And so, for Madoka and her fans, thus endeth the ball game.
For an anime adaptation of a romance game, there’s been surprisingly little “there” there in Hoshizora when it comes to development. Most of the course of the show has been frittered away on agreeable nonsense and Ayumu service, without much attention being paid to romance. It was really Madoka who was first out of the gate in many ways, being the forgotten osananajimi, and she seemed to be one of the two serious contenders.
Based on the events on episode 10, though, that game looks to be played. Kazuma finally did remember her, but he spent their entire date talking about Ui and in the end, told Madoka they’d “be friends forever”. Immediately afterwards she gently set his ring afloat on the stream to drift away with the current. If that doesn’t speak of permanent friendzone definitively enough, there was even a special Madoka ED to wrap up her storyline. Yes, this one is pretty much over.
It was a fairly enjoyable episode altogether, with most of the laughs coming from Koyori’s cluelessness (kissing = pregnancy? Are you 9 years old?) and Kasane and Daigo’s harebrained scheme to get Madoka and Kazuma on a date. Well, it sort of worked – after the peanut gallery all cancelled on the amusement park the two of them did end up together, and Madoka did find the courage to ask for another date – but as mentioned, Kazuma’s never showed the slightest romantic inclination. Despite Madoka looking quite striking in Koyori’s too-small outfit.
At this point Ui and Ibuki are seemingly the last two standing, and it would be a shock if it’s not an Ui end. She hasn’t gotten much development after the first couple of episode so, while she’s cute and pleasant enough, there isn’t a whole lot of character to the character. Ibuki is a little better – a classic tsundere in some ways, but with some charm to her – but I’ve never thought she was a serious player and I still don’t.
I guess we’re at that time in any romance sim where the girls have to have their arcs wrapped up, and things start getting to the point. The last two eps have been much more serious – this one didn’t even have a disturbing PV voice-over with Ayumu – and we only have two to go. I know this transition in the series had to happen, but I can’t help but think the show had a little more charisma when it was utterly pointless, oddly perverse and blissfully stupid.