With one more big battle done and over with, it’s time to deal with the aftermath.
— Oh hey, a scene from Shuichi’s past. But much like a dream, he wakes up right before he can see his old friends. Ah well, the story will get to them eventually… assuming that he can even remember what they look like. After all, his memories have been tampered with.
— After they get back to the hideout, Shuichi also gets one of Sayaka’s nasty hair things. Ugh. Unfortunately, he doesn’t actually remember the battle against Subaru, but the same cannot be said about Chihiro. She’s a rather bad liar.
— Huh? Shuichi thought that Subaru was Clair‘s ally? That makes no sense. This translation must be wrong.
— All of a sudden, Ikeuchi gets in Shuichi’s face like he’s trying to defend/protect Chihiro, but we know that he thought she had betrayed him just by climbing inside Shuichi. Eh, I guess this is just how nice guys act. Maybe the team can’t afford to kick anyone out, but I think someone like Ikeuchi might be a little too emotionally unstable.
— Meanwhile, Yota gets all buddy-buddy with Shuichi; he even calls the hero a “worthy rival.” It’s funny ’cause Clair hasn’t really shown any romantic interest in Shuichi… not yet, anyways. She’s important to him, but she’s not trying to make out with him or anything. They don’t call each other late at night, and whisper mushy nothings into each other’s ears. When she flirts with Shuichi, it’s always in a teasing, joking manner. Yeah, she needs him, but she needs him for his power. And without that power, she may as well give up on life. This is a power that Yota can’t provide, but at the same time, if he truly understood the the dynamics between those two, he wouldn’t consider Shuichi a rival either.
— On the other hand, Chihiro hints that maybe Shuichi has a crush on Clair, but it runs into conflict with the fact that she makes him do things he doesn’t truly want to do… even if those things are good for him (I still contend that killing Hikawa was self-defense).
— We then get to meet Kasuga, who can turn into a huge beast just to compensate for the fact he likes plants and flowers. His real power is that he can make plants grow in an instant. Sounds like he should be saving the world by planting trees. Then again, stopping some bad guy from collecting 100 coins is probably the more pressing need.
— Kasuga actually remembers Shuichi and his friends from the cram school, but since our hero’s memories have been erased, he obviously has no clue what Kasuga is talking about.
— Last but not least, it’s Aihara, the girl from the conbini who can turn invisible. She doesn’t seem very friendly, though.
— Clair wants to demonstrate hers and Shuichi’s powers, so she has Kasuga grow a tree. Our duo then knocks it out after a series of punches. This probably looks badass to everyone but Chihiro. She knows that Shuichi is capable of much, much more. Plus, if they needed to knock over a tree, why did they have Kasuga grow one? They’re already in a forest.
— Afterwards, Clair tries to confront Chihiro for lying. She tries not to be jealous, but her words betray her. Plus, it doesn’t really work when your “rival” got to unlock a special transformation that you’re not even aware of. As a result, Chihiro goes for the jugular: “Just as I thought: you two are completely different. You two cannot become one.” Eh… for now, they can’t. You know how it is with these shows. The story has now planted a seed. We know that when Shuichi and his partner are perfectly aligned, he gains a new form that unlocks an even higher level of strength and speed. So now we can’t help but wonder, “Gosh, what would that form look like with Clair? And how powerful would he become if he and Clair could ever become one?” This curiosity might keep us hooked on the story.
— In any case, there are certainly differences between Clair and Shuichi that they need to address. Maybe she needs to be a little more proactive in bridging the gap between them if she wants to show Chihiro up… but these things take time. I doubt we’ll see this happen anytime soon.
— Clair tries to talk to Shuichi about Chihiro, but she’s not being honest about what’s actually bothering her. He says that he let Chihiro climb inside him because he had no other choice at the time. So what’s the difference with Clair? Maybe there is no difference. Up until now, she’s been making some rather difficult decisions for him — decisions that he has not been entirely pleased with. Since Chihiro proves that anyone can ride Shuichi, he could one day find enough courage to choose a different partner and leave Clair altogether. So really, she should really be talking about them as a team — what she wants and what does he want out of this relationship — but instead, her words and actions drip with sexual connotation. I guess this is because it gives her a way out if her heart isn’t ready to hear what Shuichi might actually have to say. So before they can really hash things out, she tells him that she’s just teasing him. And just like that, the heart-to-heart ended before it could even begin. Oh well. Clair’s still a teenager. She’s supposed to be immature.
— Outta nowhere, we get a subplot that goes all the way back to the first episode. Shuichi bumps into an acquaintance digging a grave for a poor dog that supposedly died in an accident. Shuichi, however, notices that something is fishy about the guy’s story. Hopefully, this subplot is relevant for next week’s episode.
— The next day, Shuichi helps Mifune fix her bike, but Ikeuchi mistakes this for the hero being a shameless manwhore. Again, Nice Guy think guys can’t have platonic relationships with girls because they are projecting their own insecurities. They do this very thing so they assume every other guy is like them.
— Still, Ikeuchi inadvertently helps Shuichi confirm something that the latter might have been suspecting for a while: he’s hollow because his power is for others. He helps those who cannot help themselves. After all, he gives Clair a reason to live.
— It feels like this episode just keeps going and going, but that’s because it jumps around a lot. We get so many of these bits and pieces that it almost seems kinda tiring to sit through.
— Elena certainly isn’t shy about her body. Every girl in anime apparently loves to wear panties that are too tiny for their butts.
— Well, what we see next is Chihiro hitting Elena up on her cellphone. She thinks Elena is a good person from what she saw in Shuichi’s’ heavily redacted memories, but therein lies the problem. They’re memories. They’re things of the past. What Elena was then might not necessarily be who Elena is now. But hey, Chihiro is the sort of character who never really wants to fight, so naturally, she would try and go for the diplomatic victory.
— Elena implies that someone has already found 100 coins, and for this reason, she and Shuichi can’t possibly work together. But will she elaborate? Maybe… but not onscreen for us viewers to see!
— Elena’s group sure does love the color black. Sheesh, it’s like the goth clique from high school. One kid even has a hooded cloak on.
— Instead, we more of Clair’s naked ass for some reason. We literally just cut to her standing naked in her apartment, staring at her one coin. I’m sure she’s still reflecting on what happened earlier. Still, it was kinda funny to go from a serious conversation to just naked Clair.
— Now that we got all the bits and pieces out of the way, we can get back to the main story: gathering more coins. The problem is that Sayaka’s team has only found a grand total of five coins in two months. So they need to change up their plan: look for the downed alien ship instead. By the way, I find it kinda surprising that something could have entered Japan’s airspace without alerting the government, but I guess we’ll just conveniently overlook this.