If one is born with 100% possibility, then let's live our lives at 100%.
I have again chosen to start a cour review with a line from one of the theme songs of Shugo Chara, this time from the fourth closing theme. There is real progress now, as Amu moves forward and recovers from some of the hardships she faces in the third cour. Regardless of her motion, the final twelve episodes in the first series of Shugo Chara can be talked about as two separate halves, the first half concluding the black diamonds arc, with the second half starting the embryo arc.
The first episode of the cour, episode forty, focuses not on Amu, but instead looks closely at Rima. The Queen's Chair of the guardians is a quiet girl, and we learn exactly why she is that quiet. She has been having trouble at home with her parents arguing all of the time. Her parents are getting annoyed with Rima coming home at different times every day, since it messes up their schedules, and are threatening to make her change schools and quit the guardians. She is torn between her friends and parents.
It is at this time that Yukari and Utau decide to attack their school using Utau's Black Diamonds
CD, putting an X on the eggs of all of the students that hear it again. Amu, Tadase and Yaya attempt to save them, but end up trapped and in a bind. Rima learns of their troubles and finally gets up the courage to confront her parents about things, and goes to rescue Amu and co. Once everybody is defeated the four guardians catch Kairi with bags full of Utau's CD, with him finally revealing that he is an agent working for Easter.
Episode Forty-One follows directly from the storyline in the previous episode, with the four remaining guardians focussed on confronting Kairi about his betrayal. They learn that he is the little brother of Utau's manager, yet in the face of all of this evidence Amu is still finding it hard to believe that he is a bad person. Through Nikaido they learn of a secret live concert for Utau's band, and decide to go there to stop her from putting X's on eggs and maybe confront Kairi.
Upon arriving at the concert they realise that they are just too late, and while Amu and Utau argue, the X eggs combine to form a giant X monster. They give chase when Utau tries to escape but are instead confronted by Kairi. Amu tries to fight with him, but he overpowers her. At that point, the X monster attacks, and after hearing Amu's words Kairi transforms into Samurai Soul
. At this time, Yaya too transforms for the first time into Dear Baby
. Together with Tadase and Rima, also transformed, they manage to purify the X eggs.
The final two episodes of the Black Diamond arc of the series focus on the final showdown between the guardians and Utau. It all begins with Kairi telling them about her plan to distribute her single around the world in an effort to make as many people hear it as possible. They cannot allow this to happen and come up with a plan to confront her as she leaves for America. The night before this, Tadase reveals to Amu that he knew Ikuto and Utau as a child, and that she wasn't always this mean. This motivates Amu even more to make Utau believe that what she is doing is wrong.
When the guardians arrive for the final showdown, they make a dramatic entrance with Amulet Angel confronting Utau and Yukari in front of their waiting helicopter, with Platinum Royal, Clown Drop, Samurai Soul and Dear Baby backing her up. Dia confronts Amu and for the first time tells her why she changed into an X character, but at the same time refuses to character change with Utau. Frustrated, she transforms instead with Il for the first time since episode 29. As the guardians rush to assist Amu, Ikuto, transformed into Black Lynx, stops them. This would be a fight between Amu and Utau only.
As the fight goes on, Amu is overpowered, but just as Utau is about to land the final blow, Il and El stop fighting and Il decides instead to go on to Amu's side. She forces a transformation with Amu, who becomes Amulet Devil
. Utau counters by becoming Dark Jewel and defeats Amu. Amu makes one last emotional appeal to Dia, at which point Dia finally returns to Amu and loses her X.
Amu transforms with the newly reborn Dia, and becomes Amulet Dia
. Utau, completely rejected by three guardian characters now drops to her knees, completely defeated. Il and El try to comfort her but it is Ami, Amu's younger sister who eventually saves Utau from her despair. Idolising the singer, Ami make Utau realise why she started to sing, and how happy it made her feel. Yukari decides to make a run for it with a box of X eggs and the master CD, but the X eggs all hatch and start causing havoc. The guardians defeat the eggs on the ground, but the remaining eggs attack the helicopter. Utau transforms with El to become Seraphic Charm
and purifies all of the X eggs herself. Amu helps to guide the helicopter to the ground as Amulet Dia, whilst Utau saves Yukari, who was falling towards the ground at some speed.
From this point on, the series takes a much more episodic feel to it, not too different to the first episodes of Shugo Chara. The first one is a very nicely done flashback episode, with an underlying storyline of Kairi returning to his hometown now that his work has finished. He helps his sister move into her new office now that she and Utau have quit Easter. He ends things by revealing to Amu that he has feelings for her, and that when he returns he is going to take her for himself.
After this episode follows two X-egg of the Week
episodes, the first featuring Seiichiro (the Glasses boy who Amu saved in episode 1) and a young pianist. The pianist is bullied by Saaya (the rich girl) and her heart's egg has an X put on it. The second episode features a young Osakan girl who dreams of being a comedian. Rima helps her perfect her act, and she is feeling confident for the competition until she refuses to laugh at the judge's routine since she doesn't find it funny. He picks on her and she runs off crying. In both instances, Amu transforms into Amulet Heart and purifies the eggs.
Following the two 'throwaway' episodes, Amu finds herself having to help out Utau when Yukari finds herself sick and unable to manage her. Utau and Yukari have been having trouble after leaving Easter, with the giant corporation causing trouble for the new agency. After a long day, Amu and Utau are recovering in a park when Amu spots and X-egg and goes to purify it. While she's away, Utau is confronted by two more eggs, and after some requests by El, she transforms into Seraphic Charm and purifies them. Afterwards, she starts to sing her new song at the fountain and draws a crowd. She realises that she wont reach her old heights straight away, but it will come eventually.
Again, two more throwaway episodes follow in quick succession, with the first featuring Yaya and her helping out the students who look up to her as a guardian member. She tries to find the class pet that has flown away. She eventually captures the bird she was chasing, but it ends up being the wrong one. While she was searching, the students found the bird without her. The second one looks at the violin shop Ikuto uses, and one of the young apprentices. She damages a violin she was fixing, and runs away. Amu purifies the inevitable X-egg, and everybody lives happily ever after.
The final two episodes look more at the embryo, building up to an ending for the series. Both episodes could easily be mistaken for one-off episodic affairs, with the first episode being a guardian character focussed episode. The most memorable part of the episode is an RPG style search for the embryo, with each character in RPG style clothing. After the imaginary search, they search for real and find themselves in an ominous looking factory building full of machinery. Kusu Kusu and Pepe accidentally activate a machine that was housing an X-egg. Amu arrives and saves the day.
The final episode of the first series has the three mad scientists of Easter hatching a plan to keep Amu captured whilst they search for the embryo using their egg seeking UFOs. Their machines go out of control but again Amu and the guardians save the day. The X-eggs powering the UFOs are purified and the embryo is sighted. Both Ikuto and Amu leap to grab the special egg, but are shot out of the sky by an errant missile fired by mistake by Easter's helicopter. Falling to the ground, Ikuto and Amu are saved by Kukai and Tadase, but the embryo is nowhere to be seen.
A big part of Shugo Chara is the character transformation scenes between the guardian characters and their owners, and this is never truer than in the final cour of the first series. In these twelve episodes every character transformation is shown, from Amulet Angel to Sky Jack. I'll be creating another blog entry soon to talk specifically about each transformation.
The first series of Shugo Chara has come to an end, but Shugo Chara itself will continue for a second year this week starting with episode one of Shugo Chara!! Doki
. There are a lot of unanswered questions, old characters that could return, new characters that could join, plus the underlying search for the embryo. Just what will the next series bring? I for one can't wait to find out.