Archive for May, 2017

Saekano Flat – 04: why Utaha can never end up with Aki

Wednesday, May 10th, 2017

This was among the best Saekano episodes I’ve seen, not because of the fanservice, but because of the actual plot progress of the series. It’s all the more heartbreaking because the series is supposed to be funny, but that’s the beauty of ‘light’ series: they hit harder because one never expects being hit.

I disagree with people saying that Aki is an idiot. Teenage males tend to have one-track minds. Even men, in general, tend to have one-track minds. Sure, most teenagers would focus into getting laid by a hot, buxom lady like Utaha. Aki isn’t like most guys: his one-tracked mind is focused on creating a successful visual novel. Despite Utaha’s charm, she fails to see what actually tickles his fancy. She relies on her body, on provocation, to lure Aki. But Aki operates on a sensual level, not a figurative one. He’s naturally reclusive by nature, and despite his passions, is respectful to the women he is surrounded by. That’s why most of them are comfortable around him: he’s so focused into his project that he wouldn’t touch them, even despite the fact that they’d want to be touched. We see how the women look and feel as omniscient observers: Aki doesn’t see Utaha’s face when she longs for him, or her crying inside his bathroom. We may think that Aki is an asshole, but he’s not. He just want to finish his VN, and respects Utaha as his senpai to ever think of her otherwise.

The tragedy of Utaha is that she fails to see his denseness because all she sees from Aki is the supportive, caring guy. He is, but he is also aloof because his passion is the completion of the VN. When she discovers his answer (which was, actually) to finish the VN without her, she tries her best to lure him in with suggestion – again, not very effective because Aki never saw her as a sexual being. Aki thrives in VNs because the text isn’t too heavy: he doesn’t need to rely on his imagination as much. Utaha thrives on prose because she is extremely imaginative. She will always be disappointed because parallel lines will never meet.

Katou sees through everything, however. And it’s shaping up to me that she, like Aki, shares his passion in seeing things through. At this rate, with her persistence, she will be the only one who moves his heart because she is the only one who could see what he sees: she wants to finish the VN first, even though she may be starting to like Tomoya. Ironic, right? But I think it’s telling that the second season is called FLAT. Katou’s going to be the most important woman in Aki’s life. That’s why she is the only one who can dance with Aki in the closing scene of the episode: she sees Aki for what he is, and he appreciates it.

What makes Megumi Katou beautiful

Wednesday, May 3rd, 2017

I was picking my brain on the reasons why I liked both Oregairu and Saekano, and I realized that the central reason was that Megumi and Hachiman are so similar to each other: they provide the stability in their fickle clique, and often act as the ‘catchers in the rye:’ they quietly struggle to make things work for their friends, and while the most perceptive among them appreciate what they do, it takes a lot out of them.

Maybe it’s also because I see myself in them. I’ve always tried to be impassive and unemotional, but at times that has come to harm me. I love how both Hachiman and Megumi act rather than speak, and actually do more than their peers. That was typified in the current episode of Saekano: because Megumi wanted to stop Tomoya’s wavering, and actually forced him to decide with regard to Utaha, she didn’t tell him anything but immensely helped toward the completion of the scenario. She hides behind her silence and sarcasm, but her actions speak a lot more than Utaha or Eriri’s words: she is dedicated to both blessing software, and to Tomoya.

That is why she’s among my favorite anime characters. She’s the silent protector; she’s the dark knight – and Tomoya is the princess.