Keima finishes one game and decides to move onto one he only bought because it was cheap, and while he doesn’t have any expectations for it he’s struck by one thing, the heroine Yotsuba Sugimoto who he would later nickname Yokkyun, is perfect.
Also more Elsie with her hair down.
Following this the episode begins with Elsie singing along as one of Kanon’s songs plays in the background, and worried about him Keima’s mother sends her to check on him, leading to her finding an overjoyed Keima. Who on their way to school fantasises about walking to school with Yokkyun as they pass by past heroines, like Kusunoki and Jun, who after buying the PFP and the tickets to the wrestling match in now forced to work in a convenience store. And these fantasies don’t exactly stop when he gets to school either, getting him kicked out by Nikaido.
However he doesn’t really consider this a problem and he continues to play the game with Elsie eventually finding a much more stranger Keima enveloped his almost ideal game, and explaining that good games are made by heroines who leap through time. When Haqua later comes around she can’t believe that he would be interested in a game with such “crappy” art, so they move in to investigate and are promptly kicked out. Soon after this Keima also happens to receive a request from the company that made the game that Yokkyun features in requesting his help to make the perfect game, giving him the chance to create his galge. However while this seemed like an easy task at first there’s a lot of responsibility that comes with this, leading to an inner conflict where various representations of himself fight over what the most important thing to create this.
This eventually spirals into a debate as to whether cliches should be abolished or embraced which brings about another conflict, and as Elsie heads to bed she spots him and wonders what could be wrong. At this point Keima’s conflict has spiralled into a similar situation to the One Year War at the final battle of A Baoa Qu from Mobile Suit Gundam, right down to Amuro and Char’s iconic sword fight at the end, where this time two representations of Keima’s self fight for whether games should have a single heroine or multiple heroines. With each presenting their ideals before they realise one thing, they both carry a pendant with photo of Yokkyun inside, which leads him to realise one more thing, they may be divided by many things but at the end all who play galge are brothers and that they should pool their many ideals under a single tree.
Following this Keima responds to the email by simply asking them to make a good game, and as he walks down the street he reflects upon what he’s just realised as a panicked Elsie warns him of a sudden surge of loose souls. Presenting all the heroines who would appear in a possible third season as he contemplates on how while the world may be nothing more than a crappy game, there can still be an ideal points found in crappy games and therefore it is possible for them to exist in the real world.
Wow, honestly I didn’t know what to expect as we headed towards the end of this season, would manglobe throw a story about Mari Katsuragi at us? Or even one dealing with Keima’s God of Conquest persona? Or would they even throw a near heart attack inducing episode following Elsie? Given the amount of material skipped or within the proximity of what could be used in the next season there were quite a few possibilities.
However we didn’t really get any of that for something further off in the distance, it looks as if all those “filler” chapters have been skipped or at least put on hold for the time being as we got something else entirely. An episode focussed on Keima’s ideal girl and waifu, Yokkyun. Who while not being the first 2D heroine in the story so far could still probably be considered the first girl to truly capture his heart, he was truly obsessed with her. Second to that Yokkyun and the company that produced the game she was in also interestingly enough appeared to be a reference to Key, and more notably Yokkyun also provided a pretty good message. That when to comes to games and galge the art may still be a factor but while some games may have the sort of art that you would consider to be pretty crappy, you shouldn’t judge them by it. That in the end you could still find yourself a gem.
Without a doubt one of the things that I loved about this episode was how in one way or another we were able to see all of the past heroines, not just being limited to the ones from this season but also the ones from the first season as well. Allowing Mio, Kanon, Shiori, Kusunoki, Chihiro, Jun, and even Ayumi once more to make one more appearance before the end of the season and also show us how they were doing after we had left them at the end of their arc, in some cases how Keima filling the emptiness in their heart had helped them. As when you think about it Wakaki did 4-komas for the tankobons to show this but in the anime we don’t really get to look back at the past heroines that often, for which Ayumi had been the notable exception this season. Aside from that we were also able to get a series of glances at the heroines who would appear in the next season (Tsukiyo, Minami, Reiko, Sumire, and Tenri/Diana) which while hinting at another season also made for a pretty nice way to end the season on a note where Keima and Elsie continue to go after loose souls.
Which at the same time also had a bit of closure to it as the subplot that had been going on reached its conclusion, where in the background Keima had contemplated how the world could be thought of as a crappy game and why people continue to try so hard in it. It was probably one of the things that I loved the most about it as it managed to encompass all those messages about making do with what you have in the real world by explaining how it was still possible to attain ones ideals in the world. Next to that I’d also have to say that I thought Hiro Shimono really did an amazing job at voicing Keima in this episode, he pretty much carried that second half on his own where various facets of Keima’s consciousness were in a state of conflict, eventually reaching its climax with a Gundam parody. Which in itself also worked to throw another message in, that while we may all possess various conflicting ideals, in the end it’s possible to get along if we all pool them together while incorporating the same visuals and music as the first seasons opening theme.
Overall I’ve enjoyed watching this show a lot, the first season may have had it’s bland spots and we still haven’t reached the point where the story supposedly gets good, but it’s still an enjoyable show. It may be fairly episodic as far as the arcs go at the moment but it just has a certain charm to it, whether it be through it’s characters or the style of comedy it uses.
And while I haven’t really read that much of the manga I thought that Manglobe did a good job at adapting it, say what you will but they created a loyal and accurate adaptation for it where the only problem was that in some cases it was too loyal. Where some parts felt slightly dragged out or dull precisely because of this, on the other side of things however some parts were greatly improved. Take those capturing moments that take place around the climax of the arc, notably Chihiro’s which was executed near perfectly and in my opinion still remains a highpoint of this season itself. Aside from that I also liked how some of the things that were covered were rearranged a bit, managing to pace things out and provide some nice breaks between the capturing arcs, while at the same time staggering out the appearances that Haqua would get in this season.
Which for a season marked by her arrival I was slightly disappointed to see that she didn’t really get as much screentime as build up towards her appearance would lead us to believe. I even still remember seeing a message telling us to look forward to her before the second season started airing. As sure she got around two and a half episodes and she didn’t really appear much in the manga until this point but I was still expecting to see her a little more. But either way it was good to see her introduced, she turned out to be a pretty fun character while bringing in the tsundere archtype into the show and I thought Saori Hayami did a good job with her character.
Next to that that the series also had quite a few good/prominent voice actresses to voice the heroines, in the first season we may have had Ayana Taketatsu, Aoi Yuki, and Kana Hnngazawa but in this season we had Ami Koshimizu, Aki Toyosaki, and Kana Asumi either getting a more prominent role at one point or joining the cast. And if that wasn’t enough Hiro Shimono, and Kanae Ito continued to do a great job at voicing the mains, the latter continuing to make Elsie even more adorable and the former Keima’s eccentric character (the guy must really love his job), I just don’t think they’d be the same without them. And it was probably what made those comedy segments between them where Keima gets carried away explaining things to Elsie that I love the most about this series, the slightly crazy style to them just makes them a lot of fun to see.
So yeah, I really ended up enjoying this show, it had some fun characters and a nice style of comedy to it all and while it hasn’t exactly broken out of that episodic structure just yet it was still a lot of fun to watch. I just really hope that Manglobe was teasing us with a third season that will never come with the way they ended this one, they don’t really happen that often but this show could really do good with one.