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