Otonashi treats Kanade to some mapo tofu to make up for stealing her meal ticket last time and she was as cute as ever when she quickly accepted and scarfed it down in seconds. I was so happy seeing him reach out to her after the absolute bullying she was put through last time, and I gather she would’ve tried to savor her favorite dish too had Naoi not arrived to punish them for eating lunch during break. The really sad moment though was when Kanade revealed that she’d given up on having friends since they all end up disappearing on her, indicating that she’s not really aware of how this world works.
It was at that point that things headed towards a more serious tone, which was a stark contrast from how things started off with everyone doing whatever the hell they wanted in class because Kanade was no longer the student council president and they knew the NPCs wouldn’t do squat about it. This includes busting out the mahjong, working out on the floor, and sleeping right on the desks. Depending on how observant you’ve been, the bigger revelations this episode were the discovery that Naoi is indeed a human like the rest of them and that Kanade’s “handsonic” ability is designed for self-defense, suggesting that she’s clearly not an angel that’s out to get them. The “guard skill” bit pretty much gave away the latter, but in Naoi’s case, I was surprised to learn that he offsets his good deeds in the student council by beating up NPC students to prevent him from disappearing. Pretty messed up if you ask me, but not completely outlandish given his understanding of this world and how everyone who ends up here led horrible lives.
While I’ve long suspected the circumstances of those who arrive here, I wasn’t expecting to hear that Naoi desires to become god — under the pretense that this world is for selecting one — and send everyone off to heaven using his hypnosis ability. After witnessing the massacre that he and his hypnotized NPCs committed on the SSS members, things got pretty intense with Yuri nearly falling victim to being sent off under a delusional feeling of accomplishment. I felt that whole raining scene in general was really well animated with the lighting effects and all, which is why seeing Otonashi charge in to stop him and screaming his head off gave me goosebumps. I wasn’t expecting a quick look into Naoi’s past life right after, but it’s clear this episode was more about him than anyone else.
The whole “family affair” title turned out to be about how his twin brother passed away in an accident and how he ended up taking over his brother’s life to appease his father and carry on the renowned Naoi family name as famous potters (ceramics). I could sort of understand Naoi (Ayato)’s angst as his brother (Hayato?) was the one with actual talent and he was a completely disregarded hikikomori for the most part, especially when he did his best to become the son his father wished actually survived. At the same time, Naoi seemed to actually take enjoyment working under his strict father’s guidance in hopes he’ll acknowledge him for who he is, which explains why things just fell apart when he suddenly fell ill.
Seeing as they left the details behind Naoi’s eventual death unsaid for now, I’m really curious whether there is something more to his traumatic past. So far, I say it’s regrettable what happened to him, but it’s still not as bad as Yuri or even Iwasawa’s cruel fates. It looks like Otonashi’s slowly turning Naoi around though, which has me wondering who’s going to really be the antagonist in this series.