「色を変える世界」 (Shoku wo Kae ru Sekai)
“A World Changing Color”

Stories are at their best when they touch upon the cornerstones of human life, on emotions and trials and tribulations its audience has faced and perhaps not yet overcome. That’s what we saw here, both in the effect of Shiina’s manga on herself and Sorata, and in the episode’s message to us all. A story within a story (within a story), Shiina’s manga to Sakurasou to the swirls it sends out to each and every one of us. Let’s chew into this.

One of the things that Sakurasou does well is pivot from silly comedy to serious drama. At the beginning we have Sorata making a typical harem lead’s mistake (just tell her she’s cute, dammit!) and Jin cursing the children for coming close to Misaki’s breasts (oh Jin, so tsundere~)…but as soon as Jin flicked Misaki’s tanabata wish and read what was on back, a feeling of profound sadness descended on the scene. “That one day he’ll look my way.” Misaki acts frivolous, you think she’s frivolous…and then things like that happen. Time and again they balance comedy – Meido-chan’s surprise, the abduction, Jin and Misaki trolling hard – with the more serious affairs I’m going to talk about shortly. I know I’m predisposed to like these swaps – I love interjections and asides, as you may have noticed by how much I use them in my writing, and I’ll freely let myself be swept up in the mood by a story that rewards me for doing so – but I feel like they’ve done them extremely well even so.

Let’s talk about Sorata and Jin. I’ve called them both out as having inferiority complexes before, but that’s not entirely accurate – rather, their problems have to do with understanding. The problem isn’t that Shiina and Misaki are great at what they do, but that they’re so effortlessly great that Sorata and Jin can’t imagine, can’t even begin to understand what’s going on in their minds. Think of it like introverts and extroverts. If I had to guess I would say quite a lot of you are probably introverts, so you’ll understand when I say that to an introvert, it’s hard to understand how extroverts can so effortlessly wade into a crowd and chat them up like it’s no big deal. That’s not to say that introverts can’t do the same, it’s just that we (yes, I am one as well) have to watch and practice and put forth concentrated effort to do so. There’s a gap there, a chasm that must be bridged before the two parties can truly understand one another, between the naturals and the try-hards. That’s the gap that exists between Shiina and Misaki on one side, and Sorata and Jin on the other.

That’s why Sorata and Jin, deep in a dark corner of their hearts, wanted to see their respective love interests fail. It’s not that they’re cruel people, it’s just that they wanted to see their girls not as flawless prodigies, but as fallible human being who make mistakes…just like them. There is very little more human than making mistakes, so seeing that would have made the girls more understandable, and the two parties could have come together. Yet that’s a terrible way to feel about someone you care about, hence Sorata’s guilt, and for that matter Jin’s as well. Those conflicted feelings…I must say that I’ve stood in their shoes before, not so long ago. It doesn’t feel great, but it’s understandable.

Fortunately Jin (and Akasaka) had the right idea. Just as an introvert can study and work hard to understand extroversion, if Misaki and Shiina are too far above their level, the only answer is to strive until they’re good enough to stand beside them. Level up, shounen! That’s what Sorata learned here…and a few other things besides.

A story within a story (within a story) – from the second I saw Shiina working feverishly on her manga, I knew it would be the vehicle by which Sorata came to understand her feelings. Shiina is awkward with words and actions, but through her art she can convey what she’s thinking far better. So it was when Iida Ayano (Asano Masumi) showed it to Sorata. I laughed when I saw the genderbend – it’s Soratako! XD – but the message came across loud and clear – the ending that Sorata was moving towards, the one drawn on the pages in front of him, was not a happy one. Blaming others for his boredom, running away because he was scared, not trying because he might fail – all excuses! But I loved the moment of realization, Sorata’s run, his decision, his declaration, and finally him breaking down and admitting what we knew all along – that Sakurasou is the place where he belongs. Like the visuals, a light warmth suffused. Loved it.

The best stories touch upon the cornerstone themes of life, and that’s what we got here. Sorata’s dream is foolish, and he’s getting started late, but I can’t hate him for that – we could use more foolish dreamers, if you ask me. So tell me, are you working towards your dream? Or are you too busy, too scared, too focused on what is “realistic” and expected to go for what is unique and remarkable? It’s like Ayano said, each of us should draw the ending we want. What will yours be?

tl;dr: @StiltsOutLoud – Running away, hurting each other, & finally…growing up. Sorata finally realizes what he truly wants. What ending will you draw? #sakurasou

Random thoughts:

  • I like that Shiina didn’t use her tanabata wish for herself. It’s better to save wishes for things you don’t understand, things outside of your control – for those you can grasp, it’s better to win with your own abilities. That’s also what I like about Sorata, by the time the episode came to an end.
  • The use of silence. After Sorata read Shiina’s wish, he stood there stock-still, so still that you might suspect your screen froze. It’s daring to use silence in a medium like television, to tell the story without frenetic action and words. It’s also fantastic when it’s done, and done well. It was right and proper that Sorata should stop in his tracks there, stunned by the realization that he does not know what his wish is, or at least won’t admit it. Just a change of the mouth as the shock settled in. Wonderful.
  • In a way, Aoyama is like Jin and Sorata himself – she feels like Sorata is out of reach (for environment rather than talent), and wants him to be closer to where she is. Yet even she suspected that he didn’t truly want to leave Sakurasou. This is one of those tough love triangles, where it’s hard to ship either side – I like them both, feel for them both. It’s going to get even harder later on, isn’t it?
  • Good going, Jin. Let them have their moment…and maybe, you and Misaki have yours. (I wish)
  • It’s official: with Sorata switching what he calls her, I’m switching as well – she’s Mashiro from now on. That moment was so d’aaaaww!
  • I want to write. This made me want to write so bad. This show makes me remember that childish dream of mine, makes me want to toss all else aside and get back to making it a reality. And you know what…fuck it. I think I will.

Full-length images: 04, 11, 12, 27, 33, 37.


Ed Sequence:



    1. I believe someone mentioned before that there are eight(?) light novels, and if I had to guess, the first few episodes probably consisted of all (or most) of vol 1. If I’m right, at four episodes per volume and seven volumes left, there oughta be plenty of content left to animate.

      1. There’s going to be 10 volumes total with the last one coming out around when the anime ends,they might try adapting all 10 volumes,the novel writer is part of the writing staff (he wrote episode 3) so he might have told the anime staff about the contents of volume 9 and 10 even if they’re not out yet.
        Okada mari is the chief writer handling the adaptation,she was in charge of the Toradora adaptation (it also was 10 volumes long) and it also started with covering the 1st volume with four episodes,it then sped things up and had a pace of 2 or 3 episodes per volume,it’ll be interesting to see if the same thing will happen here.

  1. Wait– Stilts, you’re an introvert? I wouldn’t have noticed from the podcasts. 😀

    Really digging this adaptation. I’ve been looking forward to this series for a few months now.

    1. Indeed I am! It doesn’t come naturally, so I (to paraphrase myself) “watched and practiced and put forth concentrated effort” to learn how to become more extroverted. Or really, to learn how to turn it on when need be. It’s a useful skill to have when you live in an extrovert’s world, lemme tell ya.

      1. I dunno about that. It’s convenient, but also difficult and uncomfortable. That’s especially true for full introverts…it’s a sliding scale after all, and I don’t pretend to be all the way towards the introvert pole, even if I’m closer to it than the other one. For those standing at the pole, it’d be damn hard to grasp, I feel…though still not impossible by any means!

      2. I think you and I are talking about something different.

        I meant making a effort to get along with people,trying to understand how to deal with them appropriately. Doing that streamlines things and makes it easier.

      3. Brofist. I’m the same. Was once shy, then developed my alternate sociability mode. It takes a while, but everyone can do it.

        As for this episode… well, this whole mini-arc felt a bit forced, if you ask me, but Sorata and Jin’s eventual development from it was nice, so I’ll give it a pass.

        Also, I had automatically assumed Shiina was her first name so I was really taken off guard when she asked him to call her Mashiro. Whoops. 😛

  2. what an excellent write-up, thank you for taking time to gather your thoughts about the episode. It’s not just the introverts and extroverts, I feel the same way for natural writers and those who strive to become one. I just can’t understand how they can easily do analogies and come up with great conclusions.

  3. Nice analysis Stilts. I love your writing since it picks up subtleties that are easy to miss. I think Sorata is painfully aware of how foolish his pursuit is, hence his reluctance for the last 2 episodes, but it will be an interesting journey to say the very least.

    I gotta say you’re the last person in the podcast I’d pick up as an introvert. You make it look effortless! Would there be a way for RC to squeeze in more podcasts? I really do enjoy listening to you guys.

    1. Domo domo *bows* Yeah, Sorata’s got the problem of being smart and “realistic”…traits which can be more trouble than they’re worth, especially the latter. Better to be unrealistic and do something remarkable, says I!

      And I’ll see what I can do about some more podcasts. We had some more planned, but we got a little distracted on cranking out the extra ones. The mid-season and end-of-season ones will still always come out like clockwork, though!

  4. “You’re my special boxers Yui!”

    – Making games isn’t be too big a deal, having a good idea and getting decent art and stuff is a different story. It seems like he has that a covered though!

    – You’d think he would read into the fact that, in the manga she writes, the relationship between the main character and heroine is romantic.

    – Mashino is being awfully emotional in this episode, hoping this is just because of situation and she’ll be back to normal in the next episodes.

  5. Proud introvert right here lol. I couldn’t agree more about the “concentrated effort” you mentioned. I have to over analyze any situation before I feel comfortable enough to take part. This episode was fantastic! I can’t believe how well this show balances comedy and drama in such a flawless way. After this episode ended, I honestly felt like I had already watched an entire anime. This show basically brought everything to the table that most animes need 13+ episodes to accomplish.

  6. Woohoo! Shiina emotions! They might be mostly in writing, but I’ll take what I can get. Still a little discouraging how many intermediaries she needs (people, manga, etc), but it’s definitely progress, and it was nice to see it get across.

    Yay for lack of actions that could be taken as head-games. Talking makes everything better! Sorry, I really didn’t like episode 3 :X

    Now then, to the response of adorable miss Aoyama.

  7. Extraversion and introversion – don’t be so quick to label yourself, Stilts. You’ve already decided that being one type
    is bad and that the other type is better. It’s all BS. Not IMHO.

    It’s all about confidence and youth¹. You talk about what you love and BAMM, you’re not introverted; you’re outgoing
    and interesting (think of Haru’s smile). That’s the only way you’re going to sell anything you write – it could be the next,
    and if you can’t talk about it, share it, believe it, it’s a complete waste.

    So much we have to un-learn about ourselves from our school day instructions…

    …which is a great segway into this episode (pushes soap-box off to the side).

    Sorata learns to have confidence in the end game he wants. Shiina pulls out all of the stops to help him achieve his epiphany,
    pulling him into and making him a part of her world, on paper and in her life, but still leaving the choice in his hands.

    Of course, the romantic in me wants to believe Shiina’s motivation for doing this is that she cares for him, rather than casually help him through a tough time in his life. She’s shows herself amazingly insightful in this regard. Her telling him to call her by her first name sides this argument, and she thought it through and anticipated his answer(s) makes it real – she’s no dummy.

    He better get his act together or he’s going to have some 3D competition :).

    Sorata and Jin’s problem is simple – don’t worry about what’s in the girls’ head, instead worry about the girl (i.e. person).

    The writing, the build-up, and the delivery of the story in this series is like a sledgehammer driving a finishing nail into
    a piece of wood – there’s no doubt to its intent and the power of the soundly delivered message.

    I probably rambled on a bit – but I think my problem is that I have to stop watching Anime this good in a dusty room…

    I’m really glad you’re covering this unexpectedly great series.

    ¹Youth == inexperience – so become an experienced youth in life.

    1. I think you are reading a bit too much into Shinna’s actions. The way you are talking implies she understands people really well, doesn’t that kinda go against her character?

      Sorata and Jin’s problem can’t really be resolved by “don’t worry about it”. I think it would be a bad idea for them to enter a relationship if they feel that they aren’t “good enough”.

      1. I’m thinking maybe her understanding is through her art. Which is (possibly)
        why she included him in her manga. IMHO, everyone uses some tools to help them
        understand their surroundings and environment – I’m going with the (unstated) premise
        that her art is the tool she uses to understand her world and the people in it.

    2. I never said one was bad or good, just that they exist. I’m an introvert because I expend energy when engaging in social interactions, as opposed to someone like my older brother who positively thrives on it. Neither is inherently better or worse (though they provide different strengths and weaknesses, to be sure), they just are what they are.

      Oh, and trust me, selling my ideas is no problem. I’m a marketer and have been a salesman, so that kind of thing is/was literally my job…jobs I had to learn how to do, don’tcha know ; )

      BTW, liked your sledgehammer metaphor. Don’t usually hear good sledgehammer metaphors, but you said it right – its message is strong and powerful. Love it!

    3. I can’t give Shiina as much credit as you mainly because if Ayano hadn’t swept in on a sweet piece of metal, Sorata would’ve been completely clueless about everything. Shiina might be trying her hardest, but she still needs go-betweens and happy accidents to do the legwork for her, without her even realizing it.

      Now if SHE had shown him both versions of the manga’s ending, then I’d say she really was an adorable genius. This way though, Shiina and Sorata just got lucky.

      1. Right, but if Shiina is supposed to be thinking in these deep respects about how to communicate her feelings to Sorata and such, I wish Ayano hadn’t come along. Shiina might have some idea what she’s doing, but I’m going by what the show is showing, and that’s a lot of Shiina and Sorata getting lucky (the Tanibata hanger, Ayano, Shiina passing out with manga still up, etc).

        I like Shiina now at least.

  8. “Stories are at their best when they touch upon the cornerstones of human life, on emotions and trials and tribulations its audience has faced and perhaps not yet overcome.”

    can’t really agree with that, for me this show is too unrealistic to be compared with real-life situations.For me Sukitte Ii na yo and Tonari no Kaibutsu-kun were much more down to earth than Sakurasou no Pet na Kanojo.

    1. What’s unrealistic about it? Sure, there are gags like Misaki busting in a door that are silly, but aside from them there’s nothing that couldn’t happen here. What’s more, most of the unrealistic attributes – the school, the dorm, Shiina and Misaki’s abilities – are set up from Episode 1, with everything thereafter following naturally. It’s like setting up a fantasy or magical girl story…the basis might be strange, or even truly bizarre, but once you set up the basic facts and then treat them in a realistic manner, who cares?

      Besides, reality in fiction is overrated – I’d rather focus on it being interesting : ) A false choice perhaps, but I’d rather have the unrealistic and entertaining than the realistic and bland any day of the week!

      1. wat i don’t agree is with your comparisons with real-life, personally i prefer entertaining and interesting to realistic and bland too.And i get the setting up a foundation then treating the material realistically part too but, to me the way the material are treated(in this show) is also unrealistic.

  9. I always love the “When she smiles” scenes, their both heartwarming and beautiful to look at. And so one of the shows that that sounded insulting and stupid ended up being one of my favorites of the start of the season.

  10. I loved that ending scene!! And me being a huge OST lover, that soundtrack when Mashiro started crying was so calming and the scene with it was nearly tear jerking on me. I literally have the same dream as Mashiro’s, to illustrate and write manga, or in the U.S. a graphic novel. And even probably go on to ANIMATE the manga or graphic novel I’ve done later on. That’s been my dream for the longest and I’ve been laughed at for it before. But goddammit I’m going for it!!

    And she just gave me a great idea to go about doing that. Although I’m 15 its better to start somewhere than not start at all!!

    And I currently have the same block that Mashiro has as well. I’m a great artist, but my writing may need work. (IDK I haven’t gotten any criticism to actually know how good my writing is)

  11. I wonder how they’ll keep the pace from now on. They just managed to get to the same point the standard romcom series arrives at after 12 episodes in a third of that time. It would be great if they could keep the pace without falling into the endless loop of “almost confession-reset-new potential love interest” as so many other series.

    1. Given the Toradora similarities (both in the story and the crew), I’m not to worried about the pacing…up until the end. That’s my big concern…I don’t want them to have to race to fit everything in at the very end again. But we should be fine for at least a while yet, though!

    1. Sorry, I accidentally clicked the “Submit” button before I finished.

      Did anyone else get Honey and Clover vibes when watching the final parts of the episode? I felt it when he ran out of the cafe and the music started to play.

      1. There are a number of similarities to the characters in Honey and Clover: The artistic genius girl lacking social/emotional experience, the boy who can’t figure out what he wants to do and feels outclassed by the characters around him, the girl in love with someone who won’t respond (for different reasons from HC), the artistic extrovert (a girl here but a man in HC). Given that we’re liable to see similar scenes. Plots not so much of a connection I think.

  12. Does the ending hint that Aoyama will be moving into Sakurasou? I hope so, I’m rooting for her 🙂 For once I’d like the “normal” girl to be the lucky one at the end…

  13. Had I not read your latest “Stilts Out Loud” entry, I would probably never have given this Anime a chance, and would have subsequently missed, in my opinion, the best Anime of Fall ’12.

    I sincerely thank you, Stilts.

  14. relationship-wise, while Jin and Sorata may hav their issues, am i the only one who thinks that Shiina and Misaki aren’t exactly making it easy for their respective love interests to approach them seriously.

    1. Shiina is as much a problem as Sorata in that partnership, but I really think Jin just needs to get over his insecurities and grab hold of Misaki. She might be a nut, but there really isn’t any question that she wants to be his nut!

      1. yea Misaki makes it clear she wants to be with Jin but the roundabout way she does it and her overly enthusiastic attitude kind of complicates things, i mean why doesn’t she just try confessing her feelings for him.

  15. I might just watch this anime thanks to your posts. I wasn’t originally interested because I just thought it was panties and boobs and I’m not into thatt. It hit fairly close to home the idea that one has to put forth an awful lot of effort to achieve something that comes so damn easily to someone else. You feel so small alongside that person and wish for them to fail if only as proof for yourself that they can but then feel so terrible for wanting that because it’s someone you love. This anime seems to be a real nice surprise. I think I’ll watch! ^-^

  16. Thanks for your insight on Mashiro’s manga Stilts. I actually had a slightly different view on it, which is the Sorata in the Tanabata wish was actually Mashiro herself. I’ll try my best to explain: For starters, it’s certain Mashiro is expressing her feelings through the manga, and that she reversed both her and Sorata’s position on what is happening. I didn’t see any names in Mashiro’s manuscript so I’ll refer to the hero and heroine as manga-Sorata and manga-Mashiro respectively. Now since the story is an extension of what Mashiro is feeling, it’s safe to say manga-Sorata is saddened to find out manga-Mashiro is leaving and doesn’t want “her” to go. Therefore, when real-Mashiro wrote on her Tanabata paper that she hopes that Sorata’s wish comes true, she must be saying that she wishes real-Sorata doesn’t leave Sakurasou. Now one might wonder why did Mashiro do it in a roundabout way and reversed their roles in her manga when she could have just drew them as they are, made herself the heroine and expressed directly that she didn’t want Sorata to leave. My guess is since manga-Sorata is someone who is clear with his goals, this is how Mashiro wanted to see real-Sorata, who perhaps she already sensed is struggling and uncertain. Sorry I kinda analyzed this part too much. I thought Mashiro meant something more when she wrote her Tanabata wish. I don’t recall Sorata explicitly telling Mashiro any wishes except maybe that he wanted to leave Sakurasou, and it felt awkward thinking Mashiro wanted Sorata’s wish of leaving come true. On another note Stilts your explanation on introverts and extroverts was spot on. Introvert *raises hand*

  17. I feel like I just watched a full season worth of quality. Can’t quite believe this is still EP 4 (There’s still 20 more episodes!?)

    More Emotional tupsy-turvy than Unbelieavably funny jokes this week (though still really funny).

  18. Well, there goes the last chance to escape “crazy dorm”…
    My dreams were all taken long ago, so I eke out will to live from watching anime and playing games, barely. I guess I had the “bad end”…

    1. It’s never too late, Ewok, it’s never too late.

      …unless you wanted to be some kind of sports star, in which case it probably is too late. But hey, you can get a new dream, right? Right??

      1. My first dream, was to be a fighter pilot – and was dashed with the pretty strong astigmatism. I went on to try to become aircraft engineer, only to be dashed by not being good enough at math. Since then, I didnt have any more dreams, drifting between low-income jobs and generally feeling miserable. Whatever I can do somebody else can do much, much better.

      2. Probability dictates that everybody’s good at something, out of the billions of things that people could possibly do with their lives. If you feel like you can’t do anything well, that just means that you haven’t found what you’re good at yet. Usually what we’re good at is related to our interests; search yourself, has there ever been a time when you did something that you enjoyed which you also found that you were pretty good at it? Once you’ve found that thing- it may even be something that seems silly at first like being a good paintball/Yugi-oh player- but grab a hold of it and rev things up to 11; run with it! If you’re good at card games, then practice hard and go pro, or if you love paintball get a loan and start a paintball compound in your locality! Or if you simply find that you’re more compassionate than most, then go join the Foreign Service (Or your country’s equivalent) and help out poor kids in the third world!

        And most importantly, always be willing to step out of your comfort zone to try new things (Do like Enzo! [Metaphorically speaking, of course.])- even if you can’t think of anything that you’re good at now, give yourself the opportunity to find it by making a point to broaden your experiences in life; the laws of probability virtually guarantee that you’ll stumble upon it eventually; keep on searching and never give up, as long as you still draw breath, there’s hope!

        My gravatar squib; “capax infiniti”- the latter end of a longer quote from the Reformation era that is heretical when used in this form because it means “holding the infinite” and implies that finite man is able to hold the infinite divinity of god within his mortal frame. While no man is omnipotent, every man is possesses unique talents- and it is the aggregate of these unique talents that make enable us to do the impossible when we stand united; everyone has a role to play- we just need to find it…;)

      3. What Zen said. Don’t focus on what you think you’d like to do, but rather on what you’d be good at. When you’re good at something, you can excel at it, which will make you enjoy it more. It can lead to enjoying some weird things, but hey, that’s life!

    2. man are you my mirror or what?! im in the same situation, had the same dream failed just the same… trying to get to med school now, unfortunately can’t pay & i don’t want to be stuck with student loans, so being a neurologist pretty much failed as well…. feeling down now T_T

  19. The novel puts Sorata’s decision to stay before his decision to make a career move in order to get Mashiro’s spirits up. But I must say I totally loved the change to move his decision to stay after all that, as it only made the whole scene more powerful and convincing.

    Mashiro certainly showed more emotion than she had in all previous 3 episodes, and it is a joy to watch the small emotional upheavals she went through.

    I’m certainly most interested in translating the light novels, though my hands are full with doing Hyouka. If anyone’s interested in taking up this task, then I could have a word with the folks at Baka-Tsuki. If not, then I guess I’ll just have to do it.

    PS I would most certainly like to buy Mashiro’s (most likely shoujo) manga about an alternate Mashiro struggling to find her place in life opposite a talented Sorata who’s lacking in common sense.

    Kinny Riddle
      1. @Kinny I assume it’s categorized as teaser projects. AFAIK, teaser projects doesn’t go on the main page, or at least the ones I was looking at o_O (e.g. Madan no Ou to Vanadis)

    1. I didn’t know they made a change from the source, but it sounds like it was an outstanding one. That’s exactly the kind of changes I like to see…see how the source did after it’s published, and then slightly tweak the adaptation to fix mistakes, improve important scenes, and tweak things for the different medium. It’s like how they incorporated Aoyama into this part of the story more. It was nothing but an improvement!

  20. Just a trivia: All of Sorata’s cats are named after Shinkansen trains, namely Hikari, Nozomi, Kodama, Tsubaki, Komachi, Aoba and Asahi respectively. So besides a love of felines, Sorata may also have a passion for trains deep within him.

    Should his current dive into the world of game programming not work out, there’s always a career related with trains if he realizes it.

    Kinny Riddle
    1. For every person this show inspires, there seems to be another who gets driven into a corner by self-pity because he/she thinks he/she doesn’t measure up to Sorata. Happiness isn’t something that just comes to people who sit around waiting while feeling sorry for themselves, it’s something you need to take a hold of by the collar and drag in- it’s the product of tenacity and hard work- and the willingness to take risks and make sacrifices. Born and raised in New York, but you got a lucrative job offer over in LA? Well, if you want the fulfillment that the new job will give you, you’re going to have to give up living close to your family- you can’t have everything, that’s a fact of life.

      So we need to make our choices carefully- know yourself, know what you want and know your strengths. Then work to channel your strengths in the context of what you want for your life without pulling out any stops, fearlessly moving forward with the courage to take big (but calculated) risks, make sacrifices, and to pick yourself up again after (inevitably) making mistakes and learning from them. Failure, after all, is simply success in progress. Each time we fail, we learn from our mistakes raising the probability of success the next time we try, continuously doing so until success becomes all but inevitable…as long as there’s life, there’s always hope! Cheer up people, this is supposed to be an inspirational show…;)

  21. Anyways, time to put my critic’s hat on and nitpick on this generally well-presented show. And the biggest gripe I’ve got with it is that Sorata just seems to have pulled the whole video game designer thing out of his a**. For a show that’s supposed to inspire people, the way Sorata found his dream is terribly unrealistic. I mean, what’re odds that some kid who just suddenly decides on a whim that he wants to be a video game designer is going to be successful? The answer to that question is “Pretty darn low.” Correct me if I’m wrong, but thus far, there hasn’t been anything indicating that Sorata chose to be a video game designer because he was playing to his strengths- it just seems like a fanciful, arbitrary decision on his part- and it simply isn’t very realistic to assume that someone who chose his career without thinking about his strengths will actually be talented enough in his chosen field to be successful at it. There are an innumerable number of things that people could possibly decide to do with their lives- and in the vast majority of instances, a dude who chooses his path at random isn’t going to pick the right one- it is highly unlikely that a random choice will lead to a path which plays to his talents, allowing him to excel at it. Nothing’s impossible, of course, but if the author’s goal is to inspire people to chase their dreams, he should probably also show them a realistic way of doing it…

    1. Well he didn’t suddenly “find his dream”, he always wanted to be a game designer but he decided that it was “impossible” and didn’t even try.

      Going to college while learning programming in his free time is a pretty “realistic” way to follow his dream of being a game designer.

      1. “Unrealistic” not in the sense that it is uncommon, but “unrealistic” as in probabilistically impractical. The gold-to-garbage ratio of first-time indie titles on Steam goes something like this: for every couple of decent titles that are released, there are another 10 or so that are utterly awful. In other words, most of these first-time game designers have no business whatsoever making a game- simply because they aren’t talented enough at the right things to succeed in this field, the vast majority of these stooges being people like Sorata who “had a dream of making a game” and learned programming during their spare time.

        My point is that if ten people “chase after their dreams” blindly without stopping to consider where their talents lie, something like nine out of ten of these people are simply setting themselves up for failure, because the odds that any one person actually has some real talent in an arbitrarily chosen field is very low. Whereas if these ten people carefully considered their talents within the context of their passions and interests before choosing something to do with their lives, the likelihood that every individual would end up going into a field where he/she is capable of success is much higher; it’s simple statistical mathematics.

        Sure, plenty of people do what Sorata did. But something doesn’t become a good practice just because “a lot of people do it”- just like how the fact that plenty of people smoke doesn’t make it good for you. People like Sorata are directing all their endeavors towards achieving a childhood dream- one that was conceived long before they developed the maturity requisite to understanding their own strengths and weaknesses; what they are doing is hedonistically foolhardy. They are following their passions without considering whether they might actually stand a chance of success.

        Chances are, they don’t- probability dictates that you’ll end up with a Jonathan Blow or two every once in awhile, but probability also dictates that most of these reckless start-up indie programmers are talentless in their chosen field and ultimately doomed to fail. The negative social implications of people blindly “following their dreams” are twofold: one, industries (like gaming) get flooded with cr*p because lots of talentless stooges who shouldn’t be in the business at all are trying a hand at it, and two, a gross misallocation of human resources occurs because other industries are deprived of real talent that has foolhardily gone elsewhere to chase after empty dreams…

      2. It’s choosing your dreams based on cold, hard logic, to put things simply, rationalism. Everyone can chose what to do with their lives; people have a choice- and by my definition of a “dream” the thing that they choose is their “dream.” It’s throwing away the reckless hedonism of youth an growing up into the realistic world of adulthood- the world is very competitive, and in order to give yourself the edge you need succeed, your passions and talents must be aligned.

        This often means giving up the silly, ability-incompatible dreams that you had as a child and replacing them with something that is more suited to you personally. Little Johnny loved comic books- so he had always wanted to be a comic book artist. But he was horrible at art; his art teacher once commented that the cow he had drawn “looked like a dog”- he simply had no talent whatsoever at drawing- and when he got older, he realized that his childhood dream was entirely infeasible. And so he gave up on that dream- but chose a new one, one that was ability-based and therefore more realistic; he was great at math, so he chose to become an engineer- it has been twenty years since and Johnny now holds a senior management post at Northrop-Grumman. See where I went with that? Johnny would never have attained his current success if he had gone into the comic book industry, he simply didn’t have the requisite talent to succeed there- but by realistically re-examining his own talents and choosing a new dream, he guaranteed his (eventual) success.

        And sometimes it doesn’t involve scrapping the entirety of your childhood dream and coming up with a new one- depending on your talents of course. Occasionally someone is lucky enough to have a childhood dream that is entirely compatible with his/her talents, but these folks are few and far between. Most people who are able to somehow (partially) cling to their childhood dream do so by taking creative liberties with it. Sam was always fascinated with technology and wanted to be an engineer- but he was terrible at math. He was good at writing and speaking, though- so Sam gave up on engineering and became an intellectual property lawyer instead- and eventually became the head of the legal department at a large technology firm. See where I went with this? Sam’s dream was born of his passion for technology; when he realized that he would never make a good engineer, he got creative with things and simply chose a new profession within the context of his passions that was more suited to him- he didn’t give up his childhood dream entirely because he still ended up working with technology…

        If people would only set aside emotion and embrace the clarity that cold, hard rationalism provides, I am certain that many would be living happier, more fulfilling lives- liberated from the inescapable mire of empty dreams into a new world where (a measure) of success is an (eventual) mathematical certainty…

      3. Up until this point there has been no indication that Sorata is suited or unsuited to making games. The best way to determine this is to actually try to start making games and see how it goes.

        It’s perfectly reasonable.

      4. I think by the time you’re in your late teens you should have a pretty good grasp of where your strengths lie- and with this information most people should at least be able to divide potential career paths into two generalized categories of “nonsensical” and “feasible.” And with that much information at hand, it becomes folly to randomly “try a hand” at something just because you may “like” it- because it is evident that there are things you would never succeed at.

        When I graduated from high school, I knew that scholarly things fell into the “feasible” category for me, and that the visual arts fell into the “nonsensical” category because I can’t do visual art to save my life. Now, I really like animation, which is evident from the fact that I watch a lot of anime- and Sorata arbitrarily choosing to make video games simply because he enjoys them is a lot like what would’ve happened if I arbitrarily chose to go into animation just because I like anime. If interest is the only factor influencing someone’s choice of career and everything else is ignored, then he’s clearly being irrational- most of the time, we do indeed have information that precludes us from pursuing certain interest-related career paths, and ignoring that information to try a hand at something you’re clearly bad at is rather foolish.

        Pity that most teens don’t have the maturity to set their hedonistic impulses aside, although they clearly have the mental capacity to make rationalistic decisions. Sorata’s decision to become a game designer may in fact not be completely arbitrary- he may have actually put some thought into it and considered his strengths- off camera- which is problematic because even if the author intended that he did think about it, the way it is portrayed makes it appear like he just decided to do it on a whim. Sure, nothing’s indicated thus far that Sorata can’t make games, but it’s important to show that there has in fact been precedent indicating that he can– so that his decision to go down this career path doesn’t look impulsive and arbitrary, misleading impressionable teens into thinking that choosing a career path based on interest alone is (somehow) a wise thing to do. Even if the author of the light novels didn’t actually anticipate that the structure of his plot would cause this effect, it confounds his original intention of inspiring more young people to succeed at their dreams by misleading them into believing that interest is the only factor to be considered in choosing a dream…

      5. Oh? So what exactly is required to become a “game designer” then?

        It’s not really like art. Art something everyone has done from the age of 3 so it’s pretty easy to determine by high/secondary school whether or not you are good at it, on the other hand, most people probably wouldn’t start programming until college, let alone high/secondary school.

        As I mentioned before, I don’t think Sorata decided to become a game designer on a whim. It something he always wanted to do but didn’t think that he could because he wasn’t “good enough”. The reason he never brought it up was because he was trying to “throw it away” because it was an “impossible dream”.

      6. Oh? So what exactly is required to become a “game designer” then?

        Quite simply, what you need to be good at programming is a knack for formal logic; any high-level programmer (don’t ask a schmuck) will tell you that complex programming is all about being able to make logical connections- and as it turns out, doing math also relies heavily on one’s ability to understand formal logic- so mathematical ability is a good indicator of whether a person will make a decent programmer. And math is done at literally every level of education.

        It something he always wanted to do but didn’t think that he could because he wasn’t “good enough”. The reason he never brought it up was because he was trying to “throw it away” because it was an “impossible dream.”

        If what you said is true, then it makes things even more unrealistic because now it sounds like he knows that he’s bad at it, but is recklessly deciding to pursue it anyways. Whatever the case, he’ll probably succeed regardless because it’s that kind of show…

      7. Quite simply, what you need to be good at programming is a knack for formal logic; any high-level programmer (don’t ask a schmuck) will tell you that complex programming is all about being able to make logical connections- and as it turns out, doing math also relies heavily on one’s ability to understand formal logic- so mathematical ability is a good indicator of whether a person will make a decent programmer. And math is done at literally every level of education.

        You can be bad at math and good at programming or good at programming and bad at math. On the other hand, it’s quite difficult to be good at art if you are… bad at art.

        If what you said is true, then it makes things even more unrealistic because now it sounds like he knows that he’s bad at it, but is recklessly deciding to pursue it anyways. Whatever the case, he’ll probably succeed regardless because it’s that kind of show…

        He’s got a big inferiority complex. Being a game design is something “amazing” he’s not “amazing” so he can’t do it.

      8. You can be bad at math and good at programming or good at programming and bad at math. On the other hand, it’s quite difficult to be good at art if you are… bad at art.

        That simply isn’t true. You can be bad at math and be a programmer, yes, but you’ll never be a good programmer because to truly excel you need a strong comprehension of formal logic, which incidentally is also central to being good at math. So if you’re good at math, then you are also necessarily good at formal logic, which in turn gives you talent at programming- see the connection? Without a strong comprehension of formal logic as a programmer, you’ll always be at the center-to-bottom of the pack. If you’re the type that considers mediocrity to be success, then I guess all’s good an well, but I don’t think very many people are like that.

        Logical ability is to math and programming what reaction times are to sports and pro gaming. If you have poor logical faculties, it is extremely unlikely that you will be good at math and programming because both of these fields depend heavily on you being able to make logical connections. Likewise, if you have poor (slow) reaction times, it is extremely unlikely that you would be able to perform at a pro level in both sports and gaming because both of these things require you to be able to make quick, split second decisions.

        He’s got a big inferiority complex. Being a game design is something “amazing” he’s not “amazing” so he can’t do it.

        Taken in that context, it does make sense. However, why a person would put himself down like that without some kind of traumatic childhood experience is beyond me…

    2. Addendum

      Up until this point there has been no indication that Sorata is suited or unsuited to making games.

      As is clear from the first paragraph above, by the time you’re Sorata’s age (late teens), there almost always has been some kind of indication as to where your talents lie, unless you’ve been locked up in a basement for all your life or something. And if you have that kind of information, it immediately becomes irrational to decide to try a hand at something (choose a career) based on interest alone- which is what makes Sorata’s decision seem unrealistic (In the manner that it is portrayed)…

    3. It’s choosing your dreams based on cold, hard logic, to put things simply, rationalism.

      There’s nothing rational about dreams,rationalism should have nothing to do with choosing them.Choosing to follow them though is another story.

      I really want to comment further but I’m scared of spoiling too much but believe me the novels do have a “reality check” at one point,the message definitely isn’t “follow your dreams and everything will be alright”.

      1. …the novels do have a “reality check” at one point,the message definitely isn’t “follow your dreams and everything will be alright.

        Kudos to the author then for having some common sense. Although whether the anime actually gets to that point before it ends or leaves things on a misleadingly idealistic note is another matter altogether…

      2. Oh, in case anyone thinks I went batsh*t with passion here (which is what it probably looks like) I didn’t; my true personal beliefs don’t go either way- I just latched onto something in the show that I thought would be controversial enough to generate some good discussion on the matter (bcz I was bored…XP). Many thanks to moridin84 and totoum for participating; it was fun…;)

  22. I like this show, it started off slow. Now we’re going somewhere. I feel with Sorata, that he’s inferior to Shiina. Shiina seems like she already accepted Sorata as her lover. Sorata seems to want to reach her level of talent first before confessing.

  23. *counts the number of thumbs downs*
    Less than 5 over 100 comments O.O Not as common of a sight in randomc these days.
    That said, I’m amazed how well wrapped up and how contained the emotional roller coaster is over 4 episodes that started with comedy, just like what Kira526 above thinks. Reading the manga that’s been translated so far, I would’ve never guessed.

    I’m quite surprised how empathetic Jin is to Sorata though, that he’s really putting himself on the same level as Sorata, even though Sorata envied him before, as if saying that in that issue, he’s no better than Sorata.

    There’s still a lot of episodes left.. I’m hooked to the show now; it already satisfied me – what more would it bring?

    1. “*counts the number of thumbs downs*
      Less than 5 over 100 comments O.O Not as common of a sight in randomc these days.”

      probably because most of the negative commentators like this show and the rest doesn’t bother watching(or commenting on) shows they don’t like.

  24. wow, what’s with the sudden augmentation in the number of comments!? the reviews of previous episodes barely generated more than 50 comments and now we’ve got twice as that? i guess the superb quality of this episode really drew people in, huh….

    i know this is a minority opinion, but don’t u think it was selfish of shiina to tacitly force Sorata to stay? i mean perhaps Sorata already had a life outside Sakurasou so didn’t she think she should just let Sorata off the hook as opposed to keep him in the leash? (i mean, i personally wouldn’t be touched by Mashiiro’s interpretation of the storyline she summarized in the manga, since she should look at things on Sorata’s perspective…)

    there is also one other thing i’m confused about….did Sorata really hate Sakurasou because of his inferiority complex or because he genuinely didn’t like the place from the beginning? I mean since the first episode he complained about not wanting to be there because it’s the place he didn’t belong in but now he wanted to stay because he had gotten over his issues. Didn’t he forget the genuine reason why he wanted to take off from the dorm?

    1. I also think Shiina’s selfish, but that is developed into her character. In fact, the charm point is that her selfishness involves another person, as before her selfishness only involve her own self, because she doesn’t really value others as much, due to her *different* train of thought.

      And regarding ‘did Sorata hate Sakurasou’ – what was the real reason he want to leave the place? The reasons were superficial, such as living in a place ‘full of weirdos’ and the inferiority complex actually comes a bit later, because at first he doesn’t even view them as amazing, just weirdos (as one say, there’s a thin line between a genius and a madman).

      So pretty much this episode is trying to answer your question – did he really have that strong of a reason to leave Sakurasou, or was he just making excuses? And what was he excusing himself for? For being inferior, or for having to live in a place full of weirdos etc? At first, Sorata was categorized as a weirdo also because of his obsessiveness with taking care of cats.

      The story pretty much forces Sorata to try to do a self introspection of what he wants, what he can do, and what he will do. He has been portrayed as a confused person.

  25. I’d love to work in animation and be an international music artist at the same time. That’s my unreachable but could be reachable dream. Now if only the reality around me wasn’t so depressing.

    Back to the show:
    This anime has given me back my motivation that I’ve lost in 2011. Something about Sorata’s indecisiveness and his empty dream of leaving Sakurasou seems self relevant and make me want to see how he’ll get through it.

    Azul Flamed Samurai
  26. …the novels do have a “reality check” at one point,the message definitely isn’t “follow your dreams and everything will be alright.

    Kudos to the author then for having some common sense. Although whether the anime actually gets to that point before it ends or leaves things on a misleadingly idealistic note is another matter altogether…

  27. Has anyone noticed that in the beginning of the opening, the door that Sorata runs through opens in the opposite direction to all the other doors that the rest of the characters come through. Sorry if someone has noticed this before, but it intrigues me as to what people think about this. Overall it is a nice touch to mark him as out of place.

    1. In fact on closer inspection the doors seem to be paired from the center out; Sorata is paired with Shiina and Misaki is paired with Jin. Also, the door with no-one behind it is a nice touch for Ryūnosuke the shut in.

  28. Thanks so much regarding giving me personally an update on this matter on your web site. Please understand that if a fresh post appears or when any alterations occur with the current posting, I would be interested in reading a lot more and focusing on how to make good utilization of those techniques you talk about. Thanks for your time and consideration of other men and women by making this website available.

  29. Classic J.C Staff at their best. As a fellow game designer wannabe, watching Sorata struggles to stay on line of his dream is a pure joy.

    Also, “it’s hard to understand how extroverts can so effortlessly wade into a crowd and chat them up like it’s no big deal” < lol, bullseye. This made me curious to hear (read) about your introvert-related struggles :p


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