You know what Kami-sama no Memo-chou probably didn't need? A baseball episode, that's what. Regardless however, that's exactly what we get for the ninth instalment of the series.
To fill in the gaps, this week's episode finds Narumi and other members of our NEET detective team addicted to an online baseball game available in a local arcade, which prides itself on the accuracy of its player data - think Football Manager, only with a less good sport. However, any attempts to enjoy playing the game are soon spoiled by the appearance of a local Yakuza group, who are seeking to extort yet more money from the arcade's proprietor. Rather than stand for this, Narumi and company accept a challenge - a baseball game to decide the arcade's fate.
However, one vital mistake has been made here, as the challenge wasn't laid down with the aforementioned online baseball game in mind, but rather the real thing - thus, our NEET detective team has to prepare for a gruelling real-world game complete with Alice as coach; a task made all the more difficult given that the boss of the competing Yakuza group, Nemo, is a former ace pitcher himself. After some gruelling training, the game itself starts with the two teams surprisingly matched but Nemo keeping his abilities in reserve - can anyone hope to topple him? If only something, somewhere had the data on Nemo's pitching abilities at the Koshien thirty years previously...
Truth be told this wasn't an especially bad episode of Kami-sama no Memo-chou - it had some nice moments of humour and carefully considered twists and turns that stood it in relatively good stead. The trouble is, it still isn't the kind of compelling, detective-led drama we were expecting from this series, and as such its largely frivolous nature feels like something of a disappointment - we're watching this series in the hope of murder and kidnapping cases, not baseball games to decide on an arcade's rent. It's that thought which reverberates through my head throughout this episode; a call to what this series could have been had it not fell well short of the promise of that oft-mentioned first episode. From those heady heights, Kami-sama no Memo-chou seems to be heading towards a place as the biggest disappointment of the season - to call this development disappointing would be beyond obvious.