The last few days have seen this series (or, more accurately, some of its production staff) conjure up more drama than even its premise and characters could dream of in a blaze of bullying and recriminations. Still, let's put that to one side for a moment to find out what's next for our group of rapidly deteriorating friends.
Having reached a low ebb in last week's episode, it seems that Taichi has finally gotten himself together enough to try and reassemble his friends starting with Iori, who is more than happy to hear his apologies and his realisation that he can be decidedly stubborn to the point of being selfish once he gets a train of thought into his head. Along those lines, Aoki is similarly happy to be welcomed back into the fold, leaving us with just the remaining female members of the gang to convince.
While Inaba continues to avoid Iori and company, Taichi and Aoki turn their attentions towards Yui, eventually persuading her to talk to them and, in a rather unorthodox manner, they assure her that no matter what happens she won't find herself with an overwhelming desire to hurt people to the point of it being uncontrollable. Although Aoki doesn't get his wish of spending a night in a love hotel with her, Yui subsequently returns to school to a hugely warm welcome, while the group's after-school club is almost complete again... even if they are finding their desires hard to control when it comes to food. This leaves us to focus once again on Inaba, as she squirrels herself away from the others - a state of affairs that causes Heartseed to intervene to force her hand into returning to the fold, in the knowledge that her deepest held desire could well cause massive problems for the entire group...
With a major focusing on moving all of its proverbial chess pieces into place for maximum emotional impact over the next episode or two, this was an unspectacular yet solid instalment that perhaps could have done a little more to drill into the psyche of its characters at this point but nonetheless still delivered a reasonably entertaining and somewhat amusing episode. It's Inaba's current dilemma that is really the most fascinating aspect of the current story arc at this point however, meaning that her return to the group seems assured to cause fireworks next week. Let's just hope the show's production manages to avoid causing similar fireworks moving forward - there certainly need to be one or two individuals dunked into buckets of cold water before they cause any further damage, that's for sure.