Definitely the most low-key, least insane episode of Hoshizara this week. While that made it drag a bit at points, it was still enjoyable in that puzzling way this show is – almost as if you’re in a pleasant, mildly doped up state of drowsiness.
The last member of the harem was apparently introduced this week, and she’s the stately, wealthy oujo-sama Sakai. She also has the requisite cute side – she secretly loves stuffed animals, from her cell phone kitty (just the kind Ayumu likes!) to the abandoned teddy bear she adopts. She doesn’t just like cute things, though – she talks to them too. And they talk back. After the contractually obligated awkward first encounter with Kazuma, they meet again later just after her conversation with the bear. Apparently he’s the first one to ever call her “cute”.
There’s also a brief introduction to Gen-jii, an old widower who Koyori has befriended. He has a grandson in the hospital (can it get any worse?) who asks Koyomi to win the big race at the village sports day, a kind of marathon/scavenger hunt. Ui and Kazuma are also in training for it, but Ui and Madoka have pretty minor roles in this ep and Ayumu is absent altogether apart from the once-again disturbing preview voice-over. It was odd to see a focus on so many minor or new characters so early in the series, but it’s clear this race and the upcoming matsuri are going to play a major role in the finale.