In his spare time Keima is thrown into despair over how there is still around 60,000 loose souls left.
When they start their school week Chihiro helps Elsie by telling her to shift her idea of the week’s end along, but this isn’t exactly enough for Keima and Chihiro refuses to help the Otamega. However the remark she made has little effect on him, simply because girls like her without a defining trait are merely background characters, at best they’ll be right behind another character. Despite this though Elsie’s sensor goes off as she passes by.
So she then goes over her profile for which there’s really nothing special about it, her attributes are all pretty “real”, something which makes it harder for Keima since he has no idea where to begin or how her “route” will carry out. And even then he can’t stand her, and considering Haqua got away with it he refuses to even try. Not that far away they soon see her confessing to another guy, something which would get a company’s building burnt to the ground, however this confession ends in rejection.
The next day at school Keima still refuses to conquer her even if the emptiness in heart grows, and just when it looks like she won’t be coming to school, Chihiro arrives and while she’s heartbroken she cheerfully decides to go on to her next love. However this depressing atmosphere is enough for Keima and just as he goes over his course of actions, hearing her decide that is too much for him. And he confronts her on how her love isn’t even real and that people like her are the messing up the real world, however she turns this right back on him and labels him a cockroach. Throwing him into an even deeper despair.
Due to this he gives up on the real world and locks himself away in his room, refusing to leave for anything or talk to anyone, and so the seasons pass as Elsie waits outside. But one day just as the crows start to fly around his window, he leaves his room only for Elsie to see that he’s completely disconnected himself.
When she tells Chihiro about this she goes on to tell one of her friends, and as Keima is overcome by despair and realising that the irony in shunning the real world is that you still need energy from it, a familiar girl appears in front of him, Ayumi who warns him that if he sleeps there she might run over him.
And so we move into Chihiro’s arc and while I was slightly disappointed to see it skip or maybe postpone another scene/segment with Haqua, I must admit that I liked how this turned out and Chihiro looks to be Keima’s greatest challenge yet. If that wasn’t enough it also managed to bring Ayumi back into the picture.
If there’s one thing that I think stands out about Chihiro voiced by Kana Asumi, it’s that she had been introduced before her arc started, and due to that was able to at least make something of a name for herself as Elsie’s friend at school who went along with the others in calling Keima the “Otamega”. It’s something that makes her feel as if she’s been there all along while the other heroines just seemed to conveniently show up or bump into Keima. Aside from all that as a “real” girl she also presents what could be Keima’s greatest challenge yet, his knowledge of eroge/galge heroines means nothing against her and even then she’s already shown to like another guy. Which as he said, would lead to a company being burnt to the ground if they tried it.
Due to all of this it also meant that we saw him off his game as the Capturing God took a fall, being thrown into despair not only once when he learned that there were still around 60,000 loose souls still out there when it took him long enough to capture five so far. But also when he was confronted with the fact that he could be considered the scum of the real world, hypocritical when he had attempted to label Chihiro’s throw away disposition towards love as such. Ultimately leading to him going through a hikikomori/NEET stage in the second half of the episode. Something which actually turned out to be pretty sad, more so when you look into the Mangaka, Tamiki Wakaki you’ll find that he too went through a stage like this for a staggering 13 years when an editor told him his work was no good. So it doesn’t take much to believe that just like all the eroge/galge parodies, he was also building from something personal in his life when he threw this in.
Finally this episode also served to bring Ayumi voiced by Ayana Taketatsu back after she had pretty much disappeared after the very first episode, and what better way than as the beacon of hope for Keima when he was overcome with despair. Which also managed to make her a bit more than the introductory heroine only used to establish the characters and plot before they’re completely forgotten. Which if that had happened it would have been something kind of sad, as while her appearance may have been brief I still liked her character quite a lot. Aside from that her reappearance also gives the feeling that things are starting to get less episodic and the line she had to pull Keima out of despair was pretty cute, working in with her position on the track team.