It's time for a new story arc as Kami-sama no Memo-chou, and what I also assume will be the final major arc of a series that has disappointed more often that it's proved to be a success so far. But with this particular tale remaining a little closer to home for Narumi, will it impress where previous efforts have lacked?
The catalyst for this episode's events are all due to Ayaka's brother Toshi - a fantastic gamer who spends far too much of his time hanging out at the local arcade who is otherwise something of a drop out and a bit of a troublemaker. What's more, despite his sister's obvious concern for her brother's well-being Toshi doesn't have a good work to say about his sibling, to the point where he warns Narumi that he's simply acting as his "replacement". More crucially for the wider story here, Toshi also seems to be dabbling in a drug known as "Angel Fix" - a drug responsible for a growing number of deaths in the area. But is Toshi a dealer in said illicit substance, or simply a helpless, addicted bystander?
As Alice begins the investigation into the drug, needless to say Ayaka is kept well away from any mentions of it while Narumi is similarly side-lined due to the risk of the case, leaving him instead tasked with looking after Ayaka - something which, it has to be said, he does a terribly job of initially as his poor efforts at concealing what he knows about her brother lead to a falling out between the two of them. Although everything is patched up and eventually returns to normal between Narumi and Ayaka, is Toshi's brother really doing as well as she outwardly seems, especially as she begins to gain knowledge of Alice's current investigation? There is clearly more behind her smile than meets the eye...
I have to hand it toKami-sama no Memo-chou - after plenty of slightly listless and mediocre fare, at last we have an episode which really packs a punch. While the duration of this episode seems to be nothing particularly dramatic with its story of drug dealing and the personal relationship between Narumi and Ayaka, the whole instalment ultimately proves to be built to a very careful yet utterly shocking and unexpected climax to shake you from any assumptions you might have had about this story arc by turning things on there head. This makes for a risky episode of character and relationship building that has ultimately paid dividends big time thanks to the heavy (if admittedly slightly hard to believe) impact of its final denouement, which in turns leads us to what will hopefully be a deeply emotional final couple of episodes. Proof positive that Kami-sama no Memo-chou can have an impact when it really puts its mind to it.