Remember Hibiya, the boy who had a random encounter with Momo a couple of episodes ago? If you're anything like me, the answer is "barely", but nonetheless we follow his story in this week's Mekakucity Actors.
Having completed his shopping trip in spite of that little diversion caused by Momo, Hibiya is now ready to return to his temporary home in the city - the similarly temporary residence of his friend Hiyori, who is living at her uncle's place to "take summer classes", which in her case means to spend the summer goofing off. Having been invited along for the ride under a similar pretence, Hibiya is determined to make the most of the summer by impressing and ultimately confessing his feelings to Hiyori - something which would be so much easier if a good-looking weirdo by the name of Konoha wasn't also staying at her uncle's house.
All of this is relegated to secondary importance for Hibiya however, as a strange, dream-like state overtakes him - a state which dumps himself and Hiyori into a strange location, only for her to die at the bumper of a passing truck. Awakening for this nightmare, a similar state of affairs plays out time and again - no matter how Hibiya tries to save his friend, he's dashed in some shape or form, until the only solution seems to be to sacrifice himself in her place. Just what is going on, and is this really a nightmare or some kind of reality?
After getting on track after a clunky start with last week's episode, this latest instalment of Mekakucity Actors seems to veer off course again, both in terms of its animation quality and its narrative. While this episode certainly has some interesting ideas to show us as it continues to build up its story, the show's fragmented nature doesn't really help to keep the viewers interest in this concepts, and the show's dialogue heavy approach in the first half of this episode again falls flat thanks to a lack of suitably strong characters - Monogatari this isn't. It continues to feel like there's a good story trying to get out of this series, but we really haven't seen much of it yet, with the show feeling very much like a case of three steps forward and then two steps back. Perhaps things can turn around if we can start moving forward more consistently from here, even if the show clearly isn't going to be any kind of visual tour de force.