「共ニ語リシ光輝[めいゆう]ノ裏切リ」 (Tomo ni Katarishi Meiyuu no Uragiri)
“Our Friend Kouki’s Second Betrayal”
Animegataris‘ meta game is too strong! It appears that being tonally all over the place was all part of the plan, and the universe’s gravitational pull towards becoming anime created a scenario where the characters not only start to manifest their origins within anime itself, but are aware of their existence within the show Animegataris. I lost it when the cast was outright saying that it needed to figure out what genre it wanted to be after all this time attempting to blur reality with fantasy. In many circumstances, outright admitting your show has issues and making a joke about it does nothing to fix these issues, especially when they’ve only recently established how reality can possibly start becoming dangerously close to anime. But this episode was much too fun for me to be completely nitpicky about the fourth wall breaking, and the show gets very playful with how it brings awareness to Animegataris as a part of their universe, from calling out the person responsible for the anime’s series composition to commenting on how explosions work within the universe depending on what tone they decide to go with at that point.
The meta humor was hilarious in this episode, but the funniest gags were in how the show toys with aspects of anime that are pivotal to story-telling and visual representation. Minoa starts to feel a huge lag within the time shifts as she comments that she keeps missing parts of class thanks to narrative jumps, or how jumps from afternoon to sunset are messing with her perception of reality. They also play around with some fun visual gags like how the aspect ratio of older anime causes Minoa to stumble into the black bars on the side of the screen, or the art-shifts from 60’s to 90’s anime for character designs. The fact that Kouki’s second betrayal is capped off with Minoa putting on Geordi La Forge glasses that have her see her “reality” as storyboards was a perfect way to cap off the end of the episode alongside Neko-senpai wanting to see Yui’s scene in the opening sequence again. I also never realized that I’ve wanted to see what a female version of Sebas would look like.
Kouki’s betrayal, meanwhile, tries to conceptualize all the humor of Minoa experiencing anime meshing with reality as relevant to the show’s plot. We finally see the bystander who received the magical beret as the mastermind of all of this anime craziness. It is a little underwhelming to see that he wasn’t that noticeable in the story, given that Kouki is a lot more interesting as a mysterious, prolific character who we find out is an anime character that escaped into the real world back when the Principal was in high school. It’s easy to get heavily invested in knowing who Kouki is when the reveals about him for these past two episodes have been mind-blowing, and with the next one highlighting Minoa’s descent into the madhouse Kouki had always dreamed of, I’m looking forward to seeing how Kouki could’ve made his way into the real world as an anime character.