Yet again: an episode that gives a complete new spin to the story. And we’re only nine episodes in yet; normally you see these kinds of things ten episodes later or something. This episode again did something that went completely against my expectations, it brought in A TON of new stuff, characters and plot threads.
Mizuno, the west maiden really brings a huge new plot along with her. From out of nowhere, she introduces a new Crux Brigade member (replacing the head, who went on a holiday after what happened in the previous episode), who turns out to be Mizuno’s twin sister, entirely in it to protect her sister from being found out (even going to the point of setting up a flamboyant act for it), not knowing that her subordinates (four also totally new characters) have formed their own brigade and are pretty much just using her as a tool. This definitely brings some great new potential to the series. Also, this episode on top of that introduces painter R. We have no clue who it is apart from that it’s special to both good guys and bad guys.
I don’t really understand the whole point of the shrine maidens at this point, though: why is the West Maiden necessary to reach third phase? I mean, I can understand it if you’d need 1 maiden for phase 1, 2 for phase 2 etc (opening up the possibility for a phase 4 as well), but the fish girl just left and the brigade members still were able to enter phase 2.
This wasn’t the most enjoyable episode because it spent quite an amount of time introducing these new characters (plus, I’m missing the fish girl song). The fight scene in this episode also was a bit unremarkable (again, it was just used to build up and nothing more). The romantic hi-jinks were also not the most enjoyable, but the fanservice could have been much worse I guess. There were no stupid cliches nor was there too much of a focus on the fanservice, so I guess it’s all-right.
Rating: * (Good)