The formula for this show is pretty well-established already, and so far we haven’t seen much variation from that. It’s effective enough, but given that the mysteries are relatively pedestrian affairs so far there’s a definite risk that the show could start to feel repetitive after 24 episodes.
One thing I noticed this week is that Kujo seems to have taken a step back as a character. While he was rather heroic aboard the Queen Berry, he pretty much got pwned by “Avril” and, second generation phantom thief or not, she’s a girl with one hand and that’s kind of sad. In his defense, in the manga this mystery apparently came before that one so that might explain it.
As seems to be the formula, all the mysteries are combined again this week rather neatly (too neatly?). Our Avril turns out to be the phantom thief successor of Maxim, the mummified knight of the last episode – who was also a phantom thief. She switched places with the real Avril after meeting her on a train and headed for the campus to try and hunt down the treasures that he’d been hiding during his yearly visits. As a special bonus, we even get the “Dark Shinigami” mystery combined with this one – that was Maxim, too. The treasure in question this week is a valuable misprint of the world’s first postage stamp, a gift from the real Avril’s grandfather to the girl. It’s not hard to guess that Victorique is going to be the one to piece this all together, but this time she even manages to take down the thief herself – knocking her down the library stairs with a handful of books after she’d roughed up poor Kujo.
All of that marginally held my interest – it wasn’t a bad mystery. As usual the interplay between the leads was the best part of the episode, with Victorique ratcheting up the kawaii to dangerous levels this week. I suppose the inevitable question is whether Kujo will begin to harbor romantic feelings for Victorique who, despite her loli appearance, is about his age. She has some competition – the real Avril is quite a cutie herself, and has already drawn a “friend” commitment from Kujo. I think Victorique is already showing signs of falling for Kujo (the blushing when his face got too close to hers over the book) but I don’t see the reciprocation just yet.