Now we've survived last week's utterly dull filler episode, it's finally time to move on to what I'm assuming (judging by the end credits) will be the final major story arc of this series of The World God Only Knows, introducing us to another new conquest for Keima to get his teeth into.
We first meet this girl thanks to Elsie's continued failure in the world of humans - after another cooking disaster, and on realising that she doesn't really have all that much grounding in reality, Keima sends his assistant off to the school library to learn all she can. After hunting around a little, it seems as though Elsie has found her calling - a desire for intimate knowledge of big, red, shiny fire trucks. Desperate to read more, Elsie goes to see the librarian to help pick out some more books - enter Tsukimi Kurashita. Sorry, I mean enter Shiori Shiomiya.
Given her work as a librarian and the clichés which spring from said job, it isn't too surprising to learn that Shiori is an incredibly shy girl who struggles to converse with anyone, while holding close to her heart an incredibly detailed knowledge of and love for jellyfish... oops, I mean books (okay, I'll stop that now). Indeed, such is Shiomiya's passion that she seems to have read virtually every book in the school library, while also holding a near encyclopaedic knowledge of their contents. Once Elsie realises that a Loose Soul resides within this girl, she ropes Keima in to do his job despite his apathy towards the librarian archetype - but how is he going to reach her inner voice to find out what she truly desires? Consider the premise of this arc well and truly established.
As seems to be par for the course with The World God Only Knows, this episode does a solid but unspectacular job of setting everything up - Shiori is suitably shy and sweet to fit into her role (although surely Keima's disinterest in this well-worn stereotype should have rung alarm bells for the writer?), and Keima and Elsie both play their part to kick off this story just as planned. There are a couple of funny moments (most notably Keima's ill-conceived plan to hear Shiori's "inner voice", although Elsie's love of fire trucks is amusing too), but it isn't enough to break away from the staid, risk-free, tried and trusted formula that much of this show seems determined to follow. That means that it doesn't give me anything tangible I can criticise as it goes about its business, but it's hardly doing anything to stand out from the crowd either. In a word, this episode is pleasant, nothing more.