Talk about changing the routine of things and in Rise's episode, the changes help form what her problems are and how they came about.
We all know that Rise is an idol who is adored by many in the game universe but we never really seen what it looked like besides the small commercial. Here we have her in multiple commercials of different styles, ads, and even a stage performance as an opening to the episode. All this helps convey the big idol life she had and which ties in better later on. It was also smart to not to over use these elements, putting them naturally in a scene like it was always there. However, that beach photo magazine near the river bank was a bit too convent but it did help bond Yu and Rise together.
Thats another thing. This episode is really pushing the Yu X Rise ship hard with the beginning scene of him giving her cell, their little moment near the river bank, and taking a shortcut out to avoid the press. I can't be sure if Rise will be the anime's love interest for Yu but we'll see if they will build on it.
From hearing about the announcement of the anime, I and many others were afraid to hear Rie Kugimiya again with her high pitch voice for Rise. However, it looks like her tone it down for the anime, allowing for a more more tolerable Rise. Of course at this point in the story Rise is a little down in the dumps and isn't in her happy mood yet so there will be a chance in the future where her high pitch voice will be say "Senpai!" most of the time -_-; But hey, she can sing.
I have to give credit where credit is due and the opening is wonderful. It has style of the character that is singing it, the fact that she is singing the song makes it more personal to that character, the movements were well choreograph, and it all works in favor of the episode. However, I suspect that this was where most of the budget for the episode want because many parts had some glaring issues, especially the scene where the team were at Junes and only the character's mouths were moving, which made it very creepy after looking at it for a while.
This was a pretty well handled episode that makes me happy that I'm continuing to watch this show.
Next week, Rise will really show it all off. Investigation team, GO!