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.
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.
Rating: 8 (Great)
Keima is confident Shiori is hosting a goddess, but he can move on to anyone else, he’s cornered in the library by Tsukiyo’s doll, Luna, who reveals that Tsukiyo is hosting the goddess Vulcanus, who cannot move her body but only manipulate other objects. She attacks Keima believing him to be unfaithful. Meanwhile, Nora discovers the miasma-covered Kanon, and Haqua has to explain. Keima gets beaten up to the point Tsukiyo trusts him and gives him a kiss while he’s passed out. The kiss boosts her goddess powers and she sprouts wings.
Diana meets with her sister and Keima takes them to Kanon, where they combine their powers to remove the Vintage Weiss curse. Even so, Apollo is still very weak and casts a “hydration” spell on herself, keeping Kanon unconscious. With three goddesses left to awaken, Keima reaches a deal with Nora to delay her report to her superiors for a week. Jealous of her sister’s wings, Diana/Tenri confronts Keima right as Haqua is insisting he tells her he needs her. Keima apologizes to Diana, and she sprouts wings as well.
Keima is deep into the RPG of his life, with the role of agent of the preservation of New Hell, only he isn’t playing a game. Whereas the first season of TWGOK, the stakes were limited to his life and perhaps the lives of his conquests, this time an entire dimension is at stake, only the united goddesses can save it, and only he can release them from the girls he’s conquered. So far so good; despite working with limited resources and a very tight-knit network of girls with endless possibilities for slip-ups, he’s comported himself well and even facilitated the release of the curse on Kanon.
As the details of Keima’s grand mission and the myriad complications from all sides pile up, the entire series is ever on the cusp of being swallowed up in plot, but this season has been very clever at dispensing huge amounts of exposition while keeping the story moving with swiftness and urgency. It also knows just when to lighten things with a quip or observation that all of this is, in fact, quite absurd. An example of this is the fact that while the girls who remember loving Keima are all competing against one another, so too are the goddesses they host, and even Haqua is competing with Nora for Keima’s favor. Never a dull moment for this guy.
Rating: 8 (Great)
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.
Rating:7 (Very Good)