The world God Only Knows 3 polishes off the Mio story. It starts well enough, but takes a dull turn. Frankly, I think every story arc will.
Keima and Elsee learn Mio’s secret, but she learns that they were eavesdropping. Normally this would be trouble but Keima is resourceful enough to use it to his advantage. Since her chauffeur pooped out on her (and why was he even bothering to drive her around in the first place?) Keima offers his services using a rickshaw, which gets more elaborate (and heavier) every morning. This sight gag works for just long enough for the romance to take shape.
The turning point comes when Keima escorts Mio to a fancy party that her late father used to take her to. Now, the point is made that Mio must forget about being rich, though she is afraid that if she does she will forget her father. Taking her to such a party won’t help. It’s only when a couple of party-goers mock her that she begins to turn. Sadly, it gets maudlin here. I said that every story arc will; there will be a moment where the girl’s inner troubles will come out and she will turn to Keima while violins play. Though I like the irony that the next episode he will start from scratch and woo a different girl. For Keima there’s a Sisyphus aspect to it.
Arakawa Under the Bridge x Bridge 3 also has a sentimental ending, but in this case I don’t mind. First, it’s not a girl of the week, but Nino. Second, Arakawa rarely does this sort of thing, and when they do they do it well. Basically, Recruit finds some tapes belonging to Nino and plays one of them. She’s upset about it.
We’ve never seen Nino this angry before. Their reconciliation takes up the entire episode. It’s not often the show devotes so much time to one thing. Half of the time is taken with coaxing Nino down, the other with Recruit continually crashing the girls’ slumber and commiseration party. Normally, Recruit is scrambling around acting stupid because he doesn’t understand the oddballs around him; here, he’s simply trying to make amends to the girl he loves. This gives the whole thing a weight the show normally doesn’t have.
When they finally come back together, after a touching speech by Nino, we see again that these two aren’t just weirdos living under a bridge, but individuals who genuinely love each other. All the other eccentric characters can do is stand to the side and watch.
Shinryaku! Ika Musume 3 isn’t bad.
First Eiko decides Ika needs to be scared so arranges a test of courage. Ika’s obliviousness holds up well here. She sees no reason to be scared of ghosts, and when she encounters some she thinks they’re just nice humans. Said obliviousness holds up less well in the second part when she mistakes floating toys for killer whales. They do the annoying thing by having Ika act a certain way while the others misunderstand what she’s up to, leading to more complications. It’s a comedic technique that gets on my nerves quickly.
In the third story we meet Nagisa, a new employee, and the only one in this show so far who reacts to Ika with anything resembling terror. You know, she has a point. Ika can be dangerous, and she’s a squid girl who wants to take over the world. She vomits squid ink! Hardly anyone in the show thinks this is weird at all, only Eiko, because she’s usually relegated to straight-girl status. As for Ika, FINALLY someone up here reacts like they should. The story goes on with this a bit too much, but overall I found it refreshing.