Sophia wakes up from an odd dream which chronicles how Atsuko, Catarina’s friend from her previous life who got her into Otome games in the first place, both met Catarina’s former self and coped with her sudden death. Later, Catarina and her friends take a practical exam that involves looking for a special stone inside a dungeon. The group is split up into teams, which naturally leads to hijinks of setting off traps and Catarina getting separated. Sophia arrives to save Catarina, saying she doesn’t want to lose her again, but then not knowing what that meant. However, they actually end up finding the stone by accident while Catarina is picking up mushrooms. And there seems to be an odd dark presence around them which only Maria notices.
Apparently we’re in full on filler territory now, as this episode’s story is completely outside of the natural progression of the story. And I feel weird in saying this, but I think I might be a pretty okay episode on its own. Sure, being filler, it is naturally just filling time and therefore cannot progress the story in any meaningful way as we wait for the next actually step in the plot to take place, but it also actually gives characters who normally don’t get scenes together chances to interact more. Particularly Sophia with Catarina, but also Maria with Mary and Alan. It’s an unfortunate side effect of having all the characters being smitten with Catarina that they unfortunately don’t get to develop individual bonds with other characters outside of being rivals, so if the only way we’ll get that is through filler episodes, I guess I’ll take it.
Sophia’s dream is probably also worth exploring a bit here, though I do wonder if that was filler as well. Going off of it, my first thoughts were that she could be a reincarnation of Atsuko, just as Catarina reincarnated from someone else. That would be an interesting thing to go into and maybe try and find some commonality in why specifically this two were put in the game that they played at the same time in their next lives, but that might not be what this story wants to get into. And does this mean that Sophia has a better chance at being Catarina’s love interest in this new timeline, being two souls from the same previous life who needed to die in order to understand their feelings? Will Sophia even remember her old life from a bonk on her head of her own? We’ve got five more episodes to find out.
That said, I’m pretty eager to get back to the main story when we can. Having two episodes of filler in just twelve episodes of story is already concerning enough but I don’t exactly expect there to be much that’s conclusive in this season anyway. With seven suitors to choose from that Catarina doesn’t even know about yet, I can’t imagine we’ll be seeing her picking one within the last five episodes. But we should be headed for an interesting story at least, which is all I really need out of this anyway. Sure hope we don’t have more filler next week!