To begin with, I liked the old OP and ED better. They were much more unconventional anime themes, and that works better for a series as unconventional as Summertime Render. Apart from that though, I honestly have no complaints apart from just how much this show gives you to chew on every week. We’re still in the expansion phase of the mythology, but that can’t go on forever – at some point things have to start contracting, as exposition transitions to resolution. That may still be a few episodes away, but it’s definitely coming.
Loop #5 was the shortest one yet, but that doesn’t mean it was uneventful. Shinpei’s notion that he and Ushio have to work together with Hizuru and Nezu this time is solidly reasoned, and she’s pretty easy to convince (Nezu not so much). There’s an interesting moment where Ushio shares a bunch of memories with Hizuru when they shake hands, and then the quarter immediately embark on their newly hatched plan. They’ll replay the events in the Kobayakawa house, but this time – on Ryuunosuke’s signal – Ushio will rush the house and erase Shiori (who of course is actually Haine), just as she was starting to do at the end of the last loop.
The best laid Plan B’s, though… As suspected, Haine’s mark on Shinpei’s arm is effectively a homing beacon. This allows her – and Four-arms, apparently – to loop too. I would guess the limit here is that she can only follow him rather than do an “original” loop herself, but that’s good enough for them to be ready for Ryuunosuke when “he” visits the Kobayakawas. Fortunately Ushio is ready for this, and once Ryuunosuke and Nezu are taken out and Shinpei is captured, “Precure” Ushio leaps into action and neatly beheads Shinpei with one blow.
There’s a couple other interesting tidbits during this loop – Hishigata-sensei is speaking to someone on the phone who’s clearly a shadow, and has to hang up because “Mother” is calling. Safe to assume this is Four-arms, and the candidate list for just who he might be (Ushio says he “smells like Haine”) is growing shorter by the episode. Also, we discover that Ushio can carry data with her when she loops – meaning she can “print” what she’s stored from a prior loop in the current one. That surely wasn’t introduced as a throwaway.
Then we have Loop #6 – and this one is a real game-changer. This isn’t a true loop at all, but something more like an astral projection – one that travels through time rather than space. We’ve seen Shinpei experience something like this once before, but nothing close to this level. This loop takes he and Ushio back 14 years, to when a lot of people now gone were still around – most prominently Shinpei’s parents and (especially) Ryuunosuke (Sanpei Yuuko). He’s the diametric opposite of his sister in terms of personality – glib and personable while she’s borderline antisocial.
It seems obvious that the nature of this loop – or whatever it is – involves showing Shinpei something he needs to see with his own eye(s). Hizuru going to the abandoned clinic to meet a “friend” who turns out to be Haine is almost certainly that. It’s going to be interesting to see if this Haine can see and interact with Shinpei and Ushio – the fact that she seems to be real and material here suggests that this is not “Shinpei’s” Haine, and likely will be as unaware of his presence as everyone else. But she is a God, in some sense at least, so it’s probably best not to assume anything of that sort…