Wednesday, 15 December 2010

The World God Only Knows - Episode 11

For all her quiet and introverted nature (demonstrated again early in this episode), the finale to Shiori Shiomiya's arc within The World God Only Knows sees her taking a surprisingly brave and (as she puts it) daring move to register her objection to the planned media room in her beloved library, barricading herself in the building and changing the password on the front door of this rather fancy establishment.

While her librarian colleagues seem rather baffled, and of course irritated, by Shiori's behaviour, these goings-on don't surprise Keima too much at all, and as time goes on he makes use of Elsie's abilities to drop him (quite literally) into the library to meet with her.  While this impresses Shiori a little as Keima tells her he's there to offer his support, from that point forth he returns to being very much the usual, belligerent guy we've come to know from this series.

In the end, with the power cut by the impatient mob outside and time running out for her little siege, Shiori is finally left to face up to what she really wants and how she really feels - is her love of books all that concerns her, or is she simply crying out to be given the ability to speak to people and share her passion with others.  This confusion in her own mind, and more importantly her lack of self-belief that she can change anything, gives Keima the chance he needs to release her Loose Soul, and so this particular story comes to an end with Shiori given a much-needed boost of confidence, whilst Keima is left to go about his usual business once more, although he does seem rather subdued following the success of his plan....

Certainly, the final payload for this episode was satisfying enough in its own way, but it still lacked any real impact or any sense that you'd seen something that was cleverly thought out and written - if anything, Keima's "victory" felt a little rushed, while this episode mirrored the rest of this arc in banging on about Shiori's shyness as if we hadn't picked up on that particular personality trait within about thirty seconds of the arc's first episode.  Amusing little nod to Ergo Proxy aside (who produced that series again Manglobe?), I still can't shake the feeling that a lot more could have been done with Shiori's character, leaving me to view this arc as a bit of a wasted opportunity - far too much time was spent on making her exactly the clichéd book girl that Keima bemoaned when it all started, and her brief turn-around come the end of it all simply wasn't enough to dispel that.  All I can do now is hope that some lessons are learned when the series resumes in the Spring once what will inevitably be a filler episode next week is out of the way.

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