「Coupling with with with with」
As an interesting change of pace, this week’s episode doesn’t start a new girl’s arc and focuses on Elsie instead. We can never have too much Elsie can we? I know I can’t, not when she’s adorable as “hell” even when she’s upset about Keima hating her cooking. Evidently, the whole “it doesn’t taste nearly as bad as it looks” reaction he had when she force-fed him doesn’t mean much when his lunch has tons of eyeballs and is squirming about. However, Elsie does go out of her way to try and make a strawberry cake for Keima at fellow classmate Kosaka Chihiro’s (Asumi Kana) suggestion, which led to all the wacky antics once she brought out the ingredients from hell. Hellish or not, I don’t even want to know why Elsie was going to use fertilized eggs for cooking. One hatched Mandragon later and she’s sent running for her dear life while continuing to mix the cake batter every step of the way. Between the cuteness that Elsie exuded to the tune of her “Oh!☆My GOD!!” insert song and the crap that Keima had to take from his teacher Kodama Ichirou (Nakao Ryuusei), there actually wasn’t a lot happening leading up to Keima secretly eating her cake even though he claimed to hate sweets. In lieu, the episode was broken down into five mini ones that told the same story from different perspectives, similar to the screenplay seen in Baccano and Durarara. While unique, the most notable aspect is that the script was written by Wakaki Tamiki himself — the creator of the Kami nomi zo Shiru Sekai manga.
Having not read the original source material, I can’t say whether or not something similar actually shows up there, but one could probably consider this canonical in any case due to Tamiki’s involvement. In a lot of ways, it felt like a bonus episode with him as the guest writer though. From Elsie’s “elaborate” replacement technique to Mari’s aggressive take on peeping toms, this proved to be a fairly lighthearted affair. Regardless, it did have some more meaningful moments surrounding Elsie’s relationship with Keima, so that was a bit refreshing after Kanon’s three-episode arc. As mentioned last time, I have nothing against Kanon’s arc, but was left with the lingering feeling that it was one episode longer than it needed to be. Because of that, I found myself looking forward to seeing the story move onto the next loose soul more than usual. Getting this episode about Elsie instead proved to be a bit of a treat as a result, since it features her version of the “Symbol of Love” ending theme in addition to the aforementioned insert song. I may be a bit biased towards an Itou Kanae played character bringing all the cuteness, but I probably get more enjoyment from watching Elsie’s interactions with Keima than the actual targets themselves. Granted, the series sort of rides that appeal in connection with the premise that has Keima winning over real girls. Still, I question if it’d be as enjoyable to watch if we had say an abusive girl from hell rather than a kindhearted and devoted one. I’m normally all for the stereotypical tsundere character, but when it’s as overused as it’s been, the nice girl one is quickly becoming one I should take note of in future series. Sora no Manimani anyone?