After complaining for the past couple of weeks, Saekano finally (finally!) delivers the Eriri ep that I was looking for. No Izumi attached this time, it was just just Eriri. With a sexy dash of Utaha as well.
Here’s my review.
A brief flashback to the childhood days of Aki and Eriri really set the stage for this ep as these are feelings long held on to that are finally coming to light. A recap reminds us of Aki’s lack of acknowledging how Eriri felt about how exuberant he was to sell all 100 copies of Izumi’s books at the Summer Comiket. But as soon as these are quickly out of the way, Utaha makes a long awaited return and does so in classic Utaha fashion too. It’s quite noteworthy to mention that Utaha acknowledges her lack of any screen time in the last ep, a move I don’t recall ever seeing happen in any anime series I’ve watched. I believe the correct term to use here is: breaking the 4th wall. Look it up if you don’t know what I mean.
The opening bit following the opening sequence is the damage control session that Aki has with Utaha and Kato (both of which are over at his place once again). Relating his side of the story to the girls, mainly Utaha, it’s further clear that Aki really wasn’t thinking through what he said to Eriri back there. Most people usually have some filter between their brain and mouth that catches things that obviously aren’t good to say or at least not at that time; Aki’s filter seems to have stopped working here. It’s fine and well that Izumi has talent and can make amazing doujin, but to gush about it right in front of a girl that clearly has feelings for you and is trying her best to win your praise for her own work, isn’t a smart move. Damn you Aki.
Utaha also realizes that not only did Aki’s rash actions create even more friction in the group, but Aki could have also stunted Eriri’s ability to draw. Hmm, that’s going to make the game creation process a hell of a lot harder without someone to draw everything. So the next logical move is to fix the problem Aki’s created. It’s not going to be easy but if he still wants to become a game producer, then he’s gonna have to man up and start taking responsibility for his actions. It’s time to save the group now.
While we don’t get to the see the whole planning stage that takes place over night, we jump to the following day as Aki heads out back to Comiket to begin the operation to mend the void between him and Eriri. As was mentioned in the last ep, Eriri never attends Comiket, asking her parents to man the booth instead, so Aki goes to see them about something. Finishing up at that booth, Aki is off to see Iori Hashima, Izumi’s older brother. I’ll also get back to Iori later as I’ve got more to say about him, but as for right now Aki’s calling on him for his help.
As this is all going on we get quick cuts back to Eriri who is getting ready for some sort of formal house party at her place later that evening. We see her showering (not nearly as sexy as Utaha) and also dressing. While seeing an underwear clad Eriri pulling her thigh highs up was immensely enjoyable to watch, it wasn’t nearly as exhilarating as it was to watch Utaha put her stockings on. Man those few seconds were absolutely glorious. Just a side note, but I’d like to correct the statement I made in this tweet where I incorrectly said thigh highs when I meant to say stockings. I will say though that after seeing Eriri in such minimal attire, she does have a nice body. Not nearly one to rival Utaha, but she’s still good in her own way. Please excuse my lack of full size pics here, there weren’t any available when I was writing this review. I will update this when I find some full size pics though, don’t worry.
Okay so the second half of this ep is pretty much one very long conversation between Eriri and Aki as they try to mend the past. After a thrilling balcony escape with Aki dressed as Servis from Little Love Rhapsody (Eriri’s favorite character when she plays that game), the two end up back at the old grade school they attended when they were young. Things get heated rather quickly too; Eriri is of course mad at Aki for putting too much appreciation on Izumi rather than her, but she’s got a solid reason to be angry at him. We talked about that before, why Aki should’ve just kept his mouth shut but didn’t, so yes Eriri has every right to be angry at him. What I wasn’t really expecting was what followed.
Quietly apologizing to both Utaha and Kato (guessing this wasn’t part of the plan), Aki begins to let loose about something that happened eight years ago that has been bothering him ever since. Arriving at class one day back in elementary school, Aki and Eriri find that a couple boys have written “Otaku Couple” with both their names under it on the chalkboard. Aki is quick to action as he get’s physical with the boys while Eriri is quite shocked about this. Later on when Aki tries to approach Eriri to give her Little Love Rhapsody she refuses to accept it as she’s suddenly shunning him, not wanting to be associated with an otaku like him anymore. Surprisingly enough though, Aki actually remembers this and has been holding this grudge for the past 8 years.
What I found different with this is that it’s rare for an MC to remember something that’s happened back in childhood days. Sure it’s impossible to remember every single little detail, but 99.9% of the time (at least it seems that way) a male MC in an anime series will not remember some past important event like this that happened in his childhood, so he’s baffled as to why the girl doesn’t like him or something. Honestly I never liked that plot device, having an MC that forgot something important, be it his childhood friend, a promise, some token given to him, or whatever; seeing Aki remember a key detail like this while Eriri was the one who didn’t deem it worthy enough to give any focus to it, is, to me, another thing that Saekano has done differently than the majority.
I can side with Aki for this next part here as he goes on to mention how much Eriri meant to him back then and how everything he did was to protect his relationship with her (this coming as a surprise to her). Eriri’s side to this argument held little water as she was the one who turned her back on Aki, so I’m a bit confused as to why exactly she’s so adamant that he has to apologize to her because of all the tears she cried. Whatever the case, things go a full 360 and end up back with the original point of is Izumi better than Eriri.
Bringing this whole argument to a close now, I’m not sure Aki was doing this intentionally or his words were truthful, but he goes on to say that Eriri’s books aren’t good enough and Izumi’s are better. While Eriri protests that she put in lots of time and effort into making them, in Aki’s eyes they’re still not good enough. She’s got the skill, the speed and consistency, but she just needs to be “great” next. Resolving to do just that and be Aki’s Number 1, Eriri promises to do her best, but until she reaches that level she’s not going to apologize for her actions. *sigh* Just… let it go already goddamn it.
We end the ep on a rather humorous note as Aki’s finally come up with a name for the project, that being “blessing software”. What he hadn’t planned on though was that this loosely translates into “Megumi software”, Megumi of course being Kato’s first name. Oh Aki, you can’t catch a break. The after credit scene being Izumi getting an autographed piece of work from Eri Kashiwagi (Eriri’s pen name) with a note saying she’s not going to lose. Oh Eriri, always gotta have the last world.
So all in all this was a good ep as it finally answered some questions, but most importantly it was the Eriri ep I was hoping for. Izumi still made a few minor appearances in this ep, but Eriri was basking in the spotlight this time, even though Utaha had her moments too.
I said I’d come back to Iori later, so I’ll do that now; Michiru also plays into this as well. Here we are at ep 9 out of 11. Michiru is nowhere to be seen still and by the time we do see her, Saekano will be over. At this moment in time as I write this, I have no knowledge of a second season happening, so as it stands now Michiru is running the huge risk of being a very under developed character. Yes I know she’s in ep 0, but ep 0 wasn’t really an informational ep; we only learn very, very minor things about Michiru and the others. Kato, Utaha and Eriri each got decent time, a few eps as most, to really expand their characters and we really got to know them over time. Michiru won’t have the luxury to have much depth as there just isn’t the time left to dive into who she is, so on and so forth. I do have on a good word that Michiru will be in the next ep though, but even so the above mentioned issue I’m seeing isn’t looking like it’ll be fixed.
My second beef with Saekano is how it seems to really be holding back. Iori is a prime example of massive potential just waiting to be used. I could see that turning into another 12 eps of story as his group and Aki’s group battle things out in their quest to release a game that will take the otaku world by storm. As things are now I seriously hope there is another season because they can’t possibly leave it at this. I feel like I’m only getting half, maybe less, of the whole story here and it does bother me. But oh well, me complaining won’t bring about anything here. At least what we are getting is something great, and that’s a huge plus.
Extra long review this week, sorry if that bothered you. I really enjoyed this ep, lots to take away from and some history between characters finally coming to light. My sources also tell me that ep 11 of Saekano will be an hour long ep. So that’s something to look forward to as well. But you’ve read enough about what I thought of it, how did you enjoy this ep of Saekano? Let me know in the comments below!
Up next it’s back to magic school with Absolute Duo ep 10. I’ll also have a special Love Live birthday post coming up on Sunday for Umi. I hope you can join me in celebrating that. That’s it for me, thanks for reading! Enjoy the bonus pic and I’ll cya next time!
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