Regardless of whether or not I was on #TeamUtaha before, this ep would’ve made me join that team in a heartbeat. Yes, Utaha took center stage in this ep and totally stole the show. I had so much fun watching, rewatching and reviewing this ep and it put up some huge points in the battle to see what will be my anime of the season.
Here’s my review!
Before we arrive at the hot and steamy parts, there are important details to clear up first. As much as I loved the core part of this ep, the opening bit was extremely helpful as it finally shed the light on Aki and Utaha and how things came to be. In retrospect my general theory was way off, as they quite frequently seem to be, but there were a few small parts that I might consider saying were “close” to what actually happened.
To recap quickly from last week: Aki and Kato were out on a date at the newly opened mall. Their day starts off slow but builds into something really amazing and it made Aki realize something too. Leaving Kato there at the mall he ran off in search of Utaha as there was a matter he needed to settle.
The history between these two characters is finally brought to light through flashbacks; after first meeting Utaha at a book signing event, Aki expressed his undying love for her work and how he couldn’t get enough of it. His words left an impression on Utaha who would then go on to tailor her books to win his praise. Fast-forward to when Utaha’s completed the last book in the series, she offers Aki the chance to read it first to see if it’s everything he wanted and then some. But hold on, there’s one problem here. Aki doesn’t want to read it. Why?
Honestly I can understand where he’s coming from in this regard. While Utaha never said his ideas inspired her to make the book to his liking, she wanted to let him experience this by reading it to see if it was the best ending for the story. Now while it’s good to have another person’s opinion on something, there is a limit to how far you take that. Yes Utaha wanted to give him the story he always wanted, but Aki wanted it not to be something to just make him happy, rather for it to be the story that Utaha wanted to create and is happy with. Considering how much Aki loved the previous book and they had no input from him, had Utaha stayed her original course with the story would it still have made him happy?
Personally I think Utaha’s story would’ve been just fine had she not tailored it to impress Aki. She clearly had things all planned out as writing a series of books shouldn’t just be one then think of a new plot for the next book, rather it should be a single story that spans the length of a few books (same with movies). How I’d approach this is have a general overview of your plot and key events that you want to have happen, then work them into the books and adding in the details as they become clearer. True the story and characters will grow as you begin the writing stage and are working through it, so while it might not be 100% exactly like you planned it to be, there still should be some room for changes to be made here and there. Utaha at this point knew how she wanted to end that story, she confirmed that part, so while there would still be room to modify things to win over Aki, from what he was going on about it sounded like there were quite a few central points he thought should go differently. As Utaha would explain at the end of the ep, she had to rewrite the ending of the story (multiple times too) just to suit his needs and to make him happy; she also mentions how much stress this put her under too. But Aki is just a fan and didn’t want to influence her creative process even though he inadvertently did, so that’s why he turned down her offer saying her story should have the ending she wants it to have. So in the end Utaha took this rejection quite hard and since then hasn’t forgiven him. Now this makes the scene in last week’s ep where Utaha said “it’s happening again” have a lot more depth to it.
Back in the present now, Utaha and her editor, Sonoko Machida, were at the very cafe where she and Aki once talked about a year about on the story. In a classic maneuver, Utaha and Sonoko have left the building and Aki arrives moments later just missing them. Damn, so close! After looking all over for her he finds her in another cafe, this time in a hotel, but due to the rain Aki’s clothes are now soaked and he runs to extremely dangerous risk of catching a cold and dying, they get a room for the night as the last train has already left the station. From this moment onwards the episode becomes pure gold and it doesn’t let up at all.
While the whole scene spans the night at the hotel with Aki and Utaha sharing a room, activities are restricted to the discussion of how to better the plot of the game. That was the core of this whole sequence but what brought this sequence to life and made it shine was the sexual tension that ran throughout it. No I’m not saying this strictly based on the fact we have some absolutely tantalizing shots of Utaha’s stunning body, but just how this whole part is put together while at the same time not overdoing it as that easily could’ve happened. The focus is on how Aki’s date with Kato gave him the feeling of what being withshould feel like to the player of the game. The grand and epic scale of it all, the fight to save the world, the huge monsters, coming back to fall in love with her brother, that’s not what true happiness is to , it’s the everyday normal life and falling in love casually that makes her truly happy. That’s the game Aki wants to make and he knows that Utaha can write Kano Meguri in a way that will bring her to life exactly like that.
While it’s never clear how much time they actually spent sleeping, Utaha is up early later that morning at 7:45 and is on her way. After a long night of discussion, not only has the problem of the game plot been solved but Utaha and Aki are now on even terms once again. Regardless of them being on the same side now, Utaha hasn’t lost her sense of humor as she sends Aki a picture of her sleeping naked next to him earlier that morning. Ah what I would give to be in that position Aki was in for the night.
The post credit scene is also nice as it shows us back at the mall how Eriri “happened” to run into Kato moments after Aki left. Eriri was finally able to draw a picture of Kato with a genuine expression of annoyance. But even though she was looking pretty annoyed, Kato is absolutely adorable and I found this outward display of emotion incredibly cute.
So looking back at this ep, wow did it blow me away. By far this has to be the best ep yet. In particular I’d like to once again mention the hotel scene. All things considered the execution of that whole sequence was perfect as having yet another bout of overused sexual jokes would’ve just ruined it. Yes there was plenty of sexual tension in that scene, there are jokes thrown in here and there, Utaha’s boobs are shown jiggling around, but never in this part did they overdo it. They kept things grounded and not stupidly silly. Seeing a scene in which could’ve been filled with silliness played out rather normally is yet another reason why I love Saekano so much. It’s not another run of the mill cut and paste harem anime with all the usual shit attached. When I think about Saekano, a word that frequently comes to mind is ‘refreshing’, and personally not being a huge fan of harem anime, Saekano is a wonderfully refreshing take on that genre and it’s presented in a way that I absolutely love.
Another long review this week, sorry about that, I know I wanted to keep this a mainly pictured based review but once I started there was no stopping. So Utaha dominated in this ep and I hope this has made you reconsider joining #TeamUtaha now. We’re there and waiting for whenever you’re ready. If you’re also watching Saekano, what are your thoughts of this ep? Let me know in the comments below!
I’d also like to extend a special thanks and shout out to Joe for letting me use a few of his gifs in this review! Be sure to take a look at his review of the ep as well! Thanks man!
And I thought I should also mention UtaBō~ (@bouOTL) for a couple of the gifs too.
Up next we’re blazing it once more in Absolute Duo ep 7! I’ll cya Sunday for that one! Until then enjoy the bonus pic!
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