Sasami-san@Ganbaranai – 02
「自宅警備員」 (Jitaku Keibiin)
“In-House Security Guard”
There must be some unseen force which causes me to gravitate towards shows that end up having something to do with MMORPGs. It’s certainly not entirely intentional on my part and I had no idea whatsoever that Sasami-san@Ganbaranai would feature an episode in which MMOs would play a central role.
But before that, hopefully the exposition at the beginning of the episode will placate some of those who complained that the whole thing was ‘too random’. The hints towards the importance of Shintoism were already there in the first episode if you looked closely enough, but now there’s no real excuse for complaining about how bizarre it was. It’s actually kind of funny how eager people can be to bash Shaft and Shinbo in particular, especially in the wake of their more recent successes. The revelation that Kamiomi possesses the power of a god does not come entirely as a surprise after the previous episode’s events (anyone remember the subtle reference in the Hare Hare Yukai dance?), but it’s interesting to learn that Sasami herself was originally the one possessed by Amaterasu. I look forward to learning how she ended up passing that on to her brother!
While character interactions may not be on the level of NisiOisiN discourses on the mundane delivered in bizarre fashion, I still find them entertaining to watch and listen to. Kamiomi and Tsurugi are anything but normal teachers, and Kagami is far from the ideal student. It was rather funny to hear Kamiomi voice a thought so many students have probably had – that teachers don’t really care about their students as much as one might expect. His rather blunt and tactless personality is a somewhat refreshing contrast to how archetypal the Yagami sisters seem to be, though their contributions to the episode were also enjoyable.
Perhaps one of the highlights of this episode was watching as Sasami attempted to keep her power level hidden from the ‘normals’ that were invading her home. She’s proven herself a hikikomori in every single possible way. So much so, in fact, that I’m almost positive that at least one thing happened somewhere in this episode with which any anime or video game fan can empathise, whether it be the Yagami sisters’ complete disregard for the value of others’ possessions, the opening of sealed packaging, eating over hardware, or erasing save game data. Almost everything any gamer/collector has ever feared comes to pass in this episode.
Of course, in the end she was forced by rather dubious circumstances to reveal herself. The whole MMO aspect was actually quite interesting. MMO plots in anime are certainly not new, but this is probably the first time I’ve seen one used where the show is aware that the game is a bad one. Yamatano Orochi SNS (Yamata no Orochi) should have failed long ago – it was only Sasami’s wish to continue her escapism that allowed it to survive where it was originally about to be shut down. This episode goes out of its way to show the game in a negative light, from how it’s basically the same as attending school to Matsuki Miyu’s hissy fits as the game guide when Kamiomi failed to input his data in time. Some of these bad mechanics seem to serve an additional role in mocking the typically absurd revival methods employed in many RPGs, and perhaps even how supremely deadly the dreaded Japanese cold is made out to be in anime!
While the addiction was shown as being caused by the divinity Sasami brought into being, it still feels like there’s a little subtext here. In the same way as addiction in Yamatano Orochi SNS was caused by the influence of a divine being, addiction can be a mysterious thing, especially when it comes to MMORPGs. While the game itself is portrayed as being bad, there are still many who would play it. EVE Online is a testament to this, not in being a bad game (it certainly isn’t), but in being a game in which gameplay is analogous to doing hard work. It’s odd how some people can build up the motivation to perform tedious tasks within a game world where they would shirk such activities in reality. Perhaps it’s related to the difference in settings – the minor alterations and additions of sci-fi or fantasy elements, or maybe it comes from the fact that, unlike in the real world, you can choose who you want to be, even down to your gender.
tl;dr: @MoombaDS – I don’t know how it happened, but I’m blogging about MMORPGs again! #sasamisan
- There’s something rather adorable about Sasami pretending to be a ditz.
- Oh man, it fits! It fits so damn well!
- This is what passes for a pâtissière? How terrifying…
- It would be interesting to see how many of these figures can be identified from their silhouettes. I know I saw a Kyuubei in one scene…
- Also a Charlotte plushie!
- Shaft’s ridiculous faces finally make an appearance!
- Is that a Valkyrie Profile reference perchance?
- I wonder if, as the series goes along, Sasami will become more motivated and the ED will gradually change to reflect this?
Full-length images: 03.