Shortly before leaving on a trip to the park with all the children, Kobato goes to get her bag and Ioryogi. She ends up answering a ringing phone in the process and finds herself talking with the person Sayaka owes money to. This guy wants her to pass along a message to Sayaka that he’s going to be shutting down the nursery school, and he hangs up soon after. Hearing this, Ioryogi decides to pass on the trip and instead heads out on his own to gather some more information. He finds a certain portal in town and ends up in front of a baumkuchen bakery in the middle of a forest. This bakery is run by an old acquaintance of Ioryogi’s named Genko, and Ioryogi asks him to do some investigating on the nursery school. Back at the school, Kobato tells Kiyokazu about the phone call, and he doesn’t want her telling Sayaka. The group then heads to the park where the kids have fun, but one little girl notices that Kobato is worried about something.
Kobato ends up playing hide and seek with the kids until it’s time to go, but that one girl doesn’t show up with the rest of the kids. Kiyokazu and Kobato eventually find her sleeping under a tree after having tried to find a four-leaf clover to make Kobato feel better. As luck would have it, Kobato finds a four-leaf clover in the girl’s hair during the group picture, and there’s an entire patch of them nearby. Ioryogi meanwhile returns to town and discovers another acquaintance named Ginsei waiting for him. The two have a brief battle, and afterward, Ginsei questions if Ioryogi is going to return to the other world. Ioryogi explains that he has something he has to do, and he warns Ginsei to leave Kobato alone. Ioryogi continues on his way after Ginsei backs off, and he’s met a little while later by a bird who brings information from Genko. It turns out that the nursery school used to be run by Sayaka’s father – who is now dead – and he was tricked and had to borrow money. The people who did it are dangerous, and among them is someone related to Sayaka. Ioryogi then returns home to Kobato, but he keeps to himself about what he learned.
I thought the stuff with the little girl was really predictable and not very interesting to watch, but it ended up being not quite so bad thanks to the scene where Kobato finally finds a four-leaf clover (and the music accompanying it). Much more interesting was the fact that Ioryogi went off on his own and actually did something significant, which both developed the main story, his own backstory – i.e. the circumstances to how he became a stuffed animal – and introduced some new characters. It seems like he still has a ton of pull too, and after seeing him go through magical portals and fight, I wouldn’t be surprised if he had a few more special abilities he hasn’t shown yet. Speaking of which, it was a nice change of pace to see him battle Ginsei, even if it was a fairly short sequence. He can be pretty cool when he needs to be, and it’s in big contrast to all the cuteness in the show. In general though, it feels like the tone of the series is shifting more to the serious side now with all of the debt stuff, and I’m curious to see how it gets resolved.