Random Curiosity

Saenai Heroine no Sodatekata ♭ – 10 »« Saenai Heroine no Sodatekata ♭ – 08

Saenai Heroine no Sodatekata ♭ – 09

「卒業式と超展開」 (Sotsugyou Shiki to Chou Tenkai)
“Graduation With a Twist”

When I was putting together my notes for the previous episode, there was one thing that I couldn’t quite get my head around immediately. Why where there these fanservice shots? Like, Megumi would just have her front open all of a sudden. Before anyone jumps on me, I wasn’t particularly offended or anything, just puzzled, because Saekano didn’t usually use fanservice quite like this. Usually it’s to distract us while a dialogue-heavy scene plays, and usually one of the other girls act as service provider. Why in that quiet scene between Megumi and Tomoya? Right when I was finishing the post, it clicked for me. The second half of the episode was entirely fanservice. Megumi breaking character, the hints of romantic tension, all the feel-good moments—it was a reward for getting through the heavy drama before, and a respite before it’s laid on even thicker later. As Megumi noted herself in the episode, this was a one time thing. It will not happen again.

And sure enough, this week the drama strike back with a vengeance, and Megumi is nowhere in sight. We telegraphed Eriri as the metaphorical final boss long ago, and boy has she caught the narrative in a complex web of personal issues. Being Tomoya’s childhood friend, she too is a bag of flaws and weaknesses but, curiously enough, she doesn’t actually feature very strongly in this episode. Rather, Utaha steals the show (as she always does, but still). Now, I like Utaha a lot, and judging by the comments I’m not the only one, but I’d never actually root for her to ‘win’ or anything like that. She’s simply cast herself too well as the tragic heroine. I hate to typecast a lady like that but 1) she does it herself and 2) she’s awfully good at just being sad. I think she would lose some of her appeal if she wasn’t constantly getting shafted with such poise and maturity. Nobody else in Saekano does it quite so well.

But Utaha wouldn’t be much of a tragic princess without playing off rival characters, and thus Kosaka Akane. If she’s not exactly the Big Bad then she’s at least the archetype from which Iori derives his theatrical villainy. She certainly has the hamfisted evil in the bag, and perhaps that’s the point—that all producers have to be, on some level, terrible people. Saekano seems to say that all artists are driven by self-loathing, and it’s a producer’s job to feed that. Perhaps that’s true—I wouldn’t write for RandomC if I didn’t hate myself, after all (just kidding, it’s because I love you guys)—but I don’t really want it to be true. It’s the kind of unhealthy reality that makes are greatest artists overdose on opiates and kill themselves.

Yeah, I’m not sure how I feel about all this, and about how I want this all to end. On one hand, the reboot of a venerable RPG franchise is a major career opportunity, and it’s no exaggeration to say that if Eriri and Utaha succeed there they’re pretty much set. Forget how awesome the proposal is supposed to be; the professional boost alone (when still teenagers, no less) will be hard to pass up. If someone came to me for advice (which you should never do) I can’t in good conscience tell them to turn a dream job down. On the other hand, Tomoya will be heartbroken, and his youthful idealism will be snuffed. Is this his final test, to be able let go of his two talents for their own good? Or is he supposed to shape up here, and fight tooth and nail to prove that he deserves their loyalty? I really don’t know.

First things first, though: let’s ask Megumi about it. That’s how we’re supposed to do things, right?

June 9, 2017 at 5:44 am
37 comments »
  • June 9, 2017 at 6:39 amMaou

    http://randomc.net/image/Saenai%20Heroine%20no%20Sodatekata/Saenai%20Heroine%20no%20Sodatekata%20Flat%20-%2009%20-%20Large%2033.jpg

    Wtf did I watch?

    http://randomc.net/image/Saenai%20Heroine%20no%20Sodatekata/Saenai%20Heroine%20no%20Sodatekata%20Flat%20-%2009%20-%20Large%2036.jpg

    Higurashi no sodatekata?

    Well putting that aside, while it’s sound crooked, there are some truth with what utaha pointed.

    http://randomc.net/image/Saenai%20Heroine%20no%20Sodatekata/Saenai%20Heroine%20no%20Sodatekata%20Flat%20-%2009%20-%20Large%2033.jpg

    Looks at that intensity, there are so much faith on her own proposal…while aki…

    Aki: utaha-senpai, I will not take much of your precious time, you can write a little or if you can’t then makes some guideline or whatever.

    Not a speck of faith on his own project.

    Plus Aki can’t made a competitive atmosphere for their workers, for artist this will make them lax and then stagnated.

    Abandoning a circle that holding your feet wasn’t bad..at least for me, but the problem for me was utaha and eriri keep quiet about it from tomoya for a month.

    • June 9, 2017 at 6:46 amMaou

      Uups sory double image

  • June 9, 2017 at 7:06 amRoguespirit

    I guess this episode helped us realize one of the reasons why Aki was acting so overprotective of Eriri. The girl’s not good at taking criticism. Not when she was a kid and getting teased for liking Otaku stuff and being friends with Aki and not in this episode when she was being criticized for being in a slump and how her style, is in fact, easily mimicked because she’s been stagnant for so long. That was enough to basically break her mind, which is pretty pathetic all things considered. And it’s about damn time someone put her in her place as the spoiled brat she really is. She’s facing a whole new field of creators, the pros, who aren’t going to tolerate her excuses.

    The fact that Aki is so idealistic, even to the point of selfishness, has been well established to the audience but now he’ll be forced to face it directly himself. I do believe he put effort into his proposal, but this is only the second time he’s done it. He’s just not at the level Utaha and Eriri are, he may be a creator of sorts now but he’s not yet an artist like them, nor is he at a level of skill that can compliment theirs. They’ve simply outgrown him because he’s acting too much like a fan still. It’s all or nothing and he’s not giving or asking for it.

    This episode really mixed things up and I’m eager to see where it goes.

  • June 9, 2017 at 7:22 amTirius99

    Enjoyed your take on the episode but just wanted to say that you really needed to take a second pass on your lovely analysis.

    • June 9, 2017 at 8:52 pmPasserby

      Eh, I’m usually too sleepy to proofread this pablum. I rely on my lovely readers to toss corrections at me (in between the overripe fruit).

  • June 9, 2017 at 7:47 amweasl

    Nice boat ending confirmed.

    • June 9, 2017 at 12:39 pmTassadar

      Hahahaha, I actually spit my coffee on the screen!

  • June 9, 2017 at 8:36 amET

    I feel conflicted about this episode. On one hand, I can’t really fault Utaha and Eriri for taking on the bigger project instead of Aki’s game. They’re high-level, self-driven, and ambitious individuals and it’s true that everyone, not just artists, have to push themselves or risk stagnation. Even Aki tried his hardest to come up with a better game after his first game. It basically mirrors real life: if companies and organizations don’t give their high-flyers a reason to stay (self improvement, for one), they’ll leave and go to somewhere else that can give them a challenge. And this was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.

    On the other hand, I’m furious at what Utaha and Eriri did to Aki, especially after he’s been a good friend to them and tried his best to be a good producer. They backstabbed him and they waited a WHOLE MONTH before deciding to spill the beans.

    Sure, Aki sucked as a producer and Utaha and Eriri felt he didn’t push them past their limits, but it was his first time while Utaha and Eriri were already veterans in the field so I think it was unfair of them to expect Aki to be able to fulfill their ambitions.

    Now when he’s finally got the hang of things and wants to improve together with his team, Utaha and Eriri kick him to the kerb and walk away to work with an arrogant bitch who laughed and insulted them at the interview. And don’t forget, Aki’s game gave them their big break in the first place, they could have given him the courtesy of a discussion but apparently they don’t think enough of him to do that even after so much time together.

    tl;dr: Megumi is, was, and always will be the best girl of this show.

    • June 9, 2017 at 8:55 amDorian S.

      Aki’s game didn’t give them their first break, as Eriri’s an established doujin artist and Utaha’s an established writer before the game.

      However, Aki is the one who helped get their big breaks with their materials. Aki was the one who nutured Eriri’s potential as an artist by showing her games that made her go “I want to make things like this” and Utaha’s first novel series was bolstered by Aki’s website.

      So while the game didn’t establish them, what he’s done for them outside of that did quite a lot to help.

      Though, that’s also the problem he’s had with both of them. He’s coddling them by being a friend/fan first and creator second. He got through this with Utaha, but he wasn’t sure of how to do it with Eriri, because she would and has broken. He’s coddled her much more than Utaha. In fact, it if wasn’t for the fact that he was a fan first, friend second with Utaha, I suspect we’d have the same situation for Utaha that we do with Eriri.

  • June 9, 2017 at 8:38 amShinmarizu

    Aki didn’t truly understand what being a creator is until Utaha had to tell him. Someone had to break the glass house and get him to see just how ugly the game production business is. Now that the two pillars of his success have been spirited away, he needs to man up and get past his naivete. That was the easy part of this episode to digest.

    Now, the hard part. Spirited? More like blackmailed. Akane Kousaka knows exactly what creators need to do to remain relevant (that is, be challenged and improve under harsh conditions – much like any professional), and she used that knowledge to crush two very talented people to bits using their own pride.
    Yes, ‘Utako’ wanted to work with ‘Eri’ again, but the idea of being a consolation prize frustrates her terribly. However, to refuse that considering what an enormous opportunity she’s been given would only hurt her position with her editors/publishers (her obligations pushed her here and will probably keep her here) and her pride as an author.
    For Eriri, it’s even worse than that. Her slump, as well as her lackadaisical attitude towards her work considering her biggest fan/enabler would likely forgive her for anything, has set herself up for this dramatic fall. Either she bounces back and proves she’s a professional worth the attention she’s just been given, or her art is emulated/copied without her – her pride as an illustrator has just been shattered, and she could be crumbled to dust if she refuses…..

    And thus they both hop onto this exciting project that isn’t Aki’s. Honestly, while they feel bad for their friend, they should not feel bad for their former producer. He has to get over that – no magic of friendship or reality-ignorant idealism is going to save him, his project or this story. Any resolution between Aki and Utaha/Eriri would be hollow otherwise.

    And Aki better tell Megumi about this first.

  • June 9, 2017 at 9:26 ammetronome

    Well…they should have at least told him asap when they know they are not going to be in the same boat with their producer anymore, especially if they know for sure that the producer is up for the next project.

    I am not saying Tomoya is being a saint here. He shouldn’t have spoiled himself. The fact that he gets so shocked when Utaha rejects him is a big sign that he is spoiling himself. Noone is entitled to anything.

    There are 4 characters in the main focus in this episode: Aki, Eri, Utaha, and Akane. And Akane is the best character in this episode! Just look at her laughing her asses off at those two stupid chumps who think the world are as big as Tomoya….

    • June 9, 2017 at 8:54 pmPasserby

      …I’m guessing you’re the type who hates their friends.

  • June 9, 2017 at 10:41 amAnonymous

    What I saw from this episode is two different perspectives; professional’s and amateurish’s. Utaha and Eriri are the former while Aki and Kato are the latter. The former focuses on their career path and success while the later focus on their..friendship and the feel of companionship, I guess. Aki expected the former to agree on his project based almost entirely on their mutual feel of wanting to spending time on project together. Unlike a few posts, I don’t blame him for thinking this way nor blame the former for opting for more challenges and self-improvement, breaking over their limit. What really irritated me is how Eriri did not tell him in person sooner even though she had more time with him than before and realized he always wanted to include her in the project. I have a sympathy for Utaha, as Kosaka said Eriri needs someone to babysit her, for having to tell Aki herself about their decision to leave for more promising project, even though Eriri should have had more opportunity to tell him firsthand.

  • June 9, 2017 at 10:48 amHalfDemonInuyasha

    So Utaha’s little hints about wanting Tomoya to be harder on them and challenge them more (from their “date”) didn’t quite make it as far as we hoped it did. He’s still been treating things much more like a fan simply making the game as a hobby, as if their circle is little more than an after-school club activity, rather than someone who is serious about the industry. Tomoya may have put more effort into starting the second game, but that’s really only because Utaha has had to flat out tell him what he needs to do numerous times (same thing happened with Megumi and Eriri too) rather than him truly realizing, learning, and understanding things himself.

    So now he is going to have to seriously make a choice and think beyond, “I want to keep working with my friends.”

    • June 9, 2017 at 8:50 pmPasserby

      I don’t think Tomoya is necessarily wrong to just want to make a game with his friends. It’s just that he has plenty of competition for his friends’ talents, and he needs to make a compelling case for them to stick with him. Hopefully the competition will spur his growth.

  • June 9, 2017 at 2:14 pmGagaInGreenacres

    As an aside, this episode was amazing visually. Passerby’s gallery really doesn’t do it justice. The beautiful images were definitely something of an anaesthetic for the dark subject matter.

    The fan service for the “professional” ethic being peddled in the above comments really needs more analysis.

    The arts are first and foremost about community building. Inward focussed “creativity”, whether in service of spiritual identity or simple egotism as in is case, is an ultimately empty and destructive endeavour. All this “growing as a professional creative” narrative is just a cover story for what is a pretty sordid project of crushing the spirit not only of professional rivals, but more crucially of the very fans that are supposedly served. Art becomes something passively “consumed”, an atomising and constraining force, subverting its community building nature to the mere “appreciation” of the “genius”.

    The choice between Kosaka and Tomoya is fundamentally between propaganda and art, exploitation and engagement. The girls can’t face Tomoya with their choice, not just because they are betraying their community for their art, but also because betraying community is fundamentally betraying their art and Tomoya is the flawed embodiment of true art. Of course there is also the delicious feelings of revenge for Tomoya having not cleanly put hem out of their misery after so clearly choosing Megumi as his heroin.

    • June 9, 2017 at 5:32 pmShinmarizu

      I would have to disagree on the statement about revenge. I have not seen any indication that they had any feelings of resentment towards Aki for choosing Megumi as his heroine. Even if they did, why would Utaha or Eriri then apologize to Aki, or cry?

    • June 9, 2017 at 8:05 pmPasserby

      I don’t think there are such clear, self-righteous lines drawn here. On the one hand, Nietzsche yada yada. On the other hand, who’s to say that this RPG project won’t draw in a new generation of fans who will really enjoy the franchise? Art is always insular before it is shared, and that’s the producer’s job, and there’s been no indication that Akane’s proposal is lacking in high minded ideals compared to Tomoya’s. He has a vision for what a good game is, and I expect Akane does, too.

  • June 9, 2017 at 7:42 pmMockman

    I have to say that I find both this episode and also some of the commentary to be a little confusing. This whole notion of artistic stagnation doesn’t sit well with me.

    First, let’s take a look at Eriri’s work in Cherry Blessing. She floored Tomoya, she floored Akane, she floored Utaha, she floored herself. Up until now, she’s been a good artist. Everybody knew who she was, but nobody had beat a path to her door. Her work at the cottage however, put the whole world on notice. She accomplished that despite the lousy, amateur, easy-going, feel-good producer.

    She took the whole week off of school and locked herself away in the cold to make it happen. Wasn’t the whole thing driving her anxiety the fact that Tomoya wouldn’t call her his number one? That he wouldn’t say her art was great but he would say it about the unfinished work of Izumi? Didn’t he make her cry at least a couple of times? Lucky she wasn’t being pushed.

    As for Utaha, she began by producing a story-line that was good, especially as it was her first game work. But instead of taking up her offer to have the best night of his life in the hotel, Tomoya made her work through the night, and improve her story. Then, she worked herself to the bone and produced a revision that she thought was great, but after re-assessing the work through the prism of game-play, Tomoya told her it was crap, and that she needed to re-do it. She did, and it was great, and everyone loved it. How depressingly stagnant.

    In a way, this sort of makes me think about Hyouka. During the festival, Chitanda needs to persuade some people to act and finds it difficult and wearying. She asks Irisu, an accomplished manipulator, for advice. Irisu provides lessons. She applies those lessons. It doesn’t go well, because she’s not Irisu. But when they discuss it later, Irisu tells her that while Chitanda may not go into battle with the same weaponry, she is far from unarmed. In the translation I heard, Irisu used the word ‘peerless’ to describe Chitanda’s power.

    So while it’s true that Tomoya isn’t equipped to function like Akane (or Iori†), he was able to push the four members of his team to great heights… just in his own way. And as an aside, Iori is talented, but he couldn’t likely function like Akane either. And I suspect that had the two worked on Akane’s previous project, it probably would have resulted in failure since she perhaps wouldn’t have been able to push them without destroying them first. (Another aside, Akane is a wily and remorseless veteran, who as Sonoko put it, knew everything there was to know. Are the two teenagers, while obviously experienced in some respects, being taken for a ride by a business shark, the first time they step in the water?)

    Both of the girls’ work on the game drew critical praise as well as, in relative terms, commercial and popular success. Enough so that Utaha’s publisher was brought in for leverage, and then Utaha must serve as leverage against Eriri. Both felt it was their greatest artistic work. Where is the stagnation again?

    Tomoya’s goal with the first game was to make the ultimate game. And they used Rouge en Rouge to drive themselves to greater heights. While you can call their efforts a hobby, they didn’t approach it that way. They ended up producing a work that exceeded their expectations and their goals. They left it all out there on the ice.

    Now, over the last two months, sure, you can say things have quietened down a bit. That isn’t stagnation. You can say that they might stagnate in the future, but that’s always the case and nobody is offering any guarantees.

    Secondly, they’ve said this many times already, but I’m not getting it yet. Why can’t Eriri ever draw like this again? What does she mean? What changed for her? What needs to change for her to push herself again? And to add a brick to my earlier argument, if what she did was such a life-changing experience for her, why is everyone saying she’s stagnated? Finally, if Utaha can write, why can’t Eriri draw?

    Now I get why Akane is telling her that she’s stagnated. She’s trying to push Eriri to work for her. But why is everyone else falling for this? It feels to me like everyone is focusing on what people are saying rather than what they’re doing… and are being misled in the process. I’m not sure yet whether it’s poor writing or that the truth is yet to be revealed. The latter gets my vote though. We’ll find out next week. For what it’s worth, everyone’s avoidance tendencies aren’t helpful.

    On another note, I don’t think that the two girls owe Tomoya another game. He certainly doesn’t act like they do. That’s why he’s begging Utaha, and avoiding Eriri. And given that he’s pretty much ignored them since the first game’s launch, he gets what he paid for. That’s why Utaha asks him if he’s spoken to Eriri yet. It’s certainly unlike his pursuit of them early in season one, when he was harassing them before he had a single page of work done.

    Anyways, while I can’t say that I liked this episode, it was interesting (enough so to get me to write this overly long treatise).

    p.s. Good comment from the cornfield

    †As an aside, Iori was theatrically villainous long before he ever met Akane, and in his own, smooth way.

    • June 9, 2017 at 8:41 pmPasserby

      Woah, text! Well, let’s drill down a bit.

      The point Saekano makes is that artists need to be pushed to create. The push is both internal and external. We can see it clearly in Utaha, who writes the way she does based on her self-loathing. But when they were making Cherry Blessing, she also needed the push from Tomoya (when he eventually found the will to do it) to write a better game.

      How about Eriri then? She drew for one purpose: to reclaim her position as Tomoya’s ‘number one’. That’s both a self-loathing internally, and a need for Tomoya’s recognition externally. Even when she locked herself away to focus, she needed Tomoya to continue to have expectations for her, for Tomoya to explicitly say that he wants her to keep drawing. The problem now is that Eriri thinks that she had ‘won’. That she had become Tomoya’s number one. She doesn’t have that manic drive anymore.

      Tomoya, on the other hand, doesn’t really want to push anybody. He’s always been very protective of Eriri. And he’s always had too much respect for Utaha. When he approaches Utaha with his new proposal, he only asks her for nominal contributions. He doesn’t demand anything of her. He wants to keep the group together and fears driving his friends away, but ironically that may be what dooms him, because along comes Akane. She feeds the self-loathing of Utaha and Eriri. She tells them that they suck. But if they work with her, they can make something great. Tomoya tells them that they won’t need to sacrifice much to work with him. But Akane tells them that they will want to sacrifice to work with her.

      Tomoya’s not ‘wrong’ per se. His is just a little hobby group run out of his bedroom. But that’s not the path to greatness, and can’t attract the talent.

      • June 9, 2017 at 11:34 pmMockman

        I’ll begin with the most obvious question… If the results of Akane’s pushing is greatness and the realisation of potential, why then can Eriri not even offer up some web page art?

        As to your point about the point, I think this is actually two things. I think this is ‘a’ point rather than ‘the’ point. Actually, the point of the show is more a discussion about creativity than a prescription for it.

        The two artists at the heart of this have already created something great. If they hadn’t, Akane would neither know who they were, nor care.

        Tomoya does respect Utaha, and an excess of that respect, combined with the delight he took from her story, led him astray. But he recalibrated and then confronted her. And made her write it again, and better. And it wasn’t his pushiness per se. Megumi made him reconsider the story. When he understood better, he acted appropriately. It wasn’t a case of… he lacked will, and then he found the will.

        It’s not relevant whether he wants to push them or not (for the record, he does, but that isn’t his sole consideration, and pushiness wasn’t the sole contributor to their best work). And it’s not a binary. The reality is that amongst the things he’s done, he has pushed them. They responded and created something remarkable. It doesn’t have the sales figures or a pretty box, because they are hobbyists and don’t have a business or a business network, etc…. But is it any less ‘art’? Would it be greater art if it had those things? Additionally, it was the hobbyist who pushed Utaha’s novels, not the ‘professionals’. And it was a group of hobbyists who made this game without any professional assets.

        I think that this whole argument is not Saekano’s. Rather, it is Akane’s. She is drained as a game developer, and has reacted like a vampire to the fresh, nubile young talent she’s ‘discovered’. Now she is talented, so when inspired, she can put together a project. But she isn’t even working actively with her doujin group. She is seemingly amoral, and for fun, we can imagine her a sociopath. She tells a convincing story to Eriri. She tells a story to Utaha and binds her to Eriri. But why should I believe that this is the sole truth?

        I say rather that it’s an element of creativity. Akane posits it as a singular truth. This is a con. ‘Stick with me kid, and I’ll make you a star.’ The two girls have grudgingly accepted. Neither seems to be responding magically to Akane’s pushing though, which most here seem so enamoured of). But they are young, inexperienced, and don’t have anyone to broaden their understanding, which makes them more vulnerable. My hope is that Tomoya, with Megumi’s dry contributions, will end up doing so nonetheless, even though he doesn’t ‘know’ what he’s doing.

        I guess I should add that it seems that the majority of the viewers have also bought in, but just becaue you’re selling, doesn’t mean I’m buying.

        If your conclusion is correct, then I will consider it a failure on the part of the show. I think it would also put lie to everything we’ve watched over two seasons. We’ll see, but I have faith in the show’s creators. I really like what they’ve done so far.

        p.s. Akane didn’t tell Eriri to make something greater than those seven pages. She told her to give up her life, to become an assembly line and produce an inexhaustible supply of this level of work. She promises exploitation, not elevation.

        p.p.s. Obviously, I’m projecting here a bit about Akane, but you can subtract my imaginings and I don’t think it changes anything. She knows how to drive to the net though.

        p.p.p.s Sodoko gives us added insight. The game company approached the book publisher and there are expectations of profits if a writer from their stable took up this work. She said nothing of art. And FWIW, perhaps this is part of why Akane excluded any suits from their meeting.

        p.p.p.p.s Sorry… last one. A greater contributor to their best work was that both girls were madly in love with Tomoya and worried about losing him. They focused all of their talent into writing or drawing a love letter to him that represented them and their feelings. Both of them went above and beyond what was asked of them. They forced their feelings and their art upon Tomoya. So much so that the resulting game wasn’t what anyone had imagined, and Tomoya now has to propose his original project again, but with more a more restrictive structure to prevent a similar expansion.

      • June 10, 2017 at 4:59 amPasserby

        @Mockman
        I’m going to skip over what’s ‘the point’ and what’s ‘a point’ because that’s pedantic and not useful. Rather, I would just say it’s Utaha’s point, and I consider her Maruto’s mouthpiece half the time. She disapproves of Tomoya going soft on Eriri, and was always pressuring Tomoya herself to have a vision and work for it and direct the project. It’s not about whether the end result is more or less art, it’s that without a driving force the artists won’t get better. So producers need to demand better.

        I’m not willing to be so negative about Akane just yet. We haven’t seen much of her, Saekano usually doesn’t paint anybody fully black or white, and I’m willing to give her the benefit of the doubt. She’s obviously successful and respected, so she’s got to be doing something right.

    • June 9, 2017 at 11:05 pmChisel

      I have to agree with most of what you said here. Tomoya really just isn’t cut out to be a producer with him being so lax on deadlines and not pushing the members and being afraid to ruin/damage their friendship. Personally, I actually hope he doesn’t try to make them give up on Akane’s proposal and see how big this is for their professional careers (though I doubt it).

    • June 10, 2017 at 5:50 amAex

      What you pointed out was definitely what made the last game work, but it’s also where Akane exploited these 2 divas and Tomoya screwed up here. Last time both artists only really committed as more than a favor to the boy they like after Tomoyo called them out. This time they were not only looking for more of that, they also had a very attractive offer in competition(excluding that their new boss is a stuck-up bitch).

      Tomoya needs to take the gloves off and show them something that challenges and interests them at the same time instead of something he thinks they’ll like. He knows these two better than anyone, but he also wants everyone to have fun, so he wasn’t willing pick back up the criticism he already put down last time. Granted I don’t want him to be like Akane and survive by beating them into submission, but he has to go further and show them straight up that he not only knows their weaknesses but can help them improve. Akane is a demanding task-master that Tomoya could never be, so if he wants his writer and illustrator back he’s gonna have to do better as the big-mouthed, bright-eyed therapist that captured them last time. The threads are still right there, Utako is still tragedy-obssesed and Eri still won’t fully leave her safe-zone of cuteness, so he just has to look past potentially hurting his friends and pick them back up, finish what he started without holding back this time.

    • June 10, 2017 at 7:29 amShinmarizu

      I wouldn’t say the issue with Eriri’s slump is ‘stagnation’; it’s more of ‘resting on one’s laurels.’ She fought to recapture her position as Aki’s “number one,” and once she did so, she believed her victory was final (she had beaten Utaha, Michiru and Izumi – she did not mention Megumi). Now that she is Aki’s number 1 again, she believes she can rest easy, slack off, whatever – it’s not like Aki would admonish her for being lazy or anything. (As an aside, that is HIS fault.) There is no need for her to push herself any longer to produce greatness, and she doesn’t, to the point where she’s taking her position for granted.

      But pride comes before the fall. The meeting with Akane is the shattering of her glass pedestal. Eriri and Utaha’s decision to work under Akane is a decision as creators (and it is a useful one for their development as professionals); their decision not to tell Aki anything for a whole month out of avoidance or guilt until he finally presses them again is a decision as friends (and it is a terrible decision for a friend to make IMO).

  • June 9, 2017 at 7:56 pmmr.anderson

    http://randomc.net/image/Saenai%20Heroine%20no%20Sodatekata/Saenai%20Heroine%20no%20Sodatekata%20Flat%20-%2008%20-%20Large%2009.jpg

    how do you feel now aki-kun? i think what you feel right now, more or less the same as me on that day….nee~ why are you not answering my question? it’s that much a shock for you aki-kun~?

    -dark megumi route unlocked

  • June 9, 2017 at 8:30 pmaprub

    • June 11, 2017 at 11:45 amMockman

      That’s kind of greedy, isn’t it? This show has already delivered many figures and you want another one?

      I don’t have any figures and don’t plan to ever do so, but I think that the ‘kimono’ figures of the three main women are impressive.

  • June 9, 2017 at 9:19 pms_w

    Well, that was forced and unrealistic on so many levels. “Eromanga Sensei” called, I just heard laughing on the other end of the line with gasps of “WTF was that? So unrealistic! Nobody in their right mind would work for her!”

    Seriously, Akane was chewing on the drapes, carpets, wallpaper bad. I’m not even going to go into how weird Utaha and Eriri acted– needless to say, they acted like big-talking kids who, when push came to shove, could not back up what they said to Tomoya all the time. All talk, no action. 5/7.

    Only guessing here, but I imagine next week will be a strategy week with Tomoya moping and then Kato helping, and the week after we’ll have a tearful reunion after a plucky plan is executed. Meh. I wanted more sniping and banter instead of this forced-feeling PLOT dumped on me.

    I could be wrong, of course. Having both girls quit and stay quit would be a dramatic change, and could make for an interesting story, but then it would change genre from rom-com LN to dramatic/tragedy LN, and that would piss off the market segment. Can’t have that.

    At any rate, this wasn’t fun to watch at all. Too forced, too preachy about wrong things. I’ll go back thinking about Yamada Elf’s show tomorrow. Ah, I feel better already.

  • June 9, 2017 at 9:29 pmIncognito

    http://randomc.net/image/Saenai%20Heroine%20no%20Sodatekata/Saenai%20Heroine%20no%20Sodatekata%20Flat%20-%2009%20-%20Large%2002.jpg
    That teasing invitation for a one-night stand. (“Let’s make graduation memories together.”) Pretty sure some doujin artists already done something like that…

    http://randomc.net/image/Saenai%20Heroine%20no%20Sodatekata/Saenai%20Heroine%20no%20Sodatekata%20Flat%20-%2009%20-%20Large%2021.jpg
    Didn’t expect to see you there, Sistine… (aka: “White Cat”.) And on a slightly off-topic note, I loved how the end card artist for RokuAka episode 10 was Tsunako (best known for her charater designs from the Neptunia series and Date A Live). Also, she’s visiting Anime Expo 2017, apparently.

    Back on topic, while it’s good to see Aki and Megumi make up, I’m curious to see how the two will approach this new challenge. Whether they can poach Utaha and Eriri back (slim chance is slim) or make the game by themselves (they still face long odds, but with Utaha’s appraisal of Aki’s proposal for his game being favorable in general*, one hopes that they’ll do OK). Besides that SNAFU with Megumi, I’m pretty certain Aki did learn something from working with Utaha and Eriri.

    * – Though the cynical side of me might say that’s just Utaha saying that as a (final?) gesture of kindness to Aki before mentioning her and Eriri being scouted for the new Fields Chronicle series. (Is the new installment a game, or a light novel/anime adaptation?)

    • June 14, 2017 at 2:20 amRaiu

      I’m thinking Iori and his sister will join Blessing.

      While being an ass to Aki most of the time, I think he will feel responsible for the poaching of Eriri and Utaha since he was the one who brought Akane on the Villa in the first place.

  • June 9, 2017 at 10:12 pmBakapooru

    Megumi is going to ride to the rescue. I just know it.

  • June 10, 2017 at 12:57 amSaburau

    You gotta see the meeting of 3 ladies happened way before Tomoya met Utaha. But Tomoya had no idea what happened.
    What does that mean?
    That means Eriri didn’t tell him that, even the slightest about the meeting, because she didn’t want to.
    Which means…their decision was already made and, well, they are basically gone.
    Technically Eriri is still a highschool classmate but there will surely be “the Blessing Software 2.0.”

    But actually this is a chance for Megumi to get closer to Tomoya. Because despite of her firm denial, the main obstacle for Megumi and Tomoya is no other than Eriri. Because both of the couple are too close to her, and especially for Megumi who knows Eriri loves Tomoya.
    Now given Eriri won’t be around them as much, Megumi can easily take a step towards Tomoya or two, and vice versa. Especially if she gets angry with Eriri’s decision.

    • June 10, 2017 at 6:09 amAex

      You can also take the silence as that they didn’t want to hurt him, which is confirmation that they not only don’t think he can come anywhere close to this level, they’re also back to not taking him seriously.

      More Megumi is never a bad thing, too, especially where it might light a different fire in these two divas.

  • June 11, 2017 at 6:05 amk.g

    Kosaka Akane gave me the vibe like Steve Jobs, know how to manipulate people and push people to the limit, ruthless and very driven. Loved by customers and feared by people around him. It gave the world the next big thing that everyone on the planet wants. But it had also burn out passionated people and stolen the talents. It is a double edge sword.

    Now the question is, do you want to risk yourself or others you cared about to endure such person/condition, and hopefully reap the large benefits (skill/fame/money, etc) under such leadership, or give up such opportunity, or joined but getting burned so badly that you will never want to set foot in such industry ever again.

  • June 14, 2017 at 2:15 amRaiu

    The gravest mistake that Eriri and Utaha did was that they did not informed Megumin about their decision to leave the circle. Consultation is already out of the question as it seems that Eriri has already decided during that meeting but Katou was left in the dark again.

    Last episode we just had a taste of how angry Katou can get when her friends keep secrets on her.

  • June 15, 2017 at 3:01 amDreamsavior

    And … I think the next episodes will give us more reason why Katou is the best waifu material.