“Your place is the same as three years ago”

This is follow-up post to previous MuvLuv posts. You might want to check “This is a very small, very large, very precious story about love and courage” first.

Kimi ga Nozomu Eien. That name echoes in my head. Rumbling Hearts. It echoes again. I began to hear a wind blowing grass under that tree. Familiar music plays somewhere far away, and I wonder why this all feels so… nostalgic. I hear steps near, but I do not take notice of them. Something’s wrong. The steps stop near me head and I hear far too familiar voice calling me. I gaze from my laying position upwards towards a young lady I knew far too well.

I wake up. Few drops of tears are running down my cheek. I feel the coolness outside. I forgot to shut the window, thou it’s just minus five degrees celsius. I check my phone for time; 4:48. Still a bit too early to wake up properly. I tug one of my pillows next to me. I lay there for few minutes until I grab my phone again to search for a certain picture. I look at them. I look at her. I tell myself to stop being pathetic in the ever-sarvastic tone I always do and close my eyes for few more hours.

Friendship



Sometimes I really do wonder how much I got screwed over because of this one thing. It has been an influence over me for a long time, and with every passing year I find something new from it without ever really visiting it. That will come to an end soon, as I intend to sit down and meet these old friends and wonder the same paths I once took.

Kimi ga Nozomu Eien is a dividing love story. It doesn’t hold back its punches. It gives everything it has to the reader. It’s not a fairytale where the princess will be saved by his white knight. None of its characters are perfect beings or complete clichés. It doesn’t pull any easy strings or set up characters doing pointless things. It doesn’t try to create stupid drama with devices like rape. Perhaps because it is too grounded to reality people get divided. There are those who love it due to its bitterness, and then there are those who deeply hate because the romance isn’t what they hoped for.

To paraphrase a friend, he “wanted to have the princess girl ending,” meaning that the main characters Takayuki would’ve end up together with the other main heroine Haruka, who got into a car accident that sent her into a three year coma. My other friend on the other hand can’t really understand why anyone would want Takayuki end up with Haruka, as Hayase’s ending the least damaging to everybody. I understand them both.

Kimi ga Nozomu Eien is a rather realistic love story. Whereas MuvLuv is a sort of fairytale I would tell my children as a bedtime story, KimiNozo is something I’d discuss with few selected friends over a pint. MuvLuv may hurt you, but it always gives something it return. KimiNozo shows you the raw reality.

Let’s talk about the three main characters for a while.

Suzumiya Haruka, the girl who lost time. She is no the most tragic character of the three, but she is the one with most bad luck. She fells in love with a young man who has a good nature, but is dense and aimless. Her love is unrequited. She’s lacking in some self-confidence, and thus hooks up with her friend Hayase to hang around a bit more around Takayuki. One evening, she finally let’s it all out, and then trembles in fear of the words she does not want to hear. Takayuki says that he’ll start dating her. Haruka stands there with a smile and tears of happiness.

Haruka and Takayuki date for a while even with all the small problems they have. They share a meat pie during a picnic and spend a night together. They’re living their lives like any highschool kid would. One day, Takayuki is little bit late for their meeting… and he’d be late for the following three years.


I avoided meat pies like plague for a while after this

She woke up one day when Akane, her sister, was visiting her. To her time had been frozen. She didn’t know that world had forgot about her and moved on. Nothing revolves around one person in this world, and if you were to disappear for three years, the world would move on. Everybody has their own lives to live, as did Takayuki and Hayase.

After a while Haruka starts to notice these little details that are kept from her. Akane has grown, she has grown, her hair has grown, Takayuki has changed and so has Hayase. The world is merciless, and the shock is rather high. She survives it all. She’s a strong woman at heart, but in a frail body. No matter how much rehab she’s going to go through, her most difficult obstacle time has brought is her love to Takayuki. She is strong. She will survive. She always has.

Hayase Mitsuki, girl in the blue. Hayase has been Haruka’s best friend for a long time. Her happy-go-lucky attitude with that cheerful smile has conquered many hearts as she has broken. She’s the upcoming hope and star of the Japanese Olympic swimming team, a place she’s been striving for a long time now. She’s in good relations with Takayuki and they occasionally tease each other or hit each other with bags. They’re friends, and even the stupidest person could see that there was tension between them, even if neither of the two would admit it.

She introduced Haruka and Takayuki to each other, and ultimately admits that if she did that she wished to get closer to Takayuki. While Haruka is strong at heart, Hayase isn’t. Her outgoing appearance hides a frightened soul. One day before her birthday she drags Takayuki to a street vendor to get him buy her a present. She chooses a silver ring, and slides it to her finger. When Takayuki rushes to her late date, Hayase watches after him.


Two rings bind together, embracing each other in a neverending arc

Hayase is the one who will take care of Takayuki for the following three years. Her love soon takes a new devotion to see Takayuki out of his barren shell, to breath new life into him and allow him step outside his room once more… with a smile. After what has to be uncountable tries and situations, she finally convinces him to move on, that he is not only slowly killing himself, but her too. The two mugs from the aquarium are the testament of her willingness to give herself completely to Takayuki, even if would degrade herself to nothingness.

When Haruka wakes up, Hayase’s world becomes fractured, and bit by bit shards are dropping off. She becomes more unstable has Haruka becomes better and spends more time with Takayuki. She feels guilt and hatred, love end detest. She has nothing to stand next to, nothing to embrace. As her world, she becomes broken, shattered by the reality of the situation. Hayase has no one any more, as much as she tries to offer herself.

Narumi Takayuki, the one we all are. Takayuki is a nice person. He lives his everyday normal life with his friends, joking about stuff and hanging around. He has no real wishes or goals in life, he enjoys the way things are. Change is something he seems to fear a little bit… and his grand flaw is his undecicive nature. He goes meddles with Hayase at times, has fun times with this mate Shinji, and ultimately starts to date Haruka. He isn’t loud, but voiceful enough. He can handle people well, like when he is eating with the Suzumiya family for the first time. However, every time Takayuki has to make a decision that changes the status quo he becomes silent, almost catatonic for a moment before telling his decision.

Takayuki couldn’t have foreseen Haruka’s accident. Nobody could have. Yet he blames himself for it. It broke him down, forcing him to face something that he never had faced before; total and complete loss of a person near you. If he had been there few minutes earlier, all of this could’ve been avoided. Haruka and Takayuki would have lived happily together without a moment of grief. His life was changed, and he lost control over it. He became possessed of Haruka, until he as forced away from her for his own good. He would’ve died without Hayase. If not of hunger, then by his own hands. He lived over and over again those moments, the same pains of decision he made.

When Hayase finally managed to drag him out and show the world again, he began his slow recovery. At a later date he got a job from Sky Temple, a family restaurant. He was in a good start after three long years. He was even going to take a step towards Hayase,but then Haruka woke up. He almost fell back into his mind’s abyss, but kept himself afloat. He recognizes that he has moved on with his life, but only a little. His friend has grown much more than he, and Hayase has become a fine woman on her own rights. What he has to decide whether or not he will become one with Haruka again, like he was three years ago, or will he keeping moving forwards as he finally managed to do.

Takayuki is someone who is deeply flawed. The good points he has are his defining traits, but they are overshadowed by his lack of confidence and decision making. These two ultimately cause more pain to the two he cares the most. When he realizes his feelings, it just might be too late for anyone of them. The world moves on. It doesn’t wait you for three years, nor it waits you to say those important words you want to utter. Once you are there, on that moment, tell her that you love her. Tell him, that you wish to be his.

“I want to repay her what she did for me, even if takes the rest of my life.”

Takayuki isn’t a stupid person. He is fearful and lack the insight to understand the people around him to an extent, unlike me who is very understanding of the people around me but I decide to ignore them unless they’re said out loud. I have no excuses for being this kind of asshole. All of what he lacks is humane, and every reader/viewer has seen themselves in his shoes. This is why he is so hated as a main character, as we all see from the outside his situation and scream at him, but when we’re in same situation we wish somebody would be there to tell us what to do. We all know there is none. Some decisions are made in split seconds, and some decisions are lost forever because they’ve never been made.

Ultimately, the ending I regard as the one true ending is with Hayase. The only true bad endings come with the side characters, where Takayuki may be broken down to a child’s level. Him ending up with Haruka would mean that he would become her support, and she would grow as she always has, but Takayuki’s reasons to stay with her would’ve been more about devotion and duty rather than of love. Hayase would become a lonely and broken person anyone to use.

With Hayase’s ending Takayuki and Hayase would grow more together, supporting each other while staying true to their feelings. Haruka would’ve been devastated, but she is strong and understanding. She will find someone to lover her some day, and she will always have her friends.

That is important. Outside Hayase’s endings, the three won’t stay together as friends. The image of the four small animals are from Haruka’s book she would write and illustrate without Takayuki. It tells a story of four friends, of which one of them is left behind. This one small creature strives to catch her friends on top of the hill, and when she finally gets there, her friends greet her with happy faces and open arms.


They all strived to be friends, and to live their lives with their true feelings. The world moved on, and all four had their own lives to go by. Haruka was never left behind; she had her friends waiting for her on top of that hill.

I admit that I am a hopeless romantic. I share fare amount of traits with both Hayase and Takayuki, which coincidentally form an entity that resembles MuvLuv’s Shirogane Takeru quite a lot. I wonder about things too much and never take enough actions, but then again I would be willing to throw my whole life for someone I love. I am rather colourful on the outside, but there is one person who knows, that deep inside I am smaller than I appear to be, that perhaps I am lacking that self-confidence and respect I should have towards myself. It’s almost ten years since Kimi ga Nozomu Eien was released, and back then I was too young to properly learn from it, just as I have learned things from MuvLuv. Learn is actually the wrong word. Replace that with realize and we’re good.

It’s a betrayal to say that you have to think KimiNozo with reason rather than with heart, but if one takes a step outside and looks the picture as a whole one might find that it’s a gut punching story, with few good ways to end. It took me eight years to do that, and I doubt some people are ever willing to think things through from any other perspective other than their own and properly ponder matters at hand.

My place is rather similar to what it was three years ago, and lately I’ve been thinking what to do about it. Perhaps I’ll say something the next weekend, something that I might regret. However, decisions have to be made in a split second, or there are times when they’re going to be lost forever.

Next time I begin to read Kimi ga Nozomu Eien visual novel, it will be the first time in a sense. I’ll walk down the routes as Takayuki, as myself; the bastard who can’t decide soon enough what he wants.
We’ll see how it ends.

Did CAPCOM just piss Mega Man fans in the eyes?


I WISH THIS TO BE FRANK AND NOT MEGA MAN

I’m going to go on a full fanboy rage mode here, so it’s parental discretion is advised. Ok, deep breath and go…

What the fucking hell CAPCOM? Do you want piss every goddamm Mega Man fan out there by adding the motherfucking BAD BOXART MEGA MAN to a game that’s called STREET FIGHTER X TEKKEN? RENAME this piece of shit if you’re going to use character outside the Street Fighters franchise for the love of that is all good! This game should be called CAPCOM X NAMCO THE FIGHTING or the like. To those who are uninitiated, Namco X Capcom was a cross-over role playing game from Monolith, who worked on Xenosaga and Super Robot Wars Original Generation Saga Endless Frontier. SFxT clearly continues the same trend, THEN why, oh why they just can’t name it properly!?

OK, we’re getting Mega Man. And PacMan. And both are going to be fucking joke characters if all signs are correct. The joke about Bad Boxart Mega Man is quite literally over decade old. Internet made into a meme and only recently the Japanese got it. Jesus Christ CAPCOM, we’re asking you to give us proper Mega Man in a fighting game (WHY THE HELL HE ISN’T IN MARVEL VS CAPCOM 3 IF HE IS YOUR UNOFFICIAL MASCOT?) rather than Zero or any other red side character. We’d take Mega Man or Mega Man X. Either one is fine. Christ CAPCOM, Mega Man X was the most requested character by a poll in your own site. Sure, the poll was put up by a fan, but why the hell every other character in the poll got in? Now you put Mega Man in as a goddam joke. Either this is extremely elaborate way to stir up the audience, or whoever is has the final word on the cast is a fucking idiot who needs to be neutered and all of his seeds cleansed off from the world.

I understand CAPCOM. You wan to kill Mega Man off completely. You want to lose shitloads of money from one of the most devoted fandom there is.
Do yourself a favour, and to the fanbase, and do not put Bad Boxart Mega Man into SFxT. Put Mega Man X into it and make him a high tier character. Then, stop. Don’t say anything about Mega Man, don’t hint anything about him, just let it die. You’ve already killed him. Just let Mega Man rest in his grave.

While you’re at it, leave Darkstalkers be. Never look back at Rival Schools or any of the actually pretty fucking good games and franchises you’ve forgotten.

I’ve had enough with this shit. Fuck you CAPCOM.

This, dear readers, is an example of companies a) not getting their audience b) dicking around with their audience c) both previously mentioned. It’s not good service. CAPCOM is NOT the ones deciding whether or not this is a good cast. It’s the audience that will tell them either fuck their asses with a steel pole, or that it could be better. CAPCOM doesn’t decide whether or not their game is good, the goddamn audience does because we’re the one with the money you want.
And if you want my money, stop circlejerking in the fucking office and start making games that we want to buy.

I’m actually expecting the day when CPACOM’s in financial troubles because of underselling games. Perhaps then they might change a little…

In other news, HUDSON’s going to finally die. It sad thing to see a great, great company dying like this. Hudson, rest in peace. I will miss you.

I need to take a shower and punch some walls. Perhaps stab me a dinner. Crack open a bear and drink it. Then dispose of the bear because it’s illegal without a license.

And in a long fucking time I have the feeling that I could jug shitloads of alcohol into my system and scream at the Moon.

Writing

Metapost time. Next time an actual post with content.
Talking about this blog now that it’s almost a year since I began writing. To be specific, the anniversary is still more than a month away, but there’s things that I can’t really put that far off.

I never claimed to be a good writer to anybody or that I particularly enjoy it. I don’t even remember the original meaning of this blog. I guess it was to clarify different matters to myself most of all, to take a look at video games from completely another angle, as well as anything else I might write. Perhaps I should be sorry that this has become a personal blog in an increasing numbers, but as I’ve noticed, things tend to change. During these last six months a lot has changed, and I’m afraid the pace of change is going to affect the blog as well.

I never claimed to be good writer. I love making stories and relive them just before I fall in sleep. It’s something I’ve done since I was a child. Imagination is a wonderful thing to have, but I’ve been in trouble because of that many times around since grade school.
When I started writing this blog I didn’t care if people read this or not. Things didn’t pick until after the summer, when I started actually writing almost weekly. I was happy if my blog got three hits a day, or ten in a week. There’s around 15 hits with every new post. Sometimes nearly 30 and that kinda makes me smile the big way. It seems that my aim of 1000 words per post is serving its purpose quite well.

I do like writing even thou I’m horrible at it. No, not horrible, but lazy as hell. Missing word here and there, a lot of jumble and mumble overall and all that. I should read these posts every time before posting to ensure that there is minimal amount of errors. Well, yeah. I believe that content is more important than the proper form so sue me. (That’s no excuse and I know it.) I’ve come a long way thou, and I would argue that my writing in general is getting somewhat better. I’ve got some nuances I’d like to get rid off, but they serve a purpose I… most likely.

Hardest part in writing is two pronged; the subjects and the time. I’d really like to write more about general design and culture, but recently (read; three months ago) I fell into trap of video games I haven’t really climbed out yet. Video games are an easy subject for me, and while I have three or five different drafts going on, it takes time to post them because of the research for them takes so fucking long. It doesn’t help that I should be working at the moment, and that I run every other day thanks to a legless girl.

So what I’m trying to convey here that this blog has changed during the past eleven months from barely updated to frequently updated to whatever it is now. Most likely I’ll try to make a post once or twice a week from next week on. This weekend I should finish a draft that I’ve trashed few times around, so keep looking for that. Things are changing, and I want to see how it keeps changing. Not just inside this blog, but out there where I can cough my lungs out and sing about space battleships to crows in the harbour. While I’m conscious of my English in general, I’m letting it go as I am letting go of other similar things.

A dear friend of mine once said that I’m slow to warm up. I wonder what she’d say to me if I she were to see and hear me now face-to-face. I just might actually take matters at hand and just say “yes” to a person. But before that I need to fetch a package from post and sort out loads of images without proper guidance.

I want to thank all of my readers at this point, even thou it’s not the anniversary yet. Perhaps I’ll cook something special when it comes. What was the point of this post again?

Also, notice I gave in and added visual novel category. Next time a hardware review perhaps?


I always listen to her advices. I must attack more nowadays anyway

Actually I might start living in a clean apartment for once.

Lost memories

Why do you remind yourself of your traumas? asked a friend of mine this week. I couldn’t answer him them, as I had no answer. I never thought why I keep writing about Muv-Luv. This lead me to ponder one of the underlying themes Muv-Luv has; memories.

MuvLuv begins with one of the main heroines reading her diary entries. She goes over an incident that had happened in her childhood, where she broke a fossil, which Takeru tried to hide with a snail. Then she moves on telling how shocked she was when Takeru reveals that his going to get into Hakuryo High, and Sumika’s distressed as her grades and everything isn’t as good as Takeru’s. Then she reads an entry where she and Takeru checking if they got in Hakuryo. Sumika’s too scared to check whether or not she got in and Takeru (the asshole he is) jokes that she didn’t, which prompts Sumika to look at the boards with teary eyes. She got in.
The final Sumika’s memory here is one time she and Takeru were in a pool. She complains how Takeru kept leering at other women, and how she spent a lot of time choosing her piece. The she asks something weird from Takeru.

How Muv-Luv starts with these memories is a two way start; it’s really a heart warming introduction to the novel, and those who are rereading can find echoes of later events in the words and expressions Sumika puts out.

Memories are important plot devices in Muv-Luv. EXTRA has that childhood promise Takeru once made to Meiya and his later promise to Sumika. In Unlimited it’s Takeru’s own memories of his own world and how he feels alienated in BETA-verse. The most (de)pressing and heaviest use of memories is in Alternative thou, as it is Sumika’s memories and raw subconscious wish to see Takeru which makes Takeru the causal conductor. As Takeru travels between worlds, the world removes memories of Shirogane Takeru as they have no reference point; the memories are displaced into imaginary space between dimensions. However, when Takeru has memories of certain people dying and travels to another world, these memories cause the world reorganize so that they will take place. Reliving the death of a loved person twice in a lifetime will shatter a person. This is extremely evident when Meiya loses all of her memories of Takeru as he pursues her to remember something he remembers, but something that has not yet taken place in this world, and thus never takes place, and when Sumika loses all of her memories when she and Takery finally confesses their love, and the world tries to “erase” Sumika’s existence as Sumika did not exist in BETA-verse.

The only one that can sustain her memories of Takeru while his travelling away is Yashiro Kasumi, the Russian Psychic girl, and even she can remember him only when concentrating all of her will into pictures she draws while Takeru is away. This way doctor Kouzuki Yuuko retains some memories of Takeru as well.
Takeru’s existence in the Unlimited/Alternative world changes the status quo a lot. His presence has caused worlds to go from their course and caused the extinction of mankind indirectly. However, it is his presence that also saves the world the same way, and the very reason why he keeps looping back to 23th October. It is implied that Takeru never realizes that he looping to the 23th until one particular time. When he starts to remember memories from other loops (as he has a frame of reference of the same people in the same world), these memories also flood into other’s minds as well, but as they do not have proper frame of reference they only seem like a flickering photo, a faded memory of a dream. These memories are the most intimate ones Takeru and his companies comrades shared in every loop as the women fall deeper into Takeru.


Of course, there are events in Alternative that are changed drastically because of Takeru’s own interventions due to his memories

The above image has a dual meaning for this post.
Nobody in the BETA-verse will ever remember their names, except those closest to them. On the first day of January 2002 the assault on the Original Hive, the main Hive of BETA on world, is attacked, infiltrated, it’s Reactor destroyed and Main Objective achieved. Here all of the above soldiers gave their lives for humanity, for their loved ones and believes. They gave their life, as they could not give their love to the one man they loved. AF-A01 “Isumi’s Valkyries” is lost in exchange for the survival of all mankind… and the Valkyries never thought any different of their mission.
The part that hits the reader is that the mission is classified beyond anything else because of Takeru, 00 Unit and the status of the Valkyries. Nobody shall ever know their names, except two members of the military; Yuuko and Kasumi. Nobody will ever remember Takeru’s existence par these two either, as all of these memories have no frame of reference any more, and with the cause that turned Takeru into causal conductor removed, the worlds that were damaged because of this regained their original form.
Cue Final Extra, where the world has “returned” to its rightful course, and Takeru has no memories of what has taken place in the other world. There is a hint that the feels somewhat nostalgic towards the girls in his class on that particular morning, especially when Kasumi enters the class.

It is heavily implied that she is the same Kasumi that Takeru met in the other world. With this, she is the only one knowing of their sacrifice, and I believe that this is the first real time Kasumi can cry honest, happy tears. With the full ride down Muv-Luv, this was the point where I can say that I allowed myself to completely crack. During Alternative’s latter half I tried to clench my teeth, but here everything that had piled up just overflew.
Whatever became of them in this new world after the cooking battle is unknown. There is an alternate telling named Before the Shimmering Ends in Muv-Luv Altered Fable disc. This story takes place in another world very close to the original one but isn’t really a continuation of the story. I love this story, even if its not really part of anything. It’s still a great story using the same characters in far happier setting and its a great way to lift one’s spirit from Alternative as a whole… until you start checking the Total Eclipse’s first chapter in VN form and Faraway Dawn strategy game on the same disc. Yours truly couldn’t even start Total Eclipse properly without getting insane tensions in the shoulders.

This is why I keep reminding myself of this story; because nobody else really can remember. I take this story to my heart. I loved the characters as real people, especially one particularly. I myself can’t really celebrate new year (and I never really liked to celebrate it anyway) when it’s the date when brave souls wandered into the devil’s den and faced the evil that lied within. On this date the Valkyries flew their last flight for all of us.

I can’t bring myself to reread the final chapter of Alternative this night even if I want to. Perhaps next year I can, when I have enough objective thinking on the matter.


Then again, I COULD take more of this good medicine…

Christmas salutions


Yashiro’s excited about Christmas if you coudn’t tell

Happy holidays. Don’t let the BETA bite you.

It’s quite hard to celebrate Christmas today. The only thing I can really think about is that on 25th of Decemeber Operation Ouka went underway and made the first real blow against the BETA. MuvLuv is a wonderful thing, but perhaps it’s affecting this blogger a bit too much.
Next year I’ll time MuvLuv Alternative reread so, that I’ll correspond with the real world time.

Looking back a bit at Muv-Luv

It’s not that rare to find a person who has had his life changed by a story. Look at that one Finnish Macross fan for example told a friend of mine few weeks back. How was I changed, and why? I’ve been asking myself this for some time, and perhaps now I can answer these questions…but only with an answer that still leaves a lot open.

Let’s get into the spoiler heavy territory here. If you ever had the smallest intent to read Muv-Luv (which I strongly recommend) stop here. Really, there’s no reason you to NOT read Muv-Luv. Ask yourself when was the last time I actually recommended you to read something with a straight face without joking and tell you that it’s that good? Just don’t give up in the lacrosse arc, I know its tedious…


In a world where no war against BETA there is joy…


…but then there’s the world that is in constant war.

It’s been about a month since I read Muv-Luv, or so it at least feels. How did this story actually change me?
Well, physically I’ve been far more happier, smiling a lot more and generally I’ve felt more energetic. This can be attributed that I found hope in the story, even when it’s one of the most bleak, hopeless and… desperate story I’ve ever read. Yes, desperate. That’s the word that comes to my mind when describing Muv-Luv as a whole, more specifically Alternative. The first two parts, Extra and Unlimited, are quite light in mood and read, even if Unlimited’s ending is one of the most heart wrenching things. Either the one you love lives on another planet while you keep fighting, or both of you keep on fighting together to the bitter end.
I chose her to go. To love, to let go, no matter how much I get hurt in the process.


Daddy, see you again!

Muv-Luv Unlimited ends with this scene. That one star where I’m fighting for those two to return…
There is a side story to Muv-Luv known as Muv-Luv Unlimited The Day After. It continues from this point on, telling the tale of soldiers fighting against the BETA on Earth mostly scorn of war, vast salt seas fill the planet surface and most of Europe has been flooded. People live in crowded cities in conditions no human should ever live. Lack of any kind of food or water, crime, extreme control over everything and the simple desperate fight for survival is common. Those who are in army are in luck, but they’re not fairing any better, as BETA still keeps attacking the last remnants of humanity. Riots are common, and as are the casualties in said riots. Satellite communication, or electronic communication in general at long range, is impossible due to the G-Bombs used to decimate the BETA Hives in Eurasian continent.
Yes, the G-Bombings. At the end of Unlimited, plan known as Alternative V was set in motion on Christmas day. It consisted of two things; migrating selected humans to the closest suitable planet, and bombing the BETA Hives with the strongest weapon in mankind… with the results you read above. The bombing of the Hives is then dubbed as “The Day.”


Not my video, but gets the message across

It’s clear that in this world, humanity is doomed. Even the humans that migrated are basically doomed, as they have no viable defence against the BETA, if they ever were to land on that planet.
The world is beyond desperation, and one Shirogane Takeru witnesses all this. Multiple times. He dies in this world of Day After many times over… until an alternative sets in.

The world of Unlimited (and The World After) is bleak. During Unlimited itself you only have hints of the situation, of the war going on. Everywhere else you don’t only see it, but you feel it. It’s the desperation of the people simply trying to survive, when it’s more than clear that the the end has come.
Still, there are people smiling, laughing and continuing their everyday life… The Day After is well written and shows the much darker side of Muv-Luv.
That is, until one reads the end of Alternative.

This was, and most likely will always be, the face of those who lived with the story of Muv-Luv.

The end of Alternative doesn’t just grab your heart, but it shatters whatever you had left. It breaks the reader completely.
It’s the last eight to twelve hours of Muv-Luv Alternative that showcase what lengths one has to go in order to make a significant difference. From the RED to Sadogashima, to the defence battle of Yokohama base, to the very core of the Original Hive, the reader can’t let go, the reader isn’t allowed to let go. It shows war in a raw light that you wouldn’t expect from a story filled with giant robots and aliens. Anyone can die in a single moment, no one has a possibility to avoid death completely. One by one, the reader is thrown deeper and deeper into the abyss from where he is unable to escape. At one point there is light, a dim light of hope that keeps shining, and the reader tries to grasp it.



I don’t presume that these images have any kind of impact to you without context, so I shall provide you one, crude as it may be

Here you see the last stand of Ayamine Kei. She is here because no one else could be. She is here to live long enough that the man she loves could save the world. She knows that she is dying, that she is going to die right here, right now, surrounded with her best friends and comrades in arms. The last thing she can do is to make sure that her will doesn’t give in too soon, that her arms do not give in too soon. Her life has not been an easy one, and neither shall be her end. She is here not because of love, but because of pride and the duty she has.
Ayamine Kei chosen to give her life here, as she could not give her love.
Invoke the motto of the Isumi’s Valkyries.

“ Complete your mission with all your might

Despair not ’till your last breath

Do not die in vain “

Nobody but two people in the world shall remember her, or even know her.

Writing the paragraph above was something hard to do. Simply picking up those two images brought memories to the surface; the voices, the sounds, the music and the motions. I relived the whole scene. Muv-Luv didn’t only make me far more happier, and healed me of Kimi ga Nozomu Eien, but left me with something… precious would be the best word to be honest. It’s a wound that I do not want to heal, as it reminds reminds me how I realized a lot of myself, and values that have always been there, hidden and neglected. It wasn’t only her, but all the characters that stood proudly with the Valkyrie’s motto, that I found something special.
It took deaths of fictional characters to get me realize how much I truly care for those around me, and how I want to serve them in arms. I can listen to you, I can help you and be there for you, but I want to be able to protect you in the face of something larger if it ever were to come.

While I’d like to say that I want to live according to the Valkyrie’s motto, I’m afraid that it’s impossible in this world. That is a good thing. Still, the very core that it encompasses is something that I can try to strife for, as it closely resembles that of my own ideology.


Her name Mitsurugi Meiya. She was the sword of her nation, her Emperor and her own devotions. Mitsurugi Meiya is the character I fell in love in the beginning. However, much in like in the story itself, I already had something beneath that I did not want to admit. As with Takeru himself, the One Person gone I went with Meiya’s route in Unlimited. Looking it back now, choosing so hurt me even when I didn’t notice it. It was a natural change, but yet…
Mitsurugi’s final fate is something that I wouldn’t want to go in here. Her fate is one of the most beautiful scenes in fiction, as inevitable as it is. She dies with a smile that only her loved one, and her sister, could ever understand.

You’ve might have listened to song before. The Flame of Life, 生命の炎, Jinsei no Honou (if I’m not completely incorrect), stirs me. It’s the song I don’t listen to much simply because for the time being it’s far too strong for me. As Storm Vanguard is the song that makes go, The Flame of Life is the song that makes me stop. This one song, to me, is about sacrifice, beliefs, hope, pride, duty and perhaps most importantly love one can have for another.

At this point of the Alternative story the reader has witnessed what it takes from one man to stand next to his believes. Takeru’s hands are stained in the blood of many innocent people, blood that he with his actions has caused to bleed. With either his indirect or direct actions he has taken many lives of his fellow men and women for the sake of saving the world they’re losing. Whatever has stood in his way he has swept back, clenching his teeth. He has been a soldier… no, an Eishi to the highest degree, never letting his emotions get in the way again, never letting the deaths of those he cared so much go in vain.

And when all that comes to a closure in one important second, the world is saved… and one more sword in this world is lost, he only he, and the reader, knows the significance of her smile.
After that, it all comes to a point: Shirogane Takeru of this world had died before the events of Muv-Luv ever took place in the hands of the BETA. This Takeru we know are, as the readers, is an amalgamation of countless Shirogane Takeru’s from various possible worlds. The memories he has are all of his own, he has lived through them an every time he has died in the world of Day After, he has been brought back to 22nd of October, his body still remembering, but his memories lacking without proper place to go. He has been the causal conductor, the one with ability to travel beyond boundaries of probability, able to cause pain and suffering where he goes, but also save countless lives and worlds.
Takeru’s mission in Alternative, after realizing this “time loop,” is to save the world and find whatever made him the causal conductor.

What caused him to become the causal conductor is a result of physical and mental rape, the raw power of human subconscious and he elements mankind has yet to understand.



The Kagami Sumika of the Unlimited/Alternative world had ceased to exist. Sumika was ultimately the one I truly fell in love as a reader… and as a person. Her attitude, character, language, everything about her was something special. I found myself steering off from Meiya and closer to Sumika, unable to choose between the two until I was in front of decision to either be with Sumika, or go after Meiya. I stayed under That Tree next to Sumika.
But in this world, there was the war with BETA. She was taken into a BETA Hive for studies and for recycle with her townspeople and this world’s Takeru. People dwindled down, until only she and Takery were left, and when this world’s Takeru stood to defend her, the BETA simply disposed of him… and proceeded to study Sumika by raping her, giving her the pleasure beyond any man could ever give, and dissecting her while she felt the pleasure shocking her body over and over again until what was left of her was only the very last essence; her brain in a BETA column. She wasn’t alive, but she was conscious in eternal darkness, trapped inside her own mind. There she wished only one thing more and more; I want to see Takeru. In her subconscious she called forth memories of Takeru, no matter who this Takeru was. Her pure, selfish wish to keep on loving made Shirogane Takeru the causal conductor on that day when humanity reclaimed the Yokohama Hive, and built the base on top of it. Why? The elements known as G-Elements and G-bombs caused, alongside with Sumika’s raw form of subconscious as the catalyst, broke the causal barriers and brought him in to the world of BETA… every time he wasn’t there, even after Takeru died he returned to the 22nd of October anew.

The one I wanted to destroy as Takeru was the thing I loved the most… as did Takeru.
However, how Sumika was made again from the 00 Unit, from her brain again, made her dependent on BETA reactor lying beneath Yokohama base, which was destroyed as a last resort prior to the final mission. Her new life was to be short, filled with regret, hatred, love and passion, with tears and laughter with the one she has always loved.
She had caused great sadness to the person she had loved over and over, and now, she could let him be free again by letting herself fade from this world. She was made human when she and Takeru became one, and at that moment she ceased to be the thing that kept Takeru as the causal conductor. However, Sumika could not exist as the 00 Unit for the sake of humanity.

For the next five minutes let me be myself, let me cry for all of them. After that I’ll be hero they’ve been waiting for. Then I’ll smile at those men and women outside and be the Eishi they look up to. The door was shut after Kasumi, and there was no distinction of me or Takeru. We both cried and stood there, holding the last love in our arms. The world was saved, and the names and memories of those who had saved the world will never be known. Isumi’s Valkyries are a squadron that the world will never know about.
This last bit of Alternative story is a painful one. At this point, if the reader lived in the world of Alternative, is allowed to cry. Before that, the reader could only clench his teeth and march forwards, never letting deaths go in vain.

How could I describe it all with enough integrity and make some justice to the story? There is no way I ever could without being face to face with you, telling every single detail I felt and remember with these gleaming eyes, with these trembling lips and with these passionate feelings I have. Mentally Muv-Luv might have had me realize the value of life again, the value of friends and nation, but physically it left me memories that I can’t describe. I relive every moment of the story just by seeing the images above, hearing everything like it was just now. I get dizzy just by seeing a glimpse of the chomp scene, my adrenaline levels and muscle tension rises quickly simply by hearing the CODE 911 alarm sound, I do work more productively while hearing the Storm Vanguard and halt in my place whole listening to The Flame of Life.
But Muv-Luv doesn’t end just Takeru fading away from BETA world now that Sumika isn’t there any more. His power, as well as everybody’s memories of him par few people, are fading away. Takeru, fades away back to the 22nd of October of his own world, now fixed from the damage he caused earlier. In this world, where there is no BETA, he would not remember anything.



Ahahahahahaa, it’s a wonderful morning, isn’t it, Sumika?

Muv-Luv ends as it has began; with a morning you find yourself next to a blue haired girls while your childhood friend (who loves you but you’re just too dense to notice it) comes to wake you up.
It’s confusing at first, seeing these people again this way since… since the story began. There also is something extra, if you will, in form of Mitsurugi Yuuhi, Meiya’s twin sister. There is also a certain russian girl with psychic powers, and unlike everybody else, she remembers all that had taken place in the world where humanity wages war against BETA.

And with this, a world could continue living on its rightful course, while another would still fight the BETA remnants on their planet, and countless of others in the sea of stars…

Muv-Luv’s story isn’t just about the endings. If you remember my other long post, you might recall the amount of build that went into Muv-Luv. It’s the interaction of it all, and how it all ties together to form one larger than life story that deserves more than it has got. Sure, it’s one of the most hailed visual novels out there, but it’s still unknown the vast majority of people who read anything that even slightly veer to its direction. I’ve said it before and I will say it again; Muv-Luv is the best fiction I’ve read. While it’s more like watching a play rather than reading a book… well, that doesn’t matter in the end. What matters is that Muv-Luv, as a story, could become a classic on its own rights. If I could, I’d love to see it becoming one.

These images are more than mere pictures to me. Much like my video games carry my memories, these images carry more weight than any photo I have. They remind me that there are emotions and feelings in me that I’ve yet to show anyone. They’re there, but I just need to find a way to show them. Perhaps I was immature at one point, perhaps I neglected them or something like that. As with Kimi ga Nozomu Eien, Muv-Luv didn’t just touch my heart, they opened the doors to my heart for a time and showed me something that was there.

Muv-Luv is strong piece of fiction. I went in expecting halfassed story about giant robots and aliens, and got a life changing story about love and courage. Muv-Luv allowed me to take the final step over some larger things in my past regarding my own feeling of duty, doubts and past love. With The Flame of Life playing in the background I can walk down a street in a blizzard and smile, as within this chest burns a heart so hot, that it melts anything getting on its way. It’s a courageous and loving heart, that one day will be opened to someone once more.

Before I finish this post for the night, I want to leave one certain image here.

Significance, unlimited

Let the Thunder Strike: # 5 0 0

This post is dedicated to my brothers, friends and family

The game to get the fifth hundred place in my collection is…


Watch the video. Just watch it now. The text’s not going to go anywhere

Fifth Stage begins with an ascend to the heavens. The Booster Parts are attached all the while Steel of Destiny, one of the top five video game tracks, starts playing in the background. It’s a majestic feeling, that turns into a rush of adrenaline when you realize how much firepower the Booster Parts give you. You might fly through the stage without a hit, but when the Vasteel Original appears on the screen, the player freezes for a moment; it’s the ship you controlled in the previous game, and this one is much stronger, and you’re the one going all out against it.

Dear readers, this is the memory that defined Thunder Force V for me. The way it’s designed in nothing short of brilliant. I’m willingly disregarding the fact that none of you have played Thunder Force IV to fully understand the impact Vasteel Original. When I first heard Steel of Destiny kicking in with those few hits of drumsticks, I knew that this is where the ride begins. To put it simply; the game just went ten to eleven on the awesome scale.

The Thunder Force series was never known for its originality or “innovative” gameplay. No, the series was known for it’s extremely well polished gameplay, for the awesome synth music it had, extremely well balanced stages and weapon selection and impressive graphics. By all means, this level of polish makes Thunder Force look like something extremely special even in the STG genre.
I say this as a compliment; Thunder Force games are the most well polished standard STG games you can find. They’re worth your every dime. Well, you can always argue about the first two, but let’s not get into that one.

The design world of Thunder Force V is nothing short of excellent. Gauntlet’s design is simple but it captivates the eye. It’s unique in a sense that there’s not really anything like it outside the Thunder Force games. The balanced mix of simple blue and white are accented with the green canopy, red markings and golden details. Most of nozzle and engine blocks are almost completely black with a hint of smoke grey.
Quite honestly, the guy who designed this knows what he works.


When the Booster Parts are attached, the Gauntlet takes the form of Vambrace for space use. Much of the bulk is lost; the side wings are replaced with two power long ranged guns, the underside gains a cannon, the one intake nozzle is changed for two. The Gauntlet becomes much more compact and faster looking bird of prey, but with the Booster Parts it becomes a massive strike unit. In the stage you see it ravaging its path with an enormous one directional beam, and how it has the power to break the atmosphere under its own thrust power thanks to the large rocket behind. Despite of its increased mass and size, I believe this version of the Gauntlet is extremely fast made for deep space hit-and-run missions, the likes Stage 5. However, as seen in the game, it can be discarded for more agile and manoeuvreable dog fighting, the like of Stage 6.

I may be overanalysing it a bit, but it all makes good sense in the context of the game.

To put it simply; Thunder Force V is an excellent game that I’d recommend anybody in a heartbeat. It’s without a doubt one of the top five STG games alongside R-Type DELTA, Gradius GAIDEN, G DARIUS and ZANAC X ZANAC. I do have a strong bias towards it, but with a good reason. For every bad point the game has, it has two good points.


It’s a piano song. Play it

In these countdown posts I’ve been talking about memories. These games I own are not just a form of entertainment for me, they’re a library of memories. Every game holds a specific memory for me, whether it be when my brothers showed me how to cheat with a Game Genie, or kicking the NES in Battletoads and suddenly transporting to another stage.
There’s a memory where me and my friend were playing Super Mario 3 and having more fun than ever on Sunday’s in upper secondary-school.
There’s a memory in Guilty Gear X2 from one of my celebrations where Daironeri alongside many of my friends, including a very dear person to me, were playing and I lost almost all of my matches even if I was using an arcade controller.
I remember looking at Shenmue when I bought my Dreamcast with Karhumies, a man I have a lot of respect for.
I remember purchasing Makeruna Makendo with my Daironeri and Terorrist from Osaka’s Hot Potato after some searching and finding out that it had a drama CD included.
I can still feel the excitement of fighting the upgraded version of Bass in Mega Man Battle Network 3 just before going to school with GameBoy Player on TV screen; the sweat, the pulse I had going through, the feeling of utter edge when I had 1HP left and Bass was in 200HP out of 2000HP.
I remember my father beating Dr. Mario on the most difficult setting. That’s the only game he ever beat. I remember trying to figure out X-COM 2 on his laptop as well with my brothers with horrible consequences, or that time when we were playing Tecmo Cup Soccer Game with my brothers and we had that strange old floppy disc computer and I almost broke it…

I remember my past with these games. They tell a tale of my life, every one of the holds one drop of my tears and spirit. They’re important to me for this sole reason and for these memories I can’t part with them. All of them are a part of who I am. I could go through every single game and tell you about my dearest memories with them, with the people whom with I’ve played it and what kind of fun we had. It brings tears to my eyes to think that there are memories I can never quite relive, be with my brothers, father, friends or those whom I’ve shared my deepest feelings with. I can always invoke those feelings and words, and create something new from that single game.
I can replay a game as many times I want. I can jump on Goombas again and fight against Epyon with Wing Zero in Gundam W Endless Duel again and again…

Yes, every game in these five hundred holds more than five hundred memories. One single moment in a game might hold more memories than a photo album for me. Kimi Ga Nozomu Eien will always be a painful visual novel to read for me for one memory in one selected scene, whereas I can’t help myself but to smile whenever I replay Mega Man X4. (Marco, let’s do that some day again, let’s rip a new hole for this game.)
A new game always brings new memories. KoFXIII and Penta Dragon will remind me of this countdown, and they will stack memories in the future. I bet when Penta Dragon will get stacked with some weird memories, as I’m intending it to become my full-time travel companion. There’s so many memories on Super Mario Bros. that it’s not even possible me to remember all of them. (Dying on the first enemy on the first stage, and you’ve been playing this game for what, TWENTY years now!?)
Some day I’ll write my most prevailing memories of these games into a booklet for myself. It won’t be a diary or a biography. It will be a collection of memories, both good and bad.

Thank you for sharing all these game with me. Sit down with me once more, and let’s fire up that one game again and let’s make some new memories, shall we?


It be might filled with Engrish, but still, it’s the perfect ending for Thunder Force V, and shows the duality of it all…

“This is a very small, very large, very precious story about love and courage”

Edited and tweaked on 25th of December 2012 to honour the yearly Sadohashima Day, also known as the Christmas Day

There exist two stories that I keep close to my heart. One story is from nine years ago, and the other is as recent as from few weeks ago. These two stories are what I reflect much of myself against, and how I will grow in the upcoming years. This is something that I want to tell and share with those who are willing to listen. I want to share the tears I’ve shed and the sorrow I’ve felt for these stories. However, I afraid this post will be spoiler heavy. If you want to enjoy both Kimi ga Nozomu Eien and Muv-Luv to the fullest, please go through them before reading this. Otherwise, do continue onwards.

Some years ago a friend of mind burned me a disc called Blue People Special. The Disc contained the first episodes of then-new series of Sonic X, Kimi ga Nozomu Eien and some series I can’t recall. While Sonic X was fun to watch, Kimi ga Nozomu Eien was the one that, without a doubt, changed my life. The title of Visual Novel and the series translates something along the lines of The Eternity You Wish and is commonly abbreviated as KimiNozo. It is a small story of three friends, love and tragedy. Before we get to the core of this post, Muv-Luv, we need to go through some of the KimiNozo’s plot, and I’ll abbreviate the first three episodes of the series here. They can be skipped, but I’d recommend you either watch the series or read the VN.

“ Like the stars that twinkle in the night sky

Hearts that have melted together will never come apart.

Even though these hands let go

As long as neither of us forget “

Kimi ga Nozomu Eien is a story of your normal life, a story of a love triangle of harshest caliber. Suzumiya Haruka, quite timid girl is in love with Narumi Takayuki and asks her friend Hayase Mitsuki to introduce them to each other. They hand out for some time together, until On That Hill Haruka finally manages to confess her love to Takayuki. Takayuki decides to answer to her feelings and they start to date. Takayuki is dense and oblivious to dating and barely can understand Haruka’s feelings, but tries his best nevertheless. Mitsuki feels jealous at times, and even though she doesn’t admit or show it anybody, it’s clear. After some time Takayuki and Haruka become closer to each other to the point that they show their love in physical form. At one day, Takayuki’s late for their date, due to him buying Haruka a book she has been looking for, and for the fact that Mitsuki steals more of his time and makes Takayuki to buy her a present; a silver ring. However, life can be cruel, as even those five minutes or so Takayuki is late decides the fate of all of them for the next three years; Haruka is hit by a car and falls into coma, Takayuki has a complete mental breakdown and suffers from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. Mitsuki is the one and only line keeping Takayuki from killing himself, even if it costs her most of her life.

Rumbling Hearts, the opening of the Visual Novel, is the ending song of the second episode of the series

Three years have gone past. Takayuki is a part-timer in local restaurant Sky Temple, and seemingly is doing fine. He meets Mitsuki and Shinji, a long time friend since forever. They spend some time drinking and changing news from each other. Later, Mitsuki and Takayuki spend a night together, where Mitsuki asks him whether or not he would like to live with her. Takayuki leaves the answer open, but asks her in the morning whether she would like to move in with him.

” …Your place is the same as three years ago… “

In all reality, neither Takayuki or Mitsuki are doing fine. Mitsuki is tortured by her love to him and the guilt she feels towards Haruka. Takayuki phases out every time accidents are brought up, and is rather anti-social to other people outside his job and closest friends. However, Mitsuki manages to make things clear with Takayuki and they both manage to agree that they’ll be sharing their lives together. While they’re walking back home, they meet with Haruka’s younger sister, Akane, who is furious at them both, even more so at Takayuki who hasn’t visited Haruka’s bedside in years… due to her parents forbidding him, for her and his own sanity. At one point in the past, Takayuki took comatose Haruka to a date, denying everything that had happened.

Ultimately, Mitsuki decides not to move in with Takayuki, and admits that their relationship is stretched thin to her senior member of the company she works in. At the time, Takayuki phones her to arrange them to meet later that day. Much to Mitsuki’s surprise Takayuki has decided to continue living on and starts to search for a place they both can live together.

” I don’t think this is wrong. It’s not as though we’re trying to forget about Haruka. It’s just that right now, we have our own lives to live. Your’s and mine’s… “

Mitsuki falls into tears (as did I), Takayuki has seemingly taken a step forwards in his life and seemingly admits many things about himself. Months pass on as they search for a place and keep living their life quite happily, eating curry rice. One day Akane makes a phonecall.

Takayuki jumps to the phone, spilling his drink. Haruka wants to see Takayuki, she wants to see him more than anything else in the world. Both of them are startled to the point of Takayuki falling back into his mental breakdown, Mitsuki falling into desperation. They decide to visit Haruka the day together, even if Takayuki doesn’t really want to initially.

Haruka does not know that it has been three years since the accident happened.

And thus, Dr. Kouzuki decides to protect Haruka’s fragile mind and body in form of charade; no one is to tell Haruka that three years have passed, no one is to act that way for her safety. When he sees Haruka, it all floods back to Takayuki, he can barely watch at Haruka, until Mitsuki pushes him a bit forwards next to her, breaking him down to tears due to all the guilt he has beared to that moment.

Akane dumps all her hatred towards Takayuki and Mitsuki, burdening them with more guilt for the love they feel.

From here on, everything changes for the third time and the rawness and cruelness of life lifts its head.

This is essentially the first four episodes of the series in a tight package. What drives the series is the story and characters. The Visual Novel might have those numerous scenes of sex as per genre, and Kimi ga Nozomu Eien uses them to depict how fragile, or strong, the human nature is. KimiNozo is about the feeling of the heart rather than feelings of the flesh. âge’s main writer Yoshimune Kouki researched Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) in-depth with rest of the staff in order to convey most realistic depiction they could’ve muster. Kouki managed in this so well, that there is numerous readers/ watchers that have told to have PTSD themselves to an extent. The story is strong, cruel, unhappy, filled with emotions and tears. There is nothing that is supernatural or over the top. It’s the tragedy of it all, how people cope with difficult situations, breakdowns, lies and love.

I wouldn’t say that I enjoy KimiNozo, I doubt very few people actually enjoy it. KimiNozo is a story that mangled my own feelings up and down, punched me to guts more than I can remember, made me cry my eyes out… and made me realize that love is a cruel and selfish thing.

Humans by their nature are cruel and selfish, and this is core of KimiNozo. Because of KimiNozo, I began to wonder what it really means to love somebody. Before that I’ve never thought of loving anyone; I always saw myself as the one guy who every one can depend on, but no one really cares deeply for. It made me wonder whether or not I was the kind of person who deserves to be loved to the point where I shunned people away from me just to keep me from hurting them. I acted like a fool, teased a lot of people and acted like I never understood other people’s feelings and wants just to keep that away by a touch, but close enough so I wouldn’t be left alone. KimiNozo changed me somewhat; to this day I still look how I act and wonder why is it so hard to stop being this kind of idiot. Surely, I act less foolishly than before, but the fact that I still act obliviously about other people’s feelings is a pain.

Ultimately I am a selfish person who wants to be of use for all around me.

You could say that I still have an open wound from KimiNozo, and that wound most likely will stay there until the end of my days. It’s a wound I can’t really heal myself from alone. KimiNozo thus carries huge amount of memories for me just from watching it, but there’s a one particular memory that still hurts me, because KimiNozo once hurt a person close to me. Thou that person is still close to my heart, she’s only a friend nowadays, a good friend at that I would not want to lose.

Just hearing the music of the series make me teary eyed, and sqeamish. A friend of mine remembers me being a total ruin for a half year or so. We’ve both agreed that without KimiNozo I wouldn’t be the person I am today. The story had something that struck me down and struck me hard. It’s a love story, and story that I regard high in value. Without a question, Kimi ga Nozomu Eien is my favouite series.

There’s one more thing I learned in Kimi ga Nozomu Eien; sometimes, to love is to let go.

First time when I saw KimiNozo I was divided by the ending in two. It basically broke me down and it took me a long time to think through whether or not the ending was good. To put it more clearly, only few years ago I decided that the ending was the one I wanted. I rewatched the series while writing this post, and this was the first time I could watch it completely without much trouble. That would be thanks to Muv-Luv.

The ending wasn’t as melancholic as I remembered; it was not as crushing as I remembered. Watching it all again made me realize that the ending, after it all, is a happy ending; Haruka realizes her dreams, fights to make it atop the hill, and meets her friends for the first time in years. After all this time I had somehow managed to miss this small and yet the most important detail in the whole story. A weight of nine years was lifted from my shoulders.

Still, this is the first story to ever make me crumble to pieces. I love the characters, flawed as they may, I love the sombreness of it all and the feeling when it all ends. Loving it would be a wrong word, but there is no real way to convey what I feel properly. To me, Kimi ga Nozomu Eien is important. It’s something I want to keep remembering and mirroring my past and current self unto.

And it has a sequel of sorts. With giant robots. and aliens.

You may imagine the FURY I had. I couldn’t understand why would âge create a story with goddamn aliens and giant robots in the same world as KimiNozo. It was like a sledgehammer had fallen to my head. I denied the very existence of it completely. For years I dropped following âge completely. I wanted to stay true to KimiNozo, and I did. I’m a stubborn man if you hadn’t noticed yet.

Two years ago the sequel was translated. People jumped the ship and read the Visual Novels. Back then I passed it off as bunch raving loonatics who couldn’t understand a good story even if stepped unto them like Godzilla.

But before that, let’s talk about a side story known as Akane Maniax, which serves as the bridge between KimiNozo and Muv-Luv. It’s a tale about Gohda Jouji, a man with a soul of fire. He became âge’s gag character practically in every title he is in and at times transforms into Tekkuman Blade. The OVA based on the Visual Novel is three episodes long and tells the story pretty well. The thing that really irks me is the fact that how I loathe it. Well, more accurately I loathed it. I rewatched it after reading Muv-Luv and watching KimiNozo, and found it highly amusing mix of KimiNozo’s strong, serious feelings and the over the top comedy of Muv-Luv Extra. It soon begins at the end of KimiNozo, and ends at 22nd of October 2001, where Mitsurugi Meiya forcibly takes Jouji’s seat next to one named Shirogane Takeru. Jouji either becomes Tekkuman Blade, or gets transferred to another school.

Passing the torch

As stated, I hated the idea of aliens, giant robots or even comedy in my KimiNozo, thus swept everything under the rug that I didn’t want to see and told myself that they were shit and never could stand to the quality that is KimiNozo.

Jesus Christ I’m glad I was wrong as anyone can ever be anywhere in this existence or in any other.

SUMIKAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!

About three weeks ago the kind bunch of anonymous at an image board of a fourth kind with mechanical tendencies convinced me to give a go with Muv-Luv, explaining that there is a thing that keeps so-called Extra-verse where KimiNozo and Extra-part of Muv-Luv separate from the world of aliens and robots. With this, I ventured in with only two or three spoilers. Oh god I was not preraped to go it all through again, not like this.

All rights to original owners, and thanks to the anon who made this

Muv-Luv is not really a sequel to Kimi ga Nozomu Eien. It takes place in the same world, in the same city but few years later after Haruka’s accident. Muv-Luv is separated in three parts; Extra, Unlimited and Alternative. There is an epilogue, but I’ll get into it much later. Some characters appear in Muv-Luv’s Extra, mainly Akane. Thanks to an imbecile named Jouji Gouda, she got over the events of KimiNozo and doing pretty well. Later, some other KimiNozo characters are to appear… but differently.

From now on you’ll excuse me. I will most likely sound a raving fanboy and all that. What I want to through here isn’t a synopsis of the novel or a review, but my own personal experience with Muv-Luv. It was something that I couldn’t stop, it’s something that almost tortured me, something that broke me down, made me question my own believes and ultimately gave me realizations and a resolution I’ve been seeking for.

For my own sake, I’ll be going through each of the three episodes one by one.

Welcome to Extra; enjoy your stay. You’ll want to come back soon

Muv-Luv Extra begins with a slice of life comedy, contrasting directly to the somber tone of KimiNozo in pretty much every way. The main character, Shirogane Takeru, has a childhood friend and girl-next-door Kagami Sumika. Sumika has a habbit to run through the Shirogane household and wake Takeru up. Otherwise he’d be late for school. Sumika could be described as your-of-the-mill energetic high-school girl with small violent tendencies and strong wish to be with Takeru ’til the end of times. The reader can clearly see where this is all going from this, but then it was the 22nd of October 2001 one morning.

It’s my dream as well to wake up next to a woman with GP02 head. Wait no it isn’t. Not that I wouldn’t mind…

During that morning, Sumika finds Takeru waking next to a mysterious blue haired woman named Mitsurugi Meiya, the sole daughter of Mitsurugi and the one who shall inhert the most powerful corporation in Japan. NOW you can see where this is going.

Muv-Luv Extra does not only begin with a high and fun note, but keeps it up all the time. Meiya’s personality is very dignified and she thinks everything can be solved with money and power. Her status is very and so is her attitude towards everything. Meiya’s is noble to the heart and bears strong believes and convictions. There are slew of other characters as well that are close to Takeru, either romantically or just as friends. As per Visual Novel standard, you can take pretty much any of these characters to bed. How the story goes, the reader is encouraged to read all the routes through for better understanding of events and characters. However, the two main heroines are the main focus, and finishing both Meiya’s and Sumika’s routes open the next part of Muv-Luv; Unlimited.

Extra continues on with high-school shenigans all around with overblown comedy scenes here and there. Takeru’s a gamer-extraordinaire in an arcade game called Valgern-ON, which is by all intents and purposes a Virtual-On expy of the series. The arcade machine has a cockpit where the player sits in and plays the game like he was really piloting it. Takeru always keeps rivaling with his friend, Mikoto Yoroi. Mikoto’s gender is open for question for now and we might never know if Mikoto’s a boy or a girl. In one scene Meiya’s wishes to learn to play Valgern-ON in order to get closer to Takeru, and they play 2-on-2 game which both sides find rather entertaining. Then there’s a sports arc where Takeru has to maintain a team of lacrosse players mainly consisting of newbies. Tensions are even more tight, words are thrown around and people are getting mad at each other… and Sumika’s a klutz.

The class rep. is Sakaki Chizuru, a little uptight girl who has had a hard life, and who’s small light in life is soon going to be taken away as the lacrosse club in the school is going to be shut down due to disinterest. Even then she’s a strong person who cares for people, even is she doesn’t show it. Her direct opposite in the story is Ayamine Kei, a Rei Ayanami clone. She’s silent, direct, playful and incredebly good at close combat in every part of the story.

Then there’s always the classic “mascot” of the bunch, Tamase Miki. She’s an upbeat, short and pink-haired girl who looks and acts like a cat most of the times, but excels greatly in archery. She’s always bringing something happier to everyone’s lives. They all have their own routes in the story if the reader wants to advance romantically with them as per Visual Novel standards. It would be a good idea to walk through these for more insight they give for each character and to their nature. Muv-Luv has one thing that will make you come back to them later on.

From 6 onwards clockwise, it’s Sakaki Chizuru, Kashiwagi Haruko (a true fembro), Yoroi Mikoto of unknown gender, Ayamine Kei the sly Rei clone done right, Mitsurugi Meiya and the one I fell on love, Kagami Sumika

There’s also these two teachers, Kouzuki Yuuko and Jinguuji Marimo. Yuuko makes Marimo wear Morrigan-like cosplay at times and emotionally tortures her as best friends should. Whereas Yuuko is an insane genious with theories about quantum causality theories she got from a PS2 game while Marimo’s kind and sofhearted teacher. She’s actually a good teacher, but her constitution isn’t really that up to her. They both support Takeru in their own way, and Yuuko even has a route of her own.

Just remembering how it all went down makes me feel a bit uneasy, knowing what’s coming after.

Towards the ending there’s the ‘compulsory’ hot spring / onsen arc, where Sumika shows her feelings towards Takeru. The scene is soft and romantic and delivers Sumika’s feelings to the reader quite well, and makes one wonder his selected options again.

Up until this scene my main choice was Meiya. Sumika’s a strong girl, the one who knows to survive anything that’s thrown at her. Meiya felt like a person who would need someone to love her. This scene is where Sumika threw her feelings at Takeru, at the reader, at me. This was the point where I stopped thinking in a manner “who would need me most” and started to think “who I really love.”

Extra might be rather generic at points, but it’s well written and conveys all the characters well. All of its intentions is to make the reader get into the core personality of the characters, to care what happens to them and basically fall in love with them. I couldn’t let myself go for Meiya after all, and decided to stick true to my own feelings and chose to follow the road that lead to Sumika.

And how it did with it all. Extra’s an integral part of Muv-Luv as it sets everything that is going to come afterwards. It’s a happy slice of life that captivates the reader long enough.

Extra leaves a warm feeling after it has ended.

If you have any intentions of reading Muv-Luv, then stop here right now. I think spoiling Extra even to this extend has an impact, but for any further spoiling will be fatal.

Then, one morning Takeru wakes up and wonders why isn’t Sumika barging in and taking names again. School’s going to start soon. When he goes out, the only thing he sees is devastation, empty and crumbled houses… with a giant robot on top of what’s left of Sumika’s house next door.

Welcome to Unlimited.

Muv-Luv Unlimited comes in the same package as Muv-Luv Extra, simply branded as Muv-Luv. However, they’re treated as two separate entities most of the time.

Takeru decides that’s his dreaming; after all, giant robots are obsession of all healthy teenage boys. He promptly walks towards Hakuryo school, which seems to have changed into a military base. At this time he’s strained and detained, and then thrown into detention cell block. There he slowly starts to realize that something’s wrong, really wrong. Then, Professor Kouzuki Yuuko comes to him, releases from his cell and discusses the possibilities from where Takeru has come from. By all logic, they come to an conclusion that Takeru’s from another world.

In this world history has taken another path, and final straw was the extra-terrestrial enemy known as the BETA, or Being of Extraterrestrial origin which are Adversary to humanity. The BETA have decimated the human population to mere one billion from six and ravage the lands so that not even grass grows where they live. Unlimited portrays the desperate struggle against the BETA in most effective way; you do not see the conflicts or the enemy, but you will feel the effects. The strongest weapon the BETA has to them is their sheer insane amount of numbers behind them. The BETA… well, we’ll get to them later on. Unlimited in the end is the second part of Muv-Luv. Here begins Takeru’s growth, and to what he has to be.

Unlimited brings back most of characters you met in Extra, in a whole different world. Here they have grown in a world of war and destruction; serving in the military for their nation and mankind itself is crystal clear. To defeat the BETA is to save mankind. There is no middle line. All the core personalities are there, but they have small changes all around. Meiya for example doesn’t act all that high anymore, and is far more rooted to the ground, understanding “the commoner.” Her ideals and believes are even stronger, and that’s not just because the world is going even more bonkers. Or rather, the world has no hope, literally.

You wouldn’t notice it right away, as Takeru’s very existence contradicts a lot about the world around him. He’s sloppy, talks in a strange manner, has interests that nobody knows about, and generally being one of the few men around.

The one thing I would (not) want to see when waking up for school

Takeru wants to join the cadets of the Hakuryo Military base in order to pilot some goddamn giant robots. Who wouldn’t!? Well, knowing what the world is like…

Personally I got some nice flashbacks and memories from those five days in army. While Extra didn’t really bring up any memories or the like at first, Unlimited did; the schedules, the strict rules, all of it. It was fun and I felt that it mattered to an extent that I was there, even though I acknowledged that there’s not much that I can do just as a soldier; I need to be higher and be used by the higher people in order to become their equel and use them to complete my own goals. However, there’s no need for that in this world yet, we aren’t in war with anybody at the moment, and I hope from my heart that it will stay so.

But Unlimited. Compared to the Extra’s wacky high-school comedy shenigans, Unlimited is more akin to “cadets in high-school with militaristic overtones” setting. There’s a huge change in the atmosphere in between Extra and Unlimited, and it keeps pressing the reader the further one reads Unlimited.

There’s an island arc where the cadet team is sent to their final test whether or not they can become one of the Eishi, pilots of the Tactical Surface Fighter, or TSF for short. Actually, this is the second time this particular cadet team is taking it. The first time around they failed it. Without much of Takeru’s assistance, they somehow manage to survive the ordeal and began their TSF training with simulators in full fledged pilot suits.

I know what you’re all thinking about, but I assure you that it’s not. The suits are form of powered armour that gives greater resistance, protect from external physical traumas. The they’re like that is to get rid of personal shame and all that, as in the frontlines there’s no room for privacy; men and women are to share are places without a second thought. In design and by use this is one of the nicest looking pilot suit out there. Function follows a form a bit, but it doesn’t let it lack. Ultimately it fills the in-universe needs completely.

And yes, the men get exact same suits. The transparent membrane is also cheaper to produce than coloured one. Cuttings costs in a world where the only real economy is in war machines this kind of thing is expected. All the food is artificial in the world. While some things are stil lacking when compared to Extra-verse, Unlimited has some really neat technology, mostly thanks to BETA and the war against them.

As I said, Unlimited brings most of the characters from Extra to this other world. A certain human called Kagami Sumika does not exist in this world. However, there exists a girl named Yashiro Kasumi, a Russian ESP user from Alternative III. The Alternative projects are a plans to understand and go against the BETA. All Alternative Plans from I to III are failures, and Alternative IV is what’s left of III. Russian albino psychic loli girls, anyone?

Whereas Sumika is love incarnate, Kasumi’s cute incarnate

Yuuko worked on Alternative IV with Kasumi, and Takeru wanted to become an awesome pilot to stop the destruction of mankind. 24th of Decemember, the colonel of Yokohama base told the new Eishi that Alternative IV was cancelled, and Alternative V was to step into action; to choose handful of surviving human and send them to space for an interstellar travel towards another planet, which may or may not exist.

In all regards, Unlimited’s Meiya route ends in two ways, and only the other one is slightly more happier. To me, the ending was about Takeru and Meiya switching each other places in one of those space vessels, until they decide that it is Meiya who should go. In the end, Meiya gives Takeru a child in that faraway planet, telling her tales of her courageous father fighting the BETA in a world that used to be her home. Howeber, the second part of Alternative V is to bombard the Earth with G-Bombs, making it practically a dead rock with salt seas instead of oceans in most places. People living in close contact to each other, riots, murders and everything that could ever go wrong when the world in ending happens. Then there’s the remnant BETA forces that keep destroying the last of humanity’s homes, and there’s very little what UN or anyone can do at this point.

To say the least, Unlimited ends in a desperate note. There’s very little that gives actual hope for survival, just the small glimpse of humanity’s life on another planet, on another world. Takeru is willing to defend alone this planet for the true love he has found.

Unlimited asked me to think what I think my position in life, and to an even more extend what I can do, what I’m capable of. It begged me to ask again Who am I? The answer I gave was “A man who can cry.”

In the end, there’s always Alternative

The second you see that, you realize that Alternative is something not to take lightly. Long has gone the pink logo, high-school antics and bubbly music. Extra and Unlimited laid down the base that is Alternative. The name itself should tell you what to expect, and I’d say forget it all. This episode is where the nature of the world steps towards you without a second thought, looks at you and punches you in the gut while grinning. It is raw, grotesque, violent, realistic, warm, loving, brave and proud.

Alternative begins on October 22nd 2001 when Takeru wakes up in his home for school, noting that Sumika’s not there to wake him up. He enjoys thae fact that all of Unlimited has been a dream… until he steps outside to the vasteland that is his hometown.

Naturally, Takeru feels that something’s strange. He walks to the military base again, and the guards once more start ti pin him down. However, this time Takeru isn’t the weak himself, he has served in the militray past three years according to his memories and seen the devastation the world will see because of Alternative V, and thus puts up a nice fight against the guards to the point they draw their gun at him. They call for Yuuko, and Takeru manages to convince her to listen. During their talk Takeru tells what kind of world he comes from… from what two kind of worlds he comes from; one that he was born in, the world of peace, and the world ravaged by BETA and G-Bombs in the future. He wants to save the mankind and he needs Yuuko’s help in order to complete Alternative IV so that Alternative V never takes off.

This is where Alternative begins, where the second core of Muv-Luv lies; in the desperate struggle against time, humanity, BETA and life itself. Takeru is adamant about saving the world from its destined future, but first of all he has to make sure that he and the other cadets graduate before they did last time. Takeru has to meet everyone again; Shizuru, Kei, Meiya, Mikoto, Miki, Marimo and Meiya. Takeru’s training makes it all worth it this time and he is cadet-extraordinaire, successing in everything he does. While he thinks this might damage the morale of the group, his competence and will inspires people around him to think why they are there, and to push themselves to their limits and beyond.

At one point Takeru travels to his original world with Yuuko’s help in order to fetch a theory that helps in the completion of Alternative IV’s most important component; the 00 Unit. Takeru being the causality conductor he can do that. He is the one that connects the worlds together. With Yuuko, Takeru’s going to save the world and destroy whatever made him the causality conductor in order to return to his world.

Takeru manages to make them all graduate earlier than before, and his aptitude test to become an Eishi is top in the whole world history… just like last time. Here starts what he can; Takeru’s an excellent pilot, but an Eishi, not yet. At one point he wants Yuuko to modify the OS (Operating System, like Windows and so on) to make it far more effective and more like the Valgern-ON arcade game. In other words; to make piloting a giant robot easy.

There is an event where the squad is equipped with the experimental OS against live enemies, rebels of sorts. Here, the Grand Shogun appears and Takeru is the one who is trusted with her health. Becauce of Takeru’s manouvers and the TSF’s movements she soon looses her consciusness. This prompts his superior to give him a direct order to administer a drug that could take the Grand Shogun’s life. He is hesitant, even if he has made his decree to save the world no matter what. Takeru questions his convictions if he can’t sacrifice even one person for the good of all humanity.

Theories that he and Yuuko with bunch of engineers in use are proved against real-life aces that have survived in the frontlines against the BETA. Even the ace’s are impressed about the new OS, and one even offers some sexual action, that Takeru refuses.

At this point, Takeru is filled with hope, filled with courage and want to save all those around him. With this new OS and better machines, he can do it, he save them all!

In the middle of the training exercise, the BETA attack the battlefield. None of the soldiers in their TSF’s have real weapons, only paintballs and such. Takeru looses it completely and starts shooting the BETA with with peaguns of paint. He is struck down and almost dies if it was not for Captain Isumi.

Afterwards, Takeru is devistated; all of his work, all of his talent and will couldn’t be of any use. He shattered before the real enemy for the first time, he lost it just by seeing a BETA. Marimo comes to talk to him, tells him about her past and what an Eishi should strife for. Takeru feels a lot better when talking to her.

Even if I knew of this scene beforehand to an extent, I wasn’t prepared for it. It struck me deep and hard. Without a doubt I trembled, I vividly remember my hands shaking and I couldn’t stop them. This, if anything, is a turning point in Alternative that assured the reader that from now on nothing will be easy, no goal is achived without a sacrifice and stained blood. The reader at this point acts like Takeru does; he runs away. There was few morning when I woke up to Sumika waking me in my dream, then another morning where Kasumi woke up, and morning where I woke up in cold sweat to bone gnawing sound and deep stretching and cracking of flesh. Alongside with the sound CODE 991 alarm sound. It’s a sound I do not wish to hear anywhere in this real world ever again. Even during the week I was startled by a sound of an alarm clock and associated it with BETA. Even the sound of people scuttling around made me uneasy.

Takeru is collapses completely, becomes catatonic for a while due to psychosis, drugs and trauma. After he wakes up in his quarters, Meiya comes to concolate him, but Takeru in all of his anger almost rapes him. Meiya offers her body to him if it were to help, but Takeru manages to pull himself together a bit and runs away.

He wants to go home, to the peaceful world he came from and forget everything that has ever happened. Yuuko agrees and sends him to the place where he wants to escape. From this moment a world known as Extra Branch is born, where Takeru’s own selfish nature and him running away from his problems kills a person close to him and… hurts the person she loves the most in far more ways than one.

Takeru hears from Teacher Yuuko that it is because he is the causality conductor, and the only way to revert everything that has happened is to find what made him the causality conductor and destroy it. As long as Takeru would live in this world he would allow memories of other world flow into this one and cause events to happen that would never occur otherwise. In essence, Takeru is the BETA of his own home world, bringing pain and suffering from the other world he has lived in. There are two ways; to end his life there, or to return to the other world, save the mankind and find whatever made him the causality conductor.

Takeru has no choice. He returns to the other world and begs this world’s Yuuko to let him help to finish the Alternative IV and save whatever he can. Seeing the person he loved most hurt opened his eyes and he found a resolution to finish it all, even if was to stain his hands in blood. Lucky for him, during the week he was absent the 00 Unit was completed.

In this world a girl named Kagami Sumika did not exist. Only her remains, a brain in a glass case that Takeru had always seen when visiting Kasumi. Sumika’s part is a painful and traumatic one, filled with hatred towards the BETA and what they did to her and this world’s real Takeru. 00 Unit is essentially a quantum computer in a body that resembles human… with a quatified human persona in it. The theory Takeru brought back earlier let Yuuko to kill of what was left of Kagami Sumika and create 00 Unit. In essence, Takeru’s hands are stained in the blood of the one he never wished to hurt, the one he always truly loved… and he never realized that she was this close, even if it is some other world’s Sumika, she’s always Sumika.

00 Unit is almost catatonic, and only few times react to anything, but with Takeru she becomes unstable and replies with strong intent of killing of BETA. It is up to Takeru to bring out the humanity in her, to bring forth all that is Kagami Sumika. In few days Takeru manages to draw Sumika more and more out of her shell, making the 00 Unit more human. She acknowledges that she is not what you would call human; body of artificial origin, brain of silicon and inner structure of BETA materials. She may have the softness and warmth of a human, but she’s far more than that. Takeru manages to stabilize Sumika to the point she recognizes the world and him. 00 Unit is ready for her first mission in XG-70 ‘Susano’o.’

Takeru and his squadmates are joined the Isumi’s Valkyries far before any of this happen. Well, just before Takeru runs away. Captain Isumi is a woman who I admire in every respect. Without her help Takeru would’ve stayed as an innocent brat. Captain made him realize few facts about what he needs to do. The motto of Valkyries is not to be understated, especially in this world.

“ Complete your mission with all your might

Despair not ’till your last breath

Do not die in vain “

This motto is something I believe in. These words are strong, and hold a meaning of what it means to be one of the Valkyries. I can’t help myself but to think of those five days where I found part of the resolution I came to have during Alternative.

Enter Sadogashima. Welcome to place where hell reigns. Begin mission to eradicate a BETA Hive that has threatened Japan to this day.

Sadogashima is a cruel arc that shows all that has come up to this point in Takeru’s life. He has to use all of his experience and might to overcome the BETA here. The enemy is in tens of thousands, literally. Even when this mission officially is co-operation between the UN, Japanese Army and American forces, the true reason is to test the Alternative IV’s 00 Unit in the field.

When the 00 Unit and Susano’o enter the battlefield, there’s little hope around. In one miraclous flash Susano’o wipes out massive amounts of BETA and decimates the upper structure of the Hive in one blast. Susano’o is the trump card humanity is relying on alongside 00 Unit. Here, Takeru has a flashback from Unlimited where he and Meiya shared their bodies in love. One of Sumika’s powers as 00 Unit is ESP much like Kasumi’s. She tries to be conscious of Takeru all the time on the battlefield and reads every thought and emotion he has. Seeing him having sex with another woman makes her collapse, Susano’o along with her.

The battle turns for the worst. Immense amount of BETA are attacking the human forces from underground tunnels. Takeru has to retrieve Sumika from Susano’o, and the Captain has to make the machine self-destruct. Things turn for the worse, when one of the Valkyries get damaged and stays behind to support Captain, who can’t engage the self-destruct sequence. This Valkyrie, Kashiwagi, dies in the hands and teeth of the BETA. Isumi makes the Susano’o self-destruct by force.

Without a doubt, Captain and her words to the Valkyries during her final moments were carved into my mind. Just as Takeru clenches his teeth, I realized that I would do anything to protect those who I love. I had gained a resolution to protect smiles of those whom I don’t know, the laughs of that I can’t hear. It sounds idealistic, but in this world there’s few deeds that anyone can do to protect those people he loves most. I’ve decided to join the army no matter the condition I am in, to guard over the freedom my friends may enjoy if it ever were threatened. Freedom is a fragile thing that can be lost so easily. In this current world there are people who would like to lose their freedom in order to live a secure and controlled life. Perhaps I’m one of those people to an extent, but I admit it. I want to see how far I can take myself in the service, how long I can make it.

After the mission Sumika is introduced rest of the crew. By all means she is now Kagami Sumika rather than just 00 Unit. She seems a bit uneasy with all these people she is with now, but that’s understandable due to the situation at hand. During the introductions Takeru gets flashbacks from his past, multiple of his past. At this point it comes clear that this isn’t the first time Takeru has looped back in time, but he has indeed looped numerous times, and these flashbacks of the other girls are from those different timelines, and due to him being the causality conductor these memories also flood to his squadmates memories.

In the end, Takeru mans up and confesses his feelings to distressed Sumika. Finally, the very thing Takeru has been fighting for and this world’s Sumika can achieve… and Sumika turns Takeru down. Ultimately, she tells hims that he bother her, his a distraction from her mission and that Takeru isn’t needed anymore. Sumika has already finished making preparations for Takeru’s transfer out of Yokohama base somewhere where he should stay safe. Sumika leaves broken Takeru On That Hill, until Meiya comes up there. Takeru tells her everything, and Meiya tells him that Sumika was runnin past her with a face filled with tears. At that moment, with Meiya’s help, Takeru realizes that Sumika’s Sumika; she always does and says differently what she really wants. The following day he confronts Sumika again and makes everything clear; after that they’re through. Whatever it is Sumika’s hiding won’t make him stop loving her, nothing could.

What Sumika tells and shows Takeru in this scene was shocking. The BETA had caught hundreds of humans and slowly took them away, until only this world’s Takeru was to defend Sumika… and he was killed in the most gruesome way he could see. And what they did to Sumika made me feel sick. It’s something that I never wanted her to experience. Just like Takeru, I felt my stomache turn, but after the scene I wanted to hold her in my arms and loved her even more.

Whatever she said, whatever they did to her didn’t matter. She’s here and now, that’s all what matters.

The following night is the night Sumika becomes one with the man she has always loved, the one she has always longed for.

The happiness did not last long, as the remnant BETA from the destroyed Sadogashima Hive are attacking the base with full force. The fight is long and hard, and things get worse when the military realizes that the BETA are using human tactics against them, something that they have never done before. This proves that the BETA can think tacticfully, but have never shown this before. The Valkyries are the final line of defence against th BETA, as they ram their way inside the bottom of the base where a BETA reactor still fucntion for various purposes, least of which is keeping Sumika alive. At this time, two of the Valkyries sacrifice their lives for other to live; Suzumiya Haruka and Hayase Mitsuki.

To see them in this world at first was a nostalgic scene, but to see them die in the hands of enemies like this struck me hard. Haruka is killed violently by a BETA warrior while she was trying to shut down the BETA reactor. Hayase sacrifices herself to destroy the reactor. Since Takeru’s return, and even before that, death and sorrow has been a constant partner to the reader. âge has been punching my buttons before, but this time they’re using a sledgehammer to break me down. It’s not just the deaths, it’s the absolute despair of it all.

Soon after Hayase’s noble deed he is put into sleep. All of his squadron has been fighting almost a day straight, and with that one pill they can get rest.

Upon Takeru’s awakening, he is now Storm Vanguard 01, the leader of Isumi’s Valkyries. While there’s little they can do, they check their TSF’s condition and stand-by for orders, but they can’t just stand there doing nothing. By Takeru’s command, the Valkyries are to help with food distribution for the wounded. Takeru takes it all as the one who has the responsibility and he knows it.

Because of the recent attack one thing has become devastatingly clear; the BETA reactor was not only the thing powering part of the Yokohama base, but also a BETA computer that spread information onwards to the Original Hive. This means that less than in three days the Original Hive will have all knowledge of mankind’s strategies and tactics due to Sumika’s “blood” being purified by it. Soon BETA would know everything and more. Yuuko starts to prepare fast launch of the Operation Ouka; an all-out assault to the Original Hive with almost-completed XG-40d Susano’o 4 spearheading the attack against the Main Objective with Valkyries serving their role as the protectors.

âge made put a day of comedy and love here. It’s something every reader needs before the ascencion to the Original Hive.

Yuuko’s plan is to send the Valkyries in the core of the Hive alone. All other forces that are to join would only slow them down. The Royal Guard that has been looking over Meiya and the Grand Shogun decide to give their own TSF’s for the Valkyries use, as their own machines are completely bust after the BETA attack. These machines are from the very top of the line, specifically made for those who are one of the Royal House; the Takemikazuchi.

With these, the probability of achieving the object and destroying it rises, as does their chance of survival.

Takeru is to pilot the Susano’o with Kasumi and Sumika is serve as the the main computer for it. All other Valkyrie’s main and only objective is to protect them.

The Original Hive infiltration is a success thanks to the sacrifice of all soldiers send to their deaths alongside the Valkyries. Death takes its tolls inside and outside the Original Hive, and the Valkyries soon find their Main Objective; the Main Hall. They just need to pass two doors and be doen with it. However, the amount of BETA is something they didn’t expect, even if this was the Original Hive where all BETA on Earth originally came from. Chizuru and Ayamine are the first one to admit their feelings towards Takeru between each other, and sacrifice their lives to stop part of BETA invasion by triggering a cave-in with their selfdestruct devices.

They are followed by Miki, who has a damaged Takemikazuchi from earlier fight, and she stays put, sniping them one by one, until her unit is run over. Mikoto engages shut procedure of the first door after the Susano’o has passed it at the cost of her own life.

With Meiya’s help Takeru is face to face against the Main Objective, the which calls itself as Superior Existence. BETA do not see anything carbon based as a lifeform as per their creators’ programming, and see humanity as something to be recycled, a raw material. The Superior’s attacks halt the Susano’o, causes Sumika to regress back to her previous state and Kasumi to lose control of her own self. The Superior speaks to Takeru through both of them, learning of humanity and of him, as does Takeru. One of the most staggering thing he hears is taht the Creators are a silicon based species, and that there are 10^37 Superior Existances in the this Universe. Meiya soon arrives to help Takeru, but struck down and forced to be become shield against Susano’o’s Particle Cannon. The Superior begins to probe Meiya’s body as BETA did with Sumika, forcing her hand and mind into regions she never wished to go. She pleades Takeru to shoot, to end it all in one shot. The catatonic Sumika slowly awakens as Takeru’s own mind is starting to crumble a bit, until Sumika pulls everything she can into one moment where all powers are restored only to Takeru to pull the trigger, ending a life she valued so highly of… and saving the mankind.

” I could not give you my love, thus I give you my life “

This song, the Flame of Life, is my the song I stand by. It’s a sad song, a sad march for all those who have died and potrays the ultimate sacrifice one can give for others to live on. All of the Valkyries stood by their believes to protect those they loved the most, to protect the one person closes to their hearts.

The Original Hive is destroyed, the Superior Existence no longer exists on Earth and Takeru with Kasumi and Sumika are the only ones that managed to escape with Susano’o’s escape shuttle.

Upon waking inside the shuttle Kasumi informs of Takeru that the mission was successful. The Superior Existence is dead. She tells that Takeru can now return his own world that the thing that made him the causality conductor no longer exists. She tells Takeru that Sumika, the 00 Unit, is no longer with him. Sumika had given her all for Takeru to survive, so that he could go back to his world. Sumika shown Kasumi that it was her own will that made Takeru the causality conductor. The very core of her when she was just brain only longed to see Takeru. The purest form of subconscious and the will to trigger causality pulled Takeru’s of various realities to this world in 22nd of October 2001, and she was the one that caused Takeru to loop every time he had died. It was Sumika’s will to see him alive and hold him in her arms again. All this ceased to be when Sumika finally became one with Takeru that one night, the night where 00 Unit was not more and Kagami Sumika was born again in this world.

Takeru asks Kasumi to lock the shuttle doors for five minutes, he asks five minutes where he can be Shirogane Takeru and cry not just for Sumika, but all of that have lost their lives today for him, the Valkyries. In those five minutes he lets himself to be human once more rather than the saviour of all mankind. After that he will greet every person outside with a smile of an Eishi, proudly carrying the weight of the Valkyries and everything he has done to achieve this moment.

Even if Takeru wants to stay in his world and fight the remaining BETAs, there is nothing to keep him in this world anymore. The memory of Shirogane Takeru will be lost from all men in this world, except from the memories of Kasumi and Yuuko, who both will take these secrets to their graves. Nobody will ever remember the name of Shirogane Takeru or the members of the Valkyries, there will never be a person to know what has taken place and what was done in order to humanity to survive.

As Takeru starts to fade back to his own world, Kasumi tells her feelings over the whiteness that overcomes.

The story of Muv-Luv is about love and courage, to the point where one has to stain his hands in order to save something larger than oneself. It’s about a love that could be never given. It’s about untold sacrifices made for us and about those brave souls that did them. With this the story of Muv-Luv comes to an end. A sad end with a bright future filled with tears.

After Alternative there starts a small epilogue called Final Extra. This is the world where Takeru returned to. He holds no memories what has come to pass. As the cause of causality conductor has ceased to exist, all the damage he has done are reverted in all the worlds.

Final Extra begins on 22nd of October 2001, where Takeru wakes next to an unknown blue haired girl, and Sumika rushes to wake him up. Everything seems to play like in Extra, but here Mikoto is clearly a girl… and Mitsurugi Yuuhi, Meiya’s older twin sister, is alive.

There is also one person who did not exist in Extra, and that one person is Yashiro Kasumi.

She comes up to Takeru and Sumika, thanking them both of all what they have done and bursts in tears. With this, all those who have died in the war against BETA will always live on in another world, if only in the memories of two people. From this moment on, the bratty saviour and all of his Valkyries may live in this world peacefully until the end of their days.

As you might’ve noticed, KimiNozo had a great influence on my emotions and view of life’s cruelty. It woke me from my state of sort of self-pity and made me realize that even to me there is love and closeness by. Even if during the last year I’ve returned to the mind-setting of “there’s nobody for me, I’m good as a servant to all” it’s far different from what I was like ten years ago. With Muv-Luv I realized that if I want to become servant to all, I mustn’t be afraid of what lies ahead. Indeed army service might not be the ideal solution for that, but it is something that I want to go through. It is something that I feel I can do for those I want to protect, and that ultimately whatever the future holds it will serve me as well. Takeru’s conviction to make it through spoke to my own loyalty towards my loved ones, my friends and my country. I found matters that I want to defend, matters that I see in the films and books of Winter War. Perhaps it could be said that after Muv-Luv I’ve become a bit more patriotic. I found a sense of duty that I can do.

Indeed, the other thing I found in Muv-Luv is that I can do things with these two hands.

I discussion with during the Alternative arc with a teacher prompted me ask myself whether or not I realize that these hands of mine as skilled. For the first time in my life I was willing to admit that I am good at something, and the feeling has been growing steadily since that.

As I went through a journal of threads I kept as I travelled through Muv-Luv I noticed that few people mentioned me becoming and sounding more like Shirogane Takeru as time went by. Looking it back now I find myself having some of the same elements that build up Takeru. We both are joking assholes most of the time, always dense with other people’s feelings and passing important things by. However, when time calls it we both become serious and do what needs to be done. Some of the words and mindsets are the same. No doubt I become Shirogane Takeru in the story itself, and it affected me greatly. Now, outside the story, I wish something of him won’t ever leave my soul and mind, that I can always carry the burden he did with me so that it may drive me forwards. Is the love I feel towards Sumika real? Whether or not it’s real, it doesn’t matter that much. What matters the most is that I can say that I can love again.

There is something that I can do, there is something I must do. There is something that I want to do, even if it would mean to give my life for all those I love.

While writing this post during these last days I have gone through everything again in my mind from the beginning to the very end. Muv-Luv is my favourite piece of fiction with Kimi ga Nozomu Eien, and 生命の炎 / The Flame of Life has become me favourite piece of music, somber as it is. Every time I listen to this song I find myself become serious and my eyesight becomes less with the tears pushing through. There was times when I wanted to quit and tell myself “Muv-Luv’s too much work, quit here and pretend that the story had a happy end,” but I kept pushing myself forwards, bracing for the impacts that âge would deliver. Whatever I did I never was prepared. The story is well written and extremely well presented, and the passion from both original writers and from the translation team seeps through. Muv-Luv, much like KimiNozo, is an end-product that has been crafted will great care and love. The emotions it dugged up from deep within me will last long, of not until I die. It’s not nothing new that a fictional story affects one’s life so greatly, but to me Muv-Luv is something far larger than just a story. It’s a tale that I want to pass on to the future generations in some form, a story worth retelling to those that come after me.

I’m sure I’ve missed tons of details I wanted to go through and there’s bound to be countless of typing errors and grammar is bonkers. That doesn’t matter as long I managed to tell my own experience with this.

“What’s next?” I’ve been asking from myself. In the future I see nothing as usual, but now it glimmers and shines with hope. Slowly I’m overcoming matters of love that have been pressing me down during the last year. Perhaps somewhere in the days of tomorrow I can let myself fall in love again. Perhaps I can tackle my own skills and use them to create new things and sharpen these eyes even further. Perhaps I will one day stand in the line with fellow soldiers and vow to protect the nation I love so much; a country is nothing without its people, and people are the country. If it ever were to take place, I want to protect these people whom with I live.

We’re human and we hurt each other daily. We are human and we heal these wounds after every day. In the end, I want to see every person smiling and laughing. That is my selfish wish. It’s my own desire to let others go first, leaving me behind so I can support them. However, this wish denies my the chance to protect them. If I have to lose my own smile and laughter over others, I’d be glad to give them away. I believe that there is something good in all of us that wishes the same thing, something that makes us ‘human.’

The ground I stand by is my own principles and believes. These things keep me pushing on after every harship I face… and I was losing them before I read Muv-Luv. I can now stand again with sort of pride in my hands, and clearly say for once who I am. Idealistic view? Yes, very much so, but that’s who I am, and will always be.

There is a flame that burns inside of me brightly. I won’t let it die out ever again.

To end this post with a little brighter end, let’s listen to one more song, the song that serves both as the opening of Muv-Luv, and as the ending.

It’s been about two weeks when I started reading MuvLuv. Now it feels that everything’s just starting.

8.9.2012 Edit. if you enjoyed this post, be sure to read this as well.

Personal Post; the Army and Me

I never knew my real grandfather, I only knew a person I still regards as my grandfather. I knew my other grandfather well and most likely I will grow to be much like him in body built and character. I know my both grandmothers and I knew only a little about my great grandmother. I only wish I’ve had enough courage to meet her face to face at the hospital beds when I was child. A regret she most likely would like to go away.
My father isn’t what I’d call militaristic, but he values army for the same reason his mother and my grandmother does; the war with the Soviets. While the war has left both of them rather hateful towards out Eastern neighbour I never grew up into thinking so. The two of them basically gave me a patriotic upbringing, even when my father never were there when I truly needed him the most. Nowadays I have little trust or respect towards him, but I am starting to value his sight regarding the army.

I hate to be here right now. I makes my heart ache. The five days I spend in the army wasn’t just an experience, it was an experience I will keep close to my heart. I’ve been hearing a lot about how I got brainwashed in the army during that time, but in all reality, it all was there already.

I am, in my heart, a person who wishes to do good for others. I am a servant for my friends, loved ones and for my nation. I would do anything for those who I value, and I would indeed help those whom I do not.
If it were so, I’d be one of those men who would fight to ensure that you, dear reader, would keep everything you have.

I feel that it’s not right me to find a way not to go into the army. I do know that army doesn’t another near-crippled man in their ranks. I am no super-soldier and I will never be. There must be something a man like me can do for his nation, no, for his friends.
I do not want to grasp a gun to kill, but I would gladly be the one who would craft the weapon for self-defence. 609195 was my bride’s name for a short time.

I regard my short time in the service to be valuable; I met nine young men with whom I was glad to serve with that short time. These nine men will be a shining example if they do well; they were compassionate, understanding, lazy, hard working, intelligent, dumb, friendly… everything a man can wish from his comrades. I only wish I am as good as them.

For me, to serve the nation is to serve all those I love. I’ve never wished anything more.