Saekano has been delivering week after week so far, nothing has gotten in the way of making this one of, if not the, top favorite of the winter season for me. As ep 7 starts off flying and it looks like it’ll be an Eriri centered ep, something happens that quickly derails the dynamics that have made me love this one so much.
Here’s my review.
After last week’s Utaha extravaganza I wasn’t expecting this week to top that ep but I actually would’ve liked an Eriri ep. Contrary to popular belief, I do like Eriri, but I just like Utaha more. Like mentioned this ep starts off really well and I’m enjoying it greatly. As we know, Eriri and Aki are childhood friends from back in the day, so naturally their interactions are quite enjoyable to watch. Eriri has called on Aki for help in completing some work for the summer convention, so it’s nothing too big.
Things quickly turn awkward as Eriri has Aki read some lines for what she’s working on, and it just so happens this scene they’re reading out is a sex scene. While they’re just acting and reading lines, Eriri puts 110% of effort into it, changing out of her “work” clothing and into a cute dress. She even puts her hair in signature twintails for this too. But what I enjoyed was how into this character she was getting and the passion she was putting forth in reading the lines. Whether it was all part of her plan or not, Eriri ends up being quite turned on by reading such lewd words out loud, to Aki of all people. Oh I wonder what was going through her mind as she read those words?
The next day at school Aki is giving Kato hell for suddenly changing her hairstyle. Personally I really liked the short hair she had before, she looked a lot cuter that way. Nothing against long hair and especially nothing against ponytails, but in this case Kato really should’ve stuck with the shorter hair. I know that we see her in ep 0 where her hair is very long and it’s even mentioned that she’s been growing it for a few months, but after being so used to her with short hair, the sudden change comes as a shock.
Aki of course sees this as a huge crime against humanity, or at to least against the players of his future game. Having the main girl suddenly change something like her hair is uncalled for, it shouldn’t happen. It’s among the “core traits” that a character can’t change. Once again Saekano cleverly flows the conversation of these core traits into focusing on Eriri and Utaha and the core traits they bring to the table. Eriri’s blonde twintails and Utaha’s long black hair are mentioned by Kato along with the tsundere childhood friend trait and “ultra-harsh senpai” trait that respectively belong to the two. But as quickly as this conversation starts and is rolling one way, the mention of a “little-sister-type kouhai” and what follows takes this anime in a totally new direction, and one that I’m so far not fully liking. Enter Izumi Hashima.
Okay what’s wrong with a new character being throw into the mix? I mean we’ve still got Michiru Hyoudou who has yet to make an appearance, so there shouldn’t be a big deal with Izumi Hashima here now. But there is, at least I felt this way. While we’ve seen Izumi Hashima in the OP and ED for the past 6 weeks prior to this ep, actually having her totally sends the dynamics into a tailspin. I really love how the anime has done the interactions between Aki, Utaha, Eriri and Kato so far, they’re spot on and I’ve taken a strong liking to this core group; so now enter another girl that has the potential to ruin everything and yeah it’s not cool to see. With only 4 eps left in Saekano though, I’m not sure how big a role Izumi will be playing, but just the fact she’s shown herself already has the tension turned up to another level.
What’s more is that there is another new character introduced, and this one has serious potential to really put them through the wringer. It just so happens that Izumi Hashima has an older brother, Iori Hashima, and what’s more is that Iori is a former friend of Aki. Now what makes this scene between Iori and Aki so interesting is that while they’re both die hard otaku, they each have very different views of the otaku world. Aki is there for the enjoyment of it all, collecting figures, manga, light novels, anime, running his blog and so on; on the other hand Iori is in it for the fame and status, or so it seems through Aki’s point of view. That’s why I said they were “former friends”, because their ideals clashed and Aki couldn’t stand how Iori conducts himself. But wait, is Aki any better than Iori?
When you look at it, Aki is pretty much doing what Iori is, minus getting fame and prominence. Aki is running his doujin circle and has two of the best creators working with him, while he himself isn’t exactly the most useful in the creative process. But regardless of how alike the two of them are, Iori still radiates a sinister vibe to him painting him as the villain and now the antagonist of the anime. Iori offers some insight into why he’s suddenly in town and it’s adding to him being the bad guy: he’s also part of a doujin circle, this one also featuring some massively popular people, and they’ve had an eye on Aki and his dealings. So what once was a group of people coming together to make a visual novel with Kato at the center, has now turned into a war against Iori and his doujin circle. The question now is: who will win?
All in all this was still a good ep, but the addition of the new characters, especially Izumi, has slightly derailed what I’ve some to love out of Saekano. True it’s still one amazing anime and I’m still surprised how much I’m enjoying it, but at this point I’m just wondering if 4 eps will be enough to wrap everything up? Think about it: Aki and company are nowhere near to even making some progress on the game, Michiru Hyoudou has yet to be introduced, it’d be nice to have an Eriri centered ep at some point, but now Izumi and Iori suddenly show up and throw a huge wrench into the mix. Even if Saekano was going to 12 eps (which it’s not, it’s only 11 eps long remember?), there still might not be enough to properly wrap this one up in time. So this has got me thinking: will there be a season 2, or at least the the second half of this in a later season?
I’m not sure how much material was adapted for the first 11 eps, but in terms of story now there is a lot more that has been added and that makes it harder to wrap up in such a limited time. I’ve looked around and so far I haven’t seen anything that points to another season, but at the same time I don’t want to look too deep as I’d hate to spoil myself. Regardless of whether or not there will be another season or at least the second cour at a later date, things are happening now and it’s taken this lighthearted, refreshing anime and suddenly injected some decent plot into it. In those terms I like it as the story has more life to it now, so I’m just eager to see where it’s going to take things next.
In a way my theory wasn’t wrong once again, I called for a little sister character and technically Izumi fits that description. I mean she actually is a little sister, not related to any of the main characters, but a little sister nonetheless. After 7 eps of Saekano, what are your thoughts of it now? How did you feel about this sudden plot twist with new characters added? Let me know in the comments below!
Up next I’ll be back probably on Monday with a review of Absolute Duo ep 8! I hear there are some swimsuits and good fan service, so I’m pretty hyped to watch it! I hope you’ll join me in the review for that one! Until then, enjoy the bonus pic and I’ll cya later!
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