Saekano S2 ep 6 – the side of Kato you didn’t know

Kato is my waifu so I’ll mostly write about her

[This may contain spoiler]

Sadness. Anger. Disappointment.

That’s what Kato might feel after everything happened around her.

Kato has been trying hard to open up herself. She even offered help to our fucking cancerous protagonist not once, but twice, when Eriri was in trouble. But for a reason, this bastard Aki didn’t want her help. And here is the fucking reason: He wants to keep Eriri all to himself. And he didn’t even realize it until it was pointed out.

Screenshot_93.png

So this faggot thought that he was the only “right” person for the job. He must be full of himself, obviously since he knew too well his childhood friend. And then he took all the credit while Eriri was happy as he showed up alone, proving to be her “right” person.

Although Kato sacrificed a lot when role-playing and helping Utaha, she didn’t even get to help this time. Worse, her effort wasn’t even recognized by this shitty MC until she had to say it out loud herself. She tried her best and this is what she got. Fuck.

In my opinion, this is the most heartbreaking episode so far in the series. In just under 2 mins, we get to see how cruel Kato was treated. The feel just hit rock-bottom.

Screenshot_94.png

Not like I’m much different from Aki anyway. I’d always try to solve everything by myself, I’d not ask for help even when being in desperate situation, I’d rather keep silent than talk about my problems. And after all, the one who is the closest to me – my girlfriend – suffers from the same thing Kato did. And I don’t realize it until much later.

Just how much longer girls can endure guys like this…

Saekano S2 ep 5 – Kato’s strike! And childhood friend

Now it’s Eriri’s turn! But that can wait, Kato comes first!

[This may contain spoiler]

As my previous blog post about Saekano, I made a few observations regarding the development of the characters in season 2. And tada! In this episode 5, Kato made her first appearance on her own as someone came and confessed his love to her (and as expected, she turned him down).

Screenshot_88.png

This alone proves that Kato is no longer her old plain, dull self – she started to make her presence better, especially after the night in episode 4 where she transformed into someone else and danced with Aki. Further into the story, her change was under the direction of Utaha and Eriri, but even they themselves didn’t expect that drastic change of Kato. Even more, Aki planned to reintroduce her into school after the Winter Comiket. How hilarious when someone gets to be reintroduced at the place she’s been there for a long time, hahaha.

So the reason Kato gave to the group when she turned that guy down is that she wanted to spend more time on the game project, if she dated him she wouldn’t have enough time for it. That reason may or may not be true on the surface, still it shows that she really values the time she spends with her group and enjoys it, and she’s super serious about it. She cares a lot about her friends, too, as it can be seen from this and the previous episodes. At this point I don’t think she has any feelings for our dense-as-fuck MC yet (not yettttt, or else I’ll rage).

Enough Kato for me. The featured character of this episode is actually Eriri, though.

Frankly speaking, this episode doesn’t have much interesting development regarding Eriri. We all know that she’s Aki’s childhood friend, and so the route is pretty familiar and clichéd. Eriri is trying to finish her deadline, she forces herself to be isolated in her remote villa so that she can concentrate on her work. Utaha later points out that it’s a fatal mistake of Eriri and predicts that she won’t be able to complete. So Utaha’s warning puts Aki under a lot of pressure as he is trying to find a way to help Eriri. Actually he’s so worried about her that he wouldn’t expect anything but her safety and well-being. That being said, Eriri wants to finish her work as it’s based on Aki’s very first original piece of work – the script for the final route of his game. She wants to make his dream come true. So she puts a lot of effort in it, even tries to go out of her usual style. Then Eriri gets too exhausted and becomes unconscious. A similar event perhaps happened once before when Aki and Eriri were playing together in that remote villa.

Screenshot_89.png

So in the next episode, we will know how Eriri would get her treat. I wonder if Kato would play another role, once again, for Eriri? Either way, let’s hope that we won’t be disappointed.

Thanks HorribleSubs for their hardwork that allows me to watch this great anime!

Sakurada Reset – underrated much?

When I first read its synopsis, I thought it is just some casual anime about supernatural powers. But it turned out I was wrong.

When thinking of supernatural powers, usually they are meant to solve any problems. However, they are far from perfect, they come with rules and limitations and their affects have much greater impact to the world.

And the most importantly, supernatural powers alone can’t solve anything. It all depends on how they are used.

Kei, our main character, possesses a special ability that helps him remember everything he has experienced – which itself isn’t really particularly useful under normal circumstances. He met a girl named Haruki, who has another special ability that allows her to “reset” the world to the past state – which itself isn’t really impactful either since things will still go on the same as before even after being reset many times. However, when Kei and Haruki are brought together, they have the ability to change the “fate”, or “future”, by resetting when facing undesired result and memorizing the experience so that when they redo, they won’t make the same mistake. This reminds me of Steins; Gate, Charlotte, Re:zero, Kokoro Connect, etc., just to name a few.

The first 2 episodes are the prologue that helps us understand the background of characters and their very first success as well as failure. Although it’s just a prologue, it’s already shrouded in mystery as Soma – an important character that brought Kei and Haruki together – committed suicide. Soma’s death marked the first time Kei being unable to solve a problem. The last part – part 3/3 – of the prologue was intentionally left out, perhaps they will screen it at a later time. It’s really a dramatic and intense prologue that triggered my interest in this anime.

Most of the time, the supernatural powers don’t seem to play an important role – they can be easily replaced by similar situations in real life. As such, the anime is much more focused on the core of the problem itself, which involves a lot of philosophy and thoughts about human society – what they desire, how they interact with each other, how they understand each other, etc. All these things give the anime quite a depth, which sometimes make it difficult to understand and follow.

Some say that the characters don’t act like that in real life. Well, it may be true, considering their special abilities they possess. The greater the power, the more burden they have to carry. Specifically in the case of Kei, as you can see, he has a great sense of justice and righteousness, but he doesn’t consider himself a righteous person as he has done some bad things. The way he thinks and acts is really similar to me to some extent. So saying the characters don’t act like that in real life doesn’t really make sense (though it’s limited only to my own experience).

Obviously, the anime is definitely not so refined and well made, but the deep meanings it brings about are really interesting and worth thinking of. This anime is not for everyone, many will find it boring and hard to digest. I can’t really explain how, but if you feel good after watching the first 2 episodes, then this anime is (maybe) interesting enough for you.

Saekano S2 ep 4 – beautiful!

Rusty pen back to otaku’s world!

[This may contain spoiler]

Saekano came back in season 2 and once again, it amazed me.

This time, all of our favorite characters have grown up and became more matured somewhat. Their game project is coming to the most important part and so, challenges arise. And during such difficult times, each character’s personality is portrayed with even more details.

So, what hit me the most this time is at the end of episode 4, when Kato and Utaha are talking to each other. Kato has transformed from a plain dull girl into someone who is much more perceptive and capable of understanding other – or perhaps, she already has this quality to begin with, she just didn’t get a chance to show before. I remember somewhere in the previous episode that once someone said “I hate perceptive girls like you” to Kato – it proves just how deep of a character she really is; a proud, smart girl like Utaha would definitely dislike being seen through by someone as plain as Kato.

Back to their talk, it seems that Kato discovered the connection between Sakuya – the main girl in Utaha’s Metronome in Love – and Ruri – the main girl in their game project, that they are all based on the real Utaha. And so they all share her hidden wish: being chosen by the protagonist (in both the novel and the game). I haven’t done any research but it seems that Utaha wrote Metronome in Love after an incident involving our dense-as-fuck main character. Utaha wishes for being closer to Aki (spoiler: she really shows a lot in the same episode I’m writing about, she even hints him sexually but her effort is still in vain), but she herself makes it impossible. Her personality and ego prevents her from lowering herself to match him, her being older and more experienced and successful is another thing to top it up. She’s also aware that she is competing with other girls. But more importantly, she’s afraid that if she changes, our MC would not treat her the same as before anymore. Perhaps it’d be better, perhaps it’d be worse, but the uncertainty is too great for her to overcome.

After listening to Utaha, Kato seems somewhat troubled as she doesn’t know how to help Utaha with her hopeless situation, probably. When she’s about to turn away, Utaha says that Kato may be able to resolve this problem. When Kato asks how, Utaha just smiles, probably it’s a hint that Kato may already know the answer without realizing it herself.

And so it comes to the most beautiful scene in the whole episode, or perhaps the whole Saekano S2 up until now…

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

If it’s not for Kato’s voice, I wouldn’t even recognize her. She completely transformed into someone else. She’s role-playing as Sakuya, Ruri, and also… (you-already-know-who).

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

And then they start dancing together while the duo artist – writer sit further away watching them. Eriri also draws the scene for the game based on Kato and Aki’s dancing. We do not get to see her face, but she definitely feels pretty jealous and frustrated there.

Perhaps this is the way that Utaha wanted Kato to solve her problem – to get her feelings to Aki. This also serves to get Aki love the characters he’s making even more (Ruri in this case), thus he’d be able to make his game even better. 11/10 for Kato’s acting!

Utaha gets too much of her sweet time in this episode. I wonder if Eriri would get the same treatment, though in her case of being a childhood friend, it can be even harder. Nevertheless, the scenery in this episode is perfect.

But let me talk a little bit more, about Kato – yes, Kato.

From the beginning of the whole anime series, Kato seems to be pretty unimpressive. Still, she plays an important role to connect every piece of the puzzle together. However, in this episode, I feel like she made a huge sacrifice when role-playing for Utaha’s sake. If I remember correctly, she has never ever made an appearance and an impression on her own. Every role she has played is directed by someone else. It’s just not herself. Yet she keeps doing this kind of thing, showing what she’s capable of and never ceases to amaze me, without asking for anything. Heck, she deserves much more.

And I hate this. I want her to make her own appearance and impression so that our dense-as-fuck MC can open his eyes and see what she’s got. I want her to show that she’s not just a typical plain, dull girl but someone extraordinary and beautiful. I just hope that I can see this in this season.

An experiment on social network

Recently, some of my friends on Facebook have posted something like this:

I truly can’t wait to see everyone’s response.
I think it will be interesting to see how we are all connected. Since life is not only made of photos, I’m going to get into the game called “a reunion of friends.” The idea is to see who reads a post without a picture. So, if you are reading this message, make a comment using a single word about how we met. After that, copy this message on your wall and I will also leave you a word.
Please, don’t leave a word and then not bother to copy the text. You’ll ruin the fun.

So, how well will it go?

Let me take an example from one of my friend: She posted a few days ago, after a day she got a total of 6 comments, from 6 out of her 800+ Facebook friends. Some other people cared enough to give that post ~20 likes. And that’s all she got.

I had thought of commenting on her post. But then I realized I didn’t really know her well, partly because I never really talked to her before except that one time when she asked me for some advice on travelling (to my home city). I was friendly enough to give her as much information as I know, even treated her to some street food while talking about it. Oh, and she tried to be thankful when she said she would treat me next time (but the time never came, actually). I was kinda annoyed at first, but since she’s a girl so I didn’t bother to react.

Some more background info about her: she was in my university class, she’s quite pretty, talented and open-minded, she looked cheerful most of the time, etc., in short, she was a typical college girl, and she’s been single (at least on Facebook) for as long as I could remember. Sounds good, right?

So this is how I would reply: “DN (my home city). It’s not a place where we met obviously, but it’s the only topic we’ve ever had a talk about.”

What do you think would be her reply?


Personally I think it would surprise (shock) her well and leave her with some confusion such as “why would this guy comment like that?”, “does he have any ulterior motives?”, etc.

– But hey, I’m not trying to get you treat me back, and I don’t even think that I’m really your friend. At most, I’m just an acquaintance.

And so I didn’t comment, yeah.

(I’m trying to protect world peace, be grateful!)


Actually something like that post isn’t a bad idea. It’s just too much of a hassle when you try to call out your friends – actual friends – on Facebook like that. Most of the time it doesn’t work. Lazy people like me will just skip it, even if I do consider that person as a friend. And words don’t have as much impact as visual. And for me, friendship purely on social network is such a surreal thing. If my friend reached the ratio of ~6/800, I think I’d do way better as whatever I post can always reach the ratio of ~5/300.

Even in real life, it’s hard to keep in touch with my friends. Last time I had a 1-week vacation back in my home city, but the number of friends I managed to meet was nowhere near 5 – I was trying to reach my friends through both Facebook and phone, but they all seemed to be caught up in something else.

I do care about my friends a lot, but I have neither enough time nor energy (and money) to actually reach out to them all. That leaves me with the expectation of return from their side. The best I can do is to maintain a few real close friends that I can hang out and share things often.

In this modern day and age, geographical distance is still a thing, you know.

What is reality?

From anime Chaos; Head, Chaos; Child and Steins; Gate series to Scott Adams’ blog, I’ve learned a lot of things about the reality I – or we – see. And what we see isn’t really what we see.

Most of us have quite sufficient knowledge that allow us to function properly in the society. The majority of that knowledge comes from schools and parents’ teaching. As such, we are able to work and interact normally and accordingly to our social norms. We are able to become rational and logical, leaving behind our natural instincts most of the time.

However, we are still biological creatures and we are prone to manipulation from outside. With the development of human society, power and money replace brute strength and decide our social position. Hungered for such things, many find ways to climb up the social ladder, for both good and bad intents.Social engineers, con artists, politicians, public figures, celebrities, etc., aren’t they the same? They all want to get what they want by any means.

All comes down to their persuasion skill. If they manage to persuade you, true or false won’t matter, you will still believe them – with or without your awareness.

For example, if you see a pink elephant in the room, but other people don’t see it, you will probably think that you’re just hallucinating. But if you don’t see it while other people do see, who are hallucinating – you or the others?

The answer mostly likely lies on the fact that scientists haven’t found any pink elephant yet. That is an easy case, but what if it’s not a simple thing that can be proved easily?

Let’s take another example: if you believe that there was no earthquake yesterday but everyone else believe otherwise, even the scientists, you might think that you just forgot or didn’t notice it (ignoring the fact that the earthquake might have NOT happened).

We’ve seen more than enough cases of scams where even the victims seemed to be willing to give away their money and possession, only to realize later that they did it. A capable hypnotist can even make a whole village believe that he’s been living in that village all along, even if he has never visited it. There is no saying that we will not face even more serious, large-scale troubles in the future, especially with the rise of neuroscience.

Without certain skills, how can you tell yourself that you’re not hallucinating?

Doubt and be ready to change. But too many doubts will make your existence suffer, too few doubts will make you fall prey to outsiders’ attack.

Saenai Heroine no Sodatekata Ep. 3

some thoughts on an anime episode

Re-post from my facebook some time ago…

The life of Tomoyo Aki, a high school otaku working part time to support his BD hoarding. With remarkable luck, he bumps head-first into, Megumi Kato, the most beautiful girl he has ever seen. Naturally, the meeting twists his life into a complicated torrent of relationships. Eriri Spencer Sawamura, his half-foreigner childhood friend who’s always valued her relationship with MC. Kasumigaoka Utaha, a cold, composed renowned literary genius who shoves everyone aside from our protagonist. What is this? An eroge introduction?
The tale of a small not quite doujin circle, but not quite indie studio’s journey through the tough territory of comiket and beyond.

(from http://kissanime.com/Anime/Saenai-Heroine-no-Sodatekata)

So, our main character, after spending most of his time on thinking about his game project, couldn’t think of anything. He went outside, to the place he met his ideal heroine before (in episode 1), hoping that he would get some clues. But there was nothing. He didn’t see “the blossoms in full bloom/ the hat flying through the air/ or even the heroine in her white one-piece dress standing atop the hill”. Just as he finished saying those lines, his heroine appeared again, in the same manner as their first meeting: the blossoms in full bloom/ the hat flying through the air/ a girl in her white one-piece dress standing atop the hill”.

Last time I watched the scene in the episode 1, it was beautiful but it wasn’t so special. But this time, although the settings were almost the same, it was so different and special at the same time. It was no longer a coincidence. The girl made it happen. She greeted him this time. Our main character blushed and got amazed by her appearance. She walked to pick up her white hat, gently shook off the dust on it, then walked towards him and put it on his head.

But what’s even more amazing is what she said; she asked him a lot of questions:

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

 

Those lines really caught me by surprise. I was thinking that it was definitely her confession to him. For a hard-core otaku like him, what could’ve been better? He was still in shock and couldn’t say anything. Or more like she didn’t let him have any chance to answer.

6
I didn’t expect this line, but who could say no?

This scene was the climax. Before the subtitle popped up, I had thought that she’d kiss him (or at least a hug). Instead, “Do I pass?” was all of it. I was SOOOOOOO disappointed. I’m pretty sure most people would think the same as I did. Nevertheless, this is for the story to continue.

I watched a bit more till the end of this episode and I knew that those lines weren’t her real confession. She did so in order to motivate him. But it was because she wanted to do it that it still has a lot of meanings. She probably thought that nobody would care about a boring girl like her. Yeah, she is definitely not the most beautiful, she has nothing special, her speech is monotonic most of the time. Despite all of it, our main character was the first one to actually do something with her: dragging her into his project, spending his time and effort to show her the world of otaku and making her commit to his project. Although she was forced to be in his project at the beginning, she gradually started to understand more. She decided to end her family trip early and came back to do all those things – because she wanted to do something for him. Had she not come back, our main character would’ve been at the dead end.

Of course she definitely had some feelings for him, or else she wouldn’t do a thing. And our main character – typical harem boy – wouldn’t mind. So a new route was opened for him, who would he choose at the end: his childhood friend, his senior or his heroine (and one more, probably his cousin in the upcoming episodes)? I’m eager to know. Well, but I think such harem wouldn’t end with a certain one.

I’m an otaku too (though not a hard-core like him), but things like this would probably never happen to me, LOL