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Saenai Heroine no Sodatekata – 07 »« Saenai Heroine no Sodatekata – 05

Saenai Heroine no Sodatekata – 06

「二人の夜の選択肢」 (Futari no Yoru no Sentakushi)
“Deciding the Night for Two”

Another Utaha episode this week, and it’s inevitable that when Kasumi-sensei is involved things get at least two degrees raunchier. We haven’t actually had all that much overt fanservice since the 00 special, but we can always count on the good old shower scene to bare some flesh (no matter your orientation). Since this is a rather introspective episode I guess the staff decided that the audience wouldn’t make it through without sufficient distracting candy.

Rinri-kun

Even though Utaha is not the main heroine (and one can say that she’s already ‘lost’ the race), the atmosphere for the first half of the episode was still rather romantic. I think it’s the rain and the snow that does it; weather is atmospheric in more ways than one. The flashbacks were also fairly well blended in with the present, creating some nice parallels, and also creating some of the only opportunities for us to see Utaha so demure. Her love is ultimately an unrequited one, with Tomoya rejecting her on multiple levels. He’s obstinately unreceptive of her advances (though I guess when confronted by such frontal attacks the immediate reflex is to defend), but also refuses to read her final novel in advance, which is apparently the reason Utaha calls Tomoya, ‘Ethics-kun’.

On behalf of other aspiring writers out there, I disapprove of Tomoya here. Writers do need all the feedback they can get, and when they need you to be their first reader or something they are asking you to play an important role in their publication process. At the same time, I think that Utaha should have a bit more faith in her vision, and writing for just one person is also a bit unhealthy. I can also somewhat understand why Tomoya so ardently wanted to remain just a fan. It’s much peachier being a consumer than a creator. The consumer is free wait for the creator to deliver while also being able to hold expectations for how the creation should turn out. There is a certain kind of selfishness that is available to consumers that creators are not privy to. Which is, why, I think Tomoya didn’t wish to cross the line into Utaha’s world until now.

Tragedy vs Comedy

It’s easy to tell the difference between Tomoya’s philosophy and Utaha’s. Tomoya believes in happy endings, while Utaha is more bittersweet. Utaha’s draft for the game ultimately reflects her own story; all author invest a bit of themselves in anything they write. Utaha has, in a way, already resigned herself to defeat. It reminds me a bit of difference in the ways the East and the West traditionally dealt with star-crossed lovers in their stories. While in Eastern literature the lovers will more often return to their ‘destined’ paths in life, Western literature often has the lovers defy their fate, even in death—see Romeo and Juliet. Tomoya doesn’t really have a deep philosophical underpinning for his preference though—he just thinks happy endings are neater. Megumi has awoken in him an appreciation for the normal. Normal is happy, and normal is good. Stories should start and end with normality, with the bumps along the way the spice of the narrative.

True to form, in Saekano land we have Megumi showing up at the end to demonstrate how this works. The way she pouts is notable only because of how deadpan she is all the time. Don’t worry, I’m sure she’ll go back to being flat next week. That’s the formula, remember?

Looking ahead

With this episode, Utaha’s backstory is more or less resolved. She’s the first of our protagonists to have received this treatment, and definitely came out looking a lot better out of it. The characters of Saekano started as very deliberate archetypes, but Utaha is a lot more three dimensional now that we’ve had a few episodes on what makes her tick (and, more importantly, what makes her vulnerable). While Saekano is centrally about turning a normal person (Megumi) into a character, it also evidently practices the more traditional art of turning a character into a person.

I’m hoping Eriri eventually gets that treatment too, as she still feels a tad generic (though we have had a few hints as to her own story). From the 00 special, though, we know that there is at least one more character to be introduced, so I don’t know how they’re going to juggle that. Saekano has been paced pretty well so far, so I’m fine with just letting it do its thing. Good episode this week. Continue as you are.

February 20, 2015 at 8:15 am
36 comments »
  • February 20, 2015 at 8:19 amewok40k

    http://randomc.net/image/Saenai%20Heroine%20no%20Sodatekata/Saenai%20Heroine%20no%20Sodatekata%20-%2006%20-%20Large%2024.jpg
    putting the frontal into frontal attack…
    …and I was like, go get him Utaha!

  • February 20, 2015 at 8:21 amFabio

    • February 20, 2015 at 8:41 amTechim

      I’d like to think that they actually went ahead and had an actual passionate night. XD

      - Tomoya wakes up topless. He isn’t shocked. Which would imply he took off his own shirt.
      - They seem much more understanding of each other after the night.
      - Close-up shot of Utaha dressing up before leaving the room.
      - That photo itself gives rise to 2 questions:
      # How much of a heavy sleeper is Tomoya to not have realized Utaha snuggling up to him
      # How daring Utaha would have to be to pull that off if Tomoya wasn’t willing.

    • February 21, 2015 at 6:16 amTechim

      Here’s some GIFs I think nobody’s going to complain about XD
      http://tinyurl.com/kofn5cj
      http://tinyurl.com/otb48uc
      http://tinyurl.com/ktjj6dc

  • February 20, 2015 at 8:39 amKirigiri

  • February 20, 2015 at 8:53 ambelatkuro

    • February 20, 2015 at 12:26 pmpahlavi5312

      All along I thought it was Utaha-senpai’s episode. But then Kato reminded us of who the heroine really is :)

    • February 20, 2015 at 2:09 pmSilver

      Hahaha! Utaha is definitely my #1 favorite BUT I don’t kid myself at who the main heroine is. Then again Katou is great too so it all works out well!

      Now Eriri needs some development as well and it will be win!

  • February 20, 2015 at 8:56 amSerapita

    After watching the end of this episode, I’m starting to believe the theory someone here mentioned that Megumi planned a lot of things in advance instead of just being dragged along with Tomoya’s pace.

  • February 20, 2015 at 10:17 amMgMaster

    MC’s admiration towards an exceptionally talented yet not very sociable girl who’s into him but he’s unaware of it(or in this case, perhaps intentionally ignorant, but I’m just gonna hold out on that until further signs are shown) and the author’s leg fetish. One can definitely see a little bit of WA2 here. Not sure about the former but as it might eventually get too repetitive but in the case of the later, I expect it become one of Maruto-sensei’s trademarks in all of his future works :)

  • February 20, 2015 at 12:35 pmMentar

    Sorry, but no. Tomoya didn’t “reject” Utaha. She is his _goddess_, the author of the novels that touched him most, who is her most loyal fan. You _worship_ goddesses, you don’t “date” them.

    To fully understand the Utaha backstory, you need to read the “Koisuru Metronome” Utaha path, the story is way too complex for 12 episodes. I’ll summarize it here, spoiler-protected, and then explain this episode in its light.

    Show Spoiler ▼

    With this background knowledge, it’s understand to see what was happening in this episode. Tomoya realized what irked him about Utaha’s plot: It didn’t resemble Kato!

    Utaha had written the heroine as someone who is desperately clinging to memories of past warmth and closeness she can’t forget. In other words, once again, this heroine resembled HERSELF, who is still holding on to her own time with Tomoya in the past. Tomoya wanted her to Kato-ize this heroine. She should not be so fixated on the past, and more plain. “Write her less distinctive!”

    Utaha is frustrated and resists. IS IT BAD TO HOLD ON TO THE PAST??? She is pouring out the pain in her heart, her frustration for being unable to make him understand. HOW CAN I POSSIBLY LOSE TO MISS NONDESCRIPT, THIS IS ABSURD!!

    She does not WANT to give up on the past. Only when Tomoya explains that it’s not bad to hold on to memories, and that it is very moe in fact – BUT NOT HOW HE ENVISIONS HIS HEROINE IN HIS SCENARIO, she gives in and relents. He finally knows what he wants, and she respects his determination. It is still HIS game after all, and if he insists, then she’ll oblige. And so, she is removing the Utaha-heroine and replaces her with the Kato-heroine.

    So, Tomoya is still clueless. He still is completely unaware that Utaha loves him, he still thinks that she is still merely messing with him. She’s his goddess above him, he is her biggest fan.

    Doesn’t mean that she’ll stop messing with him, though ;)

    • February 20, 2015 at 6:58 pmPasserby

      The rejection I speak of refers to the past. Saekano draws a clear distinction between creator and consumer, and in refusing to read Utaha’s final novel in advance Tomoya is also refusing to cross over to Utaha’s side. He ultimately leaves Utaha with full responsibility for her own story. She has invested herself into its creation, but he will not.

      In the present, Tomoya has finally crossed over to the side of the creator, and finally has an investment in how things should play out. And notably, he doesn’t fully reject Utaha’s story for the game. His main gripe is that all the obsession with the past and all the melodrama doesn’t give much time for the hero and the heroine to just be happy. Yes, there is too much of Utaha in there, especially in a philosophical sense. She’s resigned to just indulging in the past while Tomoya also values the present. Megumi’s influence has drawn that out.

      One of the main pieces of feedback Tomoya had about Koisuru Metronome is about the multiple heroine love triangle, which he feels is a bit of a waste. It identifies one of the salient points about the harem ‘genre’: within the boundaries of monogamy, if one haremette ‘wins’ it means the others ‘lose’. It is only in the multi-route structure of a game where everyone can get a turn. Something to think about.

      • February 21, 2015 at 1:11 amMentar

        Well, you were talking about “love” and “rejection” in the same sentence, so I felt it necessary to make clear that Tomoya never rejected her love. He didn’t get the message in the first place. If you want to argue that he wasn’t as involved in the past, I _again_ have to object. He was _extremely_ involved in Koisuru Metronome, indeed to the point that he felt that he wanted to see the ending fully Kasumi Utako untainted by his own desires (and by doing so, ironically, he made his wish fail, by forcing her to commit the “bad” ending in which Sayuka/Utaha lost. Neither Utaha nor Tomoya wanted it, and it also broke the “first heroine wins the harem” standard)

        The difference in the present is that this time it is _Tomoya’s_ story. I’d give less emphasis on the “creator/consumer barrier” – he has been working on the plot with Utaha in the past as consumer just fine. But this time, the story is born from Tomoya’s imagination. He’s the producer, this is his plot. This is why Utaha finally relented when he was able to articulate his ideas. Utaha understood him. Too bad that once again, he never understood Utaha.

        Well then, let’s keep the story going. Too bad that we certainly won’t reach the point when Utaha will promote/demote (your choice) Rinri-kun to “Furinri-kun” (Immorals-kun) ;)

      • February 21, 2015 at 5:10 amPasserby

        @Mentar
        None of that was really my point, but I will say I conflate the different forms of rejection because, in a way, the anime conflates them as well. Just look at how the entirety of Utaha’s is framed, as more or less a love story. It’s because Utaha invested so much of herself in her novel, and in writing it for Tomoya. When Tomoya refused to also invest with her, it pretty much meant that the romance was not meant to be. It could be because of how highly he holds Utaha or whatever, but the reasoning is secondary to the unspoken implication. When Tomoya actually decides to get involved in the plot for the game and cross over to becoming a creator like like Utaha, I feel that it actually, ultimately, made her happy.

        I should also note that for adaptations I, as a rule, ignore all plot details in the original source and other materials. I feel that adaptations should stand by themselves, and if it’s not in the anime then it doesn’t exist.

  • February 20, 2015 at 2:07 pmSilver

    It’s a bit sad that Rinri does not understand what Utaha is trying to say at all. Anyway, just going to copy-paste what I had wrote earlier in another place:

    ==
    Details are taken from the manga also by Maruto, Koisuru Metrenome.

    Basically Utaha wrote her character into the book as Sayuka. Sayuka’s character is very attractive but dark and as a result, the 2nd heroine is actually a lot more popular amongst the fans. Tomoya is one of the first fan that she knows who actually loves the depth of Sayuka as a character (which is basically Utaha herself since that’s who she identified herself as). As a result, she starts to develop feeling for Tomoya. She then later wants him to work with her on the ending that she wrote. Basically she wants to know “their” ending and what he feels. However, he does not get it at all and “rejects” her. It is what leads to her calling him Rinri-kun (Ethical-kun) since then. And every time he talks great about Katou, it’s like a knife that drives her crazy because of the past events. But she treasures those past events (also pains by them) at the same time which is one reason why she was really upset when Tomoya sounds like he wants to throw it all away during this episode.
    ==

    It’s funny if you think about how she’s such a great writer but at the same time, she communicates her feelings across in a very unconventional way and Tomoya never really picked it up because of how he views her as a “goddess”. So basically being demoted to Rinri-kun is very befitting of their position of how she wants him to be with her on the same level but he does not, so she gave him what he wants. Rinri-kun.

  • February 20, 2015 at 4:23 pmTrunkmonkey

    Man it was really sad and painful seeing how much Utaha is very much in love Tomoya. I can see now that her flirting is not so much meant as playful teasing and is actually an attempt to protect her broken heart.

  • February 20, 2015 at 4:51 pmDorian

    I entirely understand Tomoya’s position. What Utaha was asking for was an ending that Tomoya wanted. Not that what the story deserved. That’s why he didn’t want what he had to say affect the ending. If Utaha said “I want to see what you think of the ending that I came up with” rather than “I want to see if this is the ending you envisioned”, he would’ve read it. It isn’t because she is a “Goddess”, but rather that it is Kasumi Utaho’s work and isn’t his.

    She entirely screwed up and has no one to blame but herself. I honestly pity her, because she did it to herself.

    • February 21, 2015 at 3:31 amJuan

      I suggest you have a bit of a look at some of the people above explaining the Utaha focused version of the story. You will understand that Utaha isn’t actually talking about the book at all though Tomoya doesn’t get it as well

  • February 20, 2015 at 8:17 pmMakise Kuristina

    This episode pretty much snags “The most sexual episode”

    The sexually suggestive advances and atmosphere were tastefully and elegantly done.

    Also, Kato seems rather dangerous in the closing scene. Her words and her expression makes me feel that three’s a closet yandere in there

    • February 21, 2015 at 1:14 amXellos

      I’m not an expert in women by any means, but I think Kato’s scene at the end, rather than making her a yandere, just reinforces her position as a normal girl. In my experience, (which is pretty small) most girls don’t like to admit they are angry, even if they clearly are. In that sense, she’s pretty much the opposite of a tsundere. The only difference in here is that she’s much more easy to read than most girls. It just shows that she’s starting to like Tomoya.

  • February 20, 2015 at 8:52 pmBeedle

    I think it’s because the creative projects I involve myself in, the director also doubles/part-times as the scriptwriter, but Tomoya’s demands and disregard of his staff’s feelings continues to irk me. Then again, it could just be a cultural-thing.

    • February 21, 2015 at 12:18 amGoXDS

      it’s not like he’s completely disregarding them or putting them down. it is HIS work after all (in the sense that he started this project, it’s his dream, and he’s the one paying for it and commissioning it). and so he has a right to reject something if it doesn’t fit his image. well, as long as he doesn’t hold up the project indefinitely because he can’t bring up constructive criticism (which he is able to. at least now)

      • February 21, 2015 at 6:47 amBeedle

        It’s not so much as him “disregarding his staff” (and note, I was referring to his staff’s feelings and not their output), but more of that, at the end of the day, it’s Tomoya’s vision that he wants to turn into a galge. I was in agreement with Eriri last episode; Tomoya should just write his own story and get tips from Utaha, rather than make Utaha write the story while Tomoya asserts his vision. The latter method is not something I, personally, am comfortable with.

        The current Tomoya is not someone I can respect*. I’m confident that the series will develop his character, though, and the anime is still enjoyable to watch regardless of my own frustrations.

        *alternatively, it could be that I’ve outgrown “dense harem protagonists” after more than a decade watching various genre of anime. Lately, it seems I haven’t been watching as much harem animes as I used to…

  • February 20, 2015 at 9:57 pmricz

    That CP pict and that eriri’s drawing <3

    *still waiting for that other girl* :P

  • February 20, 2015 at 11:04 pmlegwkio

    I want to re-cut the episode and take it so out of context… This episode was so great.

  • February 20, 2015 at 11:44 pmThe Story You Don’t Know

    I won’t kid myself, everyone knows who the main heroine is and it’s not Utaha. But I’d really love to see another “path” where Utaha finally gets the guy.

    Show Spoiler ▼

    Kidding aside, do you guys think that there’s a chance that the producers will make a spin-off anime where the MC will choose different heroines?

    • February 21, 2015 at 3:25 amMentar

      Anime – most likely not. But there are mangas for that.

      The Utaha path has an outstanding manga subtitled “Koisuru Metronome”. 3 volumes, completed.

      The Eriri path has a good manga subtitled “Egoistic Lily”. Also 3 volumes, also completed.

      In addition to that, there is a light novel volume for the “girls side”.

      • February 21, 2015 at 6:11 amThe Story You Don’t Know

        Thanks, will check it later. Are their side stories different from what was shown in this episode (like a completely different universe)?

      • February 21, 2015 at 11:32 amMentar

        The stories are related, but naturally branch off. For “Koisuru Metronome”, Eriri and Kato don’t even appear.

  • February 21, 2015 at 7:44 amTatlonghariken

    I have to say, I respect Tomoya’s decision in the past. Sometimes, you just have to draw a line about being a fan. In a sense, it’ll no longer be a work of the person you idolized but it’ll be your own. It does take out the fun in things..

    If only Utaha made it clear about her intentions, then things wouldn’t be that messed up.

  • February 21, 2015 at 8:36 amSaburau

    I guess another girl shows up in the next episode but probably not the one you guys are waiting for.

  • February 23, 2015 at 8:54 pmHammerheadcruiser

    What I really enjoy about this episode (besides that wonderful drawing) is how both sides of their emotions are so understandable. Tomoya taking a stand about the story being Utahas and not wanting to sully it with his own oppinions and biases while Utaha subtly works her own feelings into her books in an attempt to get Tomoya to notice them.

    Its kind of great how their views both fit for their character and end up coliding head on with the others views