I wasn't looking forward to watching this episode, because I knew that it would be about Miki and how they managed to "get her back", and I'm pretty sad to report that that's exactly what it was about. Sigh.

This episode picked off right at the end of ep11, where Ritsuko told Miki, in no uncertain terms, that Ryuuguu Komachi was a 3-idol group and those idols were already set, with no changes planned. After the OP, there was a tiny skip where at least another day had passed, as the girls spoke about how Miki hadn't shown up again for practice. In all of this, it was revealed that she wasn't picking up any phones calls or answering texts - basically, cutting all lines of communication. That's professional.

It's interesting how he didn't think to ask Ritsuko before she approached him.

Producer finally figured out what the problem was when Ritsuko talked to him, explaining what Miki's last words to her had been. Producer managed to put things together and remember his half-hearted "promise" to Miki, acting surprised and weary that it had grown into something so problematic. After he finally managed to get through to Miki (I thought phones in Japan had the interesting "block" feature; I assume she wanted to feel like they cared about her), she stated that she had lost all enthusiasm for work and had no plans to come back if she couldn't be a part of Ryuuguu Komachi. So, essentially, she was being a spoiled brat.

Are they insinuating that older girls are any different?

I'm so conflicted on so much of this episode. Kotori explained to Producer that he was being too harsh with her and that, in the end, she was still a young girl that would sometimes act irrationally based on her emotions. While that may or may not be true (everyone is capable of acting irrationally sometimes, regardless of age), I don't understand why that felt so much like a cop-out. Kotori managed to get Producer to calm down and attempt different tactics to get through to Miki, which was a good thing. However, it just felt as though her behaviour was being condoned, which I really can't understand. Doesn't this girl have a contract? Aren't there legal ramifications to her behaviour? Or is 765 Productions a completely different type of business?

All the costumes are so different. It's actually interesting.

The other idols, taking a backseat in this episode, attempted to keep going without Miki - not in the malicious way, but rather in the "show must go on" way. Several times, Chihaya kept the group going, especially when they became very downtrodden about Miki's disappearance. I really like that facet of her personality; however "impure" her reasons (wanting the concert to be a success so she could be a singer), she took all the right steps in keeping everyone together. By the end of the episode, when all was well, Haruka asked if Chihaya had been angry with Miki's antics, to which the singer responded that she had felt it a little bit, but it paled in comparison to the bigger picture. What professionalism!

Her friends also look pretty advanced. Are they all the same age?

Miki spent her day (and insert song) wandering around, meeting up with friends, declining invitations from lecherous boys, singing for a TV crew - and that last thing allowed Producer to find her. She ran away from him and he chased her down, both of them yelling things at each other while moving through crowds. Producer eventually managed to get her to stop, wherein she reiterated that she was quitting. He bowed and apologized, which caught Miki by surprise. I really didn't like that part; it felt as though she was getting a get-out-of-jail-free card. It's one thing for Producer to apologize - he was in the wrong and it would be better to be friendlier with the idols instead of masquerading as the cold-hearted management - but it's very disturbing to see that Miki faced no consequences for her absence at such a critical time. Seriously, does she not have a contract?

Her costume is easily the sluttiest of them all.

The episode devolved into a "date", wherein Producer walked around with Miki as she toured the streets. (This anime's roots are showing...) Miki found herself slipping up many times throughout the outing, which Producer caught, and he eventually managed to convince her to come back. She continued acting like a spoiled brat throughout, only accepting that she wouldn't be performing with Ryuuguu Komachi because she was "promised" the chance to shine brighter at the concert. Her return to the other idols was met with acceptance, with Chihaya announcing that they all needed to make up for lost time (and not holding grudges, thereby taking the high road).

Where would these stickers go?

I disliked many portions of this episode, but the part that bothered me the most was essentially how Miki walked away without any problems. She had no punishment, no probation, nothing to denote that something wrong was done. Really, what's keeping another idol from doing something similar? I get that she's still young, compared to the other idols and especially given her profession, but that doesn't mean anything. She chose to be an idol, and there's a certain amount of professionalism that needs to be instilled into her. I get that she's probably a money-maker - at least, a future one, with better marketing - but they're not even keeping her reined in to capitalize on that aspect. This episode seemed like it tried to present a realistic concept except make it have a feel-good ending; those two things don't always go together.

She's still pretty cutesy, even beyond the bratty nature.

This was a ridiculous episode, one that felt the most like a dating sim out of all the episodes so far. I'm beginning to really dislike the fact that this is a 2-season anime. Yes, it has a lot of episodes to redeem itself - but it's just digging itself a bigger hole every week to crawl out from. Possible?