While Keima lives his life in games, Shiori lives hers in books as Keima discovers a new loose soul to deal with.
What They Say:
Elsie's cake ended up blowing up! Keima yells at Elsie for lacking common sense, so Elsie goes to the library to study up on common sense in the human world. Maijima Academy's library houses an expansive collection of books. Elsie gets excited after finding a flashy picture book, but then she detects a loose soul in the librarian, Shiori Shiomiya! Shiori is a quiet and soft-spoken girl. It will be difficult to get her to speak, much less open up...
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
The World God Only Knows brings about something in this episode that most any bibliophile would love as it shows off the academy's library. With Elsie being Elsie and causing trouble in a most basic way, since she's not really from this world, she decides to head there to gain some common sense that Keima tells her she doesn't have. And Elsie being Elsie, she comes across a kids picture book on fire engines and just falls in love with it. Her charms as a simple girl are rather strong, though sometimes she pushes it too far. Here, she just comes across as cute and it's an experience that leads her to the latest loose soul.
A lot of the episode is devoted to the feel of the library itself and the way the newly introduced Shiori feels so at home within the world of books and without having to interact with others. She's very off-put by Elsie's personality from the start with her inquisitive and upbeat nature but she's also hesitant when it comes to Keima. There's a really good feeling around her as we see her in the library and get the internal monologue about how she feels so happy with books which when tied with the music is kind of infectious. I can completely understand her position, having been there myself in a big way around the same age, but her personality makes her a real challenge for Keima to deal with in order to get the loose soul out.
Keima's ability to deal with bookish girls isn't a surprise since they are most definitely a big staple in the sim games that he plays. But his attempts at working her over aren't the main focus here for the most part as it really does deal with Shiori herself and her love of the library. Her work there is a labor of love and seeing the emotional connection she has to books that are being sent to other libraries does take it over the top, making her connection too strong to the materials. Watching her going through the library is a very religious experience is how it's portrayed though, which does give it some credence. There's a real charm to this episode that's hard to pin down, but after the bigger episodes we've had lately that were flashy and outgoing, something more introspective is rather welcome.
When they want to, The World God Only Knows can do sweet and calm just as well as big and loud. Kanon's arc was a big one with a flashy and outwardly emotional character and setting. With this episode, Keima has to deal with someone that's almost more his speed, though Shiori comes across as slower in a sense. Not intellectually, but just in how she copes with situations. The reverence given to the library and its contents is really heartwarming here, though it's carried a little too far as it feels like the soundtrack plays for almost the entire episode without any quiet time at all. And that was really needed to cement things just a bit more. What we get here is definitely interesting and it looks like Keima may have a challenge unlike any other with her.
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.