This week's Sasami-san@Ganbaranai begins with Sasami herself recounting a chance encounter with her mother - an encounter which is worrying for a couple of reasons, both of which are pretty immediately obvious despite the episode's attempts to obfuscate that fact.
When Sasami fails in an attempt to coax Kagami into going shopping with her (on account of the latter's need to care for her rabbit), what she anticipates to be a loan shopping trip to buy a bike turns into her running into her mother again, and an enthusiastic Sasami wastes no time in dragging her Mum along for a bit of mother-daughter bonding as they shop around, visit the arcade and enjoy some ice cream together in spite of said mother's staunch attempts to remain stoically unmoved by the wonders of the modern world.
When push comes to shove however, those aforementioned concerns come back into play - namely the fact that Sasami's mother is dead and she knows it, with the second being her dedication to the role of priestess at the Tsukuyomi shrine. So it goes then that the real goal of Sasami's mum, and one which she has returned from the dead to perform, is to bring her daughter back into line as a priestess. When Sasami's protestations look set to fall on deaf ears, Tsurugi and her "family" arrive to save the day - only they have nothing like the power required to put this situation right themselves. Are the days of Sasami's normal life numbered already? We'll have to wait until next week to find out, for that's what cliffhangers are for.
Although this was an accomplished episode for the most part, even if it was a little clumsy about hinting in a not-so subtle manner about the twists to come, I have to admit that I much prefer Sasami-san@Ganbaranai when it's playing its scenario for laughs rather than straight drama or plot development. This week's instalment had a couple of great one-liners that made me laugh out loud, but the rest of the story didn't really strike me, proving as it did to be a little too predictable - it's a far cry from the mind-bending insanity which opened the series, and although I noted back then that that was a trick which you can't repeat very often, if at least had some energy to it which doesn't quite ignite here. I'm certainly interested to see where this particular story arc is headed, don't get me wrong, but I'm not going to perch on the edge of my seat while I wait to find out.