「ミコ, ダンピツセンゲン」 (Miko, Danpitsu Sengen)
“Miko Quits Writing”
Who would’ve thought that this anime would have the episode title act as part of a mid-episode gag?
This episode was effective in displaying the show’s duality in its definition of evil; the student council’s efforts to thwart the anime club, and the predatory nature of anime production. Animegataris has been more skewed towards the idealistic “anime fans is the ultimate life-forms” mentality, but they tackle how soul-sucking creating anime can be, As the club tries to spark magic with their own version of the Daicon shorts, they run into the standard problems that many people are finding with anime production.
Miko gets the brunt of the pain as her position as the screenwriter is draining, and her work is retooled and butchered until it’s barely unrecognizable, giving her incentive to perform this episode’s namesake by giving up. At the same time, Erika takes on the role of a sleazy anime producer who aims to encourage the overworked staff to keep working for the sake of getting everything wrapped up. Arisu’s butler Sebas is seen as overworked after having created a full PV for an anime concept Arisu came up with. The voice-over process is tedious in its need to get every inflection down to a T with no corners cut. The strain is real on most of the staff even if the tone is still light-hearted enough to not incorporate other seedier aspects of the industry like underpaid, outsourced workers/animators and such.
On the flip-side, the student council is getting more and more aggressive in their campaign to eliminate the anime club. The goal post is moved so far by the student council that they’ve made it so that it’d be virtually impossible to get accomplished by cutting off other clubs from working with the anime club. They also shifted the location of their anime presentation to the field where they must fill the stands or else face elimination. Tsubaki was absolutely sinister in this episode, and I loved it. She waited until the end of the episode to put up the largest middle finger in the face of the anime club, and laugh straight in their faces as she gets closer and closer to killing the anime club. The way her eyes shifted into a deep crimson and her grin widened with the elation of ending the anime club was a treat that was hard not to revel in.
There were also hints at what the series tried going for around the beginning as Minoa stumbles across the storyboards for the anime she dreamt about enjoying as a kid. However, Kouki is giving a very suspicious glare her way as she finds the empty room containing the art from her dream anime. The cat’s warnings against opening up the contents from the old anime club could point towards the possibility of the old anime club’s work becoming the Pandora’s box that could cause a heap of supernatural-flavored trouble for the club. Where it goes from here, and whether the club will be disbanded for good are anyone’s guess at this point.