Monday, August 31, 2015

My Anime Fall 2015 Lineup

They are coming. The next season is near, and with it, I've already lined up several anime to enjoy. Wanna know what those anime are? Read on, if you dare.

Gakusen Toshi Asterik:

The Academy City on water, "Rikka". This city, otherwise known as 'Asterisk', was famous for being the world's largest stage for the integrated battle entertainment . The young boys and girls belonging to the six academies made their wishes with Shining Armaments in their hands, vying for supremacy -- Amagiri Ayato is one of them.

Ayato arrived at Rikka at the invitation of the Student Council President of the Seidoukan Academy, Claudia, and right after that he incurred the wrath of the Julis, and ended up having to duel her.

The greatest academy battle entertainment, begins here!

Taimadou Gakuen 35 Shiken Shoutai:

Set in a world where people with magic powers are close to being wiped out. Just as the balance of power and military might had once shifted from swords to sorcery, it shifts once again to guns. Takeru Kusanagi goes to "AntiMagic Academy," a training facility for Inquisitors of Heretics who crack down on the dwindling threat posed by magic users.

However, Takeru cannot use guns at all and can only fight with a sword. As a result, he is relegated to the 35th Test Platoon, the motley "small fry platoon" for poor students. One day, Ōka Ōtori, the ultra-elite pistol master who already has her qualifications for witch-hunts, joins the platoon.

Ore ga Ojou-sama Gakkou ni

"Shomin Sample" Toshite Gets♥Sareta Ken:

In a hidden school surrounded by mountains, young ladies of good families are taught everything a high class lady needs to know. They are also completely cut off from the outside world, keeping them sheltered and innocent. However, a problem has come up recently-- more and more graduates are failing to cope with the modern world after graduation. To deal with this problem, they've decided to kidnap a male commoner student, and enroll him as a student. They hope that this will be a gentle way to introduce the girls to the outside world.

Kagurazaka Kimito is chosen for this dubious honor, mostly because he seems utterly average. However, the school leaders also seem to have concluded he's a homosexual with a muscle fetish. When Kimito hears that the alternative may be castration (to protect the girls' purity), he eagerly plays along with this misconception. Now he'll just have to survive the attention of many high class young ladies that are completely out of touch with the world!

Sakurako-san no Ashimoto ni wa Shitai ga Umatteiru:

The novel series revolves around Shōtarō Tatewaki and Sakurako Kujyō. Shōtarō is a normal high school student with a serious demeanor who likes to show off his girlfriend Sakurako. Sakurako is an extraordinarily beautiful woman in her mid-20s from a rich family who loves "beautiful bones." The two live in the city of Asahikawa in Hokkaido, and they get involved in various incidents regarding bones.

Comet Lucifer:

The story takes place on the planet Gift, where precious crystals called Giftjium are buried in the earth. A young man named Sōgo lives in Garden Indigo, a prosperous mining town. Sōgo's hobby is to collect rare crystals. One day, he gets wrapped up in a riot caused by his classmates Kaon, Roman, and Otto, and he loses his way until he finds a lake deep under the ground's mining ruins. There, he meets a mysterious girl with blue hair and red eyes that gaze straight ahead. The story follows the adventure of what happens after this meeting.

Heavy Object:

Kwenser came to the Alaskan military base to study Objects, the new weapons that have completely revolutionized war as we know it – battles are fought by soldiers controlling Objects far away from harm. However, when he starts to get close to Object pilot Milinda, will he discover the grim truth behind Heavy Objects?

Hidan no Aria AA:

A young girl idolizes the world-renowned S-ranked butei Kanzaki H. Aria and plans to follow in her footsteps. However, her test grades her out as only an E-rank! All is not lost, however, as Aria agrees to give her some pointers. Can Aria help this newcomer become a first-rate butei?

Noragami Aragoto:

The second season to one of my favorite anime. It's based on the manga's "Bishaman" arc.

Rakudai Kishi no Cavalry:

The "school sword action" story revolves around Magic Knights, modern magic-users who fight with weapons converted from their souls. Ikki Kurogane goes to a school for these Magic Knights, but he is the "Failed Knight" or "Worst One" who is failing because he has no magical skills. However, one day, he is challenged to a duel by Stella, a foreign princess and the "Number One" student. In this duel, "the loser must be obedient for life."

Valkyrie Drive: Mermaid:

The "beautiful girl sexy battle action" anime is set on five artificial islands. Mamori is a "mermaid" transferred to one of those islands. When Mamori is attacked, a newly transferred girl named Mirei saves her. The enemy doesn't stop, however, and the two are soon cornered. Just when they think all hope is lost, Mirei kisses Mamori, and Mamori turns into a sword. Mirei then wields the sword and launches a counterattack against their enemies.

Shinmai Maou no Testament Burst:

The second season of an anime filled with action and boobs.

Onsen Yousei Hakone-Chan:

After many years of dormant rest, the hot springs fairy Hakone-chan awakens in modern-day Japan. However, while she slept, she took on the appearance of a young girl. She decides to cooperate with the locals whilst trying to regain her powers with the help of high school boy Touya.

Utawarerumono: Itsuwari no Kamen:

When I came to, I realized I was standing in the middle of a vast, snowy plain I knew nothing of. I didn't know how I got there. And to add to that, I couldn't remember anything, not even my name. I stood there, dumbfounded at my absurd situation. But then, as if to spite me further, a gigantic monster suddenly appeared, a insect-like creature that began to bear down on me. I tried desperately to run, but it cornered me into a hopeless situation. It was then that the girl appeared. Her name was Kuon. It was this beautiful girl, who bore an animal's ears and tail, that saved my life.

Owari no Seraph Season 2:

The second season of Owari no Seraph, my current favorite vampire anime - and quite possibly my favorite anything with vampires in it.

Saturday, August 29, 2015

Highschool DxD

I'm sure all of you are going to be surprised to hear this, but I didn't really like season 3 of what has, for the past two seasons, been my favorite ecchi/harem anime. Now, I know what you're going to say, "But Brandon, Highschool DxD is one of your favorites! How could you not like an anime that has so many tits?!" The honest to god truth is that I don't watch Highschool DxD because it has boobs. I watched it because I love the light novels, and I wanted to see how the light novels would be adapted into an anime. Seasons 1 & 2 were a blast to watch. While they weren't 100 percent accurate to the novels, they very close. Season 3... not so much.

The biggest issue I have with season 3 is the number of extremely important moments that were cut out. For example, those of you who've only watched the anime will never know that the Gremory group didn't just go to the underworld because, "Hey! Let's go see Rias's family and fight an evil Norse god!" No, they went to the underworld in order to attend the Young Devils Gathering, which is where a series of Rating Games took place between devils around the same age as Rias. In fact, the entire second half of volume 5 is pretty much dedicated to a Rating Game between the Gremory Peerage and the Sitri Peerage. In other words, Rias vs. Sona. That didn't happen in the anime, however, and since the young devils gathering is what I was looking forward to the most, not seeing it really bummed me out.

What's more, they completely screwed up the entire timeline. Volume 7, Ragnarok After School, is when Loki, the Norse God of trickery, plays the part of the antagonist. Volume 6 is when Diadora Astorath kidnaps Asia. So, not only did they completely screw with the timeline, but they did so in such a way that a lot of what happens feels jumbled and half-assed. There was simply way too much cut out, and the order of events was all screwed up, leaving me unable to enjoy this season as I had the last two seasons. It doesn't help that, because they cut out so much plot in order to compress 3 books into a 12 episode season, a lot of the plot and sidestory is never really explained. For example: Issei becoming the Oppai Dragon. The reason he became the Oppai Dragon is because, during the rating game with Sona's peerage, which was broadcast on live TV in the underworld, he said oppai a lot and the kids took a shine to that word. In the anime, they make up some lame excuse of, "Oh, even though this was a crises and we didn't have time to set up a camera, we still somehow managed to film you during your fight with Loki." It was complete garbage. Absolute bull S*&t. It's like they tried adding only half of the relevant plot information that you need, then cut out the other half - which just so happened to be more important than what they DID show - and expected you to follow along. It really pissed me off.

So, outside of my complaints about how much of the plot they butchered, I have other problems. The animation, for one. While the artwork is still awesome, there's a lot of issues with the animation. One of my biggest problems is how enemies during massive battle scenes never freaking move! Seriously, I remember this one scene where Rossweisse was launching beams from her hands, and none of her enemies even attempted to dodge! They just stood there and let themselves be killed! It was so stupid! What kind of enemy stands around waiting to be killed? I know that anime have a budget, and that they're also on time constraints, but Highschool DxD is popular. They should have had more than enough money to not skimp out on their animation quality like this, especially with all of the new 3D animating techniques that are being used in anime today.

My complaints about the animation quality aside, everything else was good. The artwork hasn't suffered, the ecchi scenes are still, well, filled with Massive Plot - unless the scene features Koneko or Asia - and the character development, while half-assed, does try to accurately depict the changes that Issei and the others undergo. I still didn't like this season as much as I did the last two, but I don't think it was super awful. I only pray that, if this does get a season four, then they do a better job of keeping the anime canonically accurate to the light novels. At the very least, they shouldn't skimp on important scenes. If they can't compress 3 volumes into a single season, then they should stick with just two.

Story: 5.5/10
Characters: 6.5/10
Art: 8.5/10
Sound: 7/10
Personal Enjoyment: 6/10
Overall: 6.7/10

Monday, August 24, 2015

A Certain Magical Index, Volume 3

While I enjoyed the other two volumes of A Certain Magical Index, I have to say that I think volume 3 is definitely the best one so far. The story is deeper, the plot is darker, and the struggle that both Touma Kamijou and Mikoto Misaka undergo feels a lot more intense and real. Thus far, I feel like volumes 1 & 2 were a glimpse into this world, but very shonen in their execution: bad guys appear, good guy defeats bad guy, bad guy is no longer bad. That sort of thing.

This particular volume introduces the sisters to us - no, not that kind of sister. We've already met Index, the nun that Toma lets freeload at his home. I mean Misaka's sisters, all 20,000 of them... wait, what? That's probably what you're thinking right. 20,000 is a lot, so having 20,000 sisters is insane. Her mom must have been popping at least twelve kids out each day since she was, what? Sixteen?

Before you let your mind fall into the gutter, these aren't those kind of sisters either. I'm not gonna tell you what kind of sisters they are, though. I'm not one for giving out spoilers like that. If you wanna find more out, then you can read the book.

20,000 sisters aside, I felt like this novel had a lot more depth than the last one, which is understandable, since the last one felt like just about every other shonen-esque story out there. It was also all about Toma, and since he is the epitome of a shonen hero, it's hard to have a story that doesn't feel cliched. This one is more about Misaka and her struggle, even though Toma is still the main character, and because it features the struggle that she goes through, we're given a much deeper and more meaningful story here. It was truly a pleasure to read this volume.

My only real complaint is with the artist who illustrated this series. I haven't mentioned it yet, but I almost feel like the artist has a really skewed level of skill. Sometimes it seems like Kyotaka Haimura has really strong illustrations, while other times I wonder if he's just a lazy hack. Almost half of his illustrations look like they were half-finished, while the other half were really good. It really bothered me to see artwork that made me wonder if someone had started something, then decided it was good to go halfway through. I don't know. Call me picky, but I would have preferred at least uniform level of artistic talent all the way through. Heck! I wouldn't have been bothered as much if all of his drawings sucked rather than just a few of them. At least then it wouldn't be so jarring.

Strange artwork aside, I really did enjoy this story. It had a lot going for it, and I felt a lot more emotionally connected to the characters here. I'm looking forward to reading volume two when it comes out.

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Problem Children From Another World Are Coming, Aren't They

Problem Children From Another World Are Coming, Aren't They? is an enjoyable anime that's surprisingly short, despite it's long title. Speaking of, I really do have to gripe about these ridiculous titles that the Japanese conceive. Seriously, why are all of their recent titles so freaking long? These aren't even titles anymore, they're entire sentences!

Story: The story itself starts off kind of cliched. Children from another world are basically summoned by a chick with bunny ears to participate in what's known as Gift Games within a world called Little Garden. While the premise is pretty stereotypical, I like how they were actually summoned for a reason - even if helping a community that's barely keeping itself together is, in itself, a cliche. While I've seen this done plenty of times, I will admit that I have seen pretty much everything there is to see out of the entertainment industry, so watching a story get re-ashed in this manner doesn't really bother me all that much.

Characters: The characters themselves are interesting, but some of them are kind of bland at the same time. It's hard to explain. I genuinely like the characters in it, but I can see the archetypes they're made from. Izayoi is your typical bad boy who's gotten bored with life and wants to have fun, Asuka is a rich girl who's gotten bored with life and wants to free, You (Yes, that is her name) is a lonely girl who's gotten bored with her life and wants to make friends, and Black Rabbit is your typical fanservice girl complete with big breasts and bunny ears. These aren't really "deep" characters, when you think about it. In fact, they seem fairly one-dimensional at times. However, I think there's charm in the simplicity of these characters. While none of them will win any "Character of the Year" awards, I enjoyed watching the chaos they caused and laughed during some of the scenes.

Sound: While this isn't something that I'm big on, I can say that the sound quality was nice. There wasn't anything overtly wrong with it, and both the subbed and dubbed version had some decent voice acting. I actually liked some of the dubbed actors better than the subbed ones in this. I don't know the name of the guy who played Izayoi, but he really is a good VO. While some people sound like they're just reading lines from a script, his voice actually has emotion in it, which is important in voice acting and something that a lot of anime voice actors seem to fail at.

Art: The artwork here is nice, but uninspired. Having only been created within the last five years or so, this is a relatively new anime, and it generally follows an art style that is similar to most other new anime out there. The characters are vibrant and colorful, the backgrounds are well-drawn and contrast nicely with the characters, and the designs are fairly nice. However, while the artwork isn't bad, there is nothing here that makes it stand out from the other anime I've seen.

Animations: While the animation is smooth and fluid, there is only so much "I'm so cool look at how my air rustles in the wind" that I can stand. One thing this anime has a lot of is Hair Rustling. You've probably seen this before, even if you haven't heard of it. This is when a strong wind kicks up around the main character, whose hair suddenly waves about fiercely while Mr. or Ms. MC smirks a smug little smirk. There is a lot of that here, and it got kind of annoying at times. Despite my complaint, the animation is still nice and all of the characters were on model during the action sequences, which is more than I can say for some anime.

On a whole, I think this anime was interesting. If they ever came up with a second season, then I would probably watch it. I may even watch season 1 again if the mood takes me. However, while I enjoyed the anime personally, I can also unequivocally state that this anime is not without its flaws.

Story: 6/10
Characters: 7/10
Art: 7/10
Sound: 7/10
Personal Enjoyment: 8/10
Overall Score: 8/10

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Log Horizon, Volume 2

Before I begin, can I just say that I freaking love the artwork for Log Horion? I seriously, seriously love it. Having read A Certain Magical Index and Spice&Wolf, Log Horizon is like a breath of fresh freaking air as far as artwork goes. Both of those other light novels have very bland and unoriginal art styles. I look at their illustrations and feel like they could belong to any light novel. Log Horizon's art is very distinctive. The thicker lines lend an interesting weight to the characters, and the dimensions themselves are rather pleasing. I also like the designs of each character. Truly, I artwork wise, I made a good choice to read this one.

Fanboying aside, Log Horizon volume 2 really is a great addition to the series. Starting off almost immediately after the ending of volume 1, this particular volume deals with a surprising issue that I've never seen in a "trapped in a video game" novel/anime/manga whatever - the darkness that seeps into players hearts when they're left to live without a purpose. Unlike most RPGlit series, in this one, death is not the end, and since death is not the end, it means that characters here are left to toil in obscurity, with nothing to do day in and day out. It doesn't help that the food sucks monkey balls. As stated previously in volume 1, everything people try to make tastes like salty crackers.

However, fear not! Shiroe and his pals have decided to do something about the despicable lack of good food and drink - and they also plan on helping Akiba regain it's previous luster before Elder Tales became their reality, but I think they're mostly in it for the food and drink.

I'm sure you'll all remember how, in volume 1, Nyanta, the swashbuckling cat man who adds "mew" to all of his sentences, found a way to make food taste like food. He did this by disregarding the Elder Tales gaming mechanics and cooked food the normal way, as in the, he cooked the way someone in real life would cook. This led to the miraculous discovery of real food.

Being the smart guy that he is, Shiroe decides to use this new knowledge in order to better Akiba's atmosphere. He does this by having the Crescent Moon Guild open up a hamburger joint - yes, a hamburger joint. I know that sounds kind of weird, but trust me, when you go months eating what amounts to soggy rice crackers, eating a hamburger that actually tastes like a freaking hamburger is heaven on the taste buds. Lo and behold, it does help revitalize Akiba's inhabitants. Shiroe doesn't stop there, however. Oh no. A hamburger joint is not nearly enough to fix Akiba's situation. It's a start, but he plans on doing so much more. What does he do? Heh, not telling.

Just like in the previous book, Log Horizon is very enjoyable. While the previous book does a lot of world building, this one deals more with philosophy and politics. Now, I usually hate politics. Why? Because politicians suck. They're a bunch of lying, deceitful little shi - ahem, anyway, my dislike for politics aside, I actually found the politics used here intriguing. It's interesting to read about characters negotiating mercantile rights, or debating what to do about the tense atmosphere in Akiba. I found it truly delightful to read about.

This volume also introduces a lot of new faces. In book one, we were introduced to Shiroe, Akatsuki, Naotsugu, Nyanta, Marielle, Henrietta, and Serara. This volume features nearly a dozen more characters, and each one seems fairly interesting. We weren't given much of a glimpse into these characters, but I feel like we will in later volumes.

I think what I liked the most about this volume wasn't its many characters, but Shiroe coming into his own. I remember in volume 1, Naotsugu said he was a "Machiavelli with glasses," which I take to mean he appears to be a rather unscrupulous individual. Well, in this volume, I think unscrupulous is the kindest word you can use to describe him. Shiroe is truly in fine form in this volume, and I love how freaking awesome he was to read about. I think he might honestly be one of my all-time favorite book characters.

Overall, I felt this was a great second volume that was even better than the first. I enjoyed it immensely and hope the next volume will be even better.

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Plastic Memories

Before we begin, I just want all of you to know that, on the first episode of Plastic Memories, I cried like a little girl. Can you believe it? A full-grown man, bawling his eyes out like a little girl? I'd like to say I'm ashamed of myself, but the truth is, this anime just has that many feels. I believe that's why some people call it Plastic Feels instead of Plastic Memories.

Now then, take a good look at the gif to your left. That's what I was like during this scene. Tears streaming down my eyes and snot coming out of my nose. It was bad. I looked like a mess. However, it's just like I was telling you. This anime is full of feels. I swear to god, I am almost one-hundred percent positive the director making this anime was like, "so, what should we do to rip people's hearts from there chest in this episode?" Yet despite how heart rending many of the scenes were, I really did love this anime. The emotional scenes were emotional and never failed to bring tears, but they were also offset by some really nice humor that lessened the, "I just wanna curl up into a ball and cry." moments.

Like I stated before, this anime isn't all feels and tears. The humor is actually pretty damn funny. The main heroine in this story, Isla, is a Giftia, an android that possesses human emotions to the point where you'd never be able to tell them apart from a regular human - and she is an absolute riot. Seriously, some of the crap she pulls off in this anime makes me laugh my ass off. I remember watching her jump off a railing and belly flop into a trash can in one episode. I laughed so hard. Of course, the fun and games is also played up because of how heart breaking this anime is. Isla, especially, is a tragic character, in spite of all the humorous stunts she pulls. I think, for me, this is what makes me like her so much. She's funny, but at the same time, I really feel for her - because Isla is a Giftia, and Giftia only last for a total of 8 or so years before expiring. That's what this entire anime is about, and it's why the story is so tragic.

Tragic or not, there were some really touching scenes in this. I thought the romance between Tsukasa, the main character, and Isla, was downright adorable - incredibly funny and potential deadly for Tsukasa, but mostly adorable. Watching them muddle through their relationship, seeing Tsukasa try - and usually fail - to make Isla happy, really made it worth watching this anime. For those who enjoy watching a heartfelt romance with touching moments that are mired in beautiful tragedy - I'm looking at you Clannad fans - you'll definitely enjoy this. For those of you who don't like crying your eyes out, well, you probably won't want to touch this with a ten foot pole.

Story: While the anime is labeled as a sci-fi, the actual sci-fi itself isn't all that important beyond the idea of Giftia, the androids who can experience human emotions. Society in this anime has advanced to the point where they can literally create robots that replicate human emotions - these androids feel, think, act, and interact as if they were human. In many ways, they ARE human. However, this anime is also somewhat misleading. While there are a number of scenes that are heartrending, a good portion of this anime is light-hearted, funny, and deals with the awkward romance between Tsukasa and Isla. I didn't mind this so much, mostly because I don't think I could've dealt with too much heart break, but I know others who might be turned off by this. Also, while this wasn't a deal breaker for me, there is one thing about this anime that I didn't like and made much of the story feel a little contrived. If this wondrous, technological society is so damn advance, then why the hell do they not have a way to store a Giftia's memory and place it in a new body? This is the one sore point for the anime, and also an issue that makes the feels less feely than they could be. This wouldn't be much of a problem if they explained WHY a Giftia's memory couldn't be stored in some hardcore USB drive, but they don't, and because they don't, a part of my disbelief is suspended, which cheapens some of the really heart rending moments.

Artwork & Animation: I did enjoy the artwork in here. The art style is very bright and vivid, and there's a wide range of color palettes being used. Some of the character designs were a little bland, but a lot of the secondary characters are just archetypes and don't get much screen time, so I feel like I can forgive them. I do like Isla's design, but even I'll admit that she's a dead ringer for a long-haired version of Ayanami from Neon Evangelion.

Sound: I'd say about average. Honestly, there isn't anything inspiring about the sound, but the quality is nice and I didn't hear anything wrong with it.

Overall, I would say that this anime was nice, but it's not without it's flaws. I enjoyed it, but some others might feel it was too contrived. If you're looking for a decent romance with some light-hearted moments and also some tragedy, you'll probably like this.

Story: 7/10
Art: 8/10
Sound: 6/10
Characters: 8/10
Enjoyment: 8/10
Overall Score: 7/10

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Yamada-kun and the Seven Witches, Volume 3

Plot twist! Holy crap! This volume had a major plot twist in it that totally threw me for a loop. I know, I know, it's pretty easy to throw someone as gullible as me for a loop, but you know what? It doesn't matter. I still think this volume was awesome and had the biggest plot twist in it so far.

Starting where volume 2 left off, Yamada, Shiraishi, Miyamura and Ito have all gone off to a school camp. They had a blast last volume, especially Shiraishi who, thanks to some good old-fashioned Yamada pep-talking, spent a lot of time with the new friends she's made sense she and Yamada first switched bodies. Last episode we were treated to a good dose of humor, a healthy heaping of character interaction, some plot, and a few scenes of fanservice. Not a bad volume all told, but Volume 3 is even better.

First off, we're introduced to a character who, though we've seen her before in the last volume, she gets a lot more time in this one. Nene Odigiri, within the very first chapter, tries to blackmail Yamada into convincing Shirashi to not take part in a mock exam being held the next day. Yamada tries refusing, of course, but unfortunately, Nene has pictures of Yamada not only in the girl's hotel room, but also going through Shiraishi's bag! It's not really him, but actually Shiraishi in Yamada's body. However, that means when someone has pictures of you, or what looks like you, pulling out and admiring girl's underwear. While Yamada tries to solve this problem on the own by switching bodies with Nene and deleting the picture, in the end he's forced to tell Shiraishi about his problem. Why? Well, there's the plot twist - Yamada can't switch bodies with Nene! That's right, his body switching power, which has been the basis for the first two volumes, doesn't work with her. Why? Who knows. Well, I know, but I'm not giving away any spoilers. No sir. You wanna learn more, then you'll just have to read this volume yourself.

Volume 3 is definitely my favorite volume here, not only because we get to see a lot more random kissing scenes, but also because of how the plot is developing. I feel like the story is really beginning to go somewhere. It has all of the humor and engaging hilarity of the last two volumes, but it also shows us that this manga is more than just a silly comedy. The storyline develops a lot in this episode, and we get to learn more about the side characters. Volume 3 was a lot of fun to read. It kept me engaged all the way through to the end, and I'm looking forward to reading the next volume.

Saturday, August 8, 2015

2015 Anime

it's the summer of 2015 and that means that a new season of anime has come out for us to enjoy. There was a lot to choose from, and unfortunately, due to things like work, writing, family life, etc., I only have a limited amount of time to watch anime. From the 54 anime that have come out this year, I've selected 6 anime to follow. These anime are the ones that I believe I would personally enjoy. Some of them may not be to your test, and if they're not, that's cool. If you have an anime that you want to suggest, you can always leave a comment at the bottom.

Anime #1: To LOVE-Ru Darkness Season 2

It should not come as any surprise that I've decided to watch this anime. When the first To LOVE-Ru came out, I fell in love. To LOVE-Ru was straight up stupidly perverted comedy, and it knew it. It didn't try to be anything else. It didn't try to give you this complex, deep and dark plot - because they knew it wouldn't have worked. When you've got a panty shot and boobs being shown every other scene, it's hard to take an anime seriously. This anime didn't try to take itself seriously, and that's what I liked about it. To LOVE-Ru Darkness, while still comedic, has a bit more plot and does have a little more seriousness to it. However, at it's heart, To LOVE-Ru is still a comedic anime filled with epic boob-falls and unusually erotic situations.

Anime #2: Rokka no Yuusha

Rokka no Yuusha was a surprisingly interesting anime. It's a story about a monster called the Majin, which awakens every so many years, and six heroes who awaken to battle against the Majin. It's currently six episodes in and so far I have yet to be disappointed. The story seems to generally follow Adlet Mayer, the self-proclaimed "stronger man in the world" and Nashetania Loei Piena Augustra, a beautiful woman with flaxen hair who can create blades with magic. It's a story filled with plenty of action and adventure, and there seems to be some really interesting plot twists. I feel like, out of all the anime to have been released this season, Rokka no Yuusha is the one to watch out for.

Anime #3: Akagami no Shirayuki

This has to be the cutest anime of the season. I remember watching the first episode for this anime and having a total fanboy moment. The story follows Shirayuki, a young woman who wants to follow her own path. During a trip to the woods, she meets Zen, a young man who appears to be hanging out with two of his friends. I was hooked on this form episode one. Shirayuki is one of the sweetest yet strongest female protagonists I've seen in a shojo anime - right up there with Yona from Akatsuki no Yona.

Anime #4: Charlotte

Made from the same studio that produced Clannad and Angel Beats, I knew that I would be watching this anime. So far, I haven't been disappointed. There's been a lot of development for the characters, and while it has comedy, it also has its share of serious moments that balance out the comedy. Given that this is being produced by Key, I expect there will be at least several character deaths and plenty of tragic moments.

Anime #5: Monster Musume

This is quite possibly the most interesting harem anime I've seen produced in a while. It's about a high school boy who's strong armed into being part of the student exchange program - except instead of having some foreign kid live with him, it's a monster girl - several monster girls. This is a very tropey anime. It has all of the tropes that I've come to expect from a harem comedy, with one sole exception. The characters, the women in the harem, they're all monsters, and they look like monsters. I've watched five episodes so far and haven't been disappointed.

Anime #6: Classroom Crisis

Another interesting anime. Classroom crisis isn't what I usually watch, being the kind of person who has a preference for either action and adventure or romantic comedies. However, despite that, this has been an enjoyable show to watch. It's very sci-fi and while not the funniest show I've ever seen, it has its moments.

Friday, August 7, 2015

Sneak Preview of A Fox's Maid

Chapter 1
Some Things Change, Others Stay the Same
Lilian awoke to the new day with a smile.
Sitting up in Kevin’s bed, the sheets falling away from her vivacious frame, she stretched her arms high above her head, her exertions accompanied by cute noises that would have knocked Eric Corrompere out cold had he been present to hear them.
It’s a good thing Eric isn’t here,” Lilian said, seemingly to herself, even as she groaned from the pleasant sensation of her muscles stretching taut.
The neck of her shirt―it was actually one of Kevin’s, but he had given it to her―slid off her shoulders to reveal silky smooth skin. She absently slid the neckline back up before looking out the window. It was a beautiful day outside; the sky was a clear, light blue, and the sun was shining down upon the earth with its radiant beams of light. It was the perfect day for her and Kevin to go out and do something fun.
Speaking of Kevin…
Lilian looked down at the floor to see her beloved mate―or the person who she hoped would one day become her mate. Kevin was in his sleeping bag, lying on his back. She could see his chest rising and falling at a slow, steady and reassuring pace. His breathing was deep and even, a sure sign that he was sleeping heavily.
Crawling out of bed with ninja-like stealth, Lilian made her way to Kevin’s prone form until she was literally on top of him. Her body lightly straddled his; she didn’t apply enough pressure to wake him, but even so, she could still feel the natural heat that his body emitted. She missed sleeping with that heat, but knew she could get it back soon. Lindsay was officially out of the running for his heart, and the only other person she had to contend with was that tsundere goth loli. It was no contest.
Leaning down, she pressed her lips to his forehead. Her tails also moved forward and gently poked his temples. The two fluffy appendages glowed a whitish yellow for a brief moment, before the light faded.
She leaned back and smiled. The enchantment she had cast would be enough to ensure that he continued sleeping―at least until she finished preparing everything that she needed to wow and impress him.
The kiss was not a necessary part of the enchantment. She just kissed him because she wanted to.
After getting off her chosen mate, Lilian made her way to the bathroom, where she took a very brief shower.
She would have normally taken her time getting clean. Like most kitsune, Lilian enjoyed the finer things in life, which included long hot showers and even longer baths. One of her many guilty pleasures was sitting under the spray of the shower, allowing the hot droplets to run down her body and soothe the muscles in her back―or lounging in the hot bath, letting the soothing heat soak into her body and lull her into a sense of contentment. She couldn’t do that today. There were several very important things that she needed to do, and she wanted to accomplish them as quickly as possible. The sooner they were completed, the better.
The first item on her list was choosing something to wear that would catch Kevin’s attention. Before now, all of the clothes she’d worn were sexy little numbers, their sole purpose being to send men into a state of aroused delirium. They were the kind of clothes that emphasized her inhumanly beautiful body and generous proportions.
It had become increasingly obvious to her that those kinds of outfits wouldn’t work on Kevin. It wasn’t that he didn’t like seeing her in them―she had seen very convincing evidence that he did, indeed, enjoy seeing her in them―but that he simply couldn’t handle her sexy outfits… yet. She was positive that would change if she gave him a few more months to accept and return her love. She just needed to be patient.
Nodding to herself, she entered their bedroom while wearing nothing but a towel and rummaged through the dresser where she kept all of her nightwear.
While she normally would have put on her daytime clothes, Lilian’s purpose this morning was to get his attention, and nothing got attention better than lingerie. Even if she didn’t have any intention of donning one of her more sinful garments, she still wanted to wear something eye-catching. And regular, everyday clothing just wasn’t eye-catching enough in her mind.
Unless it was extraordinarily skimpy.
Reaching into the drawer, Lilian pulled out the first article of clothing that she could find. She blinked once, and then frowned. The item in her hand was a pink lingerie dress made of partially translucent material and a dark pink G-string. Definitely not something that Kevin would be able to enjoy without flipping out. Or passing out. Whichever came first.
Onto the next selection then!
The next item she grabbed was even worse: a leopard print two-piece. The bra-like top was held up by a pair of really thin black strings, and dipped into a V-cut that showed off a more than generous portion of her cleavage. Black gauze-like material with floral embroidery around the bust ensured that her nipples would barely be covered.
The bottom was even worse. It was just a rhomboidal-shaped patch of leopard print fabric connected to the top with two small metal circlets, which was barely held together by thin black strings. The fabric didn’t extend to cover her butt. It was just a small string that went between her cheeks and left her small, shapely rear completely exposed.
This was definitely not something that Kevin would be able to withstand. It was almost a certainty that he would pass out from this.
Lilian grabbed another item from her drawer.
Her left eye twitched.
She shoved the article back in and grabbed another garment.
Her left eye twitched again, and it brought friends.
Her right eye began twitching, too.
After rejecting several more outfits, Lilian was at her wits end.
They’re all too sexy!” She grabbed at her hair and moaned. “How am I supposed to get Kevin’s attention if he’s too busy freaking out to even pay attention to me?!”
You’re the one who bought those clothes.
Quiet you!”
Hey, don’t get mad at me. I didn’t force you to buy those clothes. This is all your fault for not having the foresight to choose less revealing nightwear.
Right. Quiet. I’m being quiet now.
Lilian huffed in anger, feeling a chill of annoyance run down her spine before turning her attention back to her current problem. She supposed that she could just wear one of her normal outfits, but she wanted to wear something that would really turn Kevin’s head. It had to be something cute, something that would make him stare—if not in lust, then at least in admiration.
Why don’t you just wear one of his shirts and a pair of pajama bottoms?
I thought I told you to…” Lilian trailed off from the beginning of her angry tirade, a thoughtful expression crossing her face. She looked up at the ceiling, her eyes glazing over as she pondered the suggestion. “You know… that’s not a bad idea. I suppose I should thank you…”
You’re welcome.
Don’t get a big head now,” Lilian mumbled as she grabbed some clothes from Kevin’s drawer and laid them on the bed. After a couple minutes in which she did nothing but stare, Lilian chose what she believed to be the best combination of the bunch: A small black T-shirt with a strange-looking white helmet on the front, and black pajama bottoms with a symbol she had seen on the controller to Kevin’s game system running along the fabric like polka dots.
They were perfect. They wouldn’t show off a lot of skin, but the shirt was very small and would be a tight fit around her chest, the better to show off her impressive bust. That it also revealed a tantalizing glimpse of her flat stomach was just a bonus.
After putting them on, Lilian moved over to the full-body mirror on the closet door and looked herself over.
Hmmm…” She spun around. “It’s not bad… but I think it’s missing something.” It took her a moment, but the answer soon came to her. “Ah-ha!” With two swift motions, Lilian used her enhanced strength to tear the bottom half of the pajama pants off. Now, instead of pajama bottoms that went all the way down to her feet, they were shorts that only covered enough so that her bottom wasn’t showing―unless she bent over. “There. It's perfect.”
Um, no it isn't.
Lilian narrowed her eyes. “Yes, it is.”
Isn’t the whole purpose of this to keep Kevin from passing out?
Of course it is. Why else do you think I’m not wearing any of my sexy lingerie?”
But isn’t ripping his pajamas like that basically putting you back to square one? You know he’s going to flip out, if not because your butt is practically showing, then because you ripped his pajamas.
Lilian scoffed.
You clearly don’t understand how the male mind works. This clothing is a lot less suggestive than any of the other articles I have, but it still shows off how desirable I am.” Lilian smiled at herself in the mirror. Her reflection smiled back. “Yes, the moment Kevin catches a glimpse of me, he’ll lose all sense of self-restraint, throw me onto the bed, and make me scream out his name in blissful ecstasy until my throat grows hoarse and I become a quivering mess of post-orgasmic bliss.”
Uh… huh… right. You clearly haven’t learned anything from the previous three weeks, have you?
Did you say something?”
Not a thing.
Lilian stared at her reflection in the mirror for a moment longer before nodding. She looked perfect. Kevin would definitely fall in love with her once he got a glimpse of how attractive she was―and this time he wouldn’t pass out from overstimulation….
With the task of selecting her outfit complete, the only tasks left were to cook breakfast and wake her mate with a kiss. Then they would enjoy a nice meal together and he would see how much she loved him, after which he would bend her over the table and have his wicked way with her. It was the perfect plan. A plan worthy of a kitsune.
With a giggle, she skipped to the kitchen.
It was early in the morning when Kevin Swift woke up and tried rousing Lilian from her slumber.
Lilian. Wake up, Lilian.”
He wasn’t having much success.
Come on, Lilian. It’s time to get up.”
Kevin frowned as Lilian refused to wake, as if she’d been trapped within a deep sleep―or in a coma. She didn’t even wake up when he raised the volume of his voice, or when he began to incessantly shake her shoulder. The fox-girl just continued resting on her side, her red hair fanning across the bed like an extra sheet of silk.
Lilian had kicked the covers off some time ago, which gave him an unfettered glimpse of her heart-shaped buttocks, covered only by a pair of purple panties. The curve of her hips flowed into a pair of gorgeous legs, one stretched out languidly against the bed while the other bent at the knee. She wore a dopey smile, and would occasionally let out cute giggles at intermittent intervals. She was clearly experiencing a very pleasant dream.
His eyes began twitching as another giggle emerged from Lilian’s gently parted Cupid’s Bow lips. He decided that a bit more force might be necessary to wake the girl. Thus, he grabbed her shoulder, and shook her with a little more strength than he’d used previously.
Lilian, you need to wake up now. I’ve made breakfast for you, and you don’t want the breakfast I made getting cold, do you?”
Unfortunately for Kevin, the lovely fox-girl still refused to wake. She just mumbled something incoherent―he could have sworn he’d heard the word “Beloved” somewhere in there, but couldn’t be sure―and snuggled deeper into her pillow.
Lilian, if you don’t get up right now, I’ll―what the heck?!”
Kevin yelped when Lilian’s prone form suddenly sprang into action. Before he could even contemplate what was happening the redhead jumped at him, wrapping her arms around his waist as she slammed into him with a surprising amount of force.
Unable to maintain his balance Kevin tumbled to the ground, taking Lilian with him. For a moment, his world became disoriented, his vision spinning around like a car that had been flipped in an accident. When the moment ended, Kevin’s breath left him as his back smacked against the white-carpeted floor.
It took him several seconds to reorient himself, mostly because his mind was rattling around inside of his skull. Everything appeared blurry, moving in and out of focus. When he finally regained his bearings, Kevin gained a newfound appreciation for his situational altercation.
He was lying on his back. On the floor. Lilian was on top of him, still asleep somehow, her legs straddling his waist and her face nuzzling against his chest. Kevin wasn’t one-hundred percent sure, but he could almost swear his housemate was purring―which he found odd, because he knew for a fact that foxes didn’t purr. They lacked the proper larynx, laryngeal muscles, and neural oscillator that allowed cats to purr.
Her crotch was also rubbing against the pitched tent that had suddenly sprung forth in his pants, proving that, even if she didn’t know it, her body and actions did indeed have an effect on him.
Lilian! What do you think you’re―”
Kevin couldn’t finish his sentence, because Lilian giggled in her sleep… and stuck her hands underneath his shirt to begin feeling him up. It was the latter action that caused him to lose the ability to form coherent sentences.
Oh, Beloved. I’m so glad you’ve realized that I’m the only one for you!”
The only―” Kevin’s face grew hot. Red hot. It blazed with the fire of a million suns. “Lilian, what are you saying?!”
Lilian just giggled. Her eyes were closed as she continued nuzzling his chest with her nose. She was quite obviously still asleep.
Now we can get to the kissing…”
Kevin’s face turned an even darker shade of crimson, like a sun that was about to go nova. It burned with a ferocious intensity that could only be matched by females found in shōjo manga.
Kevin could feel his masculinity points dropping by the second—good thing they weren’t hit points, or his HP gauge would already be in the red.
And the petting…”
Steam started pouring out his ears. Her words conjured all sorts of erotic images, scenes of him caressing Lilian’s bountiful body; fondling her magnificent breasts, grabbing her shapely butt, and doing all sorts of other naughty and titillating things to her―things that would have made his friend Eric die from blood loss.
And you can finally bend me over the table, rip off my clothes, and ravish me to your heart’s content!”
It was her last comment that finally did Kevin in. In all honesty, he had been finished even before Lilian’s last words. They were simply the final nail in the coffin for him.
Without warning, all of the blood that had not already rushed down to his male anatomy went straight to his head. Kevin Swift passed out, blood spurting from his nose like a broken fire hydrant. He was gone long before his head, jet-propelled by the massive quantities of carnelian fluid shooting from his nostrils in an almost never-ending stream, smacked against the floor.
All the while Lilian―who, surprisingly enough, didn’t get any of the blood launched from Kevin’s nasal passages on herself―continued giggling in her sleep, completely oblivious to the fact that she had just made him pass out via a nosebleed, one that would have put all the nosebleeds Eric ever had from his audaciously perverted antics to shame.
Too bad. She would have been rather proud of her accomplishment.
W-w-what are you saying?!”
Despite the amount of blood rushing to Christine’s porcelain cheeks, they felt incredibly cold, like a winter’s chill back home in Alaska. It didn’t take long for her to realize what that meant; she was blushing. A yuki-onna’s face didn’t get hot when they blushed, instead growing cold as their powers spiraled out of control, which may have also contributed to the crazy amount of mist and frost gathering in the room at that moment.
W-w-we can’t do that here! Are you crazy?!”
Oh, but I am crazy. Crazy for you.” The figure standing before her spoke in a male voice that sounded articulate and smooth. His tone was softer than silk and more honeyed than a high-class male prostitute. “But you already knew that, didn’t you?”
His blue eyes stared into her own crystalline orbs, smoldering with the kind of passion that made her knees weak and her heart race to the beat of ten-thousand drums. He took a step forward. Then another. His messy blond locks swayed with each step, hovering over his eyes and creating an alluring aura of mystique that nearly froze Christine in place.
Nearly froze, because as he moved toward her with his slow and steady gait, like a predator stalking its prey, she took one involuntary step back to counter his increasing closeness. However, while she did indeed move backwards, a part of her wanted him to reach her, to capture her, to pin her in place and claim her mind, body and soul. She squashed this part with ruthless efficiency―or rather, she tried to. She didn’t have much success.
W-we shouldn’t…” The pale blue dusting her cheeks, reminiscent of winter, darkened in hue, becoming deeper and spreading across the bridge of her nose. The color complemented her nearly translucent white skin. “… I-i-it’s not right.”
He smirked at her, and in doing so, made Christine’s breathing hitch and her heart skip a beat.
Oh, but it is right. Nothing could possibly be more right than what we’re about to do.”
Christine stopped moving, or rather, the wall behind her impeded her ability to move anymore. This did not stop him, and he continued moving forward until his body was practically melded to hers. A combined noise of surprised gasp and pleased moan escaped her parted lips as his masculine body pressed against her more feminine one. A most unusual heat pooled in her loins, contrasting sharply with her cool body temperature.
No… I don’t want this…” she muttered, half-heartedly trying to push him away even as her heart begged to let him take her.
But you do,” he countered, his eyes narrowing in a combination of amusement and bishounen sensuality. Christine noted that the only thing he needed to be a picture-perfect pretty boy was an inordinate amount of sparkles surrounding him. “You would have used your powers to freeze me in place if you didn’t want this.”
Christine had nothing to say to that. It was true. She was just being stubborn.
I want you, Christine.”
Christine gasped, both at the way he said her name―with an intense, sensual growl that caused her panties to become damp―and the way he ground his pelvis against hers, sending tendrils of arcing ecstasy through her body, like an electric jolt, only infinitely more pleasant.
I want you so badly, Christine,” he continued, his lips hovering right next to her ear. His breath was hot on her earlobe, sending goosebumps across her skin and a delightful tingle through her core. “And if you don’t want me, then you’d better push me away now, before I end up doing something you’ll regret.”
She looked into his eyes, their foreheads nearly touching they were so close. His blue eyes were hooded with desire, with lust, for her. He wanted her, badly. And if she was being honest with herself, Christine wanted him just as much.
Her eyes fluttered closed as she tilted her head up and parted her ice-blue lips. He wrapped his arms more tightly around her waist, pulling her closer against his solid, masculine body. She quickly wound her arms around his neck in return.
Was this it? Was this the moment she had been waiting for? The moment they would…
His hot breath washed over her mouth, causing her body to shudder pleasantly. She could feel her desire for this man, for this moment, burning within her. She’d never desired something so fervently before. It caused her unbearably chilly body to undergo a most pleasant combustion.
Yes, Kevin?” Her voice was nothing more than a breathy whisper filled with longing.
It’s time for you to get up.”
Christine opened her eyes…
and found herself staring at a ceiling. Her ceiling. There was an annoying beeping in her ear―her alarm clock, she realized belatedly. She blinked several times, lifting her hand to shut the infernal noise-making machine off, while also taking note of her sudden surroundings. Her body was covered in a thin layer of sweat and felt incredibly cold, even though she had the heater turned up to 95 degrees. There was a slight damp spot on her sheets underneath her bum—and along her inner thighs. Her left hand was also buried in her panties.
She blinked several more times.
Then her face became mottled with righteous anger… and shame, but mostly righteous anger.
Tsundere mode: activated.
T-t-t-that IDIOT!” Christine roared, throwing her sheets off and jumping out of bed, her face bluer than a blueberry popsicle. Steam burst out of her ears like an eruption of Old Faithful. The walls, floor and ceiling became covered in a layer of ever-expanding hoarfrost, which moved along every surface like an alien entity threatening to invade her personal space.
Christine barely noticed what her out-of-control powers were doing to her room, busy as she was raging.
I can’t believe it! First he barges back into my life like some kind of sparkly vampire from a teenage romance novel, then he has the gall to not even remember me, and now he’s invading my dreams, too?!”
Christine’s mind conjured an image of Kevin, his handsome face smiling as he told her how he hoped they could become friends. Her face became a much darker shade of blue, as a combination of outrage and embarrassment swept through her body with the power and intensity of a Category 5 hurricane.
Several shards of ice flew from her hands to impale the wall behind the imaginary vision of Kevin that her mind had conjured. She didn’t even notice that she had just punctured several holes in her wall.
You think you can invade my dreams like that, asshole?! I’ll show you!”
More ice flew from her hands, turning the wall into Swiss cheese. Christine remained utterly oblivious to the destruction she was causing to her own house. She would have noticed in any other circumstances, but her outrage was such that the only thing on her mind was killing the illusory image of Kevin, which her subconscious had projected for her to take her frustrations out on.
I’m really sorry about that, Kevin,” a contrite Lilian said several minutes after Kevin had nearly died of blood loss.
They were in the dining room getting ready to have breakfast. She sat down at the table while Kevin served her a plate of whole-wheat pancakes and a glass of orange juice. The beautiful two-tails actually had the decency to look mildly embarrassed, if the redness staining her cheeks was any indication.
I had no idea why I didn’t wake up in time to make breakfast for us. And I’m sorry about how I, well, you know…”
It’s fine.” Kevin breathed out deeply, pushing his own embarrassment back with ease of practice. He still couldn’t believe he’d suffered a nosebleed like that! He wasn’t Eric! “It wasn’t like I disliked it or anything…”
Did you say something, Kevin?”
N-no!” Kevin squeaked. He rubbed the back of his head sheepishly, giving Lilian a grin so wide that his eyes were forced shut. “I didn’t say a thing! Nope! Not a thing!” He nodded effusively. “Yep, I didn’t say anything!”
Lilian stared at him, frowning. Kevin found that he couldn’t look directly at her when she did this, yet also found himself incapable of looking away; or maybe he just didn’t want to look away. What an unusual and uncomfortable feeling.
Are you feeling alright?” Lilian continued, looking at him with a concerned gaze. “You’ve been acting a little strange this morning.”
Strange? Why would you say that? I haven’t been acting strange at all! Aha-hahahaha!”
Lilian gave Kevin a queer look, clearly not convinced by his horribly fake laugh. High-pitched and forced, there was absolutely nothing natural about it. He eventually trailed off when he realized this, and tried everything humanly possible not to squirm underneath that vivid green-eyed stare.
After several more seconds of staring, Lilian shrugged, concluding that Kevin’s unusual behavior must be a human thing. He nearly sighed in relief.
Thank you for making me breakfast. It’s very good.” She changed the subject easily enough, cutting a slice of pancake with her fork, spearing it and taking a bite. It was good, most certainly, but the reason she enjoyed the food so much wasn’t just because of its pleasant taste, but also because Kevin was the one who cooked it for her.
Well, it’s not broiled fish with steamed rice, miso soup and pickled vegetables, but I suppose it’s alright.” Kevin remembered how Lilian had made them a traditional Japanese breakfast several times since their meeting almost one month ago. It had been outstanding and made Kevin feel almost like he was living in Maison Izumo, a boarding house in one of Eric’s favorite manga. Her food had been so good that he completely ignored the oddity of a kitsune raised in Greece being capable of cooking traditional Japanese cuisine.
It’s better than alright.” Lilian beamed at him. “You’re a really good cook. I always enjoy eating the food you prepare.”
Kevin’s cheeks suffused with warmth.
T-thank you,” he mumbled, turning his head so Lilian wouldn’t see him blush. He knew it was probably too late for that―Lilian was staring right at him―but that had never stopped him before, and it definitely wasn’t going to stop him now.
Wanting to get off the topic of his cooking skills―he didn’t deal well with praise when it wasn’t about track―Kevin swiftly changed the subject.
So, um, I was thinking we could go see a movie today.”
Lilian perked up, literally. The tips of her foxy ears pointed straight towards the ceiling and her back straightened. Even her two bushy-red tails were directed upwards.
A movie?”
Glad that he was able to direct the conversation away from his cooking, Kevin nodded. “Yeah, there are a few new movies that just came out a little while ago. I haven’t had a chance to see them yet.”
Since meeting Lilian and dealing with the drama that accompanied her, he hadn’t been able to see any of the new movies that had come out. He hadn’t even considered going until about two days ago.
What kind of movie did you want to watch?” Lilian looked positively curious.
There’s this one movie I want to see about a group of people who are saturated with cosmic radiation and gain superpowers. It’s one of those action movies about superheroes and villains and stuff.”
Humans gaining superpowers?” Lilian lips curled in amusement. “You humans have the most fantastical story ideas. I guess that’s one of the reasons I’ve always been so fascinated by your kind. All of you possess such incredible imaginations.”
Kevin’s brow furrowed. “Was that an insult?”
Not at all,” Lilian shook her head, smiling, “I think you’re misunderstanding what I meant—that was a compliment. Other yōkai might feel superior to humans because we have powers and you don’t, but I’m not one of them. Kotohime always told me that humanity’s imagination is what has led them to some of the greatest achievements in history for both human and yōkai.”
Ah, I see, Kotohime…” Kevin thoughtfully scrunched his nose. “That’s your maid, right?”
One of them. Kotohime has been my maid and bodyguard ever since I gained my second tail. Our other maid is her sister, Kirihime.”
Right, he’d nearly forgotten that Lilian’s family had two maids. That was so not fair. He wanted a maid, too! He could just imagine what having his own maid would be like.

A girl in a French maid outfit stood before him, her skirt barely covering her any of her thighs. It was so short that every movement she made revealed her white panties and black garters. The low-cut bodice allowed him to see titillating hints of cleavage, the short-sleeves leaving the silky skin of her arms visible. A bonnet sat atop the crown of her head, whilst beautiful red locks of hair glimmered down her back like a gentle wave. Bright green eyes smiled at him.
Welcome home, Master. Would you like me to take your coat?”
Yes, I would. Thank you.”
You are most welcome. Now then, Master, what would you like first? Would you like me to make you some dinner? Or maybe you would like me to draw you a hot bath? Or, perhaps you would like… me?”
I think I’ll take you, my dear. Right here. Right now.”
The maid giggled. It was a beautiful thing to hear.
Very well, Master. Would you like to take me on the bed, the couch, or the dining room table?”
Let’s do the table this time. Is that okay with you?”
Of course.” She smiled at him. “Anything for my Master.”

Hello? Lilian to Kevin?”
Muuu, I hope you’re not ignoring me.”
I’m stripping naked right now.”
Don’t strip in the kitchen!” Kevin shouted, red-faced and breathing hard. He blinked several times.
Then his eyes landed on Lilian.
She was still fully clothed.
He pouted.
That was a mean thing to do.”
Sorry, Kevin,” Lilian giggled, “but you were spacing out for a second there. I had to get your attention somehow.”
Whatever,” Kevin mumbled, trying not to let her words get to him. He couldn’t believe he’d been daydreaming like that! And about Lilian, of all people! Lilian! In a maid outfit! A sexy maid outfit! What the hell was wrong with him?
He started eating, hoping that if he did something it would take his mind off the admittedly hot daydream he’d just had.
Ne, Kevin?” Lilian asked into the pervasive silence.
Kevin didn’t look up as he cut a slice of pancake and stuck it in his mouth.
Since you’re taking me to the movies, would that make this a date?”
Unprepared for such a forward question, Kevin swallowed the food while also sucking in a gasp of air, causing the bite of pancake to become lodged inside of his airway.
Inari-blessed! Beloved!”
He heard Lilian’s shout, but couldn’t say anything, as he was a little too busy choking on bits of pancake. His hands went to his throat, clawing at it in panic as he struggled to breathe.
A hand rested on his back and started rubbing it. The act felt strangely soothing, warm even, and Kevin could feel the food somehow getting dislodged from inside of his windpipe, almost as if it was dissolving.
Are you alright?” a worried voice asked in his ear.
I-I’m fine.” Kevin coughed several more times, pounding his chest with a fist to dislodge that last bit of pancake, while also silently berating himself. He really should have learned not to eat when Lilian was about to speak by now. Nothing good ever came of it.
Here, drink this.” Lilian handed him a glass of orange juice, which Kevin drank greedily. “Better?”
Kevin continued drinking until all of the orange juice was gone, sighed, and then set the cup on the table. He cast a grateful smile in Lilian’s direction.
Much better, thanks.”
You’re welcome.” Lilian returned his smile with a beautiful one of her own. As she sat back down in her chair, the gorgeous two-tails resumed their previous conversation. “Now, about that date…”
Yes, date.” Lilian looked at him oddly. “That is what it’s called when two people of the opposite gender go out together, isn’t it?”
Ah… w-well, yes, it is.” Kevin scratched his cheek with his left hand. “B-but, I don’t think… I mean, this isn’t really a date, right? I mean it could be, but, uh, well, a date sort of implies that… you know… that you and I… I mean, that we…”
You’re speaking nonsense, Kevin.” Lilian’s lips curved into a delightful u-shape. She wasn’t quite sure if Kevin was at the Gibberish of Love stage yet―he wasn’t spouting embarrassing non sequiturs, after all―but he was definitely Emotionally Tongue-Tied. He even seemed to be undergoing a minor Dere Dere moment of denial, which was normally something only tsunderes like a certain violent yuki-onna did.
Lilian thought it was adorable.
Right.” Kevin’s shoulders slumped, as if he wanted to disappear into his seat. “Sorry.”
Lilian resisted the urge to pull the teen to her bosom and smother him with affection. Keep calm, Lilian. Remember, slow and steady wins the race. Those words gave her the strength to resist her overly enthusiastic disposition when it came to giving Kevin more love and affection than he was capable of handling.
You don’t need to apologize. I’m just happy we’re going to be doing something together, just the two of us.”
She placed her hands over his. Kevin looked at their hands, then up at Lilian’s face, at the soft curve of her lips. His pink cheeks darkened in hue and he looked away, though he didn’t jerk his hands out from under hers, which Lilian considered a small victory in her battle for Kevin’s heart.
Ah, um, me too,” he mumbled, causing Lilian’s smile to widen. She may not have her mate yet, but it was only a matter of time. All the signs were there.
Yes, Kevin was as good as hers.
Two hours after breakfast, Kevin and Lilian were riding to the mall.
As was routine, Kevin pedaled while Lilian sat behind him, her arms around his waist and her right cheek resting against his back. She could feel his heartbeat from this position, thumping in a steady, though fast-paced, rhythm. It was a reassuring sound, one that she loved hearing. It would not be inaccurate to say that she would gladly stay like this forever if she could.
Her eyes closed as she allowed the soothing beat of Kevin’s heart to lull her senses. She scooted just a bit closer, pressing her body more fully into his. Maybe it was just because of the cold air hitting them as they rode down the street, but Kevin’s body seemed much warmer than usual. It was so incredibly soothing. So soothing that she could just…
Lilian blinked at the sound of her name being called. It took several seconds to realize that Kevin was the person calling her. It took her several more seconds to notice that her face was pressed against his back, and longer still to realize that she had been drooling on the back of his shirt.
Whoops. Better not say anything and hope he won’t notice.
Yes, Be―Kevin?” she asked, yawning a bit. Wow, did she feel groggy. Kevin’s warmth was really something.
Everything okay back there?” he asked, his head turning to look behind him as she sat up. “You stopped talking to me about halfway to the mall.”
Lilian let out another yawn as she stretched her legs out on either side of the bike. Her toes also stretched themselves out, wiggling several times for good measure. She really wished she could take her tails out and stretch those, too. It was most unfortunate that humans weren’t supposed to know about the existence of yōkai, otherwise she would have.
M’fine,” she murmured as the last vestiges of sleep left her. “What were you saying?”
Nothing important.” Kevin shook his head. “Anyway, I’ve been trying to tell you for the last few minutes that we’ve arrived.”
Lilian looked around and realized what he meant; they had arrived at the mall. It loomed over them like a castle to the final boss battle of a Japanese RPG. A massive, multi-story complex that was composed of several buildings connected via a series of walkways. It looked like they were on the west side, near the food court. The arcade was on the opposite side.
Oh… that was fast.”
Kevin gave her a strange look that she couldn’t interpret before shaking his head.
Come on. Let’s lock the bike up and get to the theater. Since it’s still early, there shouldn’t be any lines.”
The two entered the mall and strode down the large walkway, devoid of people due to the early hour. The theater was located near the food court, an expansive space marked by bright neon signs and red carpet.
Kevin and Lilian walked past several posters hanging on the walls and a number of giant support pillars, stopping in front of the ticket booth where a bored-looking woman stood behind a glass panel. The expression on her bland face was the utter definition of “I hate my job.”
Welcome to Maverick Theaters,” she greeted in a tone that was every bit as dull as her face, “what movie would you like to see today?”
Two tickets for the Fantastic Four.”
That’ll be fourteen dollars.”
Kevin pulled out his wallet and paid for the tickets, which the woman slid under the glass panel, all the while her perennially bored eyes stared at him.
Here are your tickets. Enjoy the show,” she drawled.
Thank you.”
After receiving their tickets, the pair went to the concession booth, where a peppy middle-aged woman waited for them to order. Her pleasantly smiling face was filled with good cheer, a startling contrast to the woman at the ticket booth. She appeared to be the epitome of what a proper concessionist should be.
Lilian, do you want popcorn or candy?”
Um.” Lilian’s nose scrunched up cutely as she surveyed the various treats available. “I’m not sure. I’ll have whatever you’re having.”
Kevin nodded and turned to the woman.
We’ll have one large popcorn and two medium Diet Cokes, please.”
Actually, make that one large Diet Coke.” Kevin gave Lilian a look, but she just smiled at him. “Please indulge me with this, Kevin.”
A moment later, Kevin looked away, his cheeks coloring slightly.
Fine,” he mumbled, “one large Diet Coke, then, please.”
The woman gave them a knowing smile, which made Kevin feel like he had worms wriggling inside his intestines. It was a most unpleasant feeling, so he tried to ignore it.
Coming right up.”
Kevin’s face was a mask of embarrassment as he paid for their refreshments and they entered the theater. On the other hand, Lilian’s beaming smile was bright enough to illuminate the entire room.
After the woman had brought their concessions, she had wished them a “happy date” and mentioned how “cute they looked together.” While the words caused Kevin to feel nothing but self-consciousness, Lilian couldn’t have been happier.
There weren’t very many people in the theater—it was still early and the movie had been out for awhile. Because of this, finding those perfect seats in the exact center of the theater took little to no effort on their part.
With a bit of a sigh, Kevin set their large soda in the cup holder between them before plopping down himself. Lilian daintily seated herself right next to him, her eyes sparkling with excitement.
This is so cool! I’ve never been to a movie theater before,” she exclaimed. Kevin had already assumed as much, knowing what he did of her life before arriving in Phoenix. “And look at that screen! It’s so big!”
An unbidden smile came to Kevin’s face. While this girl said some questionable things at times, her enthusiasm when experiencing something new was astoundingly child-like. She just acted so innocent―at least in matters that didn’t involve him, her, no clothing and a bed… or the dinner table. It was one of her more endearing traits.
The innocence, not the matters relating to her sexual desires and fetishes.
There are a lot of theaters that have larger screens than this.”
Lilian turned in her seat to pin him with an expression that shimmered with unrepressed excitement.
Oh, yeah,” Kevin nodded. “This is one of the smaller theaters. There’s a much larger one in Arizona called the Capri de Grande. It’s pretty far from here, though, like, all the way down in Scottsdale. Otherwise, I would have taken you there instead.”
So this Capri de Grande is the largest theater around?”
The largest one here in Arizona, sure. There are much, much bigger ones in states like California and New York―and France has the largest theater in the world.” Kevin’s smile turned nostalgic as fond memories replayed in his mind. “I remember one time when my mom took me to France. It was the only time she and I spent any time together during that trip. The place was amazing. It was this gigantic skyscraper that towered over everything, and it had spotlights and viewing screens that played movie trailers all over the outside. There were a lot of small theaters in it, but the largest one was this massive room that looked like something straight out of the Renaissance period. It was incredible.”
It sounds amazing.” Lilian smiled gently at her mate. “I wish I could see it one day.”
You might be able to,” Kevin replied absently. “I’ve been to France a number of times, more than any other country I’ve visited. I think it’s because France has one of the largest fashion industries in the world. Anyway, I’ll take you to see it whenever we go to visit.”
Lilian’s breath hitched and her heart skipped several beats. She could practically hear her blood pounding in her ears.
Do you mean that?” she asked in a soft voice.
Of course,” Kevin said, then paused. Several seconds passed as the words he had just spoken replayed in his mind, his face swiftly growing red as it underwent spontaneous combustion.
Kevin?” Her questioning tone startled him into action.
W-what I mean is… I mean that, uh, i-it’s, well, we could, you know, if you, mom and I…” Kevin tried several more times to say something, anything that would explain away his words in a non-embarrassing way. He couldn’t, so he did something else. “Oh, look! The show is about to start!”
Did he just make a horrible attempt at changing the subject on me?
Lilian stared at her mate in silence. Several seconds passed before she realized that, yes, he had indeed changed the subject, and yes, he had also done an awful job of it. Then again, this was Kevin she was thinking about. What else should she have expected?
Why is he getting so embarrassed, though?
His behavior had been quite odd for the past two days―ever since Lindsay had turned him down, now that she thought about it. It was almost like his behavior had reverted back to when they’d first met, though it clearly hadn’t resulted in something she had done. After all, she hadn’t tried to seduce him or walk around his house naked since her battle with Kiara, and those were the only times he acted this way around her. Strange.
Either way, Lilian allowed her―hopefully―future mate to have his peace of mind, and turned back to the screen.
The lights dimmed as the screen went black. Words soon appeared and, not long after that, several movie trailers came and went. As the movie began playing, Lilian became fascinated with the phenomenon that was American comics being turned into live-action movies.
As the motion picture progressed, Kevin reached out for some popcorn at the same time as Lilian. A jolt like lightning traversed his fingers, causing them to jerk back reflexively as his face flushed. He peered at his friend from the corner of his eyes. Lilian must have sensed his eyes on her for she graced him with a dazzling smile, reached into the bag, grabbed a handful of popcorn, and gave some to him.
T-thanks,” he muttered softly, his face still feeling very hot. The smile that Lilian gave him didn’t help matters. Not at all.
You’re welcome.”
That was not the only time the pair found themselves in such an awkward―for Kevin, at least―situation. Several times they had both leaned over to get a drink at the same time, only to nearly bump heads. Kevin eventually decided to just go without drinking for the rest of the movie.
While he sat there, watching as the heroes found themselves caught within a cosmic space storm, Kevin tried to figure out why he felt so self-conscious.
Come on! Get of a hold of yourself, Kevin! What’s wrong with you? Why are you acting this way? You haven’t acted like this since Lilian first barged into your life, he reprimanded himself. Heck, you’re being even worse than before! You haven’t acted like this much of a fool around anyone except for…
Kevin’s eyes widened marginally as he realized several important facts about the newly developed shyness he was experiencing around Lilian.
While it was true that he had always been prone to girl-shyness around the time he’d reached sixth grade, there were different levels of how timorous he became based on his closeness to the girl in question.
Girls that he didn’t know were often met with silence. Girls who tried chatting with him—for reasons that were beyond his poor male brain to comprehend—were also met with silence―and the occasional wheezing gasp. Girls that he did know might get some stuttering, and with Lindsay, it hadn’t been unusual for him to say something extremely stupid or simply lose consciousness.
His current level of discomfort with Lilian was akin to the severity he’d had with Lindsay, but that should have been impossible. That issue had been taken care of. He’d already confessed to the tomboy, so why had this most vexing complication decided to crop up now, of all times?
Kevin tore his gaze from the screen to Lilian, sitting beside him, paying rapt attention to what was happening on the big screen. Or, she was, until she seemed to feel his eyes upon her. Then she looked at him.
Their eyes only met for a moment before Kevin felt his cheeks begin to burn. He quickly turned back to the movie, trying to calm his frantically beating heart.
Okay, Kevin. Calm down, just calm down! There’s no reason for you to act like this. It’s just Lilian. You’ve been living with her for almost entire month, so you shouldn’t be affected by her like this.
Just because someone shouldn’t didn’t mean they weren’t, however, and Kevin knew that. He could feel his heart pounding in his chest, like a battering ram trying to break out of his ribcage. A few beads of sweat ran down the sides of his forehead, as all of his logical thought processes and higher brain functions seemed to leave him. All because of the girl sitting next to him.
Could it be that I really…
Kevin hadn’t finished his thought before a velvet-soft hand slid into his own and delicate digits laced through his fingers.
He stared at the hand now resting within his, at the unusually perfect fingers that were a stark contrast to his own calloused digits. His vision then traveled past the hand, up the arm and onto the smiling face of Lilian, who appeared to be enjoying the movie.
He looked back at their conjoined hands, then up at her. Back down to their hands. Up at Lilian again. Eventually, and with a strange sort of numbness, Kevin relaxed as the warmth from Lilian’s palm and fingers spread from the point of contact to the rest of his body. His own digits soon followed Lilian’s example, gently coiling around her hand and lacing through her fingers.
Kevin turned back to the movie, thereby missing Lilian’s “cat that ate the canary” grin. Everything seemed to be proceeding smoothly. She was confident that, very soon, she will have gained Kevin’s love.
Yes, all according to plan.
If it weren’t for the fact that they were in a movie theater, this would have been the part where Lilian let out her “ufufufu…” laugh. However, since they were in public and she couldn’t do that without people thinking she was weird, she laughed within the confines of her mind instead.
Soon, Kevin’s love will be all mine, ufufufu…

That was a really fun movie,” Lilian said as they exited the theater. Her eyes sparkled with a perplexing sort of incandescence, as if they were a pair of stars twinkling during the waning twilight hours. “I absolutely loved the story. It was so exciting! The way those heroes gained their powers was really interesting. I feel sorry for the villain, though. He had been one of their friends, but because no one had been around to help him when he needed it, he turned into a bad guy.”
Kevin grinned at Lilian.
I’m glad you enjoyed the movie.”
And the romance between Reed Richards and Susan Storm was just inspiring! I wish I had a relationship like that.”
Lilian peered over at Kevin with a gaze full of such longing that he needed to turn his head, the better to hide the growing stain on his cheeks.
Ah-ah ha! W-well, I’m sure you’ll get a relationship like that soon.”
Oh, I know. We’ll probably be in that relationship even sooner than you think. Ufufufu…”
Did you say something?”
I said thank you for taking me to see the movie.”
As Lilian graced him with an alluring smile that managed to light up her face in a way the overhead lights never could, Kevin thought his heart would melt through his chest.
You’re welcome,” he mumbled softly, then shook his head, forcing himself to maintain a calm facade. “What do you think we should do next?”
As if answering his question, Lilian’s stomach chose that moment to be heard, gurgling like some kind of creature was living inside of it. Her cheeks became suffused with a mild shade of red. She looked so cute that Kevin also began blushing.
Well… I am a little hungry,” she said, sounding just a tad sheepish. “That popcorn wasn’t very filling.”
Do you want to head over to the food court?”
Lilian thought for a moment, then shook her head.
No, I’d like something that isn’t that fast-food stuff. Could we go to an actual restaurant?”
Sure, I don’t think that will be a problem, maybe…” Kevin trailed off as his mind quickly calculated a decent estimation of how much a meal for two would cost at an actual restaurant. “… Yeah, we could do that.”
That was enough for her. Without further prompting, Lilian grabbed Kevin’s hand and quickly began pulling him through the mall.
Come on, then!”
H-hey, wait! Lilian, slow down!”
Hurry up, Kevin! I’m starving!”
As the fox-girl dragged him off in search of a restaurant, Kevin wondered why his heart felt like it was ready to burst.
Kevin stood outside of a small changing stall.
He and Lilian were inside of a clothing store called Alexandria’s, one of those small boutique stores that sold stylish clothing, jewelry and other expensive items. The woman working in the shop and several teenage girls were staring at him and giggling, but he did his best to ignore them.
A sudden rustling of fabric and several thumps came from inside the stall, letting him know that Lilian was still in the process of putting on some new clothes that had caught her attention.
He wasn’t exactly sure how they’d ended up going from eating at Pita Pita’s to shopping for clothes. It seemed like one minute they’d been finishing lunch and the next Lilian was dragging him into a clothing store.
Fortunately for his wallet, they didn’t plan on buying any clothes today. Kevin had already bought Lilian more than enough outfits to last a while. They were only in the store because his red-haired housemate had been enthralled by an outfit on display, and being the person that he was, Kevin suggested that she try it on. Who knew, maybe he could get it for her birthday or something.
Speaking of which, just when was Lilian’s birthday? She had never told him, although in her defense, he had never thought to ask either.
Note to self; remember to ask Lilian when her birthday is.
The sound of rustling curtains told Kevin know Lilian had finished changing. The sound of her voice behind him emphasized this fact.
What do you think, Kevin?”
Turning around, Kevin got a full-view of Lilian in all of her breathtaking glory. Shimmering in the light, the dress she wore was the same color as her hair and fit her like a glove. The shoulder cut revealed the incredible smoothness of her bare shoulders. It didn’t have a dip in the front, thankfully, but it clung to her body in such a way that it didn’t really matter.
Kevin mastered his blush quickly, closing his eyes and taking several deep breaths. He could do this. He could. It was just Lilian. He’d seen her in far less before. This was nothing.
I really like the way you look on that!” Kevin’s face turned red as he completely messed up his words. “I mean I like the way that looks in you!” The red darkened. “No! Wait! I mean you’d look really good with that off!”
Lilian wondered if Kevin knew that steam was pouring out of his ears.
Kevin, are you okay?”
Y-yes, I’m fine… it’s just… I’m just… auu…”
Before the situation could degrade any further for poor Kevin, a new voice spoke up, sounding almost surprised.
Kevin? Lilian?”
Two sets of eyes turned to see Lindsay standing a few feet away. With her were several other girls who Kevin vaguely recognized as belonging on the tomboy’s soccer team. Her wide eyes blinked in surprise. Kevin had the distinct impression that he was the cause, and he belatedly realized that she had probably never expected to find him in a women’s clothing store. He could understand. Less than a month ago, he would have never expected to find himself in a women’s clothing store, either. The girls behind her were pointing at Kevin as they giggled.
It took every ounce of willpower Kevin had not to run away screaming.
Gathering whatever was left of his nearly nonexistent dignity, Kevin coughed into his hand and tried to pretend he was not in a women’s clothing store making a fool of himself.
Lindsay, what are you doing here?”
Just picking up some items that I need, and window shopping, too, I guess.” Which was her way of saying her friends wanted to look at cute clothes and dragged her along, as Lindsay didn’t like shopping at girly stores. She was a tomboy through and through. “And you two? I’m kinda surprised to see you looking at more clothes. Didn’t you guys do some shopping just a few days ago?”
We did,” Lilian answered for both of them. “We’re just looking right now. I wanted to try this on―” she gestured to the dress she was wearing, then gave a beaming smile in Kevin’s direction— “―and Kevin was kind enough to indulge me.”
Is that so?” Lindsay grinned as Kevin tried to hide his blush by sinking his face into his shirt. Behind the blond tomboy, he could hear girlish squeals and words like “how romantic” and “what a nice boyfriend” coming from the peanut gallery. He wished they would stop talking. “That’s nice of him.”
Lilian nodded her head effusively. “Isn’t it?” Her brilliant smile was soon replaced by curiosity. “You mentioned that you were doing some shopping of your own. Are you looking for clothes?”
Naw.” Lindsay shook her head. “We’re just sort of wandering around. We were actually about to grab some ice cream. Would you two like to join us?”
Kevin and Lilian looked at each other, silently conversing. A moment later, they looked back at Lindsay and nodded.
Sure,” Kevin said.
Cool. I think this is the last store my friends plan on dragging me to. Once they finish looking around, we’ll head over to the ice cream parlor.”
Kevin and Lilian bought some ice cream with Lindsay and the rest of her soccer friends. Since they had already eaten, however, they only got a small bowl with two different flavors (chocolate and strawberry) that they ended up sharing―all Lilian’s suggestion, of course. How the beautiful fox-girl had convinced him to share a bowl of ice cream with her was something Kevin would never understand.
Is something wrong, Kevin?” Lilian asked when she noticed his spoon pause halfway to his mouth.
No,” Kevin said after a moment. He ate the spoonful of ice cream, swallowed, and then went in for another scoop. “I was just thinking about something, that’s all.”
Oh?” Lilian’s tone was tinged with inquisitiveness. “What were you thinking about?”
Nothing important.”
Hmmm…” Lilian decided not to try prying the information from him. It probably wasn’t that important anyway. Certainly not as important as enjoying ice cream with her mate. “If you say so.” Scooping some ice cream onto her spoon, Lilian held it up near Kevin’s mouth and smiled. “Here, you should try some of the strawberry ice cream as well.”
Kevin looked like he wanted to turn into a kappa, a type of turtle yōkai, so that he could hide within his shell.
I-I can feed myself you know. You don’t have to feed me like I’m some kind of baby.”
Lilian pouted at him.
I know that. I’m not doing this because you can’t feed yourself. I just want to do something nice for you.”
Kevin tried not to feel too embarrassed by Lilian’s words or actions. He also tried to ignore his racing heart, instead choosing to silently contemplate the fox-girl, before slowly deciding there was no harm in indulging her.
W-well, I suppose it would be okay if you’re just trying to be nice.”
Thank you. Now try some of this strawberry ice cream. It’s really good. It even has cheesecake bits in it.”
While he and Lilian partook in a bowl of cold, creamy goodness together, the other members of their little troupe gossiped. Quite naturally, they were the subject of said gossip. The all-girl’s soccer team spoke about him and Lilian with all the subtlety of a Death Star destroying a planet.
Oh. My. God. Aren’t those two just the cutest?”
I know, right? They look so adorable sitting there together, sharing a sundae. It’s, like, totally cute.”
I’m still surprised Kevin had it in him to even speak to a girl like Lilian. I mean, just look at her! She’s gorgeous!”
I know, right? Wasn’t he, like, majorly shy around girls or something?”
Totes. The poor guy couldn’t even talk to a girl a month ago. Now look at him.”
I wonder what changed?”
I know, right?”
Jessica… you say that way too much.”
I know, ri—I mean, sorry.”
As the conversation flowed around her, Lindsay stared at the blond and the redhead. Kevin was blushing, sending furtive glances in the direction of the other girls as they talked. His cheeks would darken in hue each time, like solar flares, before his eyes skittered away again. Lilian must have heard the gossip as well, but she didn’t seem to care. All of her attention was on Kevin, delighting in the act of feeding him ice cream.

Just how Lilian had convinced Kevin to let her feed him was something Lindsay would never understand. It should have been impossible—yet there she was, seeing it with her own eyes. Maybe the girl’s miraculous powers of persuasion lied behind that sexy pout of hers, or perhaps it lay within those large green eyes, which held an innocent allure few men—and maybe even some women—would be unable to resist. Lindsay couldn’t say for sure.
Maybe it has something to do with her boobs…
Now there was a thought. Lilian’s breasts were definitely enticing, and large. They were also the subject of much conversation at school, both from guys and girls, and Lindsay had once heard that all men loved big boobs. Then again, Eric had been the one to say that, and he was a pervert. She probably shouldn’t listen to him.
Regardless of the how, seeing them like this really did strike home the point that Lilian was a much better match for Kevin than she was. Lindsay had never made a concerted effort to make Kevin hers, which she supposed was because he had already liked her, but Lindsay would be lying if she said that had been the only reason.
The truth of the matter was that she had wanted him to man up and tell her how he felt without any prompting on her part. She still didn’t know if that decision had been a mistake or not, but guessed that only time would tell.
Are you all right, Lindsay?”
Snapping out of her trance, she looked at her friend, Chelsea, who was staring at her in concern.
Hmm? Of course. Why wouldn’t I be?”
You haven’t touched your ice cream.”
Lindsay looked down at her untouched bowl of vanilla ice cream, then grabbed the spoon and scooped some up.
I’m fine. I was just thinking about something and it distracted me.”
Chelsea looked unconvinced, but seemed to decide not to pry.
If you say so.”
The gathering of giggling females continued talking as Lilian and Kevin had traded positions, with a blushing Kevin now feeding an ecstatic Lilian. Lindsay remained contemplative, absentmindedly eating her ice cream while debating the merits of having not pursuing Kevin more seriously. However, all of that was about to change.
It started with bestial shouting. As the loud, resounding cry of joy and lust reverberated down the hall like the roar of a perverted old man hyped up on Viagra, Kevin, Lilian, Lindsay and everyone else turned their heads to see Eric Corrompere flying towards them at Mach speed.
Oh, my beautiful Tit Maiden, with those overgrown mammaries that I love so much!” Eric cried out, tears streaming out of his eyes in quantities so vast it was a wonder he hadn’t caused the entire mall to flood. “It’s always a joyous day when I get a chance to bask in those grabiliciously ginormous gazongas of yours!”
He appeared before Lilian, his hands reaching out to grab hers. None of them knew for what purpose, but it didn’t matter anyway. He didn’t succeed.
Quicker than a whip, Lilian snatched her hands away from his grasping appendages, the fingers of which wiggled like a perverted tentacle monster. This did not deter Eric, however, who simply began crying joyful tears that much harder.
Please give me the chance to squeeze those giant tatas of yours!”
Lilian opened her mouth to speak―likely to let the lecher know where he could shove his request―when a fist brutally drove itself into Eric’s cranium.
DOOF!” Eric was slammed face first into the floor. He sat up, rubbing his head as a large lump formed on top, and glared at the person responsible. “What the hell was that for?!”
That was for being an idiot.” Kevin’s right eye twitched violently as the vein on his forehead pulsed in time with his heartbeat.
An idiot, am I?!” Looking like an enraged baboon, Eric jumped to his feet and menacingly shook his right fist at Kevin. “Who are you calling an idiot?!”
You, obviously.” Kevin sat back down and crossed his arms. “Seriously, Eric, can’t you, for once in your life, think with something other than that thing dangling between your legs?”
Maybe I will when you start thinking with yours!” Angry and defiant, Eric stood to his full not-inconsiderable-height and stared his best friend down with an expression reminiscent of the Hulk's—if the Hulk had looked like a human that had been crossbred with a monkey. “Maybe if you weren’t such a pansy and actually acted like a man for once, I wouldn’t have to act like this! Did you think about that? Well?!”
Kevin’s eye twitching increased.
What is that supposed to mean?”
It means what it means.”
That’s not an answer! And don’t try to sound so cryptic! You’re not a wise old man wearing a bathrobe; mysterious and vague doesn’t suit you!”
As Kevin began arguing with Eric, Lindsay leaned over in her seat and whispered to Lilian, who was watching the battle of words unfold with rapt attention.
It looks like Kevin’s beginning to get a bit protective over you, huh?”
Lilian smiled.
It does seem that way, doesn’t it?”
I don’t know what you did to help Kevin get over his girl problem,” Lindsay continued, “but I’m glad you did.” Looking at the curvaceous redhead, Lindsay bit her bottom lip. “And please, take care of him for me.”
Observing the soccer player with keen eyes that saw more than they probably should, Lilian sat silently for several seconds before her countenance softened.
Don’t worry, I will. I promise.”
Lindsay gave her a grateful, if watery, smile.
Thank you.”
You’re welcome.”
The two smiled at one another, sharing in a moment of camaraderie, one that they had yet to experience in the three weeks they'd known each other. It looked like this would be the beginning of a beautiful friendship—
I’m just saying that if you stopped pussy-footing around, we wouldn’t be in this mess! You’d have your girl and I’d have my Tit Maiden! Everyone would be happy!”
No, they wouldn’t! You clearly don’t know what you’re talking about! No one would be happy but you! And stop mentioning Tit Maidens!”
and the deterioration of another friendship.