So – what maketh a great Sora no Otoshimono episode? Let’s review:
– Minimal or no chibis, especially Tomoki – check
– Minimal or no Taicho, Sugata and Sohara – check
– Jiggling Astraea boob shots – check
– GAR Tomoki – check
– And most of all: Ikaros actually involved in the freakin’ plot – check!
The mix has been slowly shifting away from the 100% “canon filler” ecchi episodes towards more serious, plot-driven ones, and that culminated in episode 8 – pretty much 100% plot with nary a gag. It had the best action sequences of the series and seriously advanced the Tomoki/Angeloid harem storyline.
It really is as if this show has a dual-personality disorder. While I truly love the sex farce moments when they’re good, the show just packs more weight when it focuses on the Angeloids and the whole theme of free will, and on Tomoki’s serious side. The introduction of the second-generation angeloid Chaos has really been the kick in the rear SnO needed to shake it out of a rut of mediocre gag episodes – episodes that were starting to feel rather stale. Chaos is a creepy little loli, especially the eyes. While she keeps asking everyone what love is, she seems to have a special talent for finding the first-generation angeloids’ weak spots and exploiting them. That’s all in addition, of course, to her rather fearsome combat abilities – at long-distance, she clearly has the others outclassed. Fortunately, Ikaros still seems to have the best strategic sense of any of them – her improvisational tactics saved the day again, after she’d already saved Nymph from Chaos earlier.
Ah, Nymph. She as good as confessed to Tomoki in this episode – crying in his arms after her near-death experience. And Astraea confessed, too – to herself, anyway – as well as ripping off her chain. The most formidable close-combat fighter and the stupidest of the angeloids, she appears to have officially come over to Tomoki’s side now. Best of all Ikaros, so long abandoned this season as a main character, really shone. She outwitted Chaos (who I’m assuming is obviously not dead yet), and showed a flash of strong emotion in pondering what Tomoki meant to her. Yes, she used the “L” word about him, even as she denied she knew what it meant.
For the first time in a while I’m really looking forward to seeing where the show goes from here, even as the season winds down. I doubt we’ll get any serious romantic development but things certainly look more interesting in that department than they did a week ago. And I’m sure we’ll get back to some outlandish ecchi comedy in those last few eps, but hopefully we’ll continue to have a balance where both personalities get their chance to shine.