Sick Keima is adorable Keima.
Manga readers beware, you’re all about to get the feels. But before we get to that, let’s talk about the sick visit. Everybody loves a good sick visit; seeing someone you care about come see you while you’re sick is really comforting for the sick, but Keima isn’t wrong in looking at it from the other perspective either. After all, the people who visit you when you’re sick must like you quite a lot, and while he successfully manipulates Ayumi’s feelings into coming, Chihiro is the purer example of that theory in practice here, even if it doesn’t factor into the plans. I don’t want to touch too much on Chihiro just yet, but I do want to emphasize that this particular leg in the Goddess arc is a tad more complex than the rest, and that comes down to characters.
I think that, for the most part, all three of the main characters in this episode show that they’re real people who care for one another, despite being in such a complicated situation. Though Ayumi and Chihiro have no idea about Keima’s plans or about the Goddesses, they still care for Keima, and even more importantly, for each other. Keima himself too shows some more compassion here than usual; yes, capturing girls is his job, and yes, it’s important to do so as quickly as possible, but there’s definitely a human element in this situation, and it’s one of the reasons for why Keima is such a fantastic harem lead. For all his dislike of the real, Keima doesn’t want to hurt anyone; after all, his usual conquests erase most of the mark he leaves on his targets, and when he wins them over, he effectively helps them deal with their lives better even after they’ve forgotten him. But now that the Goddesses’ hosts aren’t forgetting, there’s a hell of a lot more room for error, and even worse, for legitimate emotional harm. Having Ayumi and Chihiro interact during Keima’s capture is already dangerous because of the repercussions on the mission, but it also opens up a lot of doors for anger and pain. Should either of the girls find out about each other, it risks hurting their friendship, and it also hurts them once they find out that Keima’s been lying to them. However, it isn’t until Chihiro confesses her feelings that Keima faces just how complicated the whole affair is. Her confession is sincere, something that he himself has never quite been during his conquests, and it hurts him to realize that he’s hurting her. That’s something we don’t normally get to see in Keima’s character, but that definitely humanizes him more than his normally cold demeanor does.
However, I also want to point out how selfless Ayumi’s decision is at this moment. Upon finding out that her best friend is in love with the same person as her, she gives up. It’s not that she doesn’t care for Keima or that she doesn’t think she can win, but rather that she genuinely cares for Chihiro, and she wants the best for her, even if it means giving up her own feelings. It’s really rather profound of her, though also very sad, and that only stands to add more layers to Keima’s guilt about what’s going on, even if it is a crisis.
Full-length images: 30.
「めがみみっくす」 (Megami Mikkusu)
NOPE, NO, I CANNOT.
I’m going to go ahead and ask all manga readers to please use spoiler tags in order to avoid spoiling the current developments for the anime-only watchers. I understand as well as anyone just how difficult it is to keep emotions low during this point in Megami-hen, but it’s not fair for those who are being exposed to this material for the first time. We’ll be able to vent soon enough, so thank you so much for your cooperation.
That being said, I’m finding myself rather unable to write this week about KamiNomi, and not just because going back to school is hell. There’s a lot of stuff happening in this adaptation so quickly that it’s almost reeling for me as a manga reader who followed the Goddess Arc as it was being published (way back in the good old days of high school, when I pretended I was doing statistics classwork when really I was just reading manga and learning how to procrastinate effectively). We’ve got subplot in the form of Haqua and Vintage’s movements back in New Hell, where our unsuspecting sidekick finds herself jailed and in a far bigger conspiracy than we hoped for, as well as in the form of Keima’s now-assembled Goddess harem and their hugely amusing claims on him for their hosts’ sakes. Kanon too finally makes a more direct appearance once Apollo is reached, and even Elsie is back for a short amount of adorable bug demon/imouto screentime. All of this is a lot of manga chapters in the making, mind you, without even counting in the actual double conquest of Ayumi and Chihiro.
Again, I have to refrain from my urge to spoil the living daylights out of this arc, but I do want to point out how fragile this three way relationship is. I have to admire Ayumi for wanting to let her best friend be happy, but as much as she’s pretending not to care for Keima, it’s clear that there’s something there whenever she sees them together. This is one of the few times where I can say that Keima makes a very huge miscalculation in assuming her actions indicate indifference, since clearly she held feelings for him in the act of coming to see him when sick and so on. I can see where he considers Chihiro’s affections to be higher and thus more likely, but I at least feel that he takes a definite route too rashly, even if there is a time limit. Because of this, I find this whole affair rather heartbreaking for Ayumi, even if Keima is only doing this because there’s not much time left. He’s left her hanging after the very embarrassing sick visit and suddenly declared his intentions toward Chihiro despite them never really talking things out, and there’s definitely jealousy stirring here. But Chihiro herself is blissfully unaware of her best friend’s feelings, and right now, she’s even managing to overwhelm Keima’s attempts to conquer her, which unfortunately only complicates matters and emotions.
Apologies for the ridiculous lateness; I moved back to college this week and was internet-less for a while, and I had to set up a new computer which took a long time. My classes also just started so I’ve been a bit busier than I would have liked to. Things should calm down this week though, so thank you for your understanding.
Full-length images: 29.
ED3: 「瞳からスノー」 (Hitomi Kara Snow) by 東山 奈央 (Nao Touyama)