My feeling that I got while watching ep 0 was one that definitely carried over into the premier ep. Saekano has officially started now and honestly I’m loving it more than I thought.
Here’s my review!
So if you watched ep 0 then you’ll already know the general story for Saekano. This time around we go back to the beginning, we meet Aki, Eriri, Utaha and Magumi for the first time and see how they all begin to come together. The only character we don’t meet is Aki’s cousin, Michiru, as she’s seen in the OP wearing a different school uniform. I’m guessing we’ll meet her soon though as she plays a central role in the story too. Side point here: I’m not sure you noticed this, but in the OP and ED there is one more girl shown there too, she looks to have red hair in twintails, I’m not sure who she is and where she fits into things, but I’m sure we’ll find out at some point. I’m kinda thinking she might be Aki’s little sister maybe, I’m only saying that because there isn’t a little sister character in this anime yet, so logically that seems like a good choice. Plus she also looks too young to be going to Aki’s school, and based on the fact she’s wearing a different uniform, that somehow means she must be his little sister. Either way I’m sure we’ll find out at some point.
A central point running through this ep that I really picked up on was the familiarity of another A-1 Pictures anime, namely the winter 2013 anime Ore no Kanojo to Osananajimi ga Shuraba Sugiru (commonly referred to as OreShura or in English as My Girlfriend and Childhood Friend Fight Too Much). Just taking a moment to reflect on OreShura, that and Sakurasou no Pet na Kanojo (which is actually a J.C. Staff anime and began in the fall 2012 season, but carried over through the winter 2013 season), were probably the two anime that really got me seriously watching anime each season. I know I’ve said I began watching anime back around 2010/2011, but back then I wasn’t really serious about it. For some reason though, even though 2012 was a pretty good year for anime (IMO) and I was getting into it a lot more, it wasn’t until these two came out that I really got into anime for real. Long story short, Saekano turns out to be from the same director as OreShura and of course the same studio too. To bring this full circle now, I really love the vibe running through Saekano as it takes me back to that winter 2013 season (as well as fall 2012 season) and for me personally it’s like I’m feeling that excitement all over again of when I really got into watching anime. Anyways, this is probably too personal to put in a review, I’ll continue on now. Sorry for that.
So like I mentioned at the outset, ep 1 of Saekano is when we meet everyone for the first time. We learn that Aki is also an avid A-1 Pictures fan from all the posters and figures in his room, and we learn that he’s working three jobs at once to support his expensive anime, manga, light novel, and visual novel hobby of his. These days, he might consider getting another job at this rate. Side point here: in the opening scene with Aki getting out of bed, there are tons of references to other manga and anime. Check out this pic for details you might have missed.
I can’t remember if it was referenced in ep 0 or if I’m thinking of the synopsis here, but either way Aki has the fateful encounter with a beautiful girl that changes him forever in this ep. I say “beautiful” because while I will admit I wasn’t exactly drawn to Megumi in ep 0, there is a charm about her that has caught my attention some more, enough that I’m looking at her more than I was in ep 0. Anyways, from this day forward Aki now has the idea to make a visual novel of his own. Ambitious plans just after seeing a girl once, but nonetheless he’s dead set on doing so. As fine and well as this plan of his is though, he can’t accomplish this on his own, he’ll need help.
Enter childhood friend and my second (bold and underlined for a reason) favorite girl of the anime, Eriri Spencer Sawamura. Eriri is a half Japanese half British girl who is among the most popular girls around school. She’s smart, beautiful, has long blonde hair in twintails, one of those little fangs (you know what I mean) and it’s mentioned and should be noted that she wears thigh highs as well. On paper and with a visual aid, she’s a winner for sure I won’t deny that at all. While all this is perfectly fine, Aki calls on her for her amazing artistic talent. While Eriri is a master artist in public, behind closed doors she’s actually part of a doujin circle where she draws very sexually explicit artwork. If Aki is going to make his dream of creating a game real, he’ll need her help. Eriri is quite the tsundere too, and while she turns down his initial request we know she’s not just going to back out that easily.
Up next we’re introduced to the best girl (bold and underlined for a reason too) of the anime, that being the amazing Utaha Kasumigaoka. Utaha is one of the characters I’m instantly in love with not only because she’s super gorgeous, but she’s got that personality type that I’m really drawn towards. I’ve also gotta say that I really love her voice actress too, Ai Kayano, as she’s voiced other characters I’ve really loved too. When you look at the extensive list of roles she’s had, I’m sure you’ll be able to pick her out from anime you’ve seen before. Anyways, Aki calls on Utaha for her writing talents; turns out she’s a very popular light novel writer who’s sold lots and lots of books. With her level of skill, and Eriri’s master artistry, they should have a solid team to work on this visual novel.
So for the most part this ep is us formally meeting Eriri and Utaha and seeing what they’re like. We’re adding more depth to them now, seeing more of their personality this time around. Hopefully we’ll get another chance to gaze upon their naked bodies like in ep 0, but I’m not too sure we’ll have that happen. Probably what I liked the most about this ep was the interactions between the characters. I’m still in the process of watching the Monogatari series, which I feel has some of the best dialogue I’ve seen in an extremely long time, but the dialogue between characters in Saekano is surprisingly good too. I enjoyed that scene at the end where Eriri and Utaha are both waiting for Aki in the AV room, their banter was really fun to watch. I really hope we have more scenes like this in the coming eps as I really do love watching an anime with solid dialogue. Just thinking back to it, ep 3 of Bakemonogatari really comes to mind as I enjoyed the hell outta that ep. The dialogue between Araragi and Senjougahara is amazing, I love it when these two converse as it’s always insanely fun to watch. I’m getting side tracked here again, sorry.
Anyways like I said (third time I’ve said it now), this ep is mainly meeting Eriri and Utaha as well as Megumi at the end and we can see how things are starting to take shape. As time goes on we’ll meet the other characters as they move closer and closer to accomplishing their goal of making the game of Aki’s dreams. So after 2 eps I can safely say that I’m enjoying Saekano a lot and I’m looking forward to watching more in the coming weeks!
Solid first ep of Saekano this week, Utaha proving once again why she’s the best girl, and I really love the OreShura vibe I’m getting from this as well. If all these signs are telling me something, then this should be an anime that I’ll thoroughly enjoy from start to finish. If Saekano is one you’re watching as well, what are your thoughts of the premier ep? Like it? Hate it? Best girl? Share your thoughts below!
Up next I’ll finally have the week late review of Absolute Duo ep 2. Now like mentioned, due to FUNi hardsubbing their releases (and because I just don’t like FUNi in the first place) I wait for another group to release the ep, that group being Chihiro. Now they’re a bit on the slower side, but I like them compared to the FUNi alternative. That said, as they’re aiming for a usual Wednesday or Friday release, that will greatly impact when I have the reviews out. If Wednesday becomes a more common thing, expect the review to be out Thursday night at the earliest; if their release is out Friday, you probably won’t see my review till Sunday as I’ll have Saekano to work on. Now as I’m not super emotionally invested in Absolute Duo, the delay won’t kill me; but if you can’t wait that long for my review then I’m sure there are plenty of other blogs out there that will have reviews out sooner. So I just want to let you know this in regards to the Absolute Duo reviews from now on.
Links for full size pics:
Enjoy this bonus pic now and I’ll cya next time!
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