
Ill be honest. Were just about halfway into this episode and I legitimately love it. I love the Star Children scenes that started us off and I love seeing Alfie be a dork thats trying all these superstitious ideas to make Itsuki awaken to his love for her. Alfie loves romance dramas and pop idols, this is exactly the kind of innocent stuff shed be doing to try and flirt with/get Itsukis attention.
The last thing she tries is to write Itsuki loves Alfie on a big sheet of paper, tear it in half, roll it up, and then swallow it which causes her to barf it back up and admit that shell have to nut up and tell him in person.
Meanwhile, Itsuki is just standing on a street corner with Mana (holding up an Ophiuchus sign) and trying to recruit someone to be the 13th Maiden, as though thats how it works. To be fair, they also mention that the 13th Maiden will have a particular symbol on them, so its not as though they are willing to just accept anyone who walks up.
Could this be the one episode of this series that I actually enjoy? Theres still 10 minutes left for everything to go horribly, so lets not get ahead of ourselves.
During this scene, Alfie tries to call out to Itsuki but him and Mana dont notice her (shes trapped in a crowd of girls that is swarming Seiya).
Normally I would think this is stupid because Itsuki is being a blind idiot openly stating things like Gosh, if only there was a woman who has been supporting me this entire time and helping me from the shadows that might possibly be the mysterious 13th Star Maiden, but in this case (and maybe Im being too generous to the writers here) I actually like it because this is playing out exactly like one of those romance dramas that Alfie is into. You know, where the guy is an oblivious moron and random circumstances keep getting in the way of the big lovey moment.
We do find out that Mana discovers Alfie is the 13th Maiden though. Other people heard Alfie shouting about it from the crowd and told Itsuki/Mana, but presumably only Mana figures it out based on the peoples description (Mana shows up in Alfies room and gets pissed at her that shes trying to use love charms instead of just going right up to Itsuki). Alfie doesnt want to do that though, because encounters have to be sudden or trendy.
Alfie also shows her a video tape that her father left her. Unlike the game, the anime gives this former Gods Gift a name: Otabito. Well, possibly. The tape is labeled "Otabito's diary", so that may just be the name of the show that's on the tape. She says that she is supposed to show Itsuki that tape if she is to become a Star Maiden. Mana then goes back to Itsuki with the tape and tells him about Alfie. Theres also more shitty fourth-wall breaking where Mana talks about how the 13th Maiden was obvious because Alfie shows up in the OP (dont draw attention to the fact that you wasted an entire episode on a stupid non-mystery that the audience already knows the answer to, Conception: Anime).
Anyway, lets find out whats on that tape.
No, that isnt Alfies dad.
The tape is actually a recording of a bunch of cheesy romance drama shots. You know, the kind of shots theyd have in a trailer (people shouting about their love interspersed with sad scenes like standing alone in the rain).
This leads into Mana telling Itsuki to make things trendy/lovey-dovey for Alfie. Which I guess involves Itsuki sporting some shades and cruising down
Itsuki ditches that idea and just takes Alfie back to her room, though. He says he wants to get to know the real her instead of being part of some made-up drama like what Mana was putting them through. This is where we get Alfies whole backstory, although shes careful not to mention that her mother and father were a Star Maiden and a Gods Gift/Visitor. Alfie asks about Itsukis parents and he tells her about how they passed away, which isnt something that game Itsuki ever really touches on (except briefly with Ruka and I think Reone).
Theres also a really nice scene where Alfie reveals a (very professionally done) book she made that documents all the things she was doing to get the Star Children prepared to fight with Itsuki (tactics, notes on each Star Childs strengths/weaknesses, notes on Itsukis equipment) and Itsuki gets a little teary-eyed because of how much work Alfie was putting in to keep him safe (he says that he has worried about if he would ever return home alive). Mana also gets pissed off (outside Alfies window) because she believes shes been looking after Itsuki 24/7 and yet hes not throwing himself on her. I like when we get to laugh at Mana. I hate Mana.
Itsuki also gives her a dress that he prepared because he thinks that the pure idol image suits her better than a trendy idol from the past (respectfully disagreeing with what her father seemed to imply by leaving that videotape behind).
Mana keeps crying and bemoaning the fact that she wasnt the Cinderella in this story as well despite everything shes done. I still dont feel bad for Mana. Fuck Mana.
Unfortunately, this sweet scene is ruined by the show doing a diarrhea joke. Just as Alfie and Itsuki are about to kiss, Alfie complains about her stomach and then seems to pass out. Mana mentions afterward that it was just loose bowels because she had swallowed some paper at some point (I guess she didnt spit it back out earlier).
You were so very close, Conception: The Anime. Still, this is by far the best episode of this fucking show that Ive seen so far. Anime Alfie does diverge from her game counterpart a bit (namely, theres no mention of her only recently awakening to what love is, or any of that contempt for love due to the Bond Eater subplot), but I cant really complain too much about this particular case because Alfie wasnt in the original PSP version. The game was still in development during the production of the anime, so its not as though the anime studio would have any frame of reference for her outside of is the 13th Star Maiden and is a Star Child. Besides, I dont dislike this characterization of Alfie. She still has the love of romance drama and the slightly dorky behaviour.
Plus, these scenes of Alfie are very sweet and not perverted in the name of (what this show considers) humour. Thats about the best I could hope for. Can you imagine if the other episodes were closer to this? The anime still would have been generic, but at least we could say that it was heartwarming.
Now lets see if this show can ruin that feeling, shall we? It hasnt had any trouble with it yet and the post credits stinger for Episode 10 seems to be suggesting a Mana-centric episode, so shit.
Episode 15 opens with Itsuki fucking Alfie or however the Love Ritual works in this adaption. Mana is assuring the audience that this isnt a porn video that will steal personal information or infect our computers with viruses I started a virus scan shortly after she said that.
So forget about all that sweet stuff from last episode, the show is going to pervert the hell out of Alfie now. Itsuki is shown well I cant really call it sex, because he appears to just be laying face down in her chest like he died. He pulls her dress off, but both of them are still just laying there and not moving at first.
Either way, the 13th Star Child does get born. Shes different (thats definitely not a warrior outfit shes wearing). Itsuki notes that she doesnt look like the other Star Children and Alfie looks a little down, then she passes out. The Star Children are worried, but Itsuki just tells them that shes tired (she is most certainly not tired. Something is wrong).
Theres a quick scene of Narc telling Shang that the 13th Child has been born and Shang being ominous by talking about revealing the truth. I hope to god that the anime isnt about to put their own spin on the ending of the game by having that 13th Star Child be the sacrifice. Dont pull that shit, anime! You stay away from the Star Children!
Oh sweet Jesus
Yes, as if the parallels to Japan couldnt be any clearer, Itsuki wanders around during Starmas and finds an Idol Goods gift stand where he meets a wota. Granvania is totally into Japanese Idols from Sola, despite the fact that their only exposure to it would come from Gods Gifts that arrive only once every 10 years. So either Alfies dad used Mireis mind camera thing to create enough idol material from memory that it was able to form an entire fandom, or every single Gods Gift that gets plucked from Earth is a Japanese Idol superfan.
Ugh A world of magic and fantasy, everyone! Look at all the magic and fantasy going on in this alternate world that is totally different from Japan!
Whatever Itsuki grabs something for Alfie as a get-well present but Narc stops him for the big ominous reveal.
Thankfully my fears about that 13th Star Child are unfounded, as the anime sticks to the Itsuki is the sacrifice deal. Mana learns of this in advance in this adaption though (she overhears Shang/Itsuki/Narc outside the throne room). The next chunk of this episode proceeds similarly to the game with Itsuki being bummed out (theres no Mahiru Mysteries though). Mana also pretends like she didnt overhear it (shes bummed out too, and at a loss as to what she should say to Itsuki).
Itsuki goes and gets gifts for each of the Star Maidens or does something nice for them, such as playing Santa for Ruka and the orphans (which anime Ruka is overjoyed about, as opposed to game Ruka) or getting Reone a candied apple, or
I I dont have words I just dont. I cant believe they actually did this as a scene.
Moving on from that. We get an extended scene between Mahiru and Itsuki, then switch back to Alfie. Sadly, anime Alfies backstory is more tragic than game Alfie. Alfies Star Maiden mother was apparently killed in this adaption. Also, Alfie is said to be a Star Child and that her immortality and Star Child strength were lost when she became a Star Maiden, but I think they imply that Alfie may have been the child of a Gods Gift and a Star Maiden (as in biologically, not magically). She hasnt said anything about any experimentation or secret Artificial Star Maiden project and theres not a lot of time left to this episode. Theres also no mention of her having a 10 year lifespan now, although that could be dropped at any moment I guess.
I dont even know how to describe what happens next. Alfies tragic backstory leads straight into this weird gag where the walls of her room are pulled away and she does this one-man routine where shes the host of a JPOP ranking show, and then shes an idol singing a love song, and then shes dressed in all these other costumes telling Itsuki that hes just gotta do it. Even Itsuki has no fucking idea whats happening. The scene just cuts after that scene I screenshotted above.
If I didnt screenshot that, I would swear that I simply suffered a stroke and imagined that whole thing.
Anyway, Itsuki somehow gets the determination to save the world and the rest of the episode is him preparing and Mana being a tool. Itsuki also seemingly fucks Mana.
Remember this horrifying screenshot? It wasnt an imagine spot by Mana. It happens.
And on that disgusting note, we reach the end of Episode 11.
Lets flush this turd.
Im gonna blow through this because the end of my suffering is in sight and I am eager to be done with this series. As nice as Episode 10 was, it doesnt make up for the rest of the series, namely episodes 5 and 6.
Shang and Narc are notably slightly less assholish in this portrayal. They actually tell the Star Maidens about the Great Star Ward plan upfront. Itsuki and Alfie have already left for the Ophiuchus Labyrinth, but at least the Star Maidens arent learning about the plan from Star Jesus at the last possible second before Itsuki is sacrificed.
Unlike the game, Anime Star Children most certainly do understand the concept of love. They easily recognize whats going on between Mana/Itsuki/Alfie.
Granted, despite the Maidens being told about it in advance, we then immediately cut back to Itsuki telling Alfie fuck that noise, Im not sacrificing myself. Im just gonna kill that thing. I appreciated that, because its what I wished official Itsuki would have done. He basically tells Mana on the way through the Ophiuchus Labyrinth Yeah, sacrificing myself would be the safe option and save Granvania, but I kind of like living, so Im just gonna do that instead.
Of course, that praise is counterbalanced by the fact that Mana in the anime has apparently become the unofficial 14th Maiden. Shes glued to Itsukis face during this little monologue of his and talking about them having a happy life together.
Dont worry, I may be eager to escape this series, but Ill never forget you guys. The Star Children are great.
Something else I dont think was a solid plan: Itsuki going to fight the 13th Phantom by himself. Alfie says for the Star Children not to worry and theres a flashback of Itsuki telling the Star Children to protect everyone and for Alfie to look after the kids.
Alfie also does this thing where she quotes Itsuki saying something like Please watch over them Alfie, the woman I love the most. Take care of the proof of our love. And while Alfie is lost in her imagination, the Star Children are questioning whether or not Itsuki actually said that while also talking about how [Insert Star Maiden here] is their mom, not Alfie (Fighter says that Mahiru is his mom, while Bondsman says that Femiruna is his, in case youre wondering).
Alfie tells the Star Children not to worry about the details, then talks about how this must be what housewives feel like while waiting for their husbands to get home. This causes the Star Children to misinterpret Alfies meaning as her being a cheater or seductress (they all have different moms after all). When Alfie asks where they heard a stupid idea like that, the Star Children tell her that Mana told them.
Of course Mana would corrupt our pure and innocent Star Children. God, I hate Mana.
Back at the castle, Mahiru is apprehensive about doing the Star Ward spell thing, but the other Maidens silently encourage her to go through with it. Unlike the game, the anime shows that all the Star Maidens contribute to the Great Star Ward spell, its not just a Mahiru only deal (although she does lead the group for it).
They also dont even have to be present for it. They are doing the spell from the castle and Itsuki just gets speared with light over in the labyrinth (where hes firing off attacks at the 13th Phantom who is just kind of standing there no-selling each one. Or should I say floating there, since the 13th Phantom is nothing but a blob of purple evil energy with glowing eyes. Not as impressive as the game version).
Mahiru bails on the ritual, though. That part hasnt changed. Kind of weird that the Star Maidens were so willing to go along with it, although I guess thats more realistic than the game where theyre willing to risk the entire world on the chance that maybe Itsuki can do it without being sacrificed.
Then, after Mahiru bails on the ritual and says that saving the world at the cost of Itsukis life isnt worth it, and I shit you not about this next part, she asks if theres any other way to save the world and Shang goes Well, what do you say, Narcisstes? Narcisstes then says that Huh, well, I guess there is another way that doesnt involve sacrificing somebody. Mirei?
Yes, Mirei is just aware of the true bonds thing that Star Jesus told us about in the game. NOBODY MENTIONS THIS AT ANY POINT UNTIL THE LAST SECOND. Shang does the equivalent of a shoulder shrug and goes Well, I mean, we already told Itsuki that he had to be sacrificed. Would be a shame to not just carry it out, but I guess we can try the alternative method that doesnt involve condemning someone to eternal torment for the sake of a world that isnt their own.
So fucking stupid. Ugh well, I guess on the bright side this makes Shang look like less of an extremist jackass. Narc says that its too much of a gamble because of how little the document says about how to actually use the power of love, but Shang says that they have to at least try it.
So everyone runs off to the Ophiuchus Labyrinth and does their prayer thing which powers up all the Star Children (the 13th Phantom has breached the labyrinth at this point, so the Star Children are preparing to fight it in order to protect the world, as Itsuki told them to do). The children also tell the Ophiuchus Star Child to protect Alfie, since shes scared and doesnt know what to do in order to help.
Then, its MECUNITE time!
Itsuki is buried in the rubble of Ophiuchus by the way. Thats why I havent mentioned him. Nobody believes hes dead though.
Mana expended all her Star Energy in order to shield Itsuki, but of course theyre only going to joke about Mana dying or fading away. We already know that the game robs us of that miracle (in one ending), so its obvious they are going to use the Harem/Mana ending as an excuse to keep her alive.
Itsuki arrives on the surface just in time to save the Star Maidens from getting blasted. He declares that he wants to be with everyone, so I guess we all know what ending this series will show (then again, it should have been obvious from the start that theyd do the Harem Ending).
The MECUNITEd Star Children protect the Star Maidens from attacks, but Itsuki isnt able to completely defend himself, which causes Alfie to jump in and take the hit. This goes about the same way that Alfies bonding route goes, where she dies at the hands of the Bond Eater. She does the thanks for teaching me about love and Im glad I became a Star Maiden sentimental stuff as well.
Alfie dies and worryingly there is no Matryoshka left behind. Itsuki (and Alfies Star Child) get pissed and the Ophiuchus Sign appears over the field.
Then everyone sort of repeats the scene from earlier where they pray and glow, except this time their Star Signs appear. So I guess Alfies death is what gives them the resolve to truly join together or some crap like that.
Then some Sentai ass shit happens where all the MECUNITEd Star Children join together to form MECUNITE Megazord or something, which Itsuki gets pulled up into and starts piloting.
Shooting it with the Megazord beam finally brings out the boss we saw from the game. I was starting to think they werent showing him because he was too hard to draw or something.
Chaos is actually a bit more argumentative in this appearance. Its implied in the game, but the anime version of him clearly asks Why are you rejecting me? Im Impurity incarnate, but you humans are what created me in the first place. Either way, Itsuki and Chaos trade laser beams and stuff. The crux of Chaos argument is that Itsuki must have felt comfort and joy when he was defiling the Star Maidens. I can see how the anime is trying to tie the idea of sex and impurity together by making it sound like its evil or and inherently selfish or something, but its flimsy reasoning. We all know how this villain rant ends: Love is pure and good and shut up.
13th Star Child becomes a golden trident of light and Itsuki proceeds to fucking demolish Chaos by goring him to the depths of the Ophiuchus Labyrinth.
Where the Star Children seal it away forever, telling Itsuki that its their duty and thanking him for giving birth to them
Shang is shown in the castle thanking Itsuki, along with the Star Maidens. Mahiru talks to Itsuki on the balcony that night because hes clearly conflicted about whether or not to return home. Mahiru actually says that she intends to go back home, though. She says that its where she belongs and that she also wants to see her mom and dad.
Fuck it, you all know what this leads to.
And so all the Star Maidens disappear from Granvania without a trace or single word of goodbye to their friends and family. The decision to go with Itsuki is made on the fly in this version, not planned out in advance. Ruka just says she can't bring herself to say goodbye and runs to the gate, then everyone else follows her lead.
Yes, Alfie, Human Mana, and all the Star Children just inexplicably fall from the fucking sky when everyone jumps into the Gate of Light. No explanation is given. Alfie and the Star Children just say they were revived somehow and Mana says that she was showered with everyones love and the woman inside her awakened.
Thank god theres only like 50 seconds left to the episode. This will probably just end with everyone declaring that theyll be together and some ham-fisted title drop by
Okay, I guess the Star Children are going to school now. Also, Mahiru invited everyone to her house. Good luck explaining this to Mahirus parents. Their fucking nephew and daughter returned after disappearing for who knows how long and the nephew comes back with 13 women and 13 children.
Shit, forget Mahirus parents, how are they going to explain this to the government? How are any of them going to make a living without residency cards? They literally popped into this worlds existence!
Well, I guess they somehow do it. Either that, or Reone is a back-alley unlicensed doctor now.
That child has a sword stuck through her head. Is nobody in modern day Japan going to question that?
And I guess Alfie and Mana just become housewives, which I suppose is on point for Alfie.
Anyway, its all over now. Thank god. The game itself was only mildly frustrating, but this anime really drained me. I dont think
No! Fuck you! Were done! Harem endings are stupid! How in the name of Christ is this going to fly with anyone?! This fucking teenager is marrying 14 women (technically 15 if you count Lillith/Lillie as two)! At least 3 of those are underage!
But you want to know what really drives me up the fucking wall? You want to know what the cherry on this shit sundae is for me?
How dare you drag Wake into this you fucking shitbags! I like Wake! Dont include him in this bullshit! Fuuko is well, I dont dislike Fuuko she wasnt my first choice or second or third but at least she wasnt Serina!
Were done here. LP over. All of you go home and do your best to forget this happened. PK out.