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)

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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 – 09

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When Keima is about to kiss Chihiro, she tells him it’s her first, meaning she isn’t hosting a goddess. Shocked by her unexpected declaration of love, Keima rejects her outright. Ayumi saw how he treated Chihiro and kicks him. While bathing, Diana tries to get Keima to “love Tenri more” so she’ll sprout wings; refuses. While at school with Elcie, examining their school emblem starts him on a route that discovers an enormous plot involving Vintage raising loose souls beneath Point Rock, but drops the investigation and gets back to his conquest of Ayumi.

So, the show did pull the twist and make Ayumi the host. Again, not particularly surprising. Once Keima realizes kissing Chihiro won’t release a goddess, his calculating mind decides to slam on the brakes and make a quick u-turn, running right over Chihiro’s feelings. It’s a cruel and not totally-out-of-character move by a guy who has said many times he’ll never fall for a real girl. He does consider Chihiro’s feelings – briefly – in his mind, but in the end, he ignores his conscience and brings the hammer down, hard.

We wouldn’t be surprised if Chihiro now hates his guts, meaning he ruined a potential post-goddess arc romance not sullied by the supernatural. But hey, apparently he doesn’t want that, so on with the mission! About that: while he couldn’t have known Ayumi was spying on him, he could have helped his cause much better had he not so harshly and mercilessly rejected Chihiro. In doing his u-turn, he obviously forgot the two are close friends, and Ayumi isn’t just going to leap in his arms because he says he loves her. Now his job to conquer her will be that much tougher.

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Rating:7 (Very Good)

Stray Observations:

  • We think Ayumi went a bit too far following and spying on Keima and Chihiro. It felt like the plot needed her to see Keima reject Chihiro in order to complicate things for him later, so…there she was.
  • We liked how all of her celebrity treatment has rubbed of on her to the point she’s started acting and talking like one. 
  • We lost some respect for Keima for so deeply hurting Chihiro, but gained a lot back when he started that convoluted sidequest…only to drop it immediately. He can’t be bothered to worry about all that supernatural Vintage conspiracy crap…just like us!

Kami nomi zo Shiru Sekai: Megami-hen – 08

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Haqua is attending a briefing at the New Hell Bureau of the Peace, when she asks the chief about the rumors that Vintage has infiltrated the Loose Souls Team. When she tries to return to earth, she’s arrested and thrown in jail. Back on earth, Diana has Keima assemble the released goddesses and show them Apollo/Kanon. They combine their powers to call to her, and Keima is drawn into a world created by Apollo, where she is praying to shift the fortunes of his town.

Keima has three days to find the last goddess. Based on past events he determines Chihiro to be the most likely host, and so chooses to conquer her first. He accepts when she asks him to be her date for the Festival Eve bonfire. He also asks Ayumi that it’s her last chance to get mad at him, and she doesn’t. That night Keima and Chihiro slink away from the fire to find a more private spot. Back in New Hell, Haqua is charged with treason as the Vintage infiltrator  Lune gloats.

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Both Chihiro and Ayumi like Keima, but only one of them likes him because the goddess she’s hosting restored her memories of his conquest of her. The other likes him because she really likes him, which means (to us at least) that whichever girl has those real feelings should still have them after the Goddess dilemma has been resolved. If Chihiro is the final host, then Ayumi is the one who really loves him. So…is Chihiro the final host? Keima is certainly operating under that assumption on the first of three remaining days before crunch time.

But we wouldn’t put it past this show to pull a twist on us and make Ayumi the host. There are certainly enough episodes left for another twist or two, so we’ll see. In any case, if the arc ends with neither of the girls liking him, that wouldn’t make sense to us…unless his choosing of the goddess girl makes the non-goddess girl fall out of love with him. It’s not like he’d be able to explain to her what he’s been through all season, after all.

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Rating:7 (Very Good)

Stray Observations:

  • Once the goddesses are all awake, they start fighting over Keima for their hosts’ sakes. Seriously gals, there’re other guys that exist in the world!
  • Diana/Tenri definitely sprouted wings in episode 4 after Keima apologized to her, yet here she is, still wingless. We guess they were just temporary wings…
  • Why did Haqua blurt out her suspicions when for all she knew, the Vintage infiltrator was there (and, indeed, Lune was right there)? We’re not that invested in all these silly New Hell politics, but are curious to learn who’ll rescue her.

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.