While Kaede and Rin are greatly impacted by Primula’s departure, Primula herself also missed the pair a lot: she has a dream where she’s running after them, and then turns around to see Nerine behind her. Rin visits Forbesii to get some information about her return, but Forbesii has none to offer. After Rin leaves, Nerine tells her father that she doesn’t feel good about hiding the reality of the situation from Rin. Switch to Eustoma and a scientist talking about Primula; her condition doesn’t look good. Back at Nerine’s house, Forbesii wants Nerine to promise not to tell Rin. The next day, Nerine stares at Rin from afar, afraid to approach him. Sia, after learning of the situation from Nerine, suggests that they get Rin, Kaede, and their fathers together for dinner. That evening, Eustoma and Forbesii are discussing Primula again prior to the meal. Just after Forbesii says that Primula’s life might not return, the two hear Rin walk in. At Rin’s insistence, they confirm that everything they just said is true. Rin asks if there’s anything they can do to help her, and Forbesii replies that there’s only one way: to reset her emotions. But that would mean that Primula would once again lose her emotions. With these revelations on his mind, Rin runs into Sia and Nerine outside the house and is quite angry that they kept the information from him. When he gets home, Kaede figures out what happened from the way Rin acts; the entire cast spends the evening and next day feeling depressed. The next day, Asa sees everyone this way. She finds Rin after school at the arcade trying to win stuffed cats, and after seeing Rin’s dejected face, she talks some sense into him by reminding him of Primula’s smile. That gives him the strength to decide to go find Primula. He gathers Kaede, Nerine, and Sia, and tells them his decision. They are hesitant to support him, but Asa’s heartfelt plea gets through to Sia and Kaede. Nerine cries out that she doesn’t want to have an important person die a second time and runs out of the house. Rin chases after her and sees her on the swing set where they first met, singing that song. Nerine confesses that the song isn’t hers.
Wow, SHUFFLE! can actually pull off some decent drama. The only complaint I have with this episode is that some of the scene transitions (the fade out) seem a bit off. A minor thing, but it did bother me – otherwise this episode is quite good.
Asa wins for best performance and best character of the episode. It’s her words that make Rin decide to act, and her words that also bring Kaede and Sia on board.
And so the level of angst went up dramatically, and I really enjoyed it. They’re actually making a story of Primula and Nerine. The two seemed to be intertwined in some way that will probably be revealed next episode, which seems to be Nerine and flashback centric (2 Nerines!?).
Closing Thought: I’m very glad that they didn’t pigeonhole Rin into one girl. In fact, the current drama doesn’t feel like part of a harem series anymore.