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

Saenai Heroine no Sodatekata ♭ – 06

「雪に埋もれたマスターアップ」 (Yuki ni Uzumore ta Masutaa-Appu)
“The Deadline Buried in the Snow”

It seems like an easy moral choice to, after your friend collapses from exhaustion, rush to her side to provide aid and comfort instead of prioritising your game project. But perhaps it’s not so clear cut, once objections have been heard from the other party. After all, Eriri didn’t collapse for no reason. She was working tirelessly for the cause. Is it alright to let her sacrifice go in vain? Not to mention the sacrifice of all the others on the team? Did Spock not teach us that the good of the many outweigh the good of the few? I’m not saying that Tomoya did the wrong thing by helping Eriri—he’d regret it if permanent harm came to her just for his pet project. Even Iori, the consummate businessman, knows that helping out your mate comes first and takes a break from his theatrics. But it’s not a completely straightforward calculation.

After all, Tomoya didn’t just choose to prioritise Eriri. No, he abandoned his game project altogether. At some point between last episode and this one, he gave up. He could have, perhaps, pushed Eriri a bit harder earlier. Or, he could have called Megumi for help, and between them perhaps they could have both looked after Eriri and pushed the game to gold. Iori even offered him the use of his connections to extend the deadline. But Tomoya did nothing. He resigned. Why? There’s some backstory implied about why Tomoya is so protective of Eriri, why he doesn’t really hold her to the same standards as, say, Utaha, but it feels like there should be more here. It’s not like Saekano has shied from delving into Tomoya’s childhood before, and I want to know more about why Tomoya relent so easily when it comes to Eriri before judging him as being completely craven.

In any case, Tomoya gives up on his big Comiket debut without much of a fight and, all of a sudden, we’ve published. Sure just a handful of copies, but we’ve published! We’ve been leading up to this moment the entire series and now, it’s come and gone. It should have been a joyous occasion, full of celebration and fanfare, and instead… anticlimax? Sure, it was appropriately anticlimactic, considering we’re only halfway through the season, but that raises another interesting point: we’re only at episode 06, and the game’s finished! And it all ended with less a bang and more a whimper, as Tomoya meh’d his way through crunch time.

And that’s perhaps why Megumi is angry now, because Tomoya just sort of let go of his big dream project without consultation with anyone else. And I must say, having Megumi truly, inconsolably upset gave me the chills. Not because her demeanor was all that different from normal—she’s not going to give up on her titular ‘flatness’ so easily—but because simply the idea of Megumi being angry is so outrageous. She’s put up with so much, managed to take all of Tomoya’s super-nerd idiosyncrasies in stride, forgiven him so many of his numerous indiscretions, and now she’s been pushed over the edge. I can’t blame her. Megumi’s not just Tomoya’s passive heroine, she’s an equal partner in the venture. She’s invested her time in the project, picked up a suite of necessary skills, and even before that has always supported Tomoya in her own little ways. And Tomoya failed to respect that. He gives up on the deadline on his own volition, and completely refused to take up any of Megumi’s offers of help despite her making clear her own investment in seeing the project succeed. It’s ill-manners, to say the least.

So, half-way done, game complete, drama at maximum. Where to now? Without the game project, there’s no major reason for Tomoya and Megumi to meet up any more. Tomoya, if he has any regrets at all, will have to make amends actively, and I hope he goes out of his way to do so. There’s plenty of loose ends to make use of, including whom I presume to be Iori’s other sister, so we can be going places yet. Saekano Flat has managed to do a lot in its first half—I look forward to even more in the second.

May 19, 2017 at 10:36 am
22 comments »
  • May 19, 2017 at 11:27 amPurpleBomber

    Until Megumi chewed Tomoya out, this felt like the final episode. XD

    But yeah, Megumi’s 100% in the right and Tomoya’s an incredible idiot. Megumi already said she’d go to Nasu Kogen too, she already is working just as hard as assembling the game as Tomoya, and despite all that Tomoya didn’t even consider Megumi could help, nevermind simply choosing not to call her. Hell, if she didn’t go to Nasu Kogen, then there’s no good reason for Tomoya not to have just sent the final art to her so Megumi could finish the master copy and submit it for printing. Missing the deadline ultimately had nothing to do with Eriri despite her apology, and everything to do with Tomoya making a horrible and self-absorbed call as the director.

    Also, who you presume to be “Iori’s other sister” is pretty obviously Kousana Akane, the previously namedropped multi-work pro writer (and thus by default Utako’s rival, a la Eriri and Izumi) that works with rogue en rouge. The more amusing thing is that “Enaka-san” who drove the car was also probably Akane, lol.

    • May 23, 2017 at 1:59 amPasserby

      As if I’d ever remember important things like names. Red-eyes #3 will presumably do something at some point, and until she does she’s not a real person.

  • May 19, 2017 at 12:18 pmWorldwidedepp

    Is it alright to let her sacrifice go in vain? Not to mention the sacrifice of all the others on the team? Did Spock not teach us that the good of the many outweigh the good of the few?

    There is a ring to this words, a sad ring inside my mind…

    The greatest treasure an freelance has, is his own healthiness. Who will earn the money, if you are Ill? Burn fast, you running a sprint. Burn medium and you run a marathon

  • May 19, 2017 at 3:19 pmMaou

    http://randomc.net/image/Saenai%20Heroine%20no%20Sodatekata/Saenai%20Heroine%20no%20Sodatekata%20Flat%20-%2006%20-%20Large%2027.jpg

    “Megumi working hard too”
    “The failure of us as a team fall to us equally”

    I think that they even have a chance to publish, was because of kato…sending master copy, advertising with tw*tter and burning the one hundred CD herself I believe.

    http://randomc.net/image/Saenai%20Heroine%20no%20Sodatekata/Saenai%20Heroine%20no%20Sodatekata%20Flat%20-%2006%20-%20Large%2038.jpg

    You know,flat object can hurt more than a sharp knife, that’s what you get tomoya-kun.

    • May 19, 2017 at 4:50 pmSyaoran Li

      Indeed, that last scene between them broke me.

      • May 19, 2017 at 9:33 pmMockman

        Without glaring, yelling, name calling, or whining, Katou just delivered a monstrous reaming out to Aki. It’s nice to see a show that can generate drama without requiring volume (although it does that well too). I think I stopped breathing there for a moment to ensure that I heard her every syllable (even though I don’t speak Japanese). Well, tone and pacing are often just as important as the words. And in typical fashion, she creates the moment with a simple, “So I’m going this way. Bye then, Aki-kun.” and ends it with, “I’m not over it yet.”

        Well, Utaha and Eriri have now both had their crisis. I guess Megumi’s is coming up.

        As an aside, Megumi dresses really well, as does Eriri, at least when going outside.

        While Utaha is still my number one, Megumi is pretty awesome too (not just based on this scene).

  • May 19, 2017 at 10:45 pmledto

    Just a bit of trivia here, Akane VA is Hitomi Nabatame which voices Touma Kazusa in White Album 2.

  • May 20, 2017 at 12:34 amAnaxim

    I was conflicted on who is best girl this season, but this episode cemented Megumi as best girl by a wide margin. Unrelenting loyalty and care coupled with massive amounts of self respect make her an even, amazing, wonderful character. Tomoya does not deserve her, much as I love him.

    • May 23, 2017 at 1:51 amPasserby

      Megumi is such a surprisingly strong role, and I think a big part of it is how she plays off Tomoya. I must say I’ve loved her from the very beginning.

  • May 20, 2017 at 3:50 amaoyu

    They release a demo in this episode, so most likely Iori will play the villain and spit out something after seeing Eriri’s art then for some reason they have to add another route for the main release in the summer.

  • May 20, 2017 at 10:09 amKiritsugu

    Way to go Tomoya, you angered both Megumi and the divine Utaha-senpai! Midway through the season and things seem hopeless… The progression with all of this felt so natural and realistic; top notch writing. Top notch anime :) Hoping for great things ahead.

  • May 20, 2017 at 6:32 pmJuan

    @Passerby: I don’t think it’s about the project so much as its about him leaving her out. She said so herself, she thought that what he did was the right thing, but it was the fact that he didn’t talk to her at all even despite all of her not even remotely vailed hints at him to talk to her and go with her to check up on Eri.

    Pretty much she has (at least for the length of the series as we know it) been there for him supporting him, often in the shadows, but now that she has come up into the light to do it in a more proactive manner he simply just cast her aside. So I think there is justified anger there and it doesn’t have to do with the project as much as it has to do with his choice of actions.

    I mean this is different from the usual “friend collapsing” scene where it comes suddenly and unexpectedly. Here there was ample build up and on Megumi’s part enough pre-planning for the contingency but all that gets thrown out the door for no real reason other than Tomoya simply forgetting.

    • May 23, 2017 at 1:40 amPasserby

      Isn’t it both? That Tomoya decided to leave Megumi out of the project at the eleventh hour? Going to Eriri may have been the right decision, but not one Tomoya needed to have made alone. The project was sort of the bridge between the two; by abandoning Megumi’s help he abandons the project, and by abandoning the project he abandoned the relationship that he and Megumi had built up.

      • May 23, 2017 at 4:09 amJuan

        A bit of both maybe as they did invest time into it but more of the latter, in my mind at least. As you rightly pointed out, had they both gone they could have salvaged the project.

        It really seemed to me that Megumi was really upset about being left out more than anything else

  • May 20, 2017 at 7:32 pmIncognito

    http://randomc.net/image/Saenai%20Heroine%20no%20Sodatekata/Saenai%20Heroine%20no%20Sodatekata%20Flat%20-%2006%20-%20Large%2037.jpg
    “It was at this moment that Tomoya knew…he f**ked up.”

    With six(?) more episodes to go, I have a feeling Tomoya will be going through one hell of a wringer before Megumi decides to make up with him (and perhaps lead to a love confession). One can only hope that it’ll be executed well.

    • May 20, 2017 at 10:24 pmBakapooru

      I think she is more disappointed that Tomoya didn’t trust her to finish the game than anything else.

      As potential lovers, you want your partner to trust you, but, from her point of view, Tomoya didn’t. Also, I don’t think friends would explain why they’re pissed like she did. Friends would just make up a reason and excuse themselves. Instead, she spent the time to explain herself and hope that Tomoya would change in the future.

  • May 21, 2017 at 1:01 amAiko

    Yeah, Tomoya needs to overcome the habit of taking on all of the challenges and obstacles himself. It was clear that he wasn’t even aware that Megumi was annoyed with him, hence asking her to join them. In this regard, it was great to see her spell it out to him. Hopefully, he will finally learn from this. He didn’t consciously exclude her, or at least, it didn’t seem that way.

    Of course, it’s also apparent that he’s very protective of Eriri, likely out of guilt from that past incident shown in the flashback. He could have feelings for her, which meant he wanted to see her alone, but I doubt it.

    Tomoya is a refreshing male lead in that he seems reasonably rational when it comes to most things, except (and this is a big exception) the feelings of the girls around him, but hey, that’s to be expected, given the genre.

    • May 21, 2017 at 10:05 amMockman

      I think that what turned Megumi’s feelings up to 11 was that he subconsciously dismissed her. If he’d considered her and made a decision to fly solo, she might have made a huffy face but wouldn’t be genuinely angry. She’d be willing to overlook it and forgive him, even if she thought it was the wrong decision… because people make judgement calls all the time and aren’t always right. And she’s always been a reasonable and tolerant person.

      But he never thought about her. He never considered, despite being told explicitly and repeatedly, that she would help no matter what was involved.

      So he told her, with thought and action, that she doesn’t matter, and perhaps, that she really doesn’t have any presence, at least not where he is concerned… maybe even that she doesn’t exist. How does a woman with self-respect respond to that? Well, not favourably.

  • May 21, 2017 at 7:02 amVelvet Scarlantina

    http://randomc.net/image/Saenai%20Heroine%20no%20Sodatekata/Saenai%20Heroine%20no%20Sodatekata%20Flat%20-%2006%20-%20Large%2038.jpg

    It was this moment… That made my heart skipped a beat in the most awful manner. Her anger just cuts you to the bone and pounds it to atoms.

  • May 22, 2017 at 5:24 pmBreedo

    I don’t know why but the still images of megumi you posted had more impact on me than the actual animated frames of it at the end of the show. It’s almost like looking at a photograph of someone you might not see again. At least not as you had been together.

    • May 23, 2017 at 1:28 amPasserby

      It speaks to the continued power of photography in the age of video, perhaps. The story implied in a single moment can be more powerful than anything explicated.

  • May 23, 2017 at 7:46 amYanDaMan

    Im seriously starting to hate this MC, a lot.

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