This week’s episode was better than last week’s, but between Chihiro’s wavering confidence and Keima’s obliviousness to the situation at hand made it a sub-par conquest.  The episode starts off with a quick recap; Chihiro is obviously developing feelings for Keima as she tries to start small talk with him, but he ignores her hints and tells her that she’ll be confessing to the boy they’ve been attempting to conquer the next day.  This visibly puts a downer on Chihiro’s mood and she heads home without another word.  That night, she’s staring at the booklet Keima gave her – ‘Spots for a Confession: School Edition’ – and seems to become even more depressed.  Instead of looking through the book, she picks up her cell phone to call someone and distract herself only to find that her battery is dead.  Sighing, she plugs it in to charge and stares at the book some more.  Meanwhile, Keima is writing out all of the possible scenarios for Chihiro’s confession depending on where she decides to confess while watching the weather.  According to the report, the rain will finally stop and the sun will appear for the first time in several days.  This gives Keima pause before he realizes that the sun will give Chihiro a better chance of success and continues writing out his notes.  Elcie appears and tells him the bath is open, but Keima tells her that he’ll take his bath later because he wants to finish his work first.  Elcie sits down beside him and comments on how hard he’s working and Keima ignores her before commenting that he never realized that his knowledge from his games could be used on a male as well as a female.  Trying to ignore this newly realized factoid, Keima continues on with his work with Elcie looking on.

The next morning, Chihiro awakes from a dream of her confessing to the boy but having him disappear only to show Keima instead to a cloudy but rain-free morning and begins getting ready for school.  Unplugging her cell phone from it’s charger, she notices she has a new text message.  And it’s from Keima!  He texted her, saying that she should arrive to school on time since it’s the big day and this causes Chihiro to sigh.  We then get a lengthy montage with quite a nice song of Chihiro leaving for school – and grabbing her umbrella just in case – and what she does on the way there.  For the most part, it’s quite uneventful; she swings on a swing at the park, purchases a coffee from a vending machine and makes faces at a cat until it runs away.  Then she spots a sign for a convenience store that is now selling pork buns and dashes inside and purchases one for herself.  After a moment, she returns to the store and purchases another one, very likely to be for Keima.  Meanwhile, Keima and Elcie are sitting out in the courtyard at school and Elcie is wearing quite a poofy mustache that made me giggle like a little girl.  She asks Keima why she’s being forced to wear it and he tells her that Chihiro is to practice her confession on Elcie.  He then shoos her away to find Chihiro and Elcie sighs before following orders.  Unfortunately, Elcie doesn’t manage to find Chihiro because Chihiro finds Keima first.  She appears behind him (right as he’s trying to figure out why he’s working so hard given her lack-luster attitude towards her) and offers a pork bun to “the God of Conquest”.  Irritated, Keima asks what she’s doing before snatching the snack from her and devouring it.

After their snack, the conversation quickly turns to Chihiro’s upcoming confession.  Chihiro tries to invite him to a new Chinese restaurant that appeared in town after the confession, but Keima tells her that afterwards they won’t be talking to each other anymore.  This appears to make Chihiro a bit upset and she  tells Keima that she’s not sure if she wants to go through with it because she doesn’t really like the boy as much as she thought.  Keima becomes furious (and rightfully so, considering how much effort he’s put into the whole situation) and tells Chihiro that she’s going through with it whether she wants to or not.  Chihiro tries to tell him something, but he cuts her off and goes on to say that every other girl he’s encountered tried their hardest, so he can’t figure out why Chihiro won’t try her hardest.  This upsets Chihiro and she runs off, saying that she doesn’t want to try her hardest because there’s no point since she has no redeeming qualities.  As she runs off, Keima collapses on the bench and tries to figure out why he’s so bent out of shape about her not wanting to go through with the confession.  Elcie reappears and suddenly Keima realizes that he had put so much effort into trying to understand the male, that he completely ignored Chihiro and all of the signals she was trying to send him.  Angry with himself, he gets up and informs Elcie that the emptiness in Chihiro’s heart may have increased thanks to him.  Elcie becomes worried and asks him what he’s going to do.  Keima simply says that he’ll be the one to conquer Chihiro instead before taking chase.

As Keima chases after Chihiro (with Elcie monitoring the loose soul’s signal), he reflects on the fact that he never noticed the signs and berates himself before finding Chihiro on a large ship, looking over the balcony.  Over-reacting like always, Keima tackles Chihiro, telling her not to jump.  She shouts at him, saying that she would never jump and pushes him away and stomps up a flight of stairs.  She confides in Keima that she doesn’t feel like she shines, so she becomes obsessed with finding someone who does so that she can shine with them (this explains why she’s constantly jumping from crush to crush).  Keima tries to reassure her, but Chihiro rejects his advances, going so far as to beat him in the head with her umbrella.  Eventually, Keima tells her that she can’t give up on herself, much like how he hasn’t given up on his own life.  He goes on to say that although people may tell him that his life is boring or ordinary, he ignores them because his life is how he defines it and that’s how Chihiro should live her life as well.  This startles Chihiro and she beats him with her umbrella again, but Keima is somehow able to snag a kiss from her, releasing the loose soul, which Elcie captures effortlessly.  The next day, Chihiro heads to school in a much better mood and appears to be shining herself, which is fantastic.  However, Keima is mulling over how each girl he’s conquered has had a personality of their own and their own faults, which has him confused.  Could it be he’s questioning his decision to immerse himself in games?

Opinions: As much as I liked this episode and despite the fact that it redeemed this particular conquest, it was entirely too predictable.  I knew from the second episode that Chihiro was falling for Keima and that he would eventually be the one to conquer her heart as much as he didn’t want to.  Overall it was a good episode, but unfortunately this conquest seems to be the weakest of the season so far (much like Kanon’s conquest from last season).  I am curious to see if Keima is reconsidering his decision about gaming though.  Anywho, on to the next conquest!

Score: B/A+

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As a 22-year old gamer chick, anime/manga addict and all around geek, Nagi is one of the prized members of the Anime Evo family! She likes any sort of genre so long as the artwork is shiny and the plot good (it also doesn’t hurt to have some fan-service and gore either!) and will give any anime or manga at shot.

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