Nerine tells Rin that the song isn’t hers, that it’s the song of her most important person: Lycoris. She was a clone of Nerine, always smiling to Nerine, and like an older sister to Primula. However, she gave up her life to save Nerine’s. And so now, Nerine doesn’t want to lose Primula either. During this, Asa faints while waiting for Rin’s return with Kaede and Sia. When Rin learns of it later, he becomes quite worried and visits her home the next day. Asa seems to be feeling better, and tells Rin of when she was young and sick all of the time. Her mother was the one who took care of her, even though Asa blamed her mother for her frailty. She then ties her hair ribbon around Rin’s wrist, telling him that it’s for courage. And with that, Rin sets out with the girls to see Primula. Nerine is still hesitant, but (evil) Sia tells her that if you don’t show courage here, then you’ll always regret it. Nerine sees a brief vision of Lycoris telling her that Primula is waiting, and is thus convinced. The group finds themselves in front of a large dark sphere which is the gate to the Makai World.
At first I thought this episode was trying to cover a bit too much with both Asa and Nerine, but once I actually saw the end, it made more sense (with the courage theme). In fact, all of the four main girls (including Kaede and Sia) get some development this episode. For Kaede, it feels like she and Rin haven’t been communicating their real thoughts and feelings to each other (they each ask the other what’s wrong, but neither actually says what they’re thinking, replying instead with “no” and “nothing”). And as for Sia, her “evil” side seems to be showing more and more, and even gets to speak that line at the end.
Now that I think about it, it’s very interesting how the story ties together. If Ama is indeed the first girl experimented on (and it does look like her in the test tube), and Asa’s condition is a result of that, then the thread tying her story and Nerine’s is the magic experimentation one, which means this episode make a lot of sense with the way they tell it, at least in my mind.
Next week, our group travels to the Makai world to see Primula.
Closing Thought: I have this nagging feeling/suspicion/hope that SHUFFLE! will be one of those rare series to travel down each girl’s paths without rushing it or ruining it.
Edit: No real R-15 scenes this week, save for the shots of Primula and the-girl-who-I-think-is-Ama nude in the test tube.
2nd Edit: Zyl has a great explanation of the Lycoris/Nerine/Primula dynamic, along with some more info on Asa and Ama.