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Saenai Heroine no Sodatekata – 06 »« Saenai Heroine no Sodatekata – 04

Saenai Heroine no Sodatekata – 05

「すれ違いのデートイベント」 (Surechigai no Dētoibento)
“The Date Event of Crossing Paths”

This week we finally see the larval form of the galge that our protagonists intend to make, and it’s a doozy. The characters may be based on familiar faces, and the scenario starts with strange sense of deja vu, but the plot eventually pans out into something that could only have gestated in the diseased mind of Kasumigaoka Utaha, the world’s first typing chipmunk. I was expecting the cozy romance story to have a twist, if only because I didn’t trust Utaha to be able to resist sabotaging the Tomoya x Megumi ship by proxy, but the surprise reveal and the end result were so hilariously stupid that I couldn’t help but love it. This is what Air would have been like if Maeda Jun wrote it while incredibly hungover. This is how Saekano becomes Saikano. I’d watch it. Or read it. Whatever.

Unfortunately (or fortunately, depending on how you feel about crazy apocalyptic melodrama), director Aki Tomoya is not entirely satisfied with the first draft, for ill-defined reasons. One piece of advice I can give (and am personally bad at following) about creating anything: you need to keep stepping over the bodies. No, I don’t mean that you need to keep murdering people, I mean that you need to keeping moving forward. Your original concept is not going to survive, and your first drafts are going to burn. You’ve got to accept the casualties in the creative process and maintain momentum. The alternative is eternal development hell, and no product but vaporware. I don’t really know what Tomoya’s looking for though, and I don’t think his crew does either. I’m not even sure that Tomoya himself, even now, has a clear what it is he wants to make.

Tomoya did seem to have a bit of an epiphany moment while on his ‘date’ with Megumi (a date which, surprisingly, the other girls reacted to relatively not horrifically).  As is natural in Saekano, Megumi ultimately teaches Tomoya some lesson about something, but what Tomoya actually learns is still not entirely clear. Perhaps his camaraderie with Megumi ignited his team spirit. Perhaps the chemistry they built was inspirational. Perhaps he just wanted more Comiket (which, let’s be honest, is its own kind of war zone as well). Whatever it was, I am glad that the nominal first date between our main leads did not completely bomb, and that Tomoya was able to employ his otaku spirit positively. At its core, being a geek is not about 2D obsessions or awkward antisocial behaviour; it’s about taking certain things very seriously, even if that thing is optimising your shopping (shopping otaku: you heard it here first). What makes Megumi such a strong foil for Tomoya is that she’s not an otaku, because she doesn’t take anything seriously. However, that doesn’t mean she disrespects your passions either. Call her ‘flat’ if you wish, but I prefer to refer to her as ‘balanced’. And, sure, Eriri may be right in saying that everyone has a secret side to them, but that side could also be mundane as well. Megumi just has no capacity for drama, but being subtle is not a bad thing. And it’s not like she doesn’t try.

Looking ahead, looking back ~ past lives

There’s lots of little flashbacks this week (no, not these ones, though I do appreciate the juxtaposition), hinting more at some of our characters pasts and their history with Tomoya. It seems the focus will remain on Utaha for now, and perhaps we’ll soon learn the reason for her emphasis on Tomoya’s ethics. Or perhaps, in keeping with Utaha’s scripts, Earth is invaded by aliens or something, and Saekano does a genre back-flip. That may be a bit too recursive even for Saekano, though it would certainly amuse me. Maybe I’m too easily amused.

Full-length images: 15.

February 13, 2015 at 8:12 am
  • February 13, 2015 at 8:33 amshen

    Dat Pocky part at the start was so cute :3

  • February 13, 2015 at 8:39 amMakise Kuristina

  • February 13, 2015 at 8:49 amKTNO

    Matsuoka Yoshitsugu (Aki-kun) is doing a fantastic job comedy wise in this anime. The script reading part was hilarious !

    • February 13, 2015 at 5:06 pmRed HeartGold ZX

      Which proves that a guy with his voice is not for a serious/action harem lead only like Kirito

  • February 13, 2015 at 9:40 amanothercat

    • February 13, 2015 at 11:31 amewok40k

      it’s all fun and games until someone dies, then it becomes outright hilarious…

  • February 13, 2015 at 9:44 ambelatkuro

    Surprisingly good looking without glasses.

    Kato commenting about the wincest is one of the best ones I’ve heard from her.

    Long preview for next episode. Filename is pretty appropriate given the last few seconds.

  • February 13, 2015 at 9:50 amPageup91

    “Earth is invaded by aliens or something, and Saekano does a genre back-flip” – Please no, that would be Samurai Flamenco all over again

  • February 13, 2015 at 10:10 amKirigiri

    Ohh the irony about Megumi’s reaction to the character name “Meguri Kano”
    Megumi is still the best girl for me but still these 3 Utaha scenes makes me think twice especially the last one:
    The dialogue at this scene though: Ahn Ahn Ahn One More One More ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°
    Eriri:”It comes out now and then during the creative process…The dark side of the creator.”
    LOL this dialogue plus Utaha’s laugh plus this face plus the background music. What else do I need to say about Utaha-senpai.Because of that, she’s also tied Kato now on my best girl in this series.

  • February 13, 2015 at 10:18 amCrook

    The in-between frames with brightly colored lineart (such as this) give me this Shaft vibe. I love it.

    • February 13, 2015 at 10:28 amMakise Kuristina

      There’s no SHAFT vibe unless there’s that head tilt

  • February 13, 2015 at 10:28 amKabble

    I loved this episode, it’s so funny.
    I’m becoming more convinced that this is less about making some dating sim and all about effectively balancing out Tomoya’s extreme tastes. Megumi brings out such a…tame side to him.
    Also, that part where he groan moaned with more excitement than any man at the end of any porn….absolutely hilarious

  • February 13, 2015 at 11:35 amewok40k

    Utaha going yandere “in writing” was just amazing… That must be Urobuchi’s or GRR Martin’s face when they write…
    Also, isn’t it amazing how Rinri-kun managed to use his l33t comiket skills to manage a shopping date? :P

  • February 13, 2015 at 5:10 pmRed HeartGold ZX

    Best episode of SaeKano

    -VN plot revealed
    -more deadpan between MCs
    -Kato x Aki best date
    -D’AWWWW (Kato proves she is Best Girl once again)

    • February 14, 2015 at 3:34 pmtrunkmonkey

      Did you notice that the frames she gave him cost 30,000 yen!!

      She is not poor

      • February 14, 2015 at 3:36 pmtrunkmonkey

        Ops added one to many zeros

      • February 15, 2015 at 2:21 amRed HeartGold ZX

        If you mean it’s about 3000 yen, then I wouldn’t be surprised. Normally, frames cost even more than that since I myself wear a ‘megane’. That’s about the normal price, but, yes, she is not poor and she is generous.

    • February 15, 2015 at 6:30 pmVaans

      They looks like a couple already. :)

  • February 13, 2015 at 5:15 pmdanes256

    this is definitely one of the better harem series. one of my favorite thing about saekano is their characterization, everyone has an interesting character that makes them funny so as to live up to their romcom genre

  • February 13, 2015 at 6:11 pmiyArashi

    There’s something about the soundtrack that I found out on r/anime that makes me want to pay attention to it in the future.

    Also enjoyed the little instrumental homage to Bill Withers’ “Lovely Day” playing during the mall scenes. –Combo33

    It starts at around 17:20.

    • February 16, 2015 at 8:13 amShinmarizu

      Thanks for that!

      That tidbit makes the scene so much more poignant. IMO, it heightens the chemistry between these two and reveals 2 things: the romance he’s looking for with respect to his galge and his own desires, and the natural, organic manner in which it should arise.

      Tomoya is so used to the tropes in romance (he even breaks the fourth wall when he experiences them); he is seeing the forest for the trees. Now he may realize that romance isn’t blatant and segmented by moments – it’s an experience that’s more nuanced and subtle.

      Megumi is perfect for him.

  • February 13, 2015 at 6:59 pmDvalinn

    When they started reciting the plot, I was getting World Break flashbacks. So hilariously awful! Though I think Tomoya rejected it because, despite it being his preferred stories, he missed something in it that would make readers/players really care about Megumi’s character. That special quality that made her his muse. I suppose their chemistry during the shopping trip reminded him of that quality he saw in her, and thus got inspiration.

    Anyway, while Megumi stays best girl, Utaha got quite a boost in that regard in this episode as well. Seeing her in full creator mode was funny as hell, and that eating of Pocky was pro-level. Her flashback was rather intruiging too, as there’s a lot still to learn about her (in comparison to Eriri, anyway, who seems more straightforward).

    And please no aliens, one Samurai Flamenco was enough. Gaaaaah.

  • February 13, 2015 at 8:40 pmcruiser2710

    You know something…. Kato might actually be the most villainous female character around.

    Come on, have you seen any harem members cause the other harem members to self-destruct while keeping a straight deadpan face?

    I think Utaha may have detected the closet yandere in Kato =P

  • February 14, 2015 at 3:54 amThe Story You Don’t Know

    I’m a sucker for “canon” pairings but damn, all three girls are really good and interesting. However, I’m kinda rooting for Utaha because it seems that the mature, cool and calm personality (even though she goes over the top at some points) are usually the ones who don’t get the guy (Like Ami from Toradora!).

    I’m kind of tired of “he/she needs him more than I do” stuff which mature people like Utaha usually say so I’m looking forward to see these mature type of people take the gold prize.

  • February 14, 2015 at 6:33 amHochmeister

    Melt my heart Utaha, the anime world needs more yanderes.

    Interesting stuff this week with the first draft and the date. I think the connection between them is that the draft lacked any appreciable romance. It was all chuuni action and drama ticking off the tropes, but lacked any sort of soul. And during the date, Tomoya began to feel something with Kato, something he realized needed to be in the game for it to be good. It raises an interesting point; is it possible to write a good fictional romance if you’ve never fallen in love yourself? Personally I think it is, but it’s extremely difficult to pull off.

    • February 14, 2015 at 6:25 pmMonimonika

      “…is it possible to write a good fictional romance if you’ve never fallen in love yourself?”

      Not sure about real life, but the fictional example that comes immediately to my mind is Nozaki Umetarou. ;-)

      • February 14, 2015 at 8:59 pmewok40k

        “…is it possible to write a good fictional romance if you’ve never fallen in love yourself?”
        the question is the starting point of excellent manga:
        “Watashi ni xx Shinasai!”

  • February 14, 2015 at 6:26 pmJason Isenberg

    Kato: Being amazing since the start of this show

  • February 14, 2015 at 11:53 pmJuan

    I happen to read one of the Spin Off manga’s to this featuring Utaha, from what I’ve seen from the “flash backs” it looks like they are gonna explore that story line a bit. The manga is unfinished or at least untranslated so it won’t really spoil much even if you go check it out