「迷い猫、困った」 (Mayoi Neko, Komatta)
“Stray Cat, Troubled”
If you want to make yourself famous worldwide, there’s really no better way to do it than by posting a video on a streaming site nowadays. Considering some of the amazing fan-made work that’s come out of Nico Nico Douga, I felt there was some huge potential in the Stray Cats Association’s first club project with Ieyasu as the director. If anyone was going to get this shindig underway right, I thought the surefire bet would be on an otaku. Be that as it may, I can’t really say I was expecting much when filming actually begun and they traveled to various locations across the world in Chise’s private B-2 Spirit, only to completely change the sceneary to the polar opposite of what it is and take a single shot of a smoke-filled explosion involving the girls. This includes bringing autumn to the Amazon, winter to the Egyptian desert, and a field of flowers to a barren wasteland.
Despite being a blatant reuse of the same gags with different backdrops, I actually got a good laugh out of Ieyasu’s part in all of it. For that, I mainly attribute it to Yoshino Hiroyuki‘s portrayal of his insistent attitude when he ordered people around. One of my personal highlights in that regard is when he used reverse psychology on Chise to get her to destroy the Umenomori building that’s supposedly taller than largest sky scrappers in Dubai, simply because it was blocking his shot in Akihabara. Chise was even smart enough to suggest removing it via CG first, but caved at the thought of the Umenomori family’s power being looked down upon. I probably laughed more than I should have when I saw the explosion go off right after.
With regards to the actual recycled jokes and footage, it was clearly a deliberate progression by Genshiken season one director Ikehata Takashi, who was also responsible for the screenplay, story, and production supervision this episode. His most recent work includes episode five of Kaichou no Maid-sama this season, which I consider one of the better episodes in that series thus far. While I’m usually not too fond of this type of humor, I did enjoy seeing Takumi run into a different creature/extraterrestrial at every location and freak out at Fumino, only to get a swift kick in the face to shut him up. Surprisingly, he turned out to be the only real victim in all of this, as he lost tons of sleep during the short two week deadline while trying to study for an exam at the same time.
Anyway, I was right not to get my hopes up about their promotional video, since the overnight over-a-million-hits sensation with a last minute “Stray Cats Association Song” attached was nothing but an otaku’s fan-filled affair. Still, I commend Ieyasu for his editing skills, so see the new ending sequence below for what he got knocked out a window for creating. It’s more or less bad singing by the three main girls, but I see it as an in-character thing after they showed how Fumino and Chise can’t really sing.
Note: Ieyasu and Chise getting a kick out of the anime they were watching via satellite on the jet and posting real-time reactions online was so stereotypical but so true. 🙂