Standard ideas take hold in the series with Elsie moving in with Keima, but can the show rise above this?
What They Say
Keima and Elsie have successfully conquered Ayumi and captured the loose soul. - But they haven't completed their contract yet...!! Elsie transfers into Keima's class, declares that she's his little sister, and announces that she's going to live in his house as well! All for the sake of rounding up the loose souls in this city... Who holds the next loose spirit? And will Elsie be able to become Keima's little sister??
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
The devil's literally in the details as Keima has now been informed that the contract didn't stipulate a single loose soul to be captured but rather many of them. It's actually not defined at the moment how many he has to get as Elsie paints it as they have to capture very many of them, enough so that she's now attending school with him, introducing herself as his little sister and even moving in with him. That last part is a bit amusing to watch as Elsie meets Keima's mother who may be the best character in the series. The way she handles Elsie introducing herself as her husband's illegitimate daughter is simply beautiful and goes in the unexpected direction for this particularly common issue.
While Keima is most unhappy with this situation (though not as much as his mother, who used to be in a biker gang and goes to rough extremes), he's making sure that Elsie won't play the role of little sister since she doesn't fit with it as he's experienced it through the many, many videogames he's played. Elsie's introduction to the world through his twisted view of things adds a certain charm to it and seeing her trying to become a good little sister using these concepts only leads to really awkward situations. Elsie's lack of familiarity with the world has us running through familiar gags, including cooking up a properly delicious meal from her plane of existence that's horrifying. These fall into the cute and nicely done category but with a healthy dose of been there and done that. The charm comes from the characters and the way it's handled. It's not over the top like some shows, but it's not so completely subdued either. It's managed to find a decent middle ground that's almost surprising.
A good bit of time is spent between the two in dealing with their relationship and some of the silliness of it, which is actually rather welcome. When the show does decide to deal with the next loose soul, it's closer to the end of the episode so we're not dealing with a show that's spending its entire episode dealing with that one relationship and push for Keima to help retrieve said soul. Keima for his part is actually an interesting character in a way because unlike a lot of leads, he's actually pretty confident about himself, though mostly when it comes to his games. But with those games being a big part of his life and things he talks about easily and openly, it's a different approach. Rather than hide his love of the games he's conquered, he uses it when dealing with Elsie and in figuring out how to deal with the problem soul as well. While he may not want to do it, he's dealing with it grudgingly and not as a limp wristed milquetoast being wrapped into things. And we're not subjected to an entire episode about a particular girl and her back story.
The World God Only Knows was a pretty fun show in its first episode and a lot of that is kept here. The break out star though is definitely Keima's mother, especially in how everything is handled when Elsie reveals her relationship to both of them. As the show goes on, it plays with a lot of familiar elements pretty well and the reason it works is because of the characters and the lack of overacting. With so many shows going for the extremes, ultra wacky and so forth, something even a bit restrained feels refreshing. The show has a good visual design to it as well that's still holding up well here which gives us a show that looks good, plays well and has fun characters that you enjoy watching. There is that air of predictability about it, but it's managing it well and in creative ways.
Japanese 2.0 Language, English Subtitles
Sony KDS-R70XBR2 70" LCoS 1080P HDTV, Dell 10.1 Netbook via HDMI set to 1080p, Onkyo TX-SR605 Receiver and Panasonic SB-TP20S Multi-Channel Speaker System With 100-Watt Subwoofer.