Flag 9 is a return to top form for God Only Knows. It introduces a very intriguing final conquest for Keima in the person of Shiori Shiomiya, the quietest, most socially awkward, and by most well-read student in his class. Even her name sounds shy. Shiori’s velvety-smooth, gentle voice is provided by Kana Hanazawa, who seems to pop up in everything these days, but you know, I really don’t mind that at all.
The vast majority of Shiori’s words are inside her head, including an extended, operatic inner monologue that serves a as a stirring and convincing manifesto for why she is content to live out her life within the walls of the library, which she sees as her castle. Books are worlds, and shelves are universes. (Books are even rabu and joi!) Why ever interact with humans? When dealing with Elcee and Keima, she simply sits/stands in total silence while a rousing conversation with herself rages in circles within her cranium.
However, Keima is highly experienced with (virtual) librarian girls, and knows that “If you listen closely“, you can hear a bookish girl’s inner voice.” Shiori will be much tougher, as her thoughts don’t appear on-screen for him to read like dating sims. The previous conquests were comfortable talking and being among other human beings, and so their interactions with Keima were fairly straightforward. I’m definitely going to enjoy this different social dynamic, even if it proves torturous to Keima (though he admits, he prefers shy and quiet to airheaded and loud). Rating: 3.5