I’m still not sold on KamiMemo as a top-shelf series, but it was nice to get a little essence of what I liked so much about the premiere. It’s still trying a little to hard to be Durarara!, seems to me, but the alchemy was much better with Renji inserted into the mix. He was partly the vehicle for one of the most encouraging things about this arc, seeing some real growth for Narumi in a believable manner. Yoshitsugu Matsuoka is doing a good job here and that’s nice to see, given the dearth of under-20 male seiyuus out there. His character is quite similar to Mikado from DRRR, of course, but the difference had been Narumi’s annoying passivity up until Renji arrived in Tokyo. Meeting Renji and getting the concert job for the Fourth seemed to make Narumi blossom and give him confidence. As Alice said (and she retains the ability to say some very memorable things) when the blood rushes to his head, he arrives at the truth by the shortest possible route.
Warming up to Narumi has warmed up Alice as a character too, which was much needed. Her tsuntsun bit lacked the charm of some of the better examples of it (fill in your own blanks here, the names are pretty obvious) but it’s nice to see her make a few decisions based on emotion and show some actual feeling for Narumi. It remains a problem that among the regular cast, only Narumi and Alice have gotten any real development and side characters like Renji and Min have actually been given much greater opportunity to shine.
As for the arc itself, again, there wasn’t much mystery after last week. Hison was indeed alive and living as a man, Fourth and Renji did more or less reconcile (a bit too easily, IMO, considering all the bad things Renji had done) once the truth was out, and Renji – as expected – fled town in an act of self-flagellation after the reunion. The lack of surprises didn’t totally sink the ship though, as the basic premise was a good one and there’s something to be said for an involving character-driven mystery ending the way it probably was fated to end. If the rest of the series continues at this quality level I’d be fine with that – I’m honestly not expecting genius at this point, so solidly entertaining would be just fine.