On the night before she supposedly has to confess Chihiro still seems to attempt to brush things off while the weather reports that the rain could finally end. On Keima’s side of things he’s busy simulating various confessions for her, feeling that her blandness made her a good self insert character.
Later that night Chihiro has a dream where Yuta rejects her but a boy with a black umbrella is still there, when she wakes up she gets ready and goes to school, gloomily doing a few things along the way. At some point she also spots some meat buns on special at a convenience store and decides to share some with Keima, presenting them to him as an offering for the fallen god when he was going to have her practice the confession with Elsie.
However this plan doesn’t exactly work out, and as they eat them together Chihiro asks if he wants to check out a new Chinese restaurant with her and when he mentions that he couldn’t due to her confessing to Yuta, she brushes it off by saying that in the end she didn’t like him as much as she thought. Causing Keima to lash out at how much work he had put into it and how she’s never serious in anything, and as she takes this head on she tells him how she isn’t good at running like Ayumi or singing like Kanon and that there’s no point in trying if the result is always average. Leaving him to realise just how clueless he had been, he couldn’t see her low parameters and didn’t notice the flags he was activating.
So determined to fix this he goes after her and eventually tracks her down to a ship in the harbour, and thinking that she’s going to jump the first thing he does is tackle her. He then goes on to tell her that he was worried and he sees through her when she confirms what he had said before, and she also tells him how she thinks she can shine as well if she’s next to someone who already shines. And when she tells him how she thought they were similar, he tells her that while he may have given up on the real world, by no means has he given up on himself and will do whatever he wants. She still can’t accept this, feeling that there are limits that stop her but still he continues to tell her she can do anything. Kissing her to release the loose soul before telling her that she can and that he’ll always be there to help.
In the epilogue Chihiro tells Elsie that she’s planning to put a band together where she’ll be the vocalist, even if she can’t sing, and offers Elsie the position of the guitarist. Following this she goes on to do the same sort of things she did earlier in the episode, but this time in a much more upbeat manner as the sun shines through the sky. In the end though, Keima reflects on how the real world sucks and is nothing more than a crappy game but can’t help but notice how everyone else except himself continues to struggle against it.
So we reach the end of Chihiro’s arc and in the end I thought it turned out quite nicely, it may have ended with the traditional sort of end but it had already been foreshadowed in the previous episode and what we got was far better than what we could have got from it if it did carry through with Chihiro confessing to Yuta. So it wasn’t really a problem at all.
To start with, it was also kind of strange to see a character voiced by Kana Asumi have a thing for or even just bringing up meat buns (those who watched Amagami SS will know why). It may have been a complete coincidence due to her just so happening to be the one to voice these two characters, but the connection is simply uncanny. It just couldn’t have been intentional, that said I’m probably over thinking this.
After this I would also have to say that I liked how the arc ended, it first may have started to go in a different direction at first with Keima being the one to act as Chihiro’s instructor but instead it went back for something more in line with the usual way that the arcs in this series. And there wasn’t really any problem with that, Chihiro starting to fall for Keima and enjoying being able to spend time with him had been shown in the last episode and it was further cemented in this on. With her even giving up on the idea of confessing to Yuta if it meant that she could spend time with him.
Other than that in going with the more traditional sort of end it also meant that we got something far better than what the other option could have provided, Keima explaining to Chihiro just what the different between them is and learning why Chihiro isn’t exactly serious in anything. The latter I thought was pretty good, standing in with how “average” she is by her just being fed up with giving it her all and only coming out average in everything she did, not only giving up on the real world but herself. Not to mention that at the same time this stood as the difference between them, Keima clearly hadn’t and held a sort of “the world may be pretty shitty, but I won’t let it stop me” sort of outlook on life, fairly admirable for what it was. After that I would also have to say that just like the ones before it, the execution for this concluding sort of scene was perfect.
Finally I’d also have to say that I loved the epilogue, as while it may have first shown that Chihiro had taken Keima’s advice to heart by deciding to form a band, it was also accompanied by a particularly nice montage scene. Which just like the ones before it was something that wasn’t in the manga, and with it’s addition it served as a nice way of showing just how much his advice had changed her, she may have been gloomy and unenthusiastic the first time around, but towards the end of the episode she had completely turned around, and the smile she gave made for a great ending point. And even after this it even seemed to throw some development at Keima’s character as he wonders why everyone keeps going in this world.
In all I’d have to say that I enjoyed watching this arc, I never expected Chihiro to beat out Shiori or Kusunoki as one of my favourite heroines in the series, but it was great to see some development thrown in her direction given that she had been around for quite a while and most of all she still turned out nicely in her own right as a heroine. Especially for what was initially introduced as an “average” girl with nothing that made her stand out or any high parameters (except her “S-rank sharp tongue”). Secondly the arc itself also seemed to have a nice message to it, seeming to tell us that the world is as fun as we can make it, and it’s only shitty if you seek to make it that way. And last of all Keima even questioned his position in the world, something that seems to forebode something good for his character.