OP Sequence

OP: 「WASTELANDERS」 by 佐咲紗花 (Sasaki Sayaka)

「夢を追う少女」 (Yume wo Ou Shōjo)
“Girls Who Chase After Their Dreams”

Is it alright for an anime nominally adapted from a visual novel, about making a visual novel, to be so hyped about visual novels? Yeah, sure, they cameo some of my favourite titles, so I’m not going to disagree when they speak of quality tiers for bishoujo games—but then again, doesn’t that go for everything? I mean, Sturgeon’s Law? Even the Madoka example (which they notably couldn’t get license to use imagery from, by the way) actually runs counter to the point; Urobuchi Gen was evidently able to move to greener pastures than bishoujo games. Still, there is obviously some respect for the rarified circle of accomplished visual novel writers at work here, which is a fine thing in itself until one remembers that original author Tanaka Romeo is arguably one of them. Is Shoujo-tachi wa Kouya wo Mezasu just one big circle jerk?

By the way, on the topic of adaptations: ‘A script is made interesting by the scenario writer’s talent.’

…Guys, stop it.

To be fair, it’s likely that at a good portion of this self-gratification is intended humourously, channeled through the comedically serious personality of Kuroda Sayuki (Chisuga Haruka), the female lead apparent. This kind of context is important, assuming that we treat her as her own character and not just an authorial mouthpiece. To Shokomeza‘s credit, it does a fairly good job establishing some of its main players in this pilot, which was its main focus. So we can guess already that Sayuki is a fairly impassioned otaku. We know that the male lead, Houjou Buntarou (Yamashita Seiichirou) is a surprisingly good kid who’s skilled at bringing people together. And childhood-friend-type/ham actress Kobayakawa Yuuka (Hanazawa Kana) has an overbundance of energy, and is also going to get diabetes.

The great thing about this pilot is that it does all of these character introductions—exposition—more or less entirely without narration. As a proponent of the basic rule of ‘show, don’t tell’ I enjoy this naturalistic style more than something relatively heavy-handed. Take our protagonist Buntarou, for example. We learn about his diligent work ethic, his easy sociability, and his affinity with children (basically all shorthands for ‘he’s a good guy’) just by watching him live his life. And we know of his uncertainty about his future before Sayuki broaches the question because, hey, lookee. We could have easily just been given a voiceover along the lines of, ‘My name is Houjou Buntarou, I don’t really have any plans for my future but I’m pretty good with people,’ but that wouldn’t really be the same, would it? Sure, it’d be a lot faster that way and maybe the entire could have been established by now by that method, but it’d also lose a lot in elegance. I can definitely appreciate a show confident enough to take its time.

The downside to this slower pacing is that we don’t really have a clear idea what kind of show this is going to be. Yes, we know that Kuroda Sayuki wants to make a galge, but that’s merely the premise; I could have told you as much in the preview. The greater thrust of the narrative still eludes us—unless they’re really just going to spend the rest of the season on nothing but the technical details of making a game, but I find that unlikely. At any rate, I don’t think Shokomeza is, superficial similarities aside, going to be the same kind of show as Saenai Heroine no Sodatekata. Yes, Shokomeza is not above breaking out some straight gags, but it doesn’t seem like it’ll be a deconstructive comedy akin to Saekano (though I can imagine it doing some hard character studies, too). What exactly it will be is still, again, up in the air—there’s some talk of innate talent, of ambition, and of the wilderness waiting outside the warm cocoon of youth. However, I’m fine for now with the solid execution of this pilot (some animation foibles aside); just a pleasant charm and simple fun is enough to entertain, and also to whet the appetite. I have no problems with giving Shoujo-tachi wa Kouya wo Mezasu another episode or two to showcase itself. It’s likely you’ll hear from me again on it next week.


ED0.01 Sequence

ED: 「世界は今日もあたらしい」 (Sekai wa Kyō mo Atarashii) by 千菅春香, 花澤香菜, 明坂聡美, 佐藤聡美 (Chigusa Haruka, Hanazawa Kana, Akesaka Satomi, Sato Satomi)



  1. https://randomc.net/image/Shoujo-tachi%20wa%20Kouya%20wo%20Mezasu/Shoujo-tachi%20wa%20Kouya%20wo%20Mezasu%20-%2001%20-%20Large%2025.jpg
    She reminds me of KYH from AW. They’re both Kuro as well.. belatkuro approves.
    Chisuga Haruka is definitely a name that I’ll remember from now on given her performance here.

    So it’s an anime adapted from a VN about them making a VN. Except the VN isn’t out yet so it might as well be an original. And I’m sure the VN they’ll create will also get an anime.

    Sounds fun. Actually enjoyed the first episode and will look forward to more. I hope they get into the intricacies of writing a VN in the next episodes.

  2. Oohohohohohoho YIIIIIIIIISSSSS…. YIIIIIIIIIISSSSSSSSSS!!! Finally been waiting for someone to talk about this show and owwwwhh boiyh am I super glad that it was you Passerby! Splendid!

    Ahem, anyways… Here’s the ‘POFITs’ for this show. Click on spoilers (spoiler-free I can ASSURE you) to know more. I just do so to save digital space.

    Show Spoiler ▼

    Anyway, just to let you know Passerby, it’s ‘Shokomeza’, not ‘Shokomezu’, owh please do remember that fine sir, please do. And with that, Nishizawa out. Gotta attend my otaku friend’s (wife’s also an otaku) wedding reception. Will probably be back much later. It’s 0200 hours here in Malaysia after all.

    Nishizawa Mihashi
  3. This one is the surprise for me. I finally found the first show in this season that I really forward to see it every week. (I am a bit dissappointed with Phamntom Word and HaruChika)

      1. ….. Wait… Now, I know this might be quite irrelevant at a glance but… There’s MOVIES on STEAM!? WHAT!? WHEN!? HOW!? HUH!? But think of the bigger picture. Do you know what this entails- what this implies!? REVELATION! An epiphany has arrived. I am gomen for getting carried away, but seriously, think of the possibilities. If only we could just…

        Nishizawa Mihashi
      2. I’m quite a follower of VNs, I think I’ve read at least 30 through Steam now in 2015,
        and G-Senjou no Maou is among the most interesting ones..Censored though, Valve policy.

        Some big names you might know, that’s already on Steam
        – From Visual Arts / Key: planetarian, Clannad
        – Cho Dengeki Stryker
        – Grisaia no Kajitsu, + the spinoff Michiru VN
        – Higurashi Chapter 1 + 2 (Onikakushi + Watanagashi)

        Some big names that will be on Steam
        – From Visual Arts / Key: Harmonia + Little Busters + Tomoyo After
        – Grisaia no Meikyuu + Rakuen
        – Muv Luv Trilogy
        – The rest of the Higurashi series (?)
        – Highly suspected through a Steamdb leak: Danganronpa 1 + 2, and Steins;Gate

      3. Oh no! Why Valve, WHY!? NUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUU!!!!!!!!! Arrrggghhh, notwithstanding something like Huniepop getting censored, it just has to apply to every single thing on Steam as well!? Owh come on… Nishizawa is sad… :'(

        I hope there’s patches out there. I mean, it isn’t like I’m into viewing those steamy scenes and all, but, it kinda sucks when you’re paying full price only for the content to still be locked out despite the clear age ratings. Oh well…

        Nishizawa Mihashi
      4. Didn’t Valve start admitting Visual Novels in Steam since Analogue: A Hate Story? Very recommendable, by the way, although it’s not your usual VN (to begin with, it’s not even Japanese).

      5. Frankly, the stuff that’s being put out on Steam is practically a gold mine for anime adaptations. The problem is in finding the right people to adapt them, which would probably take years.

        Nishizawa Mihashi
      1. Hahahaha! damn that was so small I actually missed it! Sharin no Kuni, Himawari no Shoujo was also another hidden gem. Same creator as G Senjou no Maou and equally awesome

  4. I…surprisingly liked it. It’s got this restrained and dignified atmosphere that most VN adaptations often lack at. In most cases you would often see a bunch of obnoxious and hyperactive characters littering the screen with their overblown dialogues, but this episode grounded the characters just enough to have them speak and act like normal teenagers would. It honestly reminded me of Oregairu more than anything.

  5. There’s something oddly charming about this episode. It’s remarkably bland in its presentation, but the main trio felt like actual real people, talking and hanging out like real friends do. That’s not something you see often, and it was made even more obvious when the obvious ‘Anime Character’ appeared mid-way through. Overall, I liked it! I don’t think it will be near as meta or have the same sort of comedy as Saekano, but that’s probably for the better.

    1. True, I must admit it was refreshing to see the protagonist already having a small yet very close group of friends. They hang out outside school, drink a coke, talk about their hobbies and interests, and all of this in their normal clothes, not just the school uniform! You know, like real teenagers.

      Their spying on the couple said it all. They followed them, they realized it was a normal date and went back home. It’s so normal that it’s a twist in anime.

  6. I was wondering if Romeo Tanaka will play this straight or not, but judging from episode 1 I don’t think we will see any twist on the genre. The only question is that whether this will be more like Saekano or Shirobako -VN version-… Probably somewhere in the middle.

    Signs of confidence and experience in writing definitely exists (not telling but showing, natural flow of dialogues and people, zero amount of fanservice), so I will definitely on board. I’m still wondering what Romeo is aiming with this, but my guess is to show the inside of galge industry and the problem it is facing right now. Just look at the first episode, he’s basically showing that:
    1. Many galge are are stuck in garage sale level quality.
    2. They also show respected galge, which mostly are pretty old classics. The newest I can spot is Grisaia series.
    3. Now it is a wasteland.
    4. Great writers have branched out to neighborhood industry already (Including myself lol -Tanaka).

  7. I dunno why Sharin no Kuni is considered a “great” title. It had the same structure as G-senjou, every heroine’s route sucks dick except the main heroine because their routes end early and a bunch of stuff in the main plotline is unresolved.

    1. Nothing spoilerish, but since this is off topic I will put this on spoiler (I need to reply since it is one of my most favorite title, so well…)
      Show Spoiler ▼

    2. I personally more or less enjoyed all the routes (some more than others, of course), but mainly I loved its wit. Definitely some of the more interesting social commentary I’ve ever read, and this is from a visual novel.

  8. I think it should be mentioned that this is a Takahiro project (Majikoi, Tsuyokisu, Akame ga Kill, to list a few of his works).

    Which has one main advantage: It means that the male MC is a likable guy, instead of the useless wet noodle which is plaguing this genre like a blight.

    Certainly going to follow this one 🙂


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