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Juuni Taisen – 04 »« Animegataris – 03

Imouto sae Ireba Ii. – 03

「取材でさえあればいい.」 (Shuzai de sae Areba Ii.)
“As Long as It’s Research.”

Within the last couple episodes, Itsuki has given me the impression that he was garbage, but from the third episode’s developments, this seems to be a sentiment shared by Itsuki. Given everything we’ve been shown of Itsuki’s ideas, most of his stories devolve into a nonsensical mishmash of his experiences. This comes out the worst through his vacation to Okinawa and Hokkaido as he ends up setting the gears in motion for stories about a love story between a shark and his little human sister, and a beachside blizzard that puts a mage’s little sister at risk. I’m unsure of whether we’re to identify or cheer for Itsuki since his attitude and imagination make him hard to root for, but it would be interesting to see if eventually, Itsuki has to face the causes of his insecurities considering that he at least acknowledges the flaws he has as his own worst enemy.

This episode also solidifies the notion that Itsuki has a tendency of surrounding himself with people who make him feel inadequate. As he continues to brush Nayu off after rejecting her, he still has lingering feelings for her that he can’t bring himself to approach just yet. On top of this, the episode ends with the idea that he is dissatisfied enough with the quality of his output to let go of his former illustrator Setsuna Ena out of fear that he’s wasting his talent on poorly written novels. Thinking back to the flashback where Itsuki seemed excited about getting asked out by Nayu, I’m wondering if his reason for rejecting her is because of the same insecurity he has about letting Setsuna do work for him in that he feels like he doesn’t deserve a relationship, and is waiting until he’s worthy of one. Or it could be because he’d have to let go of his imouto fascination if he outright pursued a relationship with someone who isn’t a little sister. A creative type might forego a relationship if they feel it hinders their creative process, so maybe he felt like he had to impose this on himself to keep the imouto in his heart alive.

Although the episode had its heavier moments with the introspection of Itsuki trying his hardest to push those closest to him away, it was still a light episode with pleasantly successful trips to Okinawa and Hokkaido. The Okinawa trip brought out some well-appreciated fanservice with Nayu enjoying an egg a little too much as well as Miyako letting herself have fun as she joins Nayu in the freezing winter ocean. The Okinawa trip also brought out the show’s explorative side as they discover landmarks across the island and enjoy A&W root beer and regional Hibiscus beer. Additionally, the Hokkaido trip gave us a chance to see how fun of a character Setsuna is as a fashionable, impulsive guy who went behind the editor’s back to continue getting the most out of his trip to Hokkaido to see the Sapporo Snow Festival. It also gave us some nice food shots with a look at all the crabs and salmon roe they partook in. Yukari Tanizaki would’ve been insanely jealous of how much Genghis Khan they must’ve had.

Despite the lighter side of the anime being a bulk of the focus this time around, it still gives us some good food for thought about how Itsuki sees himself in relation to the rest of his colleagues, and gives us insight of his creative process. Even though it explains why his editor is always breathing down his neck about his terrible ideas, it lends itself to the idea that Itsuki and Nayu delved into about the writer’s thought process about getting inspiration for their material from experience, and that going on a trip to other parts of Japan would help create that spark that gives the writer a chance to authentically capture the surroundings their characters interact with. It reminds me of how the creators of ARIA had gone to Venice to capture the world and architecture of Neo-Venezia as an accurate depiction of what a futuristic Venice would be like. Maybe they’ll have to go international to get the inspiration like that for the imouto light novel Itsuki was always meant to make.

End Card

October 23, 2017 at 7:16 am
20 comments »
  • October 23, 2017 at 7:48 amRolls

    Is it just me or is this show actually more wholesome and comfier than it actually is?

    It’s basically a really chill and slow-paced slice of life that just so happens to have irredeemable degenerates as the cast.

    • October 23, 2017 at 8:37 amChoya

      The Okinawa and Hokkaido vacationing segments were very cozy in how they were sightseeing and enjoying the local delicacies and sights. The character relationships are genuine and heartfelt as well.

      Itsuki and Nayu’s pervy behavior tend to overshadow the depth the show has in its other respects, but I’d agree that it is a chill, wholesome slice-of-life masquerading as a lewd comedy.

  • October 23, 2017 at 9:01 amAnon

    I think Itsuki’s ongoing series is something like battle magic high school incest-ish a-la Mahouka Koukou no Rettousei.

    • October 23, 2017 at 12:04 pmChoya

      His more vanilla ideas are steering towards capturing something akin to Mahouka’s magical highschool battle anime premise and the relationship it paints between Tatsuya and Miyuki.

      If the OP is any indicator, it seems like the blonde guy is the protagonist of Itsuki’s mainline story, but he seems to keep going back-and-forth between the ideas he has for LN considering that the protagonist that ate his sister’s underwear from Ep. 1 and the shark from Ep. 3 isn’t the blonde guy.

      It makes me think that part of his anxieties come from wanting to end his most successful LN, but the backup ideas he tries to come up with in its place are things like the shark and the breakfast idea.

  • October 23, 2017 at 11:32 amArche

    The real surprise this episode was realizing A&W restaurants still exist… Haven’t seen one since the two in my city closed probably a decade ago

    Also just give the girl some beer already… If she hates it it’s problem solved

    • October 24, 2017 at 10:33 amChoya

      It’d take ages for me to get to the nearest A&W. The Okinawa location seems to be very special to the company though since the website’s adorned with reminders that they opened the location in 1963.

  • October 23, 2017 at 2:04 pmstarss

    “We’re running out of anime hairstyles again! All the 2-color gradients have been used already!” “What about….. THREE-color gradient hair??” “… YOU’RE A GENIUS!”

    • October 23, 2017 at 3:34 pmBROOKLYN otaku

      Im looking at the caps and imagining her at the salon, “ummmm okay, i think ill go with the tri-color left hanging bannana, yeah thats the one!”

    • October 24, 2017 at 10:35 amChoya

      I believe Setsuna’s the first one they gave blue hair, but they went above and beyond with the triple gradient highlight

  • October 23, 2017 at 2:19 pmAngelus

    Are Itsuki’s stories becoming more and more outlandish to the point where he hopes his editor will just give up and settle for the one we saw at the start of episode 1?

    • October 24, 2017 at 10:37 amChoya

      That’s what I’m lead to believe because there was no way the shark story would’ve made it past the initial pitch, and Itsuki had to have known that. The vacation scene he thought up seems the most doable of his ideas, but between the breakfast idea and the shark idea, it seems like he’s trying to torpedo a chunk of his ideas for one reason or another.

  • October 23, 2017 at 4:43 pmMellow Yellow

    I’m rather suprised Itsuki is well-off enough to be able to just go to Okinawa and Hokkaido on a whim, even in off-season. I guess he wasn’t lying about being a well selling author… though he doesn’t seem to think that’s worth much anymore.

    • October 24, 2017 at 10:41 amChoya

      I’m curious about how much it would’ve costed him to take those trips, but between 20 books, some of which have charted, he might have some money on the side for now to take the occasional trip. Might not last though with the writer’s block he seems to be suffering with.

  • October 23, 2017 at 5:09 pmVelvet Scarlantina

    http://randomc.net/image/Imouto%20sae%20Ireba%20Ii./Imouto%20sae%20Ireba%20Ii.%20-%2003%20-%20Large%2036.jpg

    All things aside, Chihiro’s rather enigmatic. I know she pretends to be a boy but what if Itsuki already knew it’s an imouto? He seems rather flustered by her in the closing moments.

    • October 24, 2017 at 10:44 amChoya

      That’s one thing I’m worried about. Would he be able to differentiate her from his fantasy imouto, or will he find her existence challenges/affirms his beliefs? Would he start internalizing his sister kink alot more, or will it cause him to get upset and push her away?

  • October 23, 2017 at 7:28 pmDavid

    +5 points for an anime actually acknowledging the existence of root beer! (Even if it was just A&W.)

    The continued insane contrivances to force the idea of a “little sister” into some bizarre story makes me re-re-think my speculation about how ‘real’ that obsession is.

    In the first episode, it felt like an idea he made up on the spot to force others away. In the second episode, it seemed that he did in fact use the little sister trope in his original novels. Now I’m thinking that he used the little sister trope in his first novels, got famous after that, and then, when forced to come up with an excuse, latched onto the idea that his first novel provided — a little sister obsession.

    So it feels like, right now, he’s trying to force a new ‘hit’ while maintaining the pretense of the little sister obsession, so has to come up with the most outlandish ideas that can force that little sister trope into the story. If he’d let go of the little sister, I’m sure he could come up with another great story, but if he does that he’ll have to admit to things he really doesn’t want to.

    • October 24, 2017 at 10:54 amChoya

      That’s an interesting idea; that he’s been riding so high off of the success he’s had from writing imouto novels that he’s become his work, and has to maintain the idea that he still loves little sisters to keep up appearances and avoid looking like he’s not being honest. Or he forced himself to become his work so that his readers wouldn’t drop him if he ever wrote about something outside of sister stories.

      It does make his Episode 2 conversation with Haruto more complicated though. He seemed to believe that he wasn’t going to compromise his personality in his work, something that hit Haruto’s soft spot, but if his little sister gimmick was a false mask he put on because of his success, it would give the impression that Itsuki’s insecurities go far enough that he’d be willing to lie to his colleagues to keep up a false sense of authenticity. Or because Haruto’s success is a thorn in his side, he’d be willing to twist the knife by pretending that his stories are written out of his own personality instead of something that he constructed out of the same trend-research that Haruto dedicates himself to. Of course, Haruto’s research was good enough to get him success, but what would it say about Itsuki that his books are more of a critical darling because the imouto crowd is more excited for his releases than the bland success story of Haruto’s novels?

  • October 25, 2017 at 1:23 pmweasl

    Really starting to enjoy this one now that they’re starting to delve into the characters more.

    As for Itsuki being unlikeable, he wants to be that way. He’s in a constant cycle of self deprecation and attack to keep people from getting too close to him. He feels inferior to his friends and keeps his distance to protect them. He most likely writes outlandishly stupid ideas on purpose to make people not rely on or trust in his ideas.

    As for his imouto fetish it makes me wonder if it was the reverse at some point and he was mentally abusive to his sister to the point that she became his “little brother”, and his new obsession is more based remorse then anything else.

  • October 26, 2017 at 9:59 pmcshin9

  • October 28, 2017 at 3:36 pmDave

    I’m wondering if his reason for rejecting her is because of the same insecurity he has about letting Setsuna do work for him in that he feels like he doesn’t deserve a relationship, and is waiting until he’s worthy of one.

    I suspect kinda-sorta. I think he turns her down after reading her book which got him so emotional. So, she’s either too good a writer to be with him (most likely), or the story she told is something he thinks she can only write if she’s pining for someone else and he doesn’t want to ruin her either way.

    That, or she was so on the nose with her feelings in her writing that he’s scared to acknowledge them.

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