“Saekano: How To Raise A Boring Girl” Anime Review: How To Make An Okay Anime

Saenai Heroine No Sodatekata

Featured Image Art By Misaki Kurehito

 

SAEKANO
Main 3 Girls. Art: Takasa Tomoaki/Courtesy: ZEROCHAN

 

Writer: Chrissy.C

Introduction

At first glance “Saekano” shows off some really nice art scans. Also it did very well in Blu-ray/DVD sales. Expecting some merit out of this show. I did in fact find some quality however it still had many issues.

*MINOR SPOILERS AHEAD*

 

Twirling Hair. Animation: A.1 Animation/Courtesy: Psychopass

 

Story

Tomoyo Aki observes his female classmate Megumi Kato one day and see`s how beautiful she is as she stares down at him from a street above. Tomoyo Aki assembles Megumi Kato and his female friends to complete a project in turning Megumi Kato into the best female interest in a dating simulator.

Eriri Slap. Animation: A.1 Pictures/Courtesy: Yumikopyon

SAEKANO” ANIME REVIEW

PROS

Writing: Maruto Fumiaki (Original Author and Animation Writer) -Known For: Penning Original and Animation Script for -“White Album 2“-

  • The dialogue can get very realistic and deep. It brings up social issues between friends and how we actually react or committee to things we aren’t really all about. (Aki brings up the fact of does anyone actually feel like being apart of the game making process, or do they feel an obligation because they are his friend.) Which seems to relate a lot to projects in life.
  • Megumi Kato she’s fun to follow. Instead of fixing her with traits. Megumi Kato’s lack of talent in any field is backed up by her own characteristics. Where she points out that she wants to help in making their game even if it’s small. By showing how she can change little aspects in the direction of finishing their game or actually being able to talk out and not overreact situations like archetypes would. All of this works to bring in those most original and special character, even though she is supposed to be the “boring one.”
  • In certain moments of “Saekano” the dialogue is great. (E.G: Michiru doesn’t trash on otaku’s but knows that she couldn’t make friends because of culture differences between the two. Or when Kato wants a girl’s face to be smiling in a dating sim when the main character in the dating sim is going to a different girls house. Eriri ask`s “Why” and Kato replies with: “She has to put on a brave face, that’s what girls do.”) These moments really show that the writer knows a bit more about people and their actions than usual penning in anime and manga.
  • The script can have many quirky additives (Like locking a character In a room and the other having to use a mic to get their attention.) However some of these scenarios can actually deter the script from making progress.
  • I enjoy the fact that the girl`s in this story don`t just enjoy male oriented otaku material but also enjoy female oriented otaku material, which makes it`s more believable than most anime.
Fan time. Animation: A.1 Pictures/Courtesy: Healing0831

Directing & Cinematography: Kamei Kanta -Known For: “Usagi Drop“-

  • Through time, certain positions. Will expose “Saekano’s” lush and fluffy colors. Along with lovely character designs.
  • Subtle vocal reactions in the back for realistic reasons: (Extra Credit: Voice Actors & Script Writer)
  • Their physiology is something to note for like KyoAni does with their series. Both vocally and physically “Saekano” is charming. Realistic movements! (Covering someone’s face from saying too much, kicking feet, leg tapping and etc.) –Script credit as well– Director Kamei Kanta`s does a great job in transferring these physical & vocal elements in the script into a complete visual and audible production.
  • Minor Pro + Random real 3d real figures appearing in the background.
  • Saekano” has many aesthetic visual and audio cues. Like funny censoring sounds and color outlines popping in and out.
  • Childhood memories are done well in the flashbacks. The directors choice of turning everything into a kindergarten chalk like coloring style with the characters boldly drawn in. A nice touch of separation from the present story.
Pocky animation. Animation: A.1 Pictures/Courtesy: Evangelikon

CONS

WRITING:

  • Tomoya Aki being vocal with himself comes off as being just irritating. The way he just spazzes all over the place. However the voice actor, Yoshitsugu Matsuoka is very skilled with expressing Tomoya’s loud trait.
  • Aside from sugary visual shots every so often. The cinematography is casual and nothing unique.
  • Minor Con – CG HANDS!!! And other awkwardly inserted CG, which does not hide at all!
  • Off the binds of the beginning, the whole “Saekano” sees overall slower storytelling, dull script, and more cliches.
  • The introduction of an opponent character was rushed. This sinister character just doesn’t fit. Almost feeling like a fixed reason for this story to actually move. Iori Hashiama the main character`s rival is barely important to the story and they even seem to not even have any bad blood when main character Tomoya Aki acquires Iori Hashiama`s help to find Eriri Spencer.
Michiru`s icy tail or I love you (Inside Joke). Animation: A.1 Pictures/Courtesy: Gurikajis

 DIRECTING:

  • Poor ability to transition from one scene to another. Jumping back and forth in the past and present without a good sense of letting us know in Utaha’s section in the middle. These parts are so quiet and hard to keep up with. They just don’t make you feel how the characters are feeling.
  • Saekano” is much too quiet. Hardly ever does a background song play.
  • A lot of dead pan shots, where everyone is a still image constantly as it pans across the screen or a main character will be the only moving thing as all the lifeless humans watch. This particularly looks bad when they go to huge events like Comiket or a mall.
  • Episode 9. The episode is dead silent and when they choose music it doesn’t even match the sequence, generic rock over Eriri looking gloomy and showing off skin.
  • There is so much random sexual tension in the script and from the director’s vision. A lot of close ups in certain private areas, breast jiggling and very erotic positions for sexual teases. –Credited To: Director & Script Writer-
Sorry your show is not a 10. Animation: A.1 Pictures/Courtesy: GuriKajis

ANIMATION: A.1 Pictures

  • Animation work in the later half gets more rusty. Characters will slightly move or appear choppy.
  • Most emotional scenes are ruined by CG, stiff framework, poor illustrations, lack of any sound, music and overall a weak delivery from the director. –Credited To: Animators, Art Team, and Director-
  • Episode 9 has an emotional scene with such poor work. Overused camera shot and almost no-frames. Low quality illustrations where there just stand there as still blocks. Music isn`t dramatic enough. The whole sequence is too casual.
  • Final performance where Icy Tail sings on stage lacks flowing frames and even used photos to shortcut the performance. –Credited To: Director & Animators-

 

Feet Fight! Animation: A.1 Pictures/Courtesy: Figma

 

 

 5.7-6/10 How To Raise A Decent Show!!!

+ Physiology and interactions.

+ Authentic dialogue and writing.

– Poor writing.

– Animation & art issues.

– Bad Directing.

Love the ending theme. Check it out below.

 

 

 

 

 

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2 thoughts on ““Saekano: How To Raise A Boring Girl” Anime Review: How To Make An Okay Anime

  1. You make this sound really weird. The premise is one of those weird things only anime has, yet you talk about realism and subtly. I also didn’t expect quiet storytelling for such a premise. Quiet storytelling is overrated. It’s often a bad technique to tell people the show is artistic (It did work for Mushishi though).

    The art style also looks pretty bland.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Haha definetly, Brain In A jar. It’s truly an otaku show. Yeah a series like this wasn’t purposely trying to be quiet the director just has poor decisions. Anime is trying to lately incorporate realistic subtle movements or dialogue just to get a sense of authenticity even in strange plotlines.

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      Like

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