With the newspaper club continuing to snoop around, the Love Lab realizes they have to step up their security to ensure they don’t get any more scoops. After Maki’s dismal performance with Jan, Riko decides it best for Maki to practice on her little brother Rentarou, so she invites her and the others to her house on Sunday. Ren is smitten with the outwardly prim, proper Maki, but rude to the others, though Suzane practices talking back to him. The next day RIko’s mom finds her low-scoring exam and sends her to cram school, where she reunites with Jan and Satoshi.
Whenever you have a sibling of similar age and the opposite sex, that sibling is always going to be curious about your friends, and your friends might in turn be curious about you. Both parties represent different and usually separate sides of you; the family side and the social side, and therefore your sibling(s) and friends learn more about you through your interaction with them. Riko’s pretty much all talk when it comes to her popularity with the guys, but Rentarou actually is popular with the girls, and is pleasantly surprised when the first of Riko’s friends he meets is exactly the kind of upstanding girl you’d expect of Fuji Girl’s Academy.
We know there’s a lot more to Maki that would keep Ren up at night, but it’s a nice reminder that when she wants to she can keep up appearances like nobody’s business. In fact, we wouldn’t even call Maki’s behavior an act so much as her default behavioral mode; it only seems like an act because she’s so wild in the presence of Riko and the others. But here she’s on her best behavior, and could wrap Ren around her little finger if she chose to. Ren’s less smitten with the other girls (“Masssive”, “Tiny”, and “Bushy-brows”, as he calls them) but he later smooths things over with Eno, saying her brows look nice.
Rating: 6 (Good)
Mugino and ITEM report to a job, but all they encounter are attack-bots, unaware they’re being observed by the researcher Aritomi. Later, Kongo Mitsuko stops a purse snatcher with her esper powers, but is reprimaned by Aritomi. Edasaki Banri is discharged from the hospital. She’ll be living with Haruue Erii, who will be moving out of Uiharu’s flat. Uiharu arranges a party for Banri, but she and Kuroko must attend to Judgement duties. When they return, Uiharu brings Haruue taiyaki and they share a tearful hug. While Misaka, Kuroko, Saten and Uiharu are headed home, they find a tiny girl lying in the flowers, who tells them her name is Febli, and that she knows Misaka Mikoto.
While last week was a wholly transitory episode focusing on slice-of-life, this week manages to place a couple of new game pieces on the board in preparation for the concluding arc of the season. The Acadmic Assembly is coming, which seems to be a venue where those with high academic aptitude but minimal esper powers (or none) can shine. (Rather amusingly, the Level 0 Saten knows nothing of this). It also seems like a breeding ground for collective resentment by those without esper powers towards those who do. The episode seemed to set Aritomi as the next villain: someone who doesn’t like it when arrogant espers like Kongo flaunt their powers carelessly.
But both Aritomi and lil’ Febli are very much still on the margins of this episode, most of which centers on the triangle of adorableness that is Uiharu, Haruue, and Edasaki. Uiharu is sad about Haruue moving out, but Haruue wants to be for Edasaki what Uiharu was to her, and Uiharu can appreciate both Haruue and Edasaki’s desire to be – to borrow a term from Potte – More Aggressive. Uiharu may think she’s just doing her job as a friend and Judgment officer, but her selflessness and dedication to those she cares about make her an extraordinary person, worthy of praise.
Rating:7 (Very Good)
Due to Yamada’s last words, the students initially believe Hagakure Yasuhiro to be the culprit, while Kirigiri could also be the killer or his accomplice. Naegi finds Kirigiri, who leads them all to Hagakure, who was stuck in a locker wearing the “Justice Robo” suit. After investigating the bodies, the classroom trial begins, with Hagakure and Kirigiri still the most suspected. However, Naegi remembers Celes saying something incriminating, which leads to her conviction. Afterwards, Naegi follows a lead by Kirigiri and gets knocked out.
The most obvious suspect – the one named Yasuhiro – is ruled out as the killer, and while Kirigiri lacks an alibi, she also lacks the name Yasuhiro. The true culprit is the one who had been talking the most, perhaps hoping to stand out and hide in plain sight. Alas, her mouth gets her in trouble, as she mentions more than one person was killed before she should have known such a thing, and it leads to her downfall. For what it’s worth, we didn’t think her stakes for winning were that compelling – surely a “super” gambler would have already amassed a handsome fortune.
While she goes a little nuts and puts up a fight, once she knows she’s lost, she accepts the verdict and her punishment (getting burned at the stake and smashed by a fire truck in a haunting sequence) with grace. So with the execution of the lovely Celes, more than half of the students are gone, and we’re no closer to knowing who’s going to end up winning in the end (Though it’s probably going to be the protagonistic Naegi). The final scenes of this episode were very ambiguous, showing Kirigiri possibly betraying Naegi and the bear and amazon possibly dueling…very odd.
Rating: 6 (Good)