The Shiomiya Shiori arc comes to a close with characteristic grace and whimsy. Between the soaringly gorgeous soundtrack and the ethereal lighting of the library, and the sheer fantastical aura to everything, I was reminded more than a few times of a Miyazaki film, most strongly Mimi wo Sumaseba, or Whisper of the Heart. That was about a far less-shy writer, not a librarian, but the parallels are there, aesthetically and thematically.
As usual, Keima arrives in the ideal place at the ideal time for his conquest, and has the ideal thing to say to her right when her heart is open the most. He achieves victory with almost surprising speed; and forgets about Shiori with equal speed. He truly has this down to a science by the fourth girl, and just as he harbors no emotional baggage from the hearts he wins in dating sims, nor does he feel anything residual about real-life conquests. Most of all, it’s about a really interesting character.
Of course,Keima wouldn’t have been able to even get in the library without Elcie’s help, which is why for once I give her a break (and also because I really love fire trucks too, damnit. I also prefer picture books to novels…). She’s at her best when she supports Keima with practical or technical tasks he wouldn’t otherwise be able to complete. I shall miss Hanazawa Kana’s voice (although she’s in plenty other shows still); her character had the best arc of this series thus far. It was short and sweet, but also deep and heartfelt as all hell. Rating: 4