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Saenai Heroine no Sodatekata ♭ – 03 »« Saenai Heroine no Sodatekata ♭ – 00, 01

Saenai Heroine no Sodatekata ♭ – 02

「本気で本当な分岐点」 (Honki de Hontou na Bunki Ten)
“Turning Point of Earnest and Real”

One thing I really need to rant about this episode: eating while reading. Now, generally I’d be the last one to suggest cutting into your book time for such an inconsequential thing as etiquette—I spent an undue amount of time in my youth practicing flipping pages one-handed, after all—but when pizza is involved, we’re faced with a dilemma. Here’s the thing, Utaha-senpai: love ya, girl, but it can’t end well for you. You’re either mixing greasy food with your paperbacks, in which case you should both your books and insect infestations more. Or, you’re eating pizza with chopsticks, which is sacrilege. Mend your ways now, child, and your sins may yet be forgiven.

So that ate away at my OCD for 20 minutes. Otherwise, though, we see Saekano progressing rather quickly. It feels like it was only recently that Tomoya managed to put his team together and work on his game in earnest—that was basically what the entire first season was about, after all—but now the script is finished! Sure they’re still playing catchup schedule-wise, and no doubt they’ve got plenty of work and troubles to overcome yet, but it’s still all going a lot faster than I expected. Perhaps Megumi Software will actually be able to finish their game this season—not necessarily covering all its source novels, but just bring its story to a conclusion. We have the original author on hand for the anime script (and, I suspect, ribbing at the anime director through his mouthpiece, Utaha) so if they do something anime-original we can’t say that the author’s intentions are being trampled on.

With progression also comes some serious developments, it seems. Sure, they’re not enough to stop Saekano from indulging in its self-deprecating meta-humour or playful parodies, but it’s also hardly the pure comedy hijinks of, say, episode 00. To the point: Kasumigaoka Utaha strongarms Tomoya into going on a date with her, and she doesn’t do anything! This Utaha! Fanservice-senpai! Yet, no bold move. That’s incredible. Perhaps she, too, realises that we’re coming to our final stretch and everyone needs to put their game faces on. After all, she is the nominal senior of the group, and after her episode she’s mostly a fully developed character (and also, Maruto-sensei’s will made flesh). Got to give the rest a push, too.

And thus, an excuse to get Tomoya to shape up, for once. You may recall that he went into this game development project without a clear vision for what he wanted to make, mostly just faffing about and raving nonsensically. He was much more comfortable with being a consumer of media than a creator of it, content with watching stories play out without offering criticism and input. Outside of his otakudom, he’s weak-willed and indecisive, and his flaws dominate all aspects of his character: as a young man growing into adulthood, as the director of Blessing Software, and as the male lead in romantic comedy. Indeed, you’ll find that, in anime, many generic male-harem leads share Tomoya’s jelly spine and commitment issues, and what Saekano seems to be trying to do is is redeem his character archetype by first picking it apart, and then reconstructing it by forcing self-reflection and development upon him. In this case, it’s the heavy hand of Utaha-senpai that does it, forcing Tomoya to finally, definitively make a choice. What she couldn’t make him do for her novels, she will make him do for his game. As an adult, a director, and a harem lead, Tomoya has to take charge of his own actions.

Hopefully, this is not the final act of Kusami Utako-sensei. There is a definite sense, though, that she is stepping out of the picture for a while and will not return until some suitably dramatic point, allowing other characters to resolve their own issues. If you needed a strong indication that Saekano intends to wrap up this season, this is it.

Full-length images: ED 02.

 

ED Sequence

ED: 「桜色ダイアリー」 (Sakura-Iro Diary) by 妄想キャリブレーション (Moso Calibration)

April 21, 2017 at 8:10 am
14 comments »
  • April 21, 2017 at 8:39 amseltzermx

    I believe I read the LN will end with the upcoming 13th volume. How many did season 1 adapt, and how many can we expect this season to adapt. Closure would be nice.

  • April 21, 2017 at 9:16 amDorian S.

    I think the ending of this episode, where Rouge en rouge’s game is introduced is also going to need to play a factor. If the part where Izumi and Iori are playing out is probably part of the story of Rouge en rouge’s game, it means that somehow, both teams are making similar games. Or rather Iori knows Aki’s tastes and Utaha’s writing style to adequately figure out how the game comes out. Which also indicates that Utaha needs to grow as a writer, as even though she’s building it to Aki’s specifics, she did the predictable thing with Aki’s scenario. And good writers (which I totally am not) are able to get around.

    So Aki now has the stressful decision, do you scrap everything you did up to this point to make an entirely new vision when there’s a product that comes out that is similar to yours and also could be seen as the “I got here first” syndrome. As don’t forget that Megumi is playing the demo which can give some idi… Ahem, people, the impression that Blessing Software is copycatting. Before you write that off as “it isn’t that serious”, it actually is.

    Utaha could end up being seen as a hack and that’ll hurt her. Eriri’s art isn’t as good as Izumi’s, so it’ll be seen as inferior. Aki’s not as good as Iori when it comes to producing, so they’ll be behind there. I bet that Michiru still isn’t singing at her full potential yet, as she’s not found her “voice”.

    Worst of all, was Megumi’s not trying/caring. That was established last season, when Eriri had a nagging and correct suspicion that Megumi and Megumi’s own comments about how Utaha’s going to get in her way. And I’ve got a feeling she’ll be VAing the game

    What I think will end up happening is that the team is going to end up running both sides. Meguri’s side and Ruri’s side. Sort of like Tsukihime, but Aki’s going to come up with a very creative way to get the player into the two routes. One “choice” that is probably built on wanting ideals (Ruri), one “choice” that’s built on accepting realism (Megumi) and one that is which they prefer. This would get around having a similar type of game as Rouge en rouge, because what game tosses out having two very different games. I say this simply because the game needs a hook to make itself different now. That would be the best way to do it.

    • April 21, 2017 at 6:44 pmPasserby

      That’s a rather pessimistic reading of everything. I wouldn’t go so far as to say that Eriri is inferior, or that Megumi doesn’t care. Eriri is still a well established and respected artist in the otaku-dom. And if Megumi truly didn’t care, she wouldn’t have taught herself how to code, or wormed her way into a real position as Script Adviser, or have the keys to Tomoya’s house. She lacks passion, perhaps, but she’s making moves, in subtle ways.

      Rather, I think what’s going to drive Blessing software is that they have direct competition in the same genre. Even if we put accusations of plagiarism aside (and it’s not like it’s possible throw together a game of any quality in the time between demo and release, anyway), they have to be even better to stand out.

  • April 21, 2017 at 9:20 amWorldwidedepp

    • April 21, 2017 at 10:31 amHalfDemonInuyasha

      Madoka Magica and Fate/Grand Order (Ruler on the top shelf, far left, and Shielder between Tomoe and Homura on the right side)

    • April 21, 2017 at 2:06 pmCrook

      Sword Art Online Online

    • April 21, 2017 at 11:54 pmIncognito

      Nendoroids, to be precise (at least for the ones on top). That photorealism!

      Looking forward to see whether Aki has new issues of the light novels we saw in SaeKano‘s previous season. (e.g.: Date A Live, Amagi Brilliant Park, and High School DxD to name a few.)

      • April 22, 2017 at 12:22 amWorldwidedepp

        i knew that this is embedded Photo. This Dolls have more “texture” then the hand drawn animation

        i was curious about the other dolls

    • April 22, 2017 at 6:25 amJon Oscar

      Haifuri getting some recognition, my day is made.

  • April 21, 2017 at 11:10 amVelvet Scarlantina

    They just break the 4th wall as hard as they can

  • April 21, 2017 at 11:24 amJ_the_Man

    I feel like this show is so misunderstood and underappreciated. Nice to see you doing it justice, Passerby.

    • April 21, 2017 at 6:31 pmPasserby

      Saekano is a show that can appear very different depending on how much you read into it. I just happen to love reading into things.

  • April 21, 2017 at 11:52 pmIncognito

  • April 23, 2017 at 6:04 pmClayton Barnett

    Point 1: I adore this show; I ripped off one of the last lines of S1 for my 2nd traditional novel.

    Point 2: having written, coded, and published a VN (OTChi Kocchi), Eriri’s reaxion to a late change shocked me: my business partner and illustrator almost came to blows over my late change requests. Rewrites take minutes; redrawn take days. Sorry, didn’t buy that scene at all.

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