What a unique way to tell the story – going reverse in timeline!
And with that, I will seriously be doing you a favor by looking at this episode in chronological order.
Before I go and do that, I’d like to comment on how this episode makes well use of anime original content once again. Hell, only the first 9 minutes are directly from the manga. Some are probably heavily altered materials from Girls Side and/or a third of volume seven. In fact I’m grateful for them showing us what Akane is truly like in person instead of letting Utaha tell us that she’s a ‘horrible person’ from her view.
It actually can’t be helped – this episode is probably seen is dragged by the readers of the manga and/or light novels. But to me, who can at least appreciate the work done to have the anime out at all, this is only proving to be better than a mere adaptation.
We’ve all been there; we’ve seen some real horrible light novel adaptations before. This is just not one.
The episode chronologically starts off with Kousaka Akane going bat shit crazy with her proposal making. Enough said.
It’s mostly business
Utaha’s editor Machida, offers her a new project of the game from Mars company (some fan-subs really mistook this for Maruzu but I’m sure you can see why!). It looks like even Utaha herself realizes about her double personality she even question Machida as to ‘who’ the game company wants. Specifically, they want Utaha’s writer side, Kasumi Utako.
Initially Utaha isn’t even a tiny bit pleased with the offer thanks to Machida bloating about how having her taking on the job means profit through and through.
So the truth speaks, Machida’s real reason for wanting Utaha to take on the job at all, is that the latter’s talent is not being used anywhere near its potential. But at the same time she also fears that a certain push may be too heavy for a very-soon-to-be high school graduate.
She also lets her know that she isn’t the one directly handing out the offer and the person doing it is “a person who knows everything there is to know about the doujin world and the industry.”
To Utaha, this is literally having a winning lottery ticket handed out to her; she only has to take it and wait to win. Akane is a famous mangaka by the day and her success isn’t to be questioned. To be even more real, this is also the same as if you’re given a decent (dream, perhaps?) job after years of working in an entry level occupation.
Seriously, who wouldn’t want this?
But the catch is, Akane isn’t only looking for her; after having played Cherry Blessing, she has her sights set on suitable writer and illustrator. It can only mean that blonde twin-tails.
Creator’s chivalry put to test
Utaha is seriously strong willed (almost on par with Megumi, for reference) and isn’t going to let anyone foil her ambitions. With that said, getting Eriri on board is presumably a requirement for her to be able to take on the job – so she does it.
It starts from this point on where emotions are being thrown all over places, mostly Eriri’s. It’s about time, I did tell you that she’s a Tsundere well made back in episode 6’s review. She’s no longer someone who’ll just scream baka at Tomoya for the sake of being archetypal.
Though, she remains true Tsundere to the very end (lol). Her reason for coming along with Utaha at all is that she’s worried the company may actually be able to fully convince Utaha into taking the job. She actually doesn’t know that it is entirely her decision on whether Utaha gets the job or not, phew~
More on that to come.
It also starts from this point where the two talk to each other as both their real selves and their creative selves at the same time. It is kind of hard to actually distinguish between what’s what from the first read/listen through. Obviously, I watched it a few times.
Utaha retorts to Eriri that she doesn’t see why the latter should be worrying about her, to which Eriri boldly states that she doesn’t care if Utaha is gone but it will upset Tomoya. Right, so obviously these two lines suggest that Utaha is talking to Eriri from Kasumi Utako’s perspective while Eriri takes a step back from creator’s world for a while and lets Utaha know that she doesn’t care that Kasumigaoka Utaha is leaving. She then speaks from a creator’s perspective, saying if that happens, it is Tomoya who will be having a hard time when he finds out that his main writer is gone. In short, Eriri really does respect Utako as a creator to the point that she worries about the unknown future. She however still hates Utaha. It is true chivalry to the end.
Now, I know that Akane is a bad bitch from the get go (remember that smile from episode 5?) but this is unexpected.
I can’t spoil too much about Akane’s character as her real self is shown in volume 11/12. There’s a good reason why she’s getting herself drunk in a meeting. Actually I’ll just tell you since you probably know it anyway.
Have any of your friends tell you something along the lines of people becoming honest when they are drunk?
Akane gives Eriri a frightened surprise as greeting.
Now in a brutally honest mode, Akane cuts to the chase and orders them to fully read her proposal within thirty minutes and then decide whether they are in or not. This very attitude is actually one of the most recurring features from a Tsundere and that’s where I can totally see why it is Eriri who gets instantly triggered when her insecurities are being messed with.
“That’s not what I’m saying! I’m saying don’t just push this on us.”
And this is where Utaha’s action only proves that Eriri’s decision to come was more than worthwhile. Utaha falls for the trap just like that. What Eriri doesn’t see coming is how her worries about Utaha will also come back to trap her, leaving nobody to worry for them.
It’s a very effective trap by Akane indeed.
At this point, Sawamura Spencer Eriri is left to helplessly defend herself.
The nightmare doesn’t end there
Akane goes to outright say that they should die for this work. I know her way of saying it is wrong in many levels but it is some kind of word play, I guess. She demands them to live for the project and give their lives to completing it. See? She could have just said this instead of telling them to die first.
If you’re somehow frightened by Akane’s approach then maybe I can also fill in the truth from the real world’s side.
Akane actually, perfectly represents a type of top notch producer who demands rather than pleads their trainees/employees into doing their best. Notice how she does exactly that; she doesn’t ask nicely of someone and instead just outright tells them to do what she thinks will be done, practically saying things that easily make the future come much closer to the present. In my head, that’s basically saying dreams coming true. In other words, Kousaka Akane is a manipulator. She says nasty things to motivate others to feel like they can do better so that they won’t be getting shit from her ever again. This is something Tomoya cannot be at this point. More about this down below when Utaha confronts him about it directly.
Oh now this reminds me of Gordon Ramsey. FYI, Chef Ramsey is just a normal, full of humor daddy when he’s not on TV.
Now that Akane is certain about Utaha being on board, she only has Eriri to convince and it seems that doing so nicely isn’t going to work. Therefore she goes the negative motivation route.
“The seven last pages of art for the game you released – that is what I want.”
She goes on to praise Eriri for her level of artistry that is beyond her expectation but not in a nice way – more of the reason why Eriri isn’t peacefully accepting her praise either. Eriri uses Blessing Software as a mean to safeguard herself from Akane’s foul persuasion; it is then even more truth gets spit out.
If she keeps this up, eventually the circle (especially Tomoya) will not know what to do with her extraordinary talents anymore. They won’t be able to keep up with her. And lastly, it is Kasumi Utako who was barely able to keep up with her skills.
Am I missing something here? Is Akane really saying that Eriri’s skill as a creator is superior to Utaha’s?
Whether this is true or not, two things are of certain – one is that Utaha is not questioning Akane’s choice of words at all and the other one is that Akane once again, motivates Eriri using a praise (what can also be a lie) about her talent being superior to Utaha’s which is something Eriri herself wants badly to become Tomoya’s number one.
You guessed it; Eriri is now on a brink of playing into Akane’s cards.
Akane has not forget about Utaha being there so she turns to the latter and demands one thing regarding the job offer.
So Utaha is being offered a real job but instead of using her own qualifications to secure it, the one and only huge requirement for her to gain this job is to actually babysit Eriri to the point that she can majestically draw without breaking down.
Utaha still has not question Akane’s method of persuasion but the latter tells her anyway. Akane isn’t lying about her writing being strong but if Kashiwagi Eri doesn’t come aboard…
Slump or what?
Eriri, having realized how great of an opportunity this can be, finally admits that she’s in a slump and that she’ll not be able to draw something like that ever again. This is not something even Utaha wants to hear!
And this is when Sawamura Spencer Eriri fully plays right into Akane’s card.
I don’t think I need to say anything about the video either because it is pretty much self explanatory. In fact, you can take Akane’s very words and jab them right into Apple and their ‘inventions/innovations’ and it will still be 100% legitimate.
Another FYI: you can legit build an iPhone from the ground up, by yourself in China for much cheaper.
Honestly, I really thought that the cafe scene would be the highlight of this episode. Boy, I was wrong! By the end of this scene I realized as to why this episode was showing events backwards in time without doing the flashbacks; they saved the best for the last.
I now fully believe that Fumiaki-sensei has what it takes to turn his own work into anime that tells the same story with different approach.
THIS NEEDS A THIRD SEASON so I can see Megumi cry like a little sorry ass heroine that I desperately want to hug all day and night after I kill Tomoya.
Another day, another face
At school (or after school for that matter), Eriri plans on walking home with Tomoya so she arranges the meeting.
When Utaha sneaks up behind her..
Funny thing is, Utaha isn’t even interested in her affair with Tomoya; her first words behind Eriri’s back are to do her art, even! So it is Eriri who digs herself into a hole by turning the focus of the talk into romance.
Heck, this scene is probably the only one of the two comedy parts of episode and it has Utaha breaking into the anime itself.
Firstly she addresses the fact that Eriri’s true Tsundere nature is at work – Eriri is able to shift her attitude quickly from a dere reading Tomoya’s replies to a tsun from having Utaha sneaking up behind her. “It’s almost like split personalities.”
“Shut up, you sneaky long-haired witch!”
It ain’t over just yet. Utaha then comments on the fact that it is Katou Megumi who now holds this title since her hair has become long and how she has always been a stealthy character from the beginning. As for the witch part, I’d like to reword that to princess charming, thanks.
See now, Utaha isn’t concerning herself with Tomoya when it comes to relationships anymore. How many times do I have to point out that episode 4 literally ended her romantic path? Simply put, if there was ever a waifu war going on in Saekano, Kasumigaoka Utaha was the first to have died in battle. Sorry, Utaha shippers! At least there’s a spin off novel where she has her dreams come true.
So from this part on she unknowingly becomes a consultant for Eriri’s relationship with Tomoya instead, asking her if it’s really okay to be walking home with him; others will get the wrong idea about their affair if they repeat it often.
Eriri is dead set on being hoes before bros.
When will Utaha stop teasing the hell out of Eriri?
Waiting on your friend(?) who is waiting on her boyfriend(?) at the gates? Utaha can’t be any more of a troll than this.
Good thing Eriri also realizes that it is indeed Utaha’s habit to make fun of her. However, it is also bad when that’s the only thing Eriri can be thinking of whenever they are alone. Utaha’s words go further to prove it as she talks about the new project instead. Naturally, Eriri is taken by surprise.
Utaha then reminisces about losing herself to a guy (episode 4) and hints to Eriri that she’s about to go down the same route. Oh Eriri, you’re awfully thick headed sometimes! Not only that she’s not admitting it, she calls Utaha out for lying about losing herself to Tomoya (because you know, she hasn’t seen episode 4 herself). Not taken back by Eriri’s Tsundere retorts, Utaha then drops another philosophy on her.
“Whether it’s business or a hobby, you should finish your work.”
Help me finish my hobby that is this blog post! It’s at two and a half thousand words but I’ve only just covered half of the episode!
And we get more bullshit from Eriri as she now goes beyond unbelievable with her excuses. All of this in hopes of maintaining Tomoya’s trust and stable friend/relationship.
When nothing goes her way, Eriri admits that what she is being tasked to do is not important at all and going by her logic, not important means no need to rush. Woah, talking about procrastination here.
So, throughout the entire time Utaha has been attempting to bring out Eriri’s potential talent via philosophical persuasion. For this attempt at least, I don’t think it worked.
Tomoya comes to see Utaha off after her graduation ceremony. While they walk from the school together, Utaha suggests a few ways they can be making memories… well… memorable. Very memorable.
A wall of text regarding Kasumigaoka Utaha and her state of romance
Spoiler in the white text, nothing major but if you’re watching this show for waifu war only then it may hurt.
I think this is the right time to be talking about this once and for all.
Utaha bears that sympathetic personality of a person who forever falls in love with one man and never lets go. Some of you may take this at face value and call Tomoya a c*nt for not accepting her feelings. Do try to put yourself in Tomoya’s shoes for once; you won’t actually need to if you’ve been in the exact same position back in high school. Say that we just forget about the lack of reasons as to why any of the girls love him at all. Say that they love him just because – realistically, it is not the time for you to pick and choose. You simply don’t play with other peoples’ feelings, period.
The first season has been more of comedy and friendly interactions with addition of Utaha’s sexual advances on Tomoya. This is actually quite one sided because it is obvious from the very first time you saw Utaha, that Tomoya has no romantic feelings towards her – it is pure respect. You sometimes have to understand that they are highschool friends and having to evade Utaha’s sexual advances all the time, Tomoya is really trying his best to not physically shove her away. In fact, try this in real life if you dare – it’s practically you saying no in one of the most forceful ways possible and any girl would actually, almost instantly get the message, hence leaving you. That’s not what Tomoya wants; he wants to be friends and this is true most of the time: if you’ve ever grown to love someone then you’ll never be able to see them as a friend again, even after a break up. I’m very sure Tomoya knows that so it’s why he’s playing along with Utaha in her sexual harassment. You can say that both of them are playing with each other’s feelings which is fine and most likely the case. It’s what friends do, after all.
Second season is quick to shove Utaha out of the race so I can see why people aren’t as happy. But this episode settles it. Utaha goes as far as doing something not even good friends should be doing to one another. I guess you know how the rest should go.
So, what is Kasumigaoka Utaha to the show after she has been taken out of the waifu war?
Only if Fumiaki-sensei actually dares to write extra story where every girl gets their happy ending even if they don’t end up with Tomoya – all the reason to hope that the last volume (13th) will not be bittersweet.
The thing is he cannot. Want an obvious reason? Look at the title of his work!
With that, he goes to write spin offs where both Eriri and especially Utaha get their own happy endings. You can look them up on the internet, it’s almighty.
Utaha, after knowing that she’s not the destined girl, no longer forces herself to love Tomoya but always remain in good terms with him she’s even willing to give him a hundredth chance if he ever comes out in devastation from his love life (with who else but Katou Megumi? The title hints that much). With that said, Utaha slowly becomes a supporting character from there, eventually getting down to the same level as Michiru. Til the end it is basically a long conflict revolving around torn friendships between Megumi and Eriri plus the slowly growing relationship between Tomoya and Megumi. That’s why I said that I want season three so I can see Megumi cry a lot; she’ll get so much shit from Eriri’s selfishness. So imagine if you’re Utaha, be thankful that you don’t actually have to be in the middle of this mess because she definitely doesn’t get involved at all.
A proposal to fulfill her wish
Eriri hinted that Tomoya has been oddly quiet for the past few months and she was certain about him getting onto the second project – damn she is right.
At their favorite Kameda Cafe, Tomoya gives an answer to Utaha’s wish back in episode 7. Actually, let me grab a picture to make sure you know what I’m talking about.
Aura of seriousness is all over the table as Utaha doesn’t reject his proposal immediately like she used to. How serious is it? Just look at the number of glasses on the table for two people!
Utaha gives positive feedback on the proposal. Somehow this feels completely different from the first season, right from her reactions, choice of words on the feedback and that comment on the setting being unoriginal – normally she’d just bash him without mincing words. It looks like the session with Akane really does her in. Or is she just trying to be nice? Because look, when you give someone so much hope only to crush it in an instant, there will be serious pain.
Oh, OH. I think I know where this is going. Sorry for blabbing all that crap.
Tomoya, without hesitation, pleads Utaha to work on the second project with the circle.
Knowing that Eriri has walked home with Tomoya the previous day, Utaha at least hopes that she’d balls up and tell him about what’s to come, at least on her part.
After she finds out that Eriri hasn’t said anything work related to Tomoya, she takes up the role of the bad girl who takes the blame.
“That’s unfair, Sawamura-san.”
Eriri is seriously selfish. More of this side of hers will create additional problems ahead but for now let’s talk about what Utaha learned from Akane.
Now, I’d like to go a little overboard with the second picture and give it my thoughts. I do think that the white part in front of Tomoya is obviously Utaha who symbolizes hope while as Tomoya’s proposal gets a no from Utaha, the black shade behind him means wane. If he is to take a step back from this point, everything will just be less meaningful, eventually all going to waste. Tomoya has absolutely no choice but to face hope and hear her out on whatever she has to say after the initial rejection.
Tomoya’s weak points as a creator, exposed
Using Kousaka Akane as the obvious reference, Utaha goes on to tell him that he’s never able to demand anything of her or Eriri and that he’s never able to say his projects are worth sacrificing for (he’s only been saying that his works will be the best!).
Creators stop growing the moment they aren’t asked to push themselves.
It’s not just creators, Utaha. This applies literally to even a normal person who’s trying to do their homework.
“So Tomoya-kun, you aren’t cut out to be a producer.”
A producer needs to give hell to creators before turning around and leave. Oh, right, just like animators in anime industry? Talking about real world issues here.
For Tomoya, it is indeed a moral issue so he asks Utaha of who the awful person is, capable of doing such things.
Kousaka Akane is making a move on adapting RPG game into anime. We’ve seen this before; it’s real in the industry! Look at Granblue Fantasy The Animation.
This is actually pretty low of Utaha but I think that the extreme last resort she has in order to not be completely shunned out by Tomoya at all, is calling him by his first name instead of Rinri-kun.
No real friends pull shit like this, I mark my words.
I’m not sure if this is intentional but they have left out a lot in Eriri’s “sorry”
Straight from the novel. Full credits to sandwich☆cookie from Blogger.
From: Eriri Sawamura <e-lily@○○○.○○>
To: Tomoya <T-AKI@○○○.○○>
Subject: To Tomoya (3)
Date: Sat ○○ Mar 17:38
I can’t draw when I’m beside Tomoya.
Tomoya won’t force me to draw either.
If I stayed in the circle any longer, it’d be the end for both of us.
I can’t stand that.
I’m not me if I can’t draw.
I’m an Otaku and a creator after all…
Though I do have many other things, I’ll never give up those two.
Though there are other things I can’t give up, I’ll leave them aside for now.
That time, I’d drawn something amazing. I’d experienced heaven.
And, I’ve found out how to reach that heaven again…
That’s why I have to go.
Sorry for leaving you again.
Sorry for leaving you when we’d just become good friends again…
Please pass on my apologies to Megumi.
I can’t apologize to her in person.
I won’t say that I hope we can still be friends, but please tell her that I will always think fondly of her.
Say, I’m not boarding any ship – this will be my view
So now that we know both Utaha and Eriri just pulled something no good friends do regardless of occupation. What are they to Tomoya now, really?
I’m sure at least half of you can actually forgive Tomoya for all the shits he’s been put through – he doesn’t deserve half of it. If anything, he’s actually being quite forgiving towards all of the girls! He did say himself that he is not an M but who knows?
Masochism isn’t limited to sexual things, you know?
Maybe I should call it depression endurance instead.
Luckily, Tomoya still has the heroine who literally, emotionally supports him when he’s down at the bottom! This leaves Katou Megumi to be the sole heroine who is truly faithful to him. I’m sure the ship has sailed around the planet a couple of times already. I’ll just wait until it shows up so I can actually board it.
Sorry for the silly metaphors, haha!
Now a lot of you would have hated Eriri much more than you initially did, that is actually the only choice to go by because Fumiaki-sensei is not afraid of sacrificing waifu’s to make the story better. Speaking of sacrificing – I will, to the best of my ability, compile all of the info about how Eriri’s selfishness will result in Megumi’s further development as she gives the latter never-ending shits over the course of five volumes. It will be heartbreaking for Megumi’s fans and especially shippers because Tomoya still has a long way to improve in being a man of the relationship. Yes, he still repeats the same mistakes over and over.
As for Utaha, I’m also sure a lot of you would have jumped ships quickly. Like I said – I’m waiting to board S.S. Katou.
If they can’t live with Tomoya at his worst then they hardly deserve Tomoya at his best.
Looking forward to the next episode
EVERYTHING is going to hell, including the moods of Megumi’s and Tomoya’s in the PV. See how hard Utaha and Eriri are trying to make light of the situation?!
Otherwise I can say this now: I strongly believe in Fumiaki-sensei’s ability to shuffle the light novel’s events around and with addition of anime original contents, make the next episode equally dramatic.
This episode has been worthy of four thousand words. I pray that the next one will make me write less because I will not be posting it on the same day – my work is on a different shift and will conflict with my already sleep-deprived self!