Kami nomi zo Shiru Sekai: Megami-hen – 12 (Fin)

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Haqua battles Lune, while Keima (and Chihiro) race to Seaside Park, where Ayumi is waiting for him. She tells him she doesn’t care about his flags or strategies; she decided to fall in love with him on her own. Upon kissing him, Mercurius is awakened from within her. They’re instantly surrounded by Vintage agents, but Akari appears with a loose soul team squadron, while Diana carries Mercurius away. As the goddesses and demons battle Vintage at Point Rock and destroy their loose soul nursery, Keima and Chihiro walk home to grab her guitar.

She asks if he took her on a date because she had something inside her; he says she wasn’t involved. She’s relieved, and they exchange very heavy goodbyes. The next day, the school festival closes with a concert, including the “2B Pencils”, consisting Chihiro, Miyako, and a late Ayumi, Yui, and Elcie, plus Kanon joining in. Chihiro sings straight from the heart, and the concert ends with her in tears. Five days later, Elcie reports that everything is back to normal, including her exalted brother, but he still seems troubled…

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In an episode laced with epic battles between goddesses and demons trying to literally bring about hell on earth, it’s the solemn, quiet little conversations between Keima and Chihiro that had the most impact. Once Mercurius had been awakened from Ayumi, Keima’s job saving the world was complete. All that was left for him to to was go home and let the others take care of business. But Chihiro just happened to leave her guitar at his house, so she comes along too. By the time they’re home the sun is coming up, and in their final encounter of the series, things don’t go according to plan for Keima. In fact, he didn’t have a plan. He says something that makes Chihiro think he wants nothing more to do with her, now that the game is over.

But the next day at the concert, and then five days later, Keima doesn’t just hit a “reset” button on his feelings – like the previous two seasons. He looks more like he wants to apologize; that what he said to Chihiro wasn’t what he meant to say, and that he can’t leave things where they did. Even when we see him up in his room playing six games at once, and Elcie says he’s back to normal, there’s something about his body language that tells us he’s still in love with a real girl, one who genuinely fell in love with him without the circumstance of goddess possession. He may have found the ending to the Goddesses Arc, but the Chihiro Arc remains unresolved.

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Rating: 8 
(Great)

Kami nomi zo Shiru Sekai: Megami-hen – 11

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Keima courts Ayumi from outside her bathroom window as Haqua and Chihiro look on. He gets Ayumi to meet him by the river, but he has to relocate the setting of his confession numerous times due to the presence of Vintage agents all over town. Chihiro suggests they hole up at Miyako’s house, where Chihiro calls Keima a liar and plays for Ayumi a recording of him talking about his “conquest”. Ayumi flees, but Keima intercepts her on horseback. Testing his resolve, she proposes marriage, then takes him to her parents’ house. She then tells him to meet her by the waterfront to confess to her sincerely.

Ayumi, Katsuragi’s first and now last conquest, is making all the previous ones look like a cakewalk by comparison, but that’s apparently what Keima gets for persuing the girl he calculated as more likely to be hosting a goddess, Chihiro, first. Now time is seriously running out, but every attempt to close the deal is interrupted by a swarming Vintage. It’s a good thing Ayumi is actually in love with Keima, or she probably wouldn’t tolerate being dragged from one corner of town to the next on a marathon evening tour of potential confession spots. And all of it under the eye of Chihiro, who’s with Haqua for her own safety and still sore over Keima scorning him.

Chihiro now knows that Keima is after a power Ayumi possesses that only he can draw out, but doesn’t know the whole story, and isn’t told how large the stakes are. Even if she knew the world was being threatened, she’d still probably do what she does here in sabotaging Keima’s “speed run” and making him do things honestly and consider Ayumi’s feelings. This may seem like wasting time, but Chihiro rightly recognizes that even if she didn’t interfere, a speed run on conquering Ayumi wouldn’t have worked; as long as Ayumi thought she still liked Keima. Her bold act breaks the love triangle and allows Ayumi to proceed without guilt. Now it’s up to Keima to convince Ayumi he’s serious…and Haqua’s job to keep them alive.

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Rating: 8 
(Great)

Stray Observations:

  • All things considered, Ayumi’s quite a sport about the whole stolen underwear thing.
  • Some nice assists by Nora and her buddy this week, as the former distracts Lune and keeps watch on Ayumi, while the latter plants decoys all over town.
  • Miyako is a very gracious host, accepting four unexpected guests…but she’s not so spineless as to let them leave before cleaning up!
  • Keima makes quick use of his raiment by creating a white horse and wedding garb with which to woo Ayumi.
  • The whole scene at Ayumi’s house is fantastic, especially when her dad has simply had enough and heads to bed!
  • The preview for the finale was nice and minimalistic, but very enticing: an unseen expectant crowd clapping rhythmically.
  • Still wondering what’s up with Keima’s sexy teacher, Nikaido…we guess we’ll find out next week, if we find out at all,  right?

Kami nomi zo Shiru Sekai: Megami-hen – 10

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Keima tries to accelerate a quick route to conquest at the school festival, but Ayumi hates him and Chihiro keeps showing up at the worst times. After failing to form an alliance with Chihiro, he seeks out Ayumi, but Chihiro gets to her first. Vintage, led by Lune, launches a coordinated attack on the goddesses, capturing all of Keima’s past conquests along with Keima, Chihiro and Ayumi.

The trio is rescued by Haqua, who was quietly smuggled out of Hell by her boss Dokuro and charged with stopping Vintage. Katsuragi lets Ayumi leave but takes Chihiro and Haqua home, where they find Kanon missing. Diana appears, having not been kidnapped, and she and Haqua argue over who’ll launch a potentially suicidal assault on the Vintage base at Point Rock. Keima decides the best route is to continue his conquest of Ayumi, release Mercurius, and unite the goddesses as planned.

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This is the second time in two days we’ve dealt with an episode in which the bad guys execute a stunning and devastating move that puts our heroes’ backs up against the wall. Last week, Keima was uninterested in the miscellaneous affairs beyond his conquest of the goddess hosts. This week, he has no choice, as Vintage forces the issue, threatening not only his original (and relatively small-scale) mission, but also New Hell and Earth itself.

Last week’s diversion to Point Rock was a little flimsy, but the raised stakes work here. Not only that, the episode pulls Haqua from out of nowhere and suddenly has us actually caring about her. Turns out her boss wasn’t a crook after all, and makes sure her most trusted officer is on Earth where she can be of the greatest use. If it weren’t for Haqua, it would be Game Over for Keima. But both she and Diana want to start a war with Vintage; a war Keima doesn’t believe either of them can win on their own.

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In addition to making things we hadn’t deemed relevant relevant, the episode balanced action and exposition with a fair amount of comedy, as Keima digs a deeper and deeper hole for himself versus Ayumi, until all hell breaks loose, and in the chaos, Keima completely abandons pretense and tact. He mutters things out loud that he’d normally only think; he tries to get Chihiro to “form an alliance” (and gets pummeled for it); and at episode’s end Chihiro is essentially his (very confused) hostage.

But in the end, he’s the cooler head who rejects going out in a blaze of glory, as Haqua or Diana would do. He’s getting his game back on the rails, and will not deviate. He’ll release that last goddess from within Ayumi or die trying – in which case the world may well die with him. You gotta work with what you know…and he knows how to win the girls.

9_superiorRating: 9 (Superior)

Kami nomi zo Shiru Sekai: Megami-hen – 07

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With only one goddess left to release and two girls who may be her host, Keima must conquer both Takahara Ayumi and Kosaka Chihiro, but he’s grown incredibly weak and ill, and Haqua is not around. Nora’s “buddy” Asama Ryo arrives. Keima devises a “sick visit event”, baiting Ayumi into coming over. She carries him to bed and brings him water, but then Chihiro unexpectedly arrives, and Ryo lets her in.

Chihiro gives him medicine and plays a song she wrote on her guitar, all while Ayumi is hidden under Keima’s covers. Before Chihiro leaves, she confesses to Keima. He decides she’ll be the first girl to conquer, but before he can call her, Ayumi calls her, saying she heard about her liking Keima, and will cheer her on. Because she’d just told Keima, Chihiro suspects Ayumi was at his house.

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If we remember correctly, the presence of the goddesses within the girls has restored their memories of falling in love with Keima. But with only one goddess left and both Ayumi and Chihiro obviously in love with him, one of them must have fallen in love with him despite not hosting Mercurius, or having any memory of Keima’s initial conquest of her. Keima has no way of knowing who it is, so he has to court both and hope its the first girl he re-conquers.

It would be easier if it was Chihiro. While his improvisation in this week’s epic Surprise Double Sick Visit Event raise both the girls’ affection for him, everything starts to go downhill with Ayumi once she realizes her classmate, bandmate, and close friend Chihiro loves the same guy she does. And she defers to her, like the good friend she is, even though Chihiro might well do the same for Ayumi if she knew she loved Keima too. In any case, Keima’s job has gotten much tougher.

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Rating: 8 
(Great)

Stray Observations:

  • The one thing Keima was trying to avoid the entire episode was triggering a love triangle, but that’s exactly what he now has.
  • Ayumi was certainly a trooper, hiding under the hot bed so close to Keima.
  • It was actually a good move to bunch both Ayumi and Chihiro in the same arc; not only does their closeness to one another make things more complicated for Keima, but neither are what we would call the most interesting girls in the show, so combining them has spared us separate arcs.
  • That said, we also liked Chihiro’s song. We love us some musician girls.
  • It seems a bit odd that Keima has fallen so ill with just one goddess left, even though he showed no signs of fatigue before. Is another power behind this?
  • For the record, we think everything would have gone according to Keima’s plan had Haqua been there to help. Where the heck was she?

Kami nomi zo Shiru Sekai: Megami-hen – 06

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Keima starts to court Shiomiya Shiori, who remembers him saving her. He starts by approaching her dressed as a girl, hopeful a unique love interest will help inspire her to write. When she gets writer’s block, he vows to stay with her and won’t let her leave the library until her novel is done. He tells her to “stop thinking and start writing” a story about herself, something only she can write. The story she comes up with ends with a confession to him, and when he responds by kissing her, it releases the goddess Minerva.

Going back to the first season, we think Shiori was our favorite of all of Keima’s conquests. She’s extremely moe, and while her “whole library girl stuck in her mind” is a well-trodden character path, and like all the other various romances Keima engages in, is meant as a half-winking satire of such stories. But perhaps more than all the others, we find her more than just a funny send-up to her trope, but a legitimately good romance on its own terms, leaving aside the fact Keima is at least partially acting the part of the smitten guy. In fact, this story got us wondering for the first time – and perhaps later than many – how emotionally invested Keima actually is in these girls, now that he’s aware they all remember his initial conquests.

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His countless hours of practice with hundreds if not thousands of virtual mates may have reinforced his latent polygamy when it comes to romantic relationships, so we wouldn’t be surprised if at least part of him truly loves all of these girls, including Shiori, and all in different ways. This may have started out as one big cluster-fuck of a hassle, but Keima has not once complained about the reversal of the tragedy of these ladies forgetting all about him after falling for him. On the contrary, he seems to be enjoying every minute of it, to the point where you wonder if he could ever go back to dating sims after playing the real game.

Anyway, back to Shiori: what works so well about her for us is her near-constant inner monologue, which shows us sides of her she’d never bring out (except maybe through her writing). We love how she assures herself she’s open-minded enough to accept a guy like Keima, even though he cross-dresses and he’s seen him “embracing another man” (really Yui). We love how she defaults to writing about galactic wars when she gets struck. We love how she’s afraid to order ramen. And Keima is masterful at steering her towards simply writing about herself as a safe means telling him about herself. Our only gripe is that this episode was possibly Shiori’s only time in the spotlight this season…but they say absence makes the heart grow fonder.

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Rating: 8 
(Great)

Kami nomi zo Shiru Sekai: Megami-hen – 05

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Keima thinks the goddess within Goidou Yui is intermittently controlling her, making her vulnerable to discovery by Vintage, so he makes Yui his next target. Because she acts like a player character, he dresses in drag and plays the role of heroine, as letting her conquer him will have the same result. As Yui grows closer to Keima, the goddess Mars appears in her reflections, vowing to support her.

Yui and Keima go on a date to an amusement park, and Keima has Haqua help him set up a scenario whereby he is kidnapped and must be rescued. Mars emerges and defeats Haqua, and Yui and Keima kiss, fully awakening Mars. Keima fills Mars/Yui in on the situation, telling them to lay low until the other goddesses are awake.

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As we’ve said, we skipped the arc in which Keima initially switches bodies with Goidou Yui and conquers her, but we still like the Yui character because of how much she differs from the others, and not just in her choice of wardrobe. Her tendency to act as conqueror rather than conquered forces Keima to reverse his strategy in order to awaken her goddess, and it’s a lot of fun to see the girl being the one with the initiative.

Of course, because Keima is aware of what Yui wants – his heart – his strategy is specifically tailored to get him what he wants as well – an awakened goddess. Mars and Yui are also of similar minds once they get to know each other: strong women who are ready and willing to stand up and fight for the sake of weaker men. But that same aggressiveness makes her a very visible target for Vintage, necessitating restraint.

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Rating:7 (Very Good)

Stray Observations:

  • We’re somewhat surprised Keima is able (and allowed) to walk around school dressed as a girl, not to mention Yui being allowed to dress as a boy. You’d think a student disciplinary officer or teacher would have an issue with such behavior.
  • We’re also surprised more of Keima’s friends and acquaintances don’t notice him; only Shiori catches sight of him, and only when he’s laughing really loud like an idiot.
  • When Mars calls her exploits on the battlefield “ancient history”, she’s not being euphemistic!
  • Keima even tricked us; we thought the person who captured him was a real member of Vintage, not Haqua, who is once again relieved of her clothing.
  • Elcie, whose five-day absence we greatly appreciated, returns, preparing another hellishly disgusting feast for her exalted brother.

Kami nomi zo Shiru Sekai: Megami-hen – 03

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On the third day of his search for the remaining goddesses, Keima attempts “leaving school” scenarios with his five former conquests, with the aim of raising their affection for him by five points apiece. Circumstances such as bad weather and their unpredictable actions make it more difficult for him. Still, with Haqua, he is able to raise affection in all five, but he still has much work to do. Meanwhile, Elcie and Haqua’s co-worker Nora arrives, with a new confidential mission for Elcie to commence searching for the goddesses.

A lot has been placed on Keima’s plate; the one used to dealing with one conquest at a time is now facing a real-life equivalent of five dating sim conquests (not counting Kanon or Tenri) all existing in the same game by some kind of glitch, only a life is on the line, and potentially much more than that, as this episode implies. Still, despite his increased workload and exit from his comfort zone, so far you couldn’t ask for a more capable individual to get the job done (i.e. locate the goddesses) than Keima. He’s so well-versed in both fake and real romance (and multi-tasking) that he’s able to juggle five very different girls this week.

Fortune both smiles and frowns upon Keima at different times this week, and there are many close calls that could undermine everything. Keima couldn’t walk Tsukiyo home because she takes the bus; it was hard to get Ayumi and Chihiro separated because of an unexpected third wheel; and Yui (truly a wild card) seems more interested in conquering Keima than letting him conquer her. And speaking of wild cards, Keima and Haqua must now deal with Nora. But most impressive was how Keima handled Shiori: Haqua lured her away so her could read her story, which proved that she remembered his conquest of her. This led to an enormously entertaining collaborative writing exercise.

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Rating:7 (Very Good)

Kami nomi zo Shiru Sekai: Megami-hen – 02

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After being stabbed by Lune, Apollo escapes from Kanon and sends a warning to the other goddesses. Haqua determines that Kanon has about a week to live unless they can clear the ancient demon magic, which Diana says will require the remaining four sisters. Keima forms and operates under the theory that the goddesses are all within his former conquests. He narrows the list down to Kosaka Chihiro, Takahara Ayumi, Goidou Yui, Kujou Tsukiyo, and Shiomiya Shiori, approaching them one by one to gauge whether they remember him and confessing his love to them, with varying results. By the end of two days, he concludes that all five remain potential hosts for the four remaining goddesses.

This episode operates under the assumption its audience knows a formidable amount of backstory on all of Keima’s former conquests. Some even happened in OVAs we haven’t watched, but that’s okay; one is some astronomer, and the other is a rich girl who is now acting like a boy. As for Chihiro, Ayumi, and Shiori, we know them. It’s interesting to watch all the girls’ reactions to Keima as he undertakes his most challenging mission yet: re-conquering all five of them simultaneously in an effort to summon the remaining goddesses to aid Diana in saving Kanon’s life. This is a tall task even for someone used to multiple simultaneous conquests in the gaming world.

That’s because all the girls he means to re-conquer inhabit the same space, so he has to re-conquer them without any of them getting the idea that there’s a fourth-party beyond him and Kanon to deal with. While in most harems, the guy in the middle is an oblivious milquetoast, Keima is very much aware of the danger of creating love polygons, and his intricate strategy depends on him being able to keep the girls separate as he works on them. Keima is relying on Haqua to assist him in this and other things, and in their interactions Haqua’s opinion of him improves (despite his walking in on her preparing for a bath) as she sees just how resolved he is to save Kanon.

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Rating:7 (Very Good)

The World God Only Knows III – 01

Apollo / Nakagawa Kanon

When not playing dating sims, Katsuragi Keima continues to extract loose souls from troubled young women with the help of the demon Elucia de Lute Ima. After summarizing his past conquests, he heads to school with Elsie and is stopped by his neighbor and childhood friend Ayukawa Tenri, who suddenly grows a halo and changes demeanor. It turns out the goddess Diana is possessing her, and wants Keima to marry her so she can gain power and restore the balance between heaven, earth, and hell that’s currently off.

Meanwhile, J-pop idol and Keima’s classmate and former conquest Nakagawa Kanon is a vessel for Diana’s older sister Apollo. As a result of the presence of these “Jupiter Sisters”, both Tenri and Kanon remember everything about their romantic exploits with Keima. Kanon latches on to Keima in the middle of a test, fearful of someone chasing her, and Apollo comes out, having recieved a boost, and then withdraws. Apollo is then captured by Lune, a demon, member of Vintage and part of the movement to restore hell to its former glory.

While sometimes our opinions of various anime can vary wildly, we pride ourselves on being mostly consistent. So we went back to the review of the last episode of TWGOKII to re-familiarize ourselves with our thoughts on the close of that series:

“Keima is simply doomed for life to make girls fall in love with him and then lose them”

“For all the girls whose lives he’s changed by releasing them from loose souls, Keima remains stubbornly static”

“None of the relationships he forms ever have any lasting emotional effect on him”

“If another season is just going to continue the by-now tired formula, it’s going to be very hard to watch”

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Once Keima learned that none of his conquests would stick once the loose soul was extracted, he stopped caring about the aftermaths of those conquests. And why wouldn’t he? The girls went back to the way they used to feel about him. The reset button was pressed, again and again. For Keima, emotional detachment was the key to avoiding getting his heart broken every time.

This inclusion of the Jupiter Sisters, while seeming a bit tacked-on, and the resulting restored memories of his conquests, may be the kick in the pants this series needs to regain some freshness – and our interest. It also helps that there are no other series we’re watching that air when it airs, otherwise we’d definitely give it the boot.

In a subtle but clever parallel to his new situation and impending role this season, before shutting down his game center, he saves all of his in-progress dating sims. The goddesses serve as memory cards for real life, having saved the conquests Keima believed to be deleted. But it brings up a potential fatal flaw in this resurgence: if the goddesses leave the girls, surely they’ll take the memories too. We’ll see how it goes…for now.


Rating: 6 (Good)

Stray Observations:

  • This episode summarizes Keima’s conquest of Goidou Yui in the manga, as well as his conquest of Tenri in an OVA we never got around to watching. We got the jist, though!
  • Every time Keima’s conquest lost her memories it hurt a little bit, but we really liked Kanon’s arc, so we’re glad the series starts off with her remembering everything.
  • Way back, we also said the reset button prevented Keima from being in a harem situation, since only one girl liked him at a time. But that would no longer seem to be the case. It will be interesting to see how Keima, who’s played dozens of dating sims at once, deals with a real-life version of that situation!

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This week’s cold open is a stark contrast to last week’s. Both are of Nagase in her apartment; last week’s was full of confidence and energy, while this week’s was full of doubt and lethargy, feeling that she can’t do anything right, that she’s a bad teacher; that she can’t fix Keima. But she doesn’t head to school, she heads to a wrestling match to clear her head. Of course, Keima is waiting there for her with a ticket for the exact same seat, courtesy of Elsie. This was a deliciously devious way to get Jun on the same level as Keima, by basically giving her no choice but to share the narrow seat with him.

During this intimate match, Keima starts to get why she likes it so much; it’s a total effort. Not just the wrestlers, but the officials, staff, and spectators all contribute to create a passion you don’t often see elsewhere. Having been to numerous sporting events, I can vouch for the excitement of being among as many as 70 thousand fellow fans. Ideals do exist in the real world – and these events are one of them. Things are black-and-white; one side is good, the other evil; and if you don’t win, you lose.

For most of the episode, Keima is just upsetting Jun, but there’s most definitely a method to his madness. Jun puts her class out by entering them all into a marathon, and when they balk and deride her excessive care for them to bond, she accuses them of being selfish. This reinforce’s Keima’s theory that like the basketball team in the past, Jun is always “crushing” people with her ideals, and they’re always balking at the pressure she puts on them. But Keima doesn’t think she should change – he thinks she should keep doing it. Why worry what others think? He doesn’t.

No one can tell you how to live your life, and if you want to live it by trying to push and fire up and motivate others to follow your ideals, so be it. There are costs, of course; not everyone will respect or even like you, but life is full of challenges, and like Jumbo Tsuruma, one cannot back down from them, but must push forward. By comforting her when she needed it most and restoring her faith in herself and her ideals, Keima helps Jun Nagase end her student teaching stint on a high note. He also nicely sets up a scenario in which she could see him as something other than a student (literally when she’s done the stint), thus making it okay for her to kiss him, something she couldn’t do while at school. This releases the loose soul, and ends a final conquest arc that was as unique as it was enjoyable. Rating: 4

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How does the ketchup stay so perfect?

Jun Nagase: twenty-one years old; pro-wrestling fan; student teacher. She lives her life by the ideals of Jumbo Tsuruma: life is full of challenges; face them with everything you’ve got. Nagase is extremely stoked and confident about being the best damn teacher she can be. The male students salivate over her. The female students admire her. But there’s one student who she instantly identifies as a problem child: Keima Katsuragi. Keima is her project. And when she’s suddenly infected with a loose soul, she becomes his, much to his dismay.

Keima knows teachers from dating sims. They’re the toughest, most time-consuming conquests, due to the inherent problems with the student-teacher relationship. Clawing one’s way onto equal footing is not easy, and that’s just the first step; after becoming legitimate friends, he must take it a step further to love. As long as he stays away from Nagase, he can reach that equal footing sooner. But being her project, she gets right in his face and makes the first move. For the first time in a while, Keima is genuinely flustered.

This episode would make no sense whatsoever to a God Only Knows noob, because they’d assume everything Nagase assumes about Keima. She has no idea what his philosophy or M.O. is, and so formulates her own: he’s a shy, bored, troubled youth who needs her help. She even manages to reveal something in common between them: she loves pro-wrestling more than MMA because she values ideals over reality, just as he does. Aki Toyosaki brings a surefooted, bubbly exuberance to the role without coming off as annoying. With both participants on missions to reform/court the other, this should make for a most interesting final conquest. Rating: 4

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Since there are only three official “conquests” shown in the opening sequence, I knew this second season would go one of two routes: longer arcs, or buffer episodes. I watch this series to see Keima scheme and conquer women’s hearts using his knowledge of dating sims. So any time an episode fails to deliver that, I fear I’ll be disappointed.

Mind you, this could have been worse; Elcie is actually quite a bit more tolerable browsing through a game store than she is cooking or baking, which was the low point of last season. And Haqua is similarly tolerable with her not-so-modest modesty and strained excuse to show back up (shouldn’t she have given a report weeks ago?) So tolerable, but just. Mostly, it just made me wish there were more than three girls to conquer this season. Rating: 2.5

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Well, I called it, but it was pretty obvious Chihiro was going to come around and fall for Keima. The early scenes with Chihiro before going to bed, waking up, and going to school are nicely done; just nice, calm, quiet scenes that don’t need any embellishment. The fact that Keima is listed in her phone as “dweeb” is also a nice touch.

Keima’s initial thickheadedness is a little frustrating, but as he’s gone virtually the entire series declaring, almost with a sense of strange pride, that he doesn’t get real girls. When she decides not to confess to Yuta – out of affection for him, he reacts entirely the wrong way and sends her running after a tearful confession of her ordinary-ness. Fortunately, he soon realizes the error of his ways and gives chase, remembering the overarching mission – to relieve Chihiro of the loose soul.

She’s still upset, but her main issue is, she’s allowing external forces decide for her who she is, what she’s capable of, and how to live her life. Keima has always rejected the real world’s conventions while never betraying his own self. After a motivational speech, a well-timed cloudbreak, and a kiss, Chihiro’s loose soul is history, and while her memory of falling in love with Keima goes with it, the Chihiro that remains vows to take charge of her life and not be limited by self-doubt. Rating: 3.5