This fifth episode of Ladies versus Butlers! starts out with a flashback to what I suppose you could call a calmer time, as Flameheart and Saikyo meet for the first time at the start of their current school careers - A meeting of equals as you like, with this particular pair both holding identical records as the school's two highest scoring newcomers.
Of course, putting two relative intellectuals with a desire to be the best is only ever going to cause conflict, and thus throughout this episode we see Flameheart's anger at being beaten once again by Saikyo in their latest exam (one which Hino has to resit incidentally) while Tomomi fumes at Flameheart's supposedly superior body and physique. This is all framed against flashbacks to earlier days in the relationship between these two characters as their budding rivalry grew.
Of course, while examining character dynamics is great news for the average series when it comes to creating a compelling episode, it isn't really what Ladies versus Butlers! is all about, and thus half-way through the episode is suddenly turned into some kind of hot springs nudity-fest thanks to some paper-thin excuse for shoe-horning said hot spring into the show. I've been relatively happy to ignore all the nudity and fan service within this series until now, but this particular instalment really does take the biscuit, dropping pretty much everything it seemed to be building up to in favour of some good old-fashioned use of naked girls in increasingly compromising positions.
Truth be told, this is a real shame, as I was quite enjoying the build-up (and breakdown, you could say) in the relationship between Flameheart and Saikyo - It was being played reasonably well and worked nicely to flesh out their characters. What a shame then the fleshing out of characters turned to just plain flashing of flesh; a point in which all interest in what little remained of this episode's story was lost for me. I probably should simply drop the series at this juncture, but somehow I'm loathe to do so after making it through five whole episodes, especially given that I actually find myself rather liking some of the main characters when they aren't flashing their bits.