Saekano: How to Raise a Boring Girlfriend (Saenai Heroine no Sodatekata)

(12 episodes if you include this “prologue”)

What’s it about ?

Adaptation of a light novel series lampooning romantic comedy clichés.

Characters

This series follows the members of a high school club aiming to produce a romance videogame, including :
– Tomoya, the one dude and apparent “leader” of the club, the idea guy giving direction to the group.
– Utaha, the main writer (who also makes light novels on the side). Very sardonic and critical of the clichés of the genre, she’s quick to make fun of Tomoya’s terrible exposition in his narration and dialogue. Also aggressively vamping on him, with enough plausible deniability to leave him confused.
– Eriri, the main artist (who also publishes bestselling doujinshi on the side). A proponent of flash over substance, and thus in content conflict with Utaha. It doesn’t help that she’s Tomoya’s childhood friend and doesn’t like this newcomer macking on him.
– Michiru, the musician, an oddball who mostly stays in the background so far.
– Megumi, the one “normal” girl in the club, with no apparent artistic ability. She’s used by Eriri as a model for her artwork. Paratext indicates that she’s the girl Tomoya is actually interested in, and thus the “Boring Girlfriend” in the title.

This is a hot springs episode, with all the (lack of) plot advancement this implies.

Production Values

It takes some gall for a show to open with a gratuitous and very fanservicey hot springs scene, only for one of its characters to immediately launch into a rant against this kind of thing (with another very weakly trying to defend the practice).

Aside from this, it’s a decent-looking show.

Overall Impression

Hum. Usually you get this kind of thing as an OVA, not on TV before the first episode even airs. (Especially as it’s clearly set somewhere in the middle of the series, and isn’t a real prologue.)

But while this episode, by its very nature, doesn’t establish or develop the plot in any way, it gives a very good overview of the character dynamics at play here, as well as the metafictional humour it’s going for. And there’s quite a lot to enjoy here ; Utaha’s dry wit and trolling are the major attraction, and play well with the rest of the cast. There’s nothing particularly original, but the execution is strong enough to overcome my pre-release fears about the plot direction.

This must be the first ever hot springs episode I’ve ever found promising. That alone makes me think it’s doing something right, and pushes the show onto my to-watch list.

via [In Which I Review] New anime, Winter 2015.

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Jhiday

I've been kinda blogging about anime for years... but mostly on forums (such as RPG.net's Tangency) and other sites. This site is an archive for all that stuff, just in case.

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