By Dustin Cabeal
The first season of Saekano was very enjoyable up until the Cousin character was added. After that, it just became a dense man surrounded by beautiful women and not fighting off their advances, but just playing dead and each of them taking turns trying to pounce him while the others fought each other. It ceased being enjoyable at that point, but I finished the season hoping that they would lay the groundwork for something more. That something more was just that “hey, we haven’t made that game yet… so we’re going to keep doing that.”
The zero episode is everything I just described but in an expensive hotel swimming pool. The entire episode is a reminder of the characters, their physical features and them taking turns fighting and pouncing on the protagonist. I wish it were more, but it wasn’t. There was also a bit of meta at the beginning in which they refer to the show, but address it as if they were discussing a different anime.
The first episode… which is still technical the second episode, is more in line with what I liked from the first season. It reveals why Eriri and Utaha dislike each other and why they’re fighting secretly for Tomoya. It was well-crafted but had more meta parts in which Megumi calls out Tomoya for being dense… which is one of his defining characteristics. It’s why I don’t enjoy anime that talks about anime anymore because the tropes are less effective when you have the characters acknowledge each other’s tropes. Thankfully, the cousin wasn’t in this episode, nor was that annoying little girl. They add nothing to the story other than archetypes.
The artwork is by A-1 Pictures, and they seem to produce a ton of shit I like, I can tell some of their stuff by the eyelashes, which are one of the standout things about the animation that I like. I don’t know why, but it just looks cool, particularly on Megumi. The zero episode had too much fanservice to the point that you didn’t see character’s faces for over half the episode, which wouldn’t be terrible if they weren’t talking. I don’t like seeing talking fannies in my anime thank you very much. The second episode was much better and toned down the fanservice making it far better. Perhaps, they’ll keep it moderate in future episodes as well so that it’s a treat rather than a hose of water in your face.
Hopefully, there will be either more character development or some real forward progression on the game. If it’s just going to be constant fighting for Tomoya, then I’ll pass. As much as I like the budding relationship between him and Megumi that no one seems to catch on to, this Harem has “no ending” ending written all over it. Time will tell, but I’m sure someone on the internet can tell me the ending already.
Saekano: How To Raise A Boring Girlfriend S2 E.00-01