Saenai Heroine no Sodatekata – 12 (Fin)

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This final episode of Saekano that we know of had the air of a show that was merely saying “see you later down the road” rather than a full-on sayonara. So while it crossed its Ts and dotted its Is for the (remote, IMO) possibility that it wouldn’t be back, it made the right move by not trying to do too much in its finale. Mainly, it focused on sealing the deal on Michiru joining the circle.

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Tomoya got Michiru and her three bandmates their first gig, and while it’s not much, they’re glad to have it. Kato is on her way to the venue with a still very dubious Utaha and Eriri, and finds herself acting as mediator between the bullying Utaha and the sensitive Eriri. Both are still sore from their experiences with Michiru and are acting out in their own ways, but Kato is confident in Tomoya’s ability to achieve his objective. Michiru’s going to come on board and the game’s going to be great.

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It’s interesting that Utaha and Eriri grudgingly accept Kato as something resembling a friend, not the threat they may have perceived her as when she first came on the scene. Heck, they even agree with one another in their little faith in Tomoya, but one can hardly blame them for being so unenthusiastic; it’s like they’re well aware they’re dealing with two very potent competitors in Kato and now Michiru.

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For her part, Michiru doesn’t disappoint in proving she’s by far the most overtly physical member of Tomoya’s harem, essentially mounting him out of shock and anger that she has to play her set in cosplay. She’s too ashamed of one thing—having to play with cat ears—than she is about being on top of her cousin, moving up and down rhythmically just as the others enter.

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In what is definitely a forced, unnatural plot twist (Eriri’s words, not mine), Michiru’s three band-mates fess up to being otakus themselves, and all the music she’s played with them have been anime cover songs. They agreed to let Michiru make the music for Tomoya’s game if he gave them the opportunity to come out of their shells and declare their otakuness to Michiru.

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Tomoya then proceeds to offer a still-uncertain Michiru a heartfelt pep talk (while she’s on top of him the whole time), convincing her that they’ll do great things together, and that her affinity for the anime music she’s already played is proof enough of her respect for the world of otaku that she’ll do fine in front of a crowd of same. He even reverses her past insistence grow out of otakudom by assuring her one day she’ll grow into a fine otaku.

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She takes the stage, and suddenly there’s a tinge of Shigatsu wa Kimi no Uso in my Saekano. But Icy Tail (which when said with a Japanese accent sounds like “aishiteru” or “I love you”) breaks the ice not with piano or violin, but with Soairo Days from TTGL…nice choice!

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I didn’t catch Michiru’s seiyu Yahagi Sayuri (whom I also loved in Bakuman and Sankarea) being credited for the insert song performance, but whoever did sing it did a decent job, even if the band sounds rather polished considering it’s there first time on stage before a crowd. More than anything though, the episode really captured joy and fun of the concert. Everyone other than Utaha and Eriri looked like they were having a blast.

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And Tomoya’s plot, assisted in no small part by the rest of Icy Tail, works: Michiru agrees to score Blessing’s game. When she draws in far closer than first cousins should for what could be a deal-sealing kiss, then bends over for something even more improprietous, it turns out she’s just pulling one of her patented wrestling moves on him, like her lakeside suplex in the prologue, she’s an athletically gifted girl, and wants to let Tomoya know he doesn’t hold all the cards here, and she hasn’t completely forgiven him for ambushing her with the cosplay.

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From there, the episode starts to wind down, but not before Megumi and Eriri have a nice little talk. Before she knew it, Eriri had Megumi over for all-night game work, so they can’t very well refer to each other so formally anymore, so they agree to start addressing each other by their first names. This is a pretty big gesture for Eriri, who calls Utaha by her full nine-syllable name on purpose.

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After a look at the happy ending of the seemingly completed dating sim, and then the credits, we jump forward to the assmbled group admiring their work, which gets close to Aku no Hana levels of plot compression. But it turns out they’re only done the first route, with two months left till Summer Comiket. So there’s still much work to be done.

It’s as good a stopping place as any, but I’ll gladly join the chorus of voices who look forward to a second season where we see those other routes unfold, both in and out of the game. Throughout its run, Saekano was a smart, sexy breath of fresh air: cheekily self-aware, but never obnoxiously so, and full of so much witty banter and laughs that I wouldn’t rule out a full re-watch as I await a sequel. Until then, matane, Saekano.

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Author: sesameacrylic

Zane Kalish is a staff writer for RABUJOI.

5 thoughts on “Saenai Heroine no Sodatekata – 12 (Fin)”

  1. Hmmm. A fun episode, but I think the thing that struck me was Kato’s character developments.

    She’s the one that realizes M’s band mates are otaku – and shushes T to do so, she essentially tells T she isn’t a virgin, she teaches herself game scripting, and she reproved *Utaha* on the way to the show (…are you going to be a problem S?)

    And when E puts herself out there inviting her to be a friend – she pauses and lets E swing in the wind for a bit before replying.

    Still waters run deep.

  2. I love this series for having such a great balance in all aspects. Having Kato stand out as such a great character despite her “incomplete personality” and the other strong female characters takes some good writing. The series also fairly self aware without getting pretentious. The series also spent a good amount of time on each of the girls while keeping all the characters relevant during each of the arks.

  3. For me, the last episodes redeemed Kato as a character, because finally – for the very first time ever – she is proving that she is a _human being_ able to do something on her own volition, instead of the pet she has been up to then.

    Frankly, I felt _shocked_ how much worship Kato received in the first half, while she was doing exactly _nothing_ but

    1) being a girl and easy on the eyes
    2) patiently listening to an otaku’s ramblings and giving deadpan retorts
    3) doing exactly what she was told

    THIS is sufficient for people? Really? This is what many people seemed to _wish for_?

    *brrr*

    1. kato did more than just do what she was told. it was the fact that kato was “normal” amongst the other archtype females; the fact that she has real genuine natural chemistry with tomoya(sometimes its not about how much the character stands out as much as how he/she interacts with characters and what those relationships bring to the story) that made her standout. She actually felt like a friend u could kick back n relax with; a person to talk to and express your joys and fears. kato was always on top of things; seemingly following tomoya’s demands but always bringing him down a peg when she had to. She seemed to be always being pulled by tomoya but underneath that she was actually pulling him. The reason why it seemed like kato finally “did” something this ep is because all that build up for her character finally showed itself in a more obvious way. In previous eps it was less obvious and so viewers had to read between the lines (kato is very aware and intelligent; a chessmaster if you will and it was hinted at through the beginning eps). Overall, i think it’s kato’s ability to inspire, to be able to converse with, and relate to the lead is why she was so endearing. Kato was one of the few reasons why i was down with watching this series even when i thought it was an ok watch (unfortunately it didnt really turn its cliches on their head the way the show thought it did) Kato was the only character i felt they slightly did that with.

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