Where’s my fedora hat…
Here it is.
Well done, Fumiaki-sensei! Not only that you’ve managed to conclude the story so well it’s staying almost true to the original route, you’ve also left vast openings for the third season’s opportunity and at the same time, shot down that hope with simple story alterations via the characters, especially our main heroine at that! I’ll let you in on what misdeed he has done to me (and you). 😦
In majority of anime, a finale’s job is to usually wrap up any unfinished business. But if you take a look at this episode – just like what I’ve said in the paragraph above, openings of opportunity are indeed there.
It goes without saying that once again, Fumiaki-sensei’s story alteration skill is impressive. And thanks to that, it looks like that I’ll have to once again pull out some source material to make you feel… not so conclusive.
Because we want the story to carry on going, right?
I for sure knew that this episode would run a theme of nostalgia, after seeing how the previous episode ended. It happens to be the case – take the massive amount of flashbacks to prove my point.
I’m going to warn you now – because I literally call this Looking Into episode “Memories”, there will be a hell lot of pictures so if you’re using mobile data then I apologize~
Memories of the circle
On the train heading to Rokutenba Mall, Tomoya tries his best to convince Megumi that neither Eriri nor Utaha are in the wrong for what they’ve done to him, to her – to the circle.
“No creator striving for the top has any reason to stay in a small team.”
Woah now now Rinri-kun, hold your horse. This is exactly what’s wrong with you forgiving them so easily, you know?
Yes, it may be just a circle but given the wild success that it has had, what you’ve just said to Katou here is almost entirely invalid. You got to start somewhere, that’s for certain. The duo really just jumped ships despite both still afloat. They have left for their future which disorders the circle and hurts Megumi in the process – she has the right to remain that way for the time being.
“So don’t blame them or anything.”
No. Don’t blame them – kill them, Megumi!
Best friends, aren’t we?
This is actually the part where many of us want animated – we got trolled.
12 seconds of animation with no voice over whatsoever.
Well then, it’s the cue for real drama.
“Megumi…”“Sorry for being so sudden.”“…Mmhm.”“…”“…”“…Why?”“…”“Sorry, I really don’t understand what you are thinking this time, Eriri.”“Megumi…sorry but this is something between the creators.”“…”“It’s not something that concerns or makes sense to you.”“Aki-kun is trying his hardest on the next project. He’s doing everything to make sure you can be a part of it.”“…”“And…why didn’t you tell him about it yourself?”“Eh…”“Why did you shove the responsibility onto Kasumigaoka-senpai?”“T-That’s…”“Didn’t want to make yourself look like the bad guy?”“Because…I didn’t want to see Tomoya sad.”“So you know he would be sad huh…”“Ah…”“Even so, you still decided to leave.”“Y-You are the same, Megumi…”“Hmm?”“You didn’t come back to our circle.”“…”“You didn’t help Tomoya out when he was in trouble.”“…Sorry. You’re right, that was my fault.”“Then!”“But I won’t be like that any more.”“Eh…”“I won’t be like that again. I won’t leave the circle again.”“…”“Is this really okay, Eriri?”“W-What is?”“…”“…”“Are you…really leaving?”“Ah…”“So even something like that…”“Megumi…?”“Sorry…barging in like this. Sorry…”“Uh…”“But…that wasn’t how it was…”“———uh!”“Something just feels completely wrong…!”
Megumi is forever strong willed, puts on a brave face despite her emotions being in conflict.
Memories of the Date
I’ve put my two cents on why I love the sequel to this show so much – literally nearly everything ties in with the first season, creating serious nostalgia to which I find myself in love with. And by doing just that, Fumiaki-sensei enables himself to create endless comedy because we’ve already got the context by watching whichever episode the events have happened before. In this case, it’s episode 5 of the first season.
Instead of a video because duh, you’re better off watching the entire episode instead of reading my review, let’s talk about the nostalgia that I’m in love with.
Where applicable, the right picture will be of the first season whereas the picture on the left will be of the second.
So here we had Tomoya pulling out his strategist mode when he was super excited about going on a date with Megumi, now we have Megumi attempting to bring back that Tomoya because he’s a depressing sob right now.
Tomoya may be depressed but at least he’s aware of it being the case. He thanks Megumi for attempting to cheer him up and assumes that the date is part of her intention to do so.
But she only let him know half of the reason as to why she’s here.
The other half of her reason
Megumi tells Tomoya that she still has that regret – the one of their previous date.
“We came here together and shopped together…”
Pure jealousy, there are even nostalgic pictures to go with it!
Naturally, this is the cue for Tomoya’s comedic apology – something that lives in Saekano ever since I don’t know… the beginning?
It’s only Megumi who can practically bring Tomoya to his knees like that, not twice but three times in this journey!
So, for the last time (let’s hope not because I want the third season), Megumi settles on being possessive.
A good thing about comedy is that I don’t have to write a lot about the scene or else comedy literally fails its purpose.
A diabetic wish of mine
Here it is! Megumi once again pulls the curtain and gets all cute. It’s the fact that she’s able to lead Tomoya on with her cuteness – Tomoya, obviously being in love with her, has to get on the same page and he’s only struggling in doing so. The change of character from flat to fulfilling is never demonstrated as clever from a female character in anime. Katou Megumi is truly a Goddess as hailed by the Japanese fans of the show. Remember, we outside of Japan call that the best girl.
Unlike their first date, this time Megumi brings Tomoya in-store to experience a woman’s dilemma – picking clothes.
They’ve been together for over a year now. I’m very damn sure that you can’t be so dense to figure out Megumi’s unwavering determination. When she’s down to do something, she’ll damn see the end to it, regardless of the cost.
That’s actually scary because it’s the strongest trait of a Yandere. Who the hell am I kidding? Even Tomoya is scared when his excuses are immediately invalidated by Megumi.
Dude’s done f*cked.
That’s exactly how I feel when going out shopping with my mom.
Memories of holding her hand
With one place left to go, Tomoya isn’t letting his tiredness get the best of him, especially when he’s putting on a display of tenacity in front of his main heroine.
He lends his hand out to carry her shopping bag but what Megumi lends in response is not within Tomoya’s expectation.
Ah, yes. More nostalgia at work here. Let’s see…
He totally ran from her…
Well, she tripped.
These are some lovely lines for swearing oath to a marriage.
Once again, a great use of camera angle to show the growth in our protagonist.
He went from this…
You know, this is actually quite a trend among the social media – that one where the female leads her man everywhere (around the world even) from his PoV, yeah?
Well here you get to see it, my friends. Reliable Aki Tomoya, leading Megumi from her point of view.
For those who aren’t familiar with older music – the background music used in this scene is a spoof of Lovely Days by Bill Withers. It is fully intended that the lyrics of the song perfectly resonates with Tomoya’s train of thought at this very moment.
Memories of her gratitude
Megumi is quite understanding of her protagonist. She knows that no man can actually withstand long hours of shopping so she gives him the option to either rest or just go home. Tomoya however has one last place to visit. He’s been starting at it the entire time like a child wanting toys.
Okay, this is Fumiaki-sensei pulling my leg twice at an instant. Both of these items (Megumi’s hat and Tomoya’s RED glasses) definitely should not be in this episode.
Say that story alteration didn’t happen, the next scene of Tomoya breaking in tears in front of Megumi actually happens before her finding out about Eriri’s betrayal. Megumi already has the white hat on her, taken back from her cousin. As for Tomoya’s red glasses, he should have stowed his original glasses away and wore the one Megumi had bought for him from the first date.
Yes, that’s a plot alteration and actually screams an unsightly future for any possibility of the third season (hint number one). They ultimately create plot holes, though this only happens because there are light novels – had this anime been a complete original series, I’d never have to write this much crap.
Not all is bad, though. What the story alteration does on top of screwing my hopes for future seasons is once again, connecting with the first season to bring even more appreciable nostalgia that is Megumi’s gratitude towards Tomoya in their first date.
Fast forward – Megumi’s still the one saying, “you’re welcome”.
But Tomoya buys her a gift this time. Lovely~
Fateful encounter to a fateful restart part two
The pair take their favorite ‘Detective Hill’ route home. This is a real place in Japan, by the way – I can only imagine some amount of revenues locals will get! Ah the happy business with anime~
Tomoya figures out that the hat he has bought for Megumi is indeed of the same make, to which she happily agrees that is what’s good about it while subtly conveying her feelings though this line…
Cue the Sakuga, the CGI, Shaft’s trade of color inversion, the feels. All of it!
Going first name basis, Megumi, after a long time, reattempts her main heroine act without the guidance from Kasumi Utako.
Her reasons of bringing Tomoya to a date makes up to 200%
On top of cheering him up (30%), wanting to go outside (20%), regrets and jealousy (50%) – her real intention (100%), as revealed by the main heroine herself.
This is quite a surprising mixture of the volume 8’s date and the encounter event that should have not ended with Megumi asking him to a date.
Oh well, looks like I have to spoil a little since no sign of third season exists as of now.
“Hey, Aki-kun… Nope, Tomoya-kun.”
Even so, her voice at that moment, those words…
That expression of Katou made me remember.
“Do you remember…? It has been exactly a year since then, you know?”
Of course, I remember that.
Even that time, I was struggling, having a hard time of thinking about the plot.
“Have I, compared to that time, been able to become closer to the heroine of your story, I wonder?”
At that time, Katou should have been staying in Hokkaido.
Even so, she looked after me who was in a pinch, prioritized me over her family, and encouraged me.
“Have I been able to become your strength, I wonder?”
She has become a tremendous strength for me.
“And then, do you remember…? Since then, it has been around a month, you know?”
“Eh, wait… Hey…”
Well… Even if I want to forget, I still couldn’t forget it.
After all, I was crying out loud like a dog while standing in front of Katou. (What’s happening right now in this scene, actually)
“There are no Eriri or Utaha-senpai here for me anymore…”
But, Katou is…
“Even so, would I still be able to cheer you up, I wonder?”
Her unchanging gentle voice is reaching out to me who is covered in shyness.
“Could I stay as someone important for you and for the circle, I wonder?”
She is still the heroine of my dreams.
The truth is, the truth is…
Today’s Katou somehow feels like a jack-in-the-box.
Flat, nice to hang out with, doesn’t feel like an opposite sex, sharp-tongued, dark, nostalgic, sweet, frail, unfair, annoying…
“As long as there is a will, there will somehow be a way or something like that; I have that kind of feeling.”
And also, this reliable.
“That’s why, from now on… please take care of me, alright? Let’s work hard together, okay?”
Even so, it was a good thing the IC recorder was turned off.
After all, I don’t really want to hear a conversation this embarrassing again.
“Let’s work hard together, Tomoya-kun.”
“With the two of us, with everyone… This time, the ultimate game, let’s create it, okay?”
Why did I turn off the IC recorder… I am an idiot.
Megumi is not giving up. Blessing Software won’t disappear as long as Tomoya is here. Let’s face it, 99% of his determination comes from Megumi’s charm.
Megumi is holding back from letting her emotion of love fully take over. Because you know how the story will truly end if the pair get together – like many other romance anime out there, lol. What I can take away from this is obviously a potential for more seasons as we will definitely get to see further development for Megumi and the obvious relationship grown between the pair.
Into the enemy’s territory
The last chance for development for the duo as they are about to leave to Osaka for their work. Eriri seems to be overly hyped ever since she got out of her slump.
“This is the real me.”
…being serious and all. Sorry but I can’t even take her seriously just because she’s a Tsundere.
How epic can boarding a Shinkansen be?
Because in anime, you can literally make anything epic.
Only to be surprise halted by Tomoya. Naturally, this is an even bigger surprise to Eriri as she hasn’t said a single word about her betrayal to him and having Utaha taking all the blame. And this folks, is how one can feel when meeting that one person you pissed off in an online game, face to face.
With Machida’s help, Tomoya is able to track them down to give them his best wishes. While they are to believe that Tomoya hasn’t forgive them for what they’ve done, it’s not about forgiveness from Tomoya’s logic and sanity.
“I’m cheering both of you on.”
Utaha, catches a glimpse of Tomoya who used to be a hardcore, consumer of an Otaku culture. She then sees the producer in Tomoya (after she’s left, hmm…) and…
Tomoya is relieved that Utaha isn’t going to laugh at him for saying that he’ll once again create a legendary game. He’s still not saying that it will be a game to die for and this is what literally separates him from Kousaka Akane.
“I wanted to see exactly what you were capable of when you don’t have anybody to fall back on. That’s why, Tomoya-kun, I want you to live up to my expectations. No, go beyond them”
Ah no! Not this! Back in my Episode 9’s Looking Into, I’ve filled in the blanks about how Utaha wished to place a traumatizing memory into Tomoya so that he could forever remember her as somebody but a stranger. She told him one of her two reasons as to why she’d decided to leave Blessing Software.
One of them was the fact that Tomoya’s nature doesn’t cater to her working environment.
The other one was supposed to be kept in secret as she didn’t even tell him in the light novel or else it’d have saved him.
Well this episode did two things – showed us that Tomoya is saved by Megumi and let us in on her second reason, which is actually appropriate from a creator’s perspective.
Well that’s a first for me – spoiled by anime. Bravo~
Eriri’s side of confrontation is all emotions related. Her fears of Megumi cutting ties with her is still strong.
But Tomoya once again comes to her emotion rescue.
“And I’ll always be waiting for when you come back.”
God damn it, not again! Sorry but this is probably the biggest change of the story in an entire series. The quote above from Megumi alone simply tells me outright that it will be EXTREMELY HARD to actually continue the anime version of the series because from this point on, literally half of the story is practically revolving around the friendship conflict between Megumi and Eriri as the former hasn’t forgive the latter until the end of the twelfth volume – this is potentially two anime seasons away. Fumiaki-sensei is playing it safe, too safe.
Now that I’m actually mad for him pulling this shit on me – I’ll definitely be posting the real drama between best friends. It’s quite dark compared to this happy ending. Argh!
After Tomoya’s last wish for a safe trip, Eriri looks for a memoir to keep her fond memories of Tomoya and more importantly, Megumi. She goes for the one thing that makes up pretty much nearly all of Tomoya’s outer appearance – his glasses which was bought for by Megumi.
She then does the bold Tsundere move!
I guess Utaha fans can still have their last laugh
Way to go, 不倫理君 (furinri-kun)
Did you actually notice that Tomoya has Eriri’s blonde strain on his mouth?
Don’t underestimate twin-tails whipping.
A new beginning
Let’s just start with the rarest of rare Katou Megumi – her laughing out loud self like that…
Ah. So this is how Fumiaki-sensei conveniently fixes the plot hole on Tomoya’s glasses. Just like the novel, from this point on he’ll be wearing contacts.
So (with nobody to brag to) I was right about this episode willing to end it on a happy note because what actually should have happened is that Megumi join the (emotional) dark side for much, much longer. Seeing her rarest state is actually quite refreshing and somehow relieving. Fumiaki-sensei is trying to have me forgive him if the third season doesn’t come!
Tomoya gets all depressed about Megumi’s quick change of character from a true main heroine back to her flat self.
They later get a greeting from more of the already shit tons of surprise in this episode.
Naturally, this was well set up from a couple of episodes back.
I can see Iori’s smirk all over this.
If some things are to remain true to the original story, it’s the fact that Eriri is still afraid of facing Megumi after having betrayed her.
And the fact that Michiru fails to get into Togoyasaki Academy!
The duo ask of her reason for showing up not at her own school but theirs, much to their surprise, Michiru shows dedication for Blessing Software that can rival that of Megumi’s.
“Tomo said that we’d be resuming our team activities this afternoon.”
I’m actually glad they still managed to have Michiru remain relevant to the story. She may be a supporting character through and through but just like Megumi, Michiru started off not being an Otaku but has yet to fully break that wall of hers.
Speaking of relevancy, I have to hand it to Saekano for fourth wall breakages!
Hyoudo Michiru is underrated, I swear!
But then it is this part of the fourth wall breakage that gives me a tiny hope of the future.
“What do you think you can do at this point?”
The insert song for the duo’s failing departure…
Thank you for sticking around with me in this very section of Looking Into Saenai Heroine no Sodatekata ♭
It has indeed been a season long journey. Never have I thought that I’d actually end up doing any of this because before I started blogging, I was heavy into playing games while keeping up with university study and my job at the same time. This is where I end up now, though. I spend less time on games and more on this. It was worth all of my emotions and probably yours, too!
It’s not entirely over just yet. I still have some leftover love for Saenai Heroine no Sodatekata. While they will not be as hyped up as these up to date posts, they still will come from my passion, just like for everything else.