Don't you just hate spoilers? I do, too. That's why I always try to include warnings. However, I sometimes ramble a bit too much here or there and maybe a few (or many) key plot points slip without me giving proper notice. So I'd like to include a blanket spoiler warning for the weary internet travelers of the world: Here There Be Spoilers. You've been warned.

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Saekano ~ How to Raise a Boring Girlfriend ~ (Saenai Hiroin no Sodatekata)

This is the first anime from 2015 I've had the privilege of watching. Woo hoo. 

I've been trying to stay away from the anime that have ridiculously long titles because those seem to draw me like a moth to flame, but I suppose I can't resist for too long. Saekano revisits the familiar trope of an awkward glasses-wearing otaku that wants to become involved with dating sims, but in this case the said otaku wants to create a dating sim rather than play "The God of Conquests" in real life. Surrounding him is what appears to be a harem. Using the talents of his harem he plans to make his dreams come true, but is his commitment to 2D women as strong as his willingness to create his dating sim with a bunch of 3D women?

His commitment and willingness will be tested. 

Aki Tomoya is our main character. He is the otaku that other otaku in real life wish they could be. Not only is his blog immensely popular, but he is associated with some of the most beautiful and popular girls in his school. As if this wasn't enough to create jealousy in me it turns out that these girls are also closet otaku. 

I really hate anime main characters sometimes. 

Kato Megumi is a girl that Tomoya encounters merely by chance, but it's one of those encounters that could only happen in a visual novel. Or in an anime. Tomoya knows this instinctively and this gives him the idea of creating the perfect dating sim. He wants to turn the girl he saw into the perfect romantic heroine that will win over the hearts of everyone that plays the game. 

The only flaw in his idea is that Megumi isn't an otaku at all. She doesn't even know the basics. Tomoya decides to take the imperative and introduce her to the otaku world in order to make her the vision in his dreams. He starts "dating" (or hanging out doing dating-like stuff to further his agenda with) her just so he can make her understand how he wants her to feel as a 2D character. 

Yes, otaku can really be this creepy. It's not quite as creepy as it sounds, though. It's kind of sweet... in a way only otaku and other weird people can understand. 

Helping with the written scenario is the mercilessly dominating Kasumigaoka Utaha, the student with the highest grades in the school that holds a secretive part-time gig as a bestselling light novelist. 

On the drawing front is Sawamura Spencer Eriri, a good schoolgirl by day that draws pornographic doujinshi by night. 

On the musical front is Hyodo Michiru, Tomoya's cousin... she's a very close cousin, too. 

This anime details how he assembles his cast of otaku-Avengers to create his dream.

As is only fitting of such an anime, there are many fourth walls that get broken and plenty of anime references to find. Plenty of double entendres and awkward situations, too. 

Naturally, I demand a second season because a run of thirteen episodes just doesn't cover it for me, but I'll have to wait and see. While the animation and music style is a bit "been there done that" for me I do admit the story isn't one I've seen too many times before. And I like to think I've seen my fair share of anime. 

No, this anime doesn't reinvent the wheel, but it does put some good treads on it. 

Highly enjoyable if you like the genre of "anime about otaku."

I watched this on Crunchyroll, my favorite home for streaming anime, and if you want to watch it then you could much worse visiting that fantabulous site. 

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