After another successful mission in space, Haruka looks down on Earth and can see her hometown where the Imber had come for her. When she says that she wants to see the Imber’s hometown, it shows her an image of space. Since it’s now summer, Haruka and friends are soon off to a seaside school on a southern island. Though they’re excited to be at the beach, the real reason they came is for some start-up experiments with the iDOLs. As the Imber is getting lowered into the underground base for maintenance, Ritsuko asks Haruka what color she likes. Haruka chooses pink, so Ritsuko decides to go with it. For the time being, the other girls have fun on the beach, but Haruka stays dressed because she’s too embarrassed to show her swimsuit. Yukiho has no such inhibitions and surprises everyone with her large chest. Their fun is interrupted by a loud noise and a pillar of flame coming from what Iori calls an iDOL combustion experiment. Haruka decides to go take a look at the Imber, so she heads underground where the iDOLs are being worked on. To her surprise, she finds the Imber opened up with its Core exposed – it is the true Imber, as Azusa explains to her.
Azusa continues on to reveal that with the destruction of the moon 107 years ago, they discovered a silicon structure from a crater left by a piece of the moon crashing into the planet. These became iDOLs after research led to the creation of the Prometheus interface. The Imber was the first of these. Although development of the iDOLs was generally fine, they found that the problem was that the iDOLs only responded to girls and were very particular. What they don’t know is what the iDOLs are really thinking or if the iDOLs can even think. When Haruka insists that the Imber has a heart, Azusa suggests that what they perceive as the human-like reaction from the iDOL might just be mechanical reflex actions. Even if they found the other two unidentified cores out of the five total, it wouldn’t bring them any closer to the truth, and they have no way of figuring out the truth. When challenged by Azusa to assert definitively that iDOLs have hearts, Haruka is left speechless. With all this on her mind, Haruka leaves Azusa, but is soon called into a hanger by Ritsuko. It seems that because Haruka said that she likes pink, Ritsuko has painted part of the Imber that color. Having noticed that Haruka was acting a little strange, Iori later says in the bath that the Imber is nothing more than the Imber and that it’s fine for Haruka to be herself.
That night, Haruka decides to take the Imber out for a ride over the ocean, and they end up stopping by some ruined buildings in the water. It is here that Haruka tells the Imber that she learned some stuff about it today from Azusa, and even though she doesn’t understand the Imber, she feels that the flower that it gave her is representative of its true heart. Haruka wants to learn more about the Imber, but first, she wants the Imber to know more about her, so she opens her jacket to reveal her bathing suit. With the Imber now recording her, Haruka starts reintroducing herself. She soon gets interrupted by the sky magically lighting from to the orbital ring that they call Confetti. Admiring the view, Haruka asks if the Imber is really from up there, and when the its eyes light up as if to say yes, Haruka declares again that she wants to know more about the Imber.
So, aside from the fact that Haruka’s interaction with the Imber is getting creepier and creepier (the whole part with the Imber recording Haruka after she showed it her bathing suit just seemed wrong), I actually think this episode was a step in the right direction. They’re now developing more of the back-story to the iDOLs, and Azusa’s explanation makes the question of whether iDOLs have hearts or can think or whatever seem less asinine than it originally did. I still don’t like the fact that the Imber is Haruka’s pseudo-boyfriend (or pseudo-puppy depending on how you look at it), but I don’t mind it quite as much in this context.
I’m hoping that we’ve now gotten past the worst/most mediocre parts (aka. initial bonding with the iDOLs) that this show has to offer and are getting to better parts. The twins Ami and Mami have finally shown up, and they look to be part of what next week’s episode is about.