「ツドエ, アニメガタリズ」 (Today, Anime-Gataris)
Episode 2 marks the grand opening, and possibly the grand closing, of the school’s anime club. One of the most enjoyable aspects about the show so far is how well it captures the experience of bonding and arguing with other anime fans. To be specific, when Miko joins the anime club, they experience their first scuffle with adversity. As a fan of light novels, Miko grew interested in seeing the scenes from her favorite books in an animated format. What she doesn’t appreciate, however, is when anime trim some of the scenes and give you a poor experience of how the light novels originally told the story. She’s admittedly abrasive about her opinions, but it’s understandable; anime adaptations can’t get all of the details that made the original work well. I get where Miko is getting at where you want to see how anime approaches the scenes you know and love from the books or games, yet also be cautious about having too much faith in an anime to capture everything that made the source material good.
Arisu isn’t having that! She immediately calls her out for acting like no one will be able to appreciate the anime if they don’t read the source material. The notion that you must go through the supplementary material to watch the anime is an annoying notion when some work well as stand-alone material. The ratio between good adaptations and the original material tend to skew towards the original novels/games, but Miko was going about her views in an elitist manner that set Arisu off until Minoa tried to get them back together before Miko walks out the door. It’ll be interesting to see whether their relationship ends up working out better because, for a moment, they were able to reach some kinship over their mutual interest in Re:Zero (it was funny to learn that one of Miko’s favorite characters is Betelgeuse)
They also formally introduced the rest of the club members with Kai, the school’s wizard, Erika, the normal-ish girl, and the most popular boy in school, Kouki. My favorite of the newer members is Erika because she looks like she’d be the most average student, but has a large enough power level to be interested in joining up, and being able to hold a regular conversation with Kai as he talks about his barriers and magical capabilities. If anything though, I’m skeptical right away with who Kouki is. We see his legs in the hallways while the cat is talking, and he calls people “koneko-chan”. I don’t trust anyone that uses that phrase to refer to women, especially in a genre-savvy show like this where the guys that use “koneko-chan” are the stock playboy characters who get punched out by the main guy/girl after a rescue scene. It also threw me off how shocked Arisu is that he of all people would grace the anime club because no one would’ve expected the refined, aristocratic rich girl to have been hardcore into anime either. There’s enough subversion about what type of people are in the anime club with the cast already, so it feels weird that people are taken aback. Then again, his idol anime T-shirt might’ve been a bit much.
The mysticism from the end of the last episode is in the back-seat this time around, so there isn’t too much mulling over what exactly happened with the beret. For the time being, the biggest obstacle for the anime club is the school’s decree to disband them at once. Additionally, I’m curious as to why Minoa’s dad was shifty-eyed about Minoa mentioning that she joined the anime club. Is he suspicious of the societal effects of anime, or is he secretly a fan? Was that his collection that he introduced Minoa to? As cute and goofy as the characters are, I’m looking forward to seeing how the unanswered questions are revealed so far.