As the Mai High festival begins, it becomes clear that things are very quickly going to hell. Ayumi’s already complicated conquest aside, the fact is that Vintage is moving now, and that they’ve got their own agenda that’s quickly coming to fruition. Lune’s rather unsettling presence in Maijima is just one of those factors that increase the need for urgency, and even more so once it becomes apparent that they’ve figured out Keima and Haqua’s plan and found nearly all the goddesses. Thankfully Haqua arrives just in time (and with just the right degree of badassery) to spare Ayumi, Chihiro, and Keima himself, but things are definitely still complicated, and that’s without factoring the actual conquest.
Ayumi is a difficult capture, and not just because she’s upset with Keima. She’s also upset at herself for still caring about him even after all that he did to Chihiro because she’s a good person; she never wanted to hurt her friend no matter how much she feels for Keima and she deeply regrets what’s happened. That doesn’t mean she’s magically fallen out of love, of course, but it does make her every interaction with Keima laced with guilt, especially when Chihiro herself is around. She’s even driven to the point where she just wants to tell Chihiro the truth and get the whole problem over with, but in that case, they two of them would only be doubly angry at Keima, and it could also fragment their friendship in really painful ways. Chihiro, at least, already feels awful at what happened, but would she be okay knowing that her best friend liked Keima too and cheered her on?
But all of that becomes slightly irrelevant once Chihiro accidentally overhears some of what’s going on between Haqua, Diana, and Keima. She might have no idea what’s going on, but she can’t pretend she knows nothing now that she’s been caught and brought in on the secret. Desperate times call for desperate measures, and Keima is definitely on the cusp of desperation now.
ED4: 「With… You…」 by 早見沙織 (Hayami Saori)
A+ proposal there, children.
If you thought the feels were over, you thought wrong. Mistakes happen, and feelings are hurt, but when it comes to matters as complicated as the human heart and emotions, there are always scars, and there are always repercussions. I know that there’s a tendency to be upset at Chihiro at this point (though the anime smooths things over WAY more quickly than the manga did, which left her betrayal at a cliffhanger), but really, I can’t blame her. No matter what she’s been told and what she’s seen, for someone who only just stumbled onto a very fragmented truth, the weirdness and emotional pain that she suffered at Katsuragi’s hands are more than a little heartwrenching, and I can see why she’d want to somehow get back at him. Yes, the circumstances and her timing are pretty awful, but that’s looking at it from Keima’s perspective; we know a hell of a lot more from his eyes than we do from hers, and the truth is she’s hurting. Of course, the anime clears up the fact that Chihiro actually ends up helping in Ayumi’s conquest through her actions, but I still think that any anger at her prior to that is still somewhat misplaced. Chihiro has a right to be pissed (I would have done much worse things, trust me), and since she is still having issues believing anything that’s going on (would you really accept all that devils and conquering business so easily no matter what you’d seen in less than a few hours?), I don’t think she should be hated for what she does, even if it’s upsetting to Keima and his extremely important mission.
But though Chihiro seriously endangers everything, it’s really Ayumi’s conquest in the end, and she’s not really the type to be completely driven at Keima’s pace, even when he has a horse and a cape to sweep her away with. In the end, it’s her idea, in her justified anger, to ask for a proposal, and it’s her own hotheaded personality and anger that causes her to drag Keima to her home in one of the most hilarious proposal scenes I’ve seen, even by Kaminomi standards of sheer over-the-top conquests. Her parents’ amusing reactions aside, it’s obvious that this isn’t so much a declaration of love as it is a test of affections; Ayumi is incredibly upset and needs to know that Katsuragi is sincere after what Chihiro has told her, and by forcing him through that humiliation, she does become able to accept his love a little more. I personally don’t condone testing your partner’s affections in such ways because they tend to cause more damage and trust issues than anything in the long run, but for the moment at least, Keima has finally gotten to a point where he can see the end. Now he and the others just have to make sure they can keep Ayumi safe before they seal the deal and are able to do something about Vintage’s plan.
One week left, everyone! Ending ga, mietazou!
Note: Apologies for the double post, I’ve been having a tough time with my personal life and school work lately. I should be caught up now though! Sorry for the wait.