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「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

Random thoughts:

  • 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.

 

Preview

Sasami san Ganbaranai   02   Preview 01 Sasami san Ganbaranai   02   Preview 02 Sasami san Ganbaranai   02   Preview 03

End Card

Sasami san Ganbaranai   02   End Card
January 18, 2013 at 6:07 am
35 comments »
  • January 18, 2013 at 6:09 am†Croos†

    Moomba, its your fate to blog animes with MMORPG!
    Its also your curse!

    • January 18, 2013 at 7:00 amSin1505

      More like a gift and a curse!

    • January 18, 2013 at 9:13 ameharper256

      When you mentioned:

      “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.”

      I could only think of this thread: http://chanarchive.org/4chan/v/65344 about the Real Life v2.112 patch that came out prior to the cancelled Mayan Apocalypse DLC.

  • January 18, 2013 at 6:12 amKurisu Vi Britannia

    Now may .hack returnith!

    Gotta start this, looks good.

  • January 18, 2013 at 6:12 amCybersteel

    I think you’re wrong on one count that Sasami’s brother did not pick as a loser for his job.

  • January 18, 2013 at 6:42 ambaseone

    I smell a parody of 16.5!

    hahaha or is it just me?

  • January 18, 2013 at 6:51 amD

    What’s this 16.5 stuff you speak of? All I see if two adults getting very friendly over the computer.

  • January 18, 2013 at 7:13 amShouko

    Sasami’s pain was more than felt during the parfait disaster and crumbs on the keyboard. No good can come of food near hardware. Only grief … and tears … and likely a loss of money.

    • January 18, 2013 at 8:49 pmc2710

      Sasami has all the reactions that I have when the same things happened to me.
      Though I’m not a hikikikomori

  • January 18, 2013 at 7:53 amSol

    I tried sticking around for the 3 ep rule, but this is just complete drivel. If the director/writer wants to have the viewer watch him fap to his own “skills”, he’ll have to look somewhere else. Dropping with extreme prejudice.

  • January 18, 2013 at 8:01 amstarss

    *looks at the screenshots above, and tries to make sense of the plot*

    ……………………………………… Imma throwing u over, Table! I give up!

  • January 18, 2013 at 8:12 amYalvyn

    Hanakana lovely voice XD

  • January 18, 2013 at 8:16 amAnanas

    The budget hurts.

    • January 18, 2013 at 8:50 pmc2710

      Now we know where most of the money from the Madoka movies and -monogatari sales went to

  • January 18, 2013 at 8:27 amAex

    Well… episode 1 was definitely better. The three sisters were fun in ep1, here though Tama and Tsurugi were just annoying. I kinda don’t want to see them set foot in Sasami’s house ever again. Tsurugi’s disregard for anything not her opinion was enjoyable in ep1, here it was just a waste, probably because I would’ve flipped out if someone ever acted that way with my stuff. Everything not her was good though, so I’ll stick around to see if they can at least recapture the fun nonsense of ep1.

  • January 18, 2013 at 8:32 ammakine

    I love that Sasami just doesn’t care about the ED.

  • January 18, 2013 at 8:52 amJ_the_Man

    I figured the first episode was a generic intro episode where we get to know the characters, but aren’t given a plot of sorts. Thankfully this episode gave us background. I’ll still follow this, but it definitely doesn’t have that pull that Kotoura-san has… Though I have to admit I’ve at least rewatched both episodes.

    My theory as to why Sasami passed Amaterasu to Kamiomi is that at some point in a fleeting moment of empathy Sasami wished to make Onii-chan the happiest Onii-chan in the world, hence Amaterasu gets passed on to him so that the universe would bow to the sub-conscience whims of Kamiomi. This also leads to my theory on why Sasami is a hikkomori is that Kamiomi loves her so much in a sister sort of way and wishes nothing to befall her or something akin to that, and thus Sasami is condemned to confinement in the house.

  • January 18, 2013 at 9:05 amKairoru

    I really want Kagami’s high speed internet connection.

    • January 18, 2013 at 9:48 amAngelus

      I wouldn’t mind the rest of her as well. Having a human Swiss Army knife around the place could be pretty useful sometimes.

  • January 18, 2013 at 9:09 amStereoman

    I feel so sorry for Sasami. Poor girl ;_;
    Also, I’m really enjoying the ED, it’s quite clever!

  • January 18, 2013 at 9:49 amDvalinn

    Guess we have a plot this time, that explains all the Haruhi references (not just the dance, but also ‘I have no interest in ordinary humans’ this episode

    • January 18, 2013 at 9:59 amDvalinn

      -dammit wrong button-

      …given that the plot shows similarities. Reality warping gods, huh? Wonder where they’ll go with this.

      Anyway, the first episode was better, but I still liked this one. I definitely recognized myself in Sasami’s frustrations as people started messing around with her stuff, heh. The abuse heaped on her brother by the game was hilarious too (his voice actor does a good job in making him sound like a sad puppy) and it’s nice how it all builds the social dynamics between these characters (as the show doesn’t seem to have an especially large cast).

      Shaft being Shaft again too. Loved the weird faces, surreal worlds and especially the way a lot of the episode was being framed like a stage play (complete with spotlights to focus on one character, and with the plushies serving as the audience). This kind of messing about with scenes and presentation makes this show worth watching alone.

      • January 18, 2013 at 8:53 pmc2710

        Building on that… Does that mean that Haruhi has Amaterasu in her and Yuki and the 2 others (GAH IF FORGOT THEIR NAMES) are the Imperial Regalia?

        Just a thought

  • January 18, 2013 at 11:55 amMiep :3

    This MMORPG episode was better than SAO.

  • January 18, 2013 at 2:53 pmninjaugal

    there is a pig in Yamato no Orochi SNS.
    Is that Arita Haruyuki from Accel World?

  • January 18, 2013 at 4:21 pmJ_the_Man

    One thing that hasn’t been stated… I really like the music. It really fits the mood of the scene.

  • January 18, 2013 at 6:41 pmAsta

    I guess the 3 sisters are the Imperial Regalia of Japan then.

    Tsurugi = Kusanagi no Tsurugi/Sword
    Kagami = Yata no Kagami/Sacred Mirror
    Tama = Yasakani no Magatama/Jewel

  • January 19, 2013 at 12:51 amTaco

    Anyone notice the Rocky Horror Picture Show reference?

  • January 19, 2013 at 4:20 pmacolyte

    I don’t think I’ll enjoy this anime – but there sure is quite an amount of parody in this anime.
    Too bad I don’t enjoy parodies in general =s
    But I sure am interested how many anime/works are they pulling in from~

  • January 20, 2013 at 10:00 pmEntrav

    Still enjoying it for what it is. Entertaining. I know how it feels to have people come into your house and screw things up :/

  • January 21, 2013 at 12:15 pmWhee

    Didn’t know people bashed at the first ep. I thought it was excellent. If anything, I felt like they could’ve spilled less beans this episode- I mean it’s not rocket science ._.
    As for this ep, it felt subpar. Well, mmo skits in anime are really boring for me anyways… And apparently I missed out on a lot of the references too. shame on me;

  • February 22, 2013 at 10:21 ambara

    Am I the only person who noticed the Haruhi Suzumiya’s signature line being used by Kagami?