Sasami-san@Ganbaranai – 05

Sasami-san 05 So Gay

Since this post isn’t really about episode 5, I’ve decided just to throw a bunch of eye candy up here

I originally didn’t intend for this post to happen for a couple of reasons. First, this episode was really boring. Second, I’m on vacation in Korea right now, so I don’t have my usual equipment or time. But being in Korea, I decided to pick up a couple volumes of the Korean-translated Sasami-san@Ganbaranai light novel and read through the events of the 1st 2 episodes in the 1st volume. So this post is a bait and switch, being more about episode 2 than 5.

Sasami-san 05 Tama Kiss

Again, I don’t feel like I have much to comment on this week. My worst fears about this show may be coming true. After blowing its load early, it’s now run through a bog standard friendship drama story in the most boring way possible. Sasami wants a friend in Kagami, Kagami is cold and aloof, it’s all a misunderstanding, they hug and kiss it out. Yeah, it looks like it’s going to be Denpa Onna to Seishun Otoko all over again. Well, one episode doesn’t a trend make, and I still enjoy the irony of the show’s title given the reality that Sasami is an extremely motivated and hard working hikikomori. But what I observed from Shaft’s adaptation of the Yamata no Orochi SNS episode doesn’t leave me with much hope that they can do a better job with the rest of the show.

You’ll recall that I wasn’t a big fan of that episode; despite the occasionally amusing slapstick, it was poorly produced and paced. Too much time was spent before getting into the game, and once in the game, the actual conflict was introduced and resolved in one fell swoop in the form of an infodump. I wasn’t sure the original material was worth reading based on this, but I decided to give it a shot.

Sasami-san 05 Flying Lesbian

In an episode with an android shooting machine guns, this was the best animated part.

Imagine my surprise when the original story didn’t feature any antics in Sasami’s room whatsoever. No router breaking, no circuit breaker overload, no parfait in the laptop, no DVD unsealing or messy manga reading (actually, Tsurugi was extremely courteous). All that, which made up the bulk of the episode, was created and inserted by Shaft.

But this new material wasn’t merely addition, it was replacement. Rather than having Sasami attempt to sabotage, the novel spent some time explaining mechanics of the Yamata no Orochi SNS before they started playing. The sequence of events once they started the game were similar, but there was a lot of stuff that happened between the major events that were cut. And this was the stuff that would have been great fun to see animated! I would have loved to see Tama accidentally ripping off Kagami’s clothes in the class room leading to other players throwing money at her for a striptease. Or Tsurugi getting into a fight with other delinquents in the school hallways, using the dead body of Kamiomi as a weapon. Or Tama interrupting a romantic moment between a dying NPC and his lover by stabbing the woman in the cervix. Or Kagami jealous jealously sabotaging Tama’s efforts to nurse Kamiomi. Or Sasami in all her leveled up glory fighting a hopeless battle against Yamata no Orochi itself as it massacred fellow players around her.

Sasami-san 05 Sasami Wink

Instead, we got half an episode of faraway shots of people on their laptops broken up by the occasional art-shifted closeup of Sasami. Why the drastic change? I’m a big proponent of adaptations playing fast and loose with the original material, but only to make the changes necessary to make it work in another medium. The events from the novel that were cut out would have worked wonderfully translated directly into animated form, while the events that were added in worked horribly. That’s pointless. That’s change I can’t believe in.

The best guess I have is that the budget was poorly managed. Episodes 1, 3, and 4 displayed that Shaft is very capable of animating the missing scenes well. I wouldn’t have minded if Shaft had spent some of the time and money that went into those episodes to give the Yamata no Orochi episode proper treatment. But they didn’t; they had fine source material to turn into animation, and they messed it up completely. Script writer Katsuhiko Takayama has done great adaptation work before, but he clearly didn’t bring his A game for Sasami-san. At this rate, it’s just going to be another dud by Shaft that will be remembered mostly as a throwback to their low budget mid-00s days.

Sasami-san 05 Pot Falling

Okay, the montage of Kagami getting hit all sorts of ways was pretty funny. It should have been longer and slower.

About

A math/science geek and a self-dubbed cynical optimist. I don't care if it's deep, if it can make me feel something or laugh, it's fine in my book. @lvlln
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34 Responses to “Sasami-san@Ganbaranai – 05”

  1. Joojoobees says:

    SHAFT is such an uneven company. They have incredible potential, and have produced quite a number of EXCELLENT shows, but they really screw up sometimes. Sasami@ is one of those screw-ups.

    • lvlln says:

      Yeah, they’re nothing if not inconsistent. Maybe the studio really is a drug-fueled party like fans like to depict, and they just occasionally stumble onto greatness while also producing a mountain of crap.

  2. skylion says:

    Using a dead body as a weapon? ::runs to find LNs::

    • lvlln says:

      Restia linked in the previous post, the 1st 40% of the 1st volume can be found in English: http://dreadfuldecoding.blogspot.com/2012/08/sasami-sanganbaranai.html

      However, the translator has stopped because it has apparently been licensed for official English release.

    • Restia says:

      That reminds me of the mini-arc in Gintama with the OWEE Game competition! XD “He’s using the Elder as a weapon! ELDER!!”

    • BlackBriar says:

      Someone using a dead body as a weapon sounds like someone in the Naruto universe using the Reanimation technique. In a war, that would be an underhanded way to conserve resources.

      • skylion says:

        That sounds like an RPG I played in back in the day. I beat the crap out of an orc with a goblin. Well, my fighting fighter did. Goblin bit him, see, and the orc was on-coming. Couldn’t get that goblin to let go….use what weapon you have, I always say.

      • lvlln says:

        In the story, Tsurugi was just swinging around Kamiomi like a club, because her wooden sword had been taken away.

  3. Highway says:

    I’ll tell you, honestly, that I could definitely go my whole life happily without ever seeing or reading any depiction of a woman stabbed in the cervix. Really.

    I didn’t particularly care for episode 2, but I don’t know if I’d have been much more on board with what you describe. But then, I still don’t know what this show is trying to be about, or where it thinks it’s going, nor do I think it does either, which is really the main problem.

    • skylion says:

      Which brings up a good argument for Denpa Onna, in which that show did know what it was about.

      • Highway says:

        Denpa Onna‘s a show that is kind of in my 2nd tier of backlog shows. One that if I absolutely ran out of other shows to watch, I’d give it a try. Of course, that means I probably never will.

  4. Overcooled says:

    Blogging while on vacation..such dedication!!

    I really have no idea where this show is going. It really is like a second coming of Denpa Onna where everything was ultimately resolved in the first 3 episodes and the rest were just a meandering epilogue of sorts. At least the LNs seem to be enjoyable. I think you may have inspired the masses to switch over to them :3c

    I’m still watching because it’s SHAFT and I can’t say no just yet. Then again, I lasted almost all the way through Denpa Onna before ragequitting so we’ll see how this goes.

    • skylion says:

      I’m a big Denpa Onna fan, and I always felt that is was much more a full character narrative, than a plot driven one. Erio’s emergence from her futon was the catalyst for the rest of the show. It was about asking “how necessary is it to be accepted”. I though they did it very well.

      As for Sasami, I don’t get enough of the characters yet to form an opinion. It could be asking, “what do you do when you find yourself in personal relationship with a Goddess?” But then, it could pour soup in my hair.

    • Restia says:

      I love Shaft too! XD Also a Denpa fan *highfive Skylion

      Okay, the montage of Kagami getting hit all sorts of ways was pretty funny. It should have been longer and slower.
      lvlln someone made a gif XD

      • skylion says:

        ::return high five::

        I’m a sucker for white haired loli’s with the word ‘shiro’ in their name…

        • BlackBriar says:

          Like Mondaiji’s Shiroyasha for example?

          • Highway says:

            I’m waiting for him to get a nosebleed when you mention things like that. I just can’t decide if it would be a Jirou-like trickle, or a Tsumiki / Hime style fountain.

            • skylion says:

              I’m a complex person….

            • BlackBriar says:

              How about all of the above? Anyway, that will be one epic nosebleed. Lolis are his fatal weakness so we know which spots are vulnerable to hit. Hehehe.

            • Overcooled says:

              Now that we know your weakness, you will never be safe!

            • skylion says:

              I’m really not that weak…

            • BlackBriar says:

              Then we’ll pile in the lolis. Everyone has a breaking point.

            • skylion says:

              That won’t kill me, it will only make me stronger.

          • skylion says:

            …got it in one…

            • BlackBriar says:

              When you give away details like that, it’s easy to choose which character to reference.

            • skylion says:

              Given that these two examples are the only ones that fit the bill, yes.

  5. Liza says:

    Yay Sasami making a friend. :D Probably the only real highlight of the episode. I liked it better when she was stuck at home and not a slice-of-life sort of thing but meh. I’m hoping some other interesting alteration will happen.

    • BlackBriar says:

      But I think it would have been better if Sasami didn’t look so desperate to want to have a friend, even if it’s Kagami she is asking. It made her look pathetic and easy to take advantage of. Something I’m sure most people don’t want to see.

  6. BlackBriar says:

    Hmm.. The episode this week was lacking in some areas but is holding out. Besides, I’m eager to continue because I want to see where the story goes and that this is one of SHAFT’s productions. And it’s definitely one of their works. I haven’t seen pots/pans randomly falling on people’s heads in an anime since Moon Phase.

    Sasami’s slight personality change of suddenly wanting a friend was unusal and hard to adopt. It feels so out of character and just as it shows, forced. Her clinginess got on my nerves sometimes.

    What a vicious eating contest going on in the cafeteria and all the incapacitated bodies spread all over the area. I don’t know which looks worse right now, that or an actual battlefield during a war. I consider the cost of the contest too steep for the prize and look what Tsurugi gets now that she’s won.

    • lvlln says:

      I didn’t feel that Sasami’s desire for a friend was unlike her. From the beginning, she displayed a desire to become a normal girl, and shame at the fact that she couldn’t be one. She was always a reluctant hikikomori, a hikikomori not by choice but rather due to her circumstances. Now that she’s taken her first steps outside, she’s trying hard to take advantage of all the possibilities that opens up.

  7. bobbierob says:

    I don’t think that the show is turning bland and into a sappy slice-of-life of Sasami’s new liberated lifestyle. More like this is just one episode among the many that each explore a part of otaku and anime culture (this one being…I dunno, an attempted witty amalgamation of slice-of-life tropes?). What I’m trying to get at here is that each episode has been different enough that the next will probably be sufficiently distinguishable from this one that any gripes with the boring subject matter would not be necessary.

    As for Shaft’s animation budget management…that is too valid a concern. Too valid.

    • lvlln says:

      Yeah, one of the good qualities of this show is its inconsistency, ironically enough. It’s had some real stinkers but also real gems, and no clear pattern or trend. So we’ll probably get some more good episodes through the ride. It’s just a shame that Shaft isn’t on the ball to make it consistently good, when they have all the tools and the capability.

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