「そしてマリノの初恋」 (Soshite Marino no Hatsukoi)
“And Marino’s First Love”

When it comes to a baseball episode, leave it up to the “springtime of youth idiot” Tsunashi Takuto to draw wary eyes from all the Kiraboshi Juuji Dan members with his dazzling play style. From Mizuno staring in awe to Marino getting back at Takuto for her sister’s sake, what started as a lighthearted affair turned into a heated jealous one once Takumi (i.e. Sword Star) found himself attracted to very acting leader that he agreed to toss aside once Vanishing Age is done with her. The only thing that topped his self-made rivalry with Takuto this episode were the “funnels” Tauburn busted out in Zero Time. It’s just too bad Takuto didn’t shout out, “Ike! <something>!” to complete the Gundam vibe they gave off. Anyway, the use of Tauburn’s new ability does make be wonder if it’ll be as overpowered as its Gundam counterpart, in which case it would take the already lopsided battles and make them even more so. At the moment I suspect that they aren’t, seeing as Star Sword’s variation was only a first phase ability. Whatever the case, its introduction only reaffirmed that the Kiraboshi members really need to upgrade their Cybodies to the third phase to make these battles more interesting.

Luckily, while the battles have been rather stagnant, the character developments haven’t. The recent addition of the You sisters has allowed the series to change gears since Sakana’s departure, and this most recent episode goes a step further by featuring Mizuno’s “Innocent Blue” song to fill in for her “Monochrome” one. As the maiden that the brigade is searching for now, Mizuno stirred things up almost immediately by falling for Takuto, which I enjoy watching simply for the spillover effect on Wako. Marino on the other hand has quickly become the character I have my eye on the most, since she’s working on the inside to prevent the her sister’s true identity from getting out. Naturally, that paves way for what I foresee as an eventual betrayal on her part — something that seems a lot more probable after learning that Marino likes Takuto too. Considering her interactions with him during the baseball game (including Takuto face-planting into her chest), that doesn’t come as too much of a surprise, but I still loved that look of disbelief in her eyes when Mizuno’s implication of it sunk in.

From a character standpoint, the prospect of seeing a tough girl like Marino falling in love piques my interest a fair bit (particularly with Hirohashi Ryou voicing her), but from an overall plot one, I’m admittedly not too fond of how this is quickly developing into a harem for Takuto. The reason being, Sugata’s shown that he’d accept a relationship between Wako and Takuto, so the thought of having Mizuno and Marino thrown into the mix sort of devalues his altruistic stance. It’s bad enough that he’s been sidelined as a support character who gets pulled into Zero Time only to watch Takuto handle everything on his own, when he’s the one with the almighty King Cybody Samekh yet not allowed to use its powers. As such, I can’t help but feel that Sugata’s getting the short end of the stick on various fronts, so I’m eagerly waiting for the moment he gets put in the spotlight for a change. To that end, the childhood friendship that he and Wako have with Keito might provide such an opportunity in the future, considering that “Ivrogne’s” true intentions aren’t all that clear.

In the meantime, the additional backstory showing how Mizuno and Marino’s mother Fujino (Hidaka Noriko) left them behind in search of their (supposedly) deadbeat father reemphasized to me that there’s little to no chance that Marino would side with the brigade over her sister. Their sisterly bond is simply too strong, which is likely due to the fact that Mizuno looked out for Marino when they were younger. With that in mind and Vanishing Age’s plans to get rid of her once they use her Cybody to locate the western maiden, I think it’s only a matter of time before Manticore jumps ship and joins Takuto and the others. After all, Takuto is the only other person who truly believes in Mizuno’s protective incantations and has become a common interest like ice cream flavors too. Those have got to count for something.


Blogging Note: Over the past couple of months, it’s become more and more apparent that Suzuku isn’t able to keep up with his shows, so I’ll be covering STAR DRIVER and To Aru no Majutsu no Index II from now on. I consider them fairly “big” titles so I’d like to see them covered in a more timely manner. I may or may not continue with MM, considering that adding two more shows already puts me at twelve. Luckily, Hakuouki Hekketsuroku just ended.




  1. woah Divine is taking over!!Good work Divine, but considering that you have to do the winter preview and the best of 2010 isn’t this too much work??

    Funny baseball episode. No monochrome = meh

  2. thanks for the post, Divine!!
    Takuto is harem builder… don’t turn into a certain “kiss machine” 😀
    GN shield bits discovered this episode… Lock-on like person sighted in the end.
    and by the way, isn’t the bad guy called “sword star” instead of “star sword”? Just checking here…

  3. Woah! Taking over two big shows on top of everything else, that’ll be rough. It’s a good thing you’re well.. “Divine”. Hope Suzuku’s okay though, it looks like he’s getting busier by the day.

    STAR DRIVER was pretty good this week considering the past few episodes have been a little stale for me. Mizuno in awe was my definite highlight and I’m really looking forward to Keito’s story and her relationship with Wako and Sugata. The new song was okay-ish, I mean not that it’s bad it’s just that monochrome was better.

    Oh and I call dibs that the fluffy head-accessory-thing on top of Tauburn will also become a weapon, probably. ^^

    1. yeah, I think Suzuku should at least keep to aru majutsu no index since he read the novel and hel know the differences between the anime. maybe he can just double the ep review if he’s too busy…

  4. The hip things actually won’t work without believing in someone, so he got lucky that time otherwise he would be prompted to use the forbidden secret weapon which his father don’t want him to use as it puts him in jeopardy as well. (I just came up with this speculations)

    Some compares Katami Wakachita Yagadanse literally means “believe in me, who believe in yourself.”

  5. The baseball match were really nice and funny.
    Mizuno new song were good, though I still prefer monochrome better. This was probably due to the fact that monochrome was more suitable to be played during the pre-battle scene.

  6. so your gonna pick up star driver and to aru majutsu no index huh, Divine.

    I already commented on other sites about this ep so il make a slight diff one: I hope we get some twincest and yuri vibes or a twin threesome fantasy(look it up in tv tropes, im too lazy to link it again) on the you sisters.

  7. I think it’ll be interesting for the childhood friendship with Keito to come into play again especially if something happens between her and Sugata. I wonder why she’s not as close as to them anymore and when that happened.

    Incidentally, does anyone know any good forums or whatever for Star Driver?

  8. It’s funny, normally I’m not into the “hyperactive cutie”-kind of character, but Mizuno is overpoweringly cute. I’d say that she’s my favorite character along with Takuto. They’d make a great pair, too. Sadly I suppose that he’ll end up with Wako the bland. 😛

  9. it does feel like takudo is building a harem though i don’t know about wako she likes him but i can’t tell who her major interest is. Im kind of interested to see what the twins do when they admit to each other that they are both in love with the same guy. If its going to turn into a standard triangle or if they will accept that they both care for him. This is one of the major plot points im interested in seeing.

  10. I’m was really impressed how the animation budget went up in this episode especially in the baseball game. 😛

    In my personal opinion Star Driver is the best show this season. SO FABULOUS!

    1. oh man i didn’t know jumpsuit could be applied to those, i hear jumpsuit and think of mechanics =P i always considered them overalls =D sadly i don’t see many ladies rockin ’em nowadays. i personally think they’re damn sexy when pulled off right, such as your example.

    2. I always tell people.. As an artist, I think women look better with their clothes on. Leaves room for imagination~ I wonder if I can find anything like that in Manhattan. I have a friend who’s short and “right at every angle”. Perfect for cosplaying. She knows it too. :}

      lmao at the Gravity Poster. The single is pretty good. Try riding your bike and listening to it. It’s comical how motivated to petal you get. xDD

    1. Without getting into all the details, the short version is that he’s shown he isn’t cut out for blogging so I had to let him go. I actually haven’t heard from him in several days, but I’ve already talked to him about this on multiple occasions.

    1. Thanks for the offer. It’s gotten to the point that I want to keep this a close-knit operation though. Takaii’s proven to be really reliable and Kiiragi’s branched off to cover currently airing shows instead of One Piece, so I’m happy with the writers we have right now.

      1. Meh, as said I would, but the thing that hinders me is I would need to do the Simulcast shows. I don’t got a great background in Japanese unfortunately. And sorry to hear about Suzuku, his Index column was interesting. I mean, if you ever do need one, I don’t mind pulling a simulcast account or however the works and start writing away.

        Sora no Kaze
    2. Man.. I wish I could write as well as you guys. Even if it wasn’t for RC, I’d just enjoy writing like you guys. It’d make me a better conversationalist too. –depression

      I can still give you my money though~! ;9

  11. It’s a huge shame that Suzuku wont be at least covering Index, as I loved reading his thoughts on that series. I can understand why Divine had to let him go, but I can’t help but feel that it was the amount of shows and the time of year (this time period is usually hectic for uni students) that made Suzuku fall back.

    On the actual episode, I actually thought that Marino believed in her sisters spells?

    1. She does. What Marino meant when she scolded Mizuno was that no one else believed the spells, and that Mizuno should just save her breath. Marino thought she would be the ONLY one that believed in the spells.

  12. I really enjoyed this episode a whole lot. There sure was a lot of depth with the characters, during the baseball match. I am just very curious to see if we will find out the history about the island. Also why did the fish girl leave? So many unanswered questions. I still am loving this series though.

  13. Had anyone noticed how Marino is the new Wako?

    The two are parallel.

    Wako is the “Big Tough,” who wants to protect the island and her man.

    Marino protects her sister.

    It’s somehow like a Shakespearian juxtaposition, only that Wako sings much better, while Marino can play balls (no pun intended).


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