Episode 0 Impressions: Saekano -How to Raise a Boring Girlfriend-

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Don’t you just find harems packed with panty shots and nudity in the first episode just lame?  That’s what a character asks in the first few seconds of Saekano while enjoying a nude scene in a bath.  A show that seeks to joke about content, while performing it. Classy, right?

e1saekanohowtoraiseaboringgirlfriend01Synopsis
Tomoya Aki is an open otaku who has managed to round-up a circle of girls to develop a doujin game at his private school.  His team, called “Blessing Software,” consists of a colorful cast: a light novel author named Utaha Kasumigaoka, who serves as the scenario writer; Tomoya’s childhood friend and doujin author Eriri Spencer Sawamura, who serves as the illustrator; Tomoya’s cousin Michiru Hyodo, who serves as the music head; and finally Megumi Katou who has been deemed the main heroine.

While taking a trip to get material for the doujin they are creating, the team end up taking turns getting Tomo by themselves.  Kasumi gets him alone to “act out” a scenario.  Hyodo gets him alone to play in the water with him.  Meanwhile Sawamura has a mental breakdown about being the token “Ignored Childhood Friend.”

e1saekanohowtoraiseaboringgirlfriend12After the group gets drunk and subjects Tomo to some torture, he is freed by Katou and the two take a walk together.  Despite being the designated “main heroine,” it seems her very quiet and reserved nature, in contrast to the group, makes her presence minimal.  Quite opposite to what Tomo desires for her as the heroine.  Almost as if he’s molding the girlfriend that his otaku creative genius wants.

Thoughts
I have to admit that, besides the obnoxiously haremish and fanservicy start, I quite enjoyed a bit that this show hinted at offering.  After getting past the character to character introductions of shallow harem elements, there was a solid chemistry that was addressed in its later parts.

The troubling aspect of this show is that its faults seem to be its bread and butter. e1saekanohowtoraiseaboringgirlfriend10 Going for a satire of harems, it chooses to play the typical tropes in order to make fun of them.  However, in doing so, it essentially is performing all of those tropes.  Being that they are tropes we already laugh about and have seen too often, it ends up serving no purpose.  So if this continues, it could lead to a very lackluster series of failed humor.

The concept of an otaku dealing closely with a harem of girls that aren’t otaku is nothing new, nor is the theme of designing a dating sim game while in school.  Except, I found enjoyment out of the main character trying to design some “perfect girl” to main his game.  A plain girl who seemed in far contrast to the loud cast they were with.

So the question begs: will we see more of the first segment of this show, riddled with tropes; or will we see more of the gold found at the end?  Knowing my luck, we’ll get the tropes.  I guess we’ll have to wait and see.  I guess I’m just really e1saekanohowtoraiseaboringgirlfriend11interested in what they will do with Katou as she seems like a cute character, even if a plain canvas when compared to the other girls.

As a side rant, I’m saddened to see yet another show that is taking tips from the studio SHAFT.  After the SHAFT-like mess in Yurikuma, we are met with A-1 Pictures doing the same with this show.  It’s sad to see, and I hope it doesn’t become a trend.  One SHAFT studio is enough, and the other studios need to find their own styles.  If I start seeing this stuff in Aldnoah.Zero, I’m going to throw my TV.

This show is streaming on Crunchyroll.com!

Episode 0: Fan Service of Love and Youth

Needs a second episode..

IMPRESSIONS VERDICT:
Bad Start, but has Promise

Pros:

  • Some good chemistry
  • Good visuals
  • Interesting concept underneath

Cons:

  • SHAFT color vomiting
  • Boring start
  • Excessive fanservice
  • Satire of tropes is still a trope

Impressions are based on a single episode and don’t necessarily reflect the series as a whole. Unless dropped, we will continue to give updates on thoughts and impressions of the series as time goes by.

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Co-Founder of OtakuSpirit.com and Co-Host of the OtakuSpirit Animecast. A huge fan of anime since the early 1990s, consuming over 800 shows. While he's late to the collecting scene, he's found a lot of joy in filling his DVD/Blu-ray collection as well as collecting figures. Once a week, he posts unboxing and feature videos on anime goods to YouTube.