Well, that was a totally useless episode… Great.
Everyone takes part in a Cinderella play for which Yui is Cinderella, Apollon is the Prince, and everyone else is not the Prince but they want to be. This, plus the fact that Thoth screws up his job as the narrator, turns the play into a humorous catastrophe in which we are introduced to Anubis, the last important character of the show. The episode ends as Balder collapses, due to some unknown issue.
The problem wasn’t really the episode in itself (I’m surprised I actually pulled a few laughs out of something so dumb), but really the terrible timing of it, completely breaking the rhythm at which the series was slowly accelerating to. Just when the episodes were getting interesting and the story was actually about to go somewhere, we get this filler episode which was supposed to “lighten the atmosphere” and make us enjoy ourselves; unfortunately, the pacing of the rest of the drama was pretty much screwed up and this episode felt really out of place in general.
The only thing I appreciated in terms of advancement from this episode was the clear appearance of Anubis, who before this point was simply of a random background character for non-players of the dating game this show originates from. Now, we still don’t know what his role is in the show, but at least we now know that his intricate character design isn’t just for the hell of it and that he is actually a God, accompanying Thoth or Zeus for whatever reason. He’s also cute as hell, but that’s besides the point; I don’t care about cute characters if they don’t matter in the show…
All in all though, I still got a few good laughs in this episode, somehow. Everything was cheesy and mostly dumb, but the jokes were well placed, well timed and I chuckled quite a few times despite losing all respect in the episode itself. The stupidity of the play was entertaining, and I was also having fun seeing the boys actually fight over Yui to get the role of the prince, showing for the first time some actual feelings of love in all other characters except Balder, who was the only one being pretty direct about his own emotions.
In the end, the only thing in this episode suggesting that it was at least a bit more important to the storyline was the reminder that after they graduate, the Gods most likely would never see Yui again and go their separate ways, which is a point that could be important later on as the school year ends and the group stops having tons of fun together. The last scene involving Balder’s collapse also seemed quite important, but we can only make sure of that in the next episode. At least, it was useful to the story a bit… Of course, spending a whole 20 minutes just for that scene was completely useless and could have brought forward the plot much more, but you know… At least this episode wasn’t totally useless.