Once you start down the path, you can’t back out…(clip has sound)
|That’s the secret, get them addicted and watch them come crawling back for more. I think that works for LN readership, for love, and for employment, as far as this episode is concerned…|
It’s all about the books….
Revenge is a dish best served with a full cash register….
So yeah, Megumi was being pretty dense referring to LNs as “creepy otaku books”. But more on that latter. Regardless, that is not exactly the thing to say in that time and place, and Tomoe isn’t one to take it without the will to fight back. In fact I think Tomoe is to be congratulated for taking that lemon of a situation and making lemonade, er massive sales, out of it. As it turns out it looks like her hook, line, and sinker has paid handsome dividends, as Megumi is well and truly hooked by the time they come back from the OP. Welcome to the world of waiting for the next volume while wrapped in the agony of suspense, girl. But this is only part of her troubles and tribulations this time around. It looks like making the best of an un-ideal situation is the name of the game this time around.
She’s a quick read…
She does get a bit more development when talking about the hobby with Masamune. They did take a trip around her room, and show off some of her photos. I looks like she has an active life and plenty of friends, and while she may be very direct, she does have charm. So, again, why does she want Sagiri to be her friend? To inflate her ego? Overbearing tendencies? Something else? Despite all that, she’s liking the books, even if she thinks Masamune’s work is on the “iffy” pile.
Expect the unexpected!
So begins her next adventure. Megumi does rather put on some airs and props. This makes me think she might have ulterior motives when it comes to befriending Sagiri. But for all that, she’s in for the awkward deal the shut-in artist makes…reluctantly. Who wouldn’t be nervous, blindfolded and bound like that? It was a very absurd scene all around, but that’s what I love about it. There was the right sense of furtiveness, innocent curiosity, erotic curiosity, and even restraint as Sagiri knew she took things to far. It felt very much like a bunch of kids fooling around with boundaries, but realizing that there are some you cannot cross. But it almost made Megumi forget that she was planning to borrow books all along – the first step in her new friendship process. She did remember to ask for her panties back, but the show is two-sided about whether or not her request was answered in the affirmative. But she got Sagiri’s favorite books, so that’s a plus!
A Tale of Three Writers
There are worse ways to make money, dude…
So going into our second half we get a bit more information about the Izumi’s home situation. It’s been apparent from the beginning that they don’t have parents and that they are living on their own. Masamune is very driven to earn money as a writer to pay for their upkeep; I would guess only part of it, and the rest of the family is probably making up for the rest. I’m also guessing that they also view Sagari as an outsider and it’s easier for them to break the siblings up. So we have a pretty classic anime situation going on here. But I do love how we get that the deal is just hanging on by a thread, as that provides for the drama. But what takes it a step further is how this story has undercut the young man’s efforts. He’s pretty much a coattail rider, an imitator by all of the comments about his work. It’s Muramasa-sensei that holds the top spot in terms of sales, anime adaptation (it’s getting a second season!), and critical popularity, even if it’s pretty solidly middling LN style stuff.
I like it when Elf is happy…
But that’s not the real meat of the second half for me. How about that confession? Elf isn’t the type to play things in half measures. She may look like she’s very spontaneous, and she can do that, but when she plans, she plans for an exact purpose…she wants to make a big impact. It’s no coincidence that she happens to swoop in when the show reveals that Masamune’s new book won’t get published til too late – she’s listening in, or she’s developed a special sense! It’s also no lack of planning that got them both out and about “early”, for a meeting with another publisher She wanted this time with him, she want’s to be important to him. We haven’t seen a lot of her without him, but when she is with him, she shines. She’s hopeful, she’s engaged. She loves the back and forth of the conversations, and while she does get caught out once in awhile, she does pay it back, and she usually finds she’s more honest with herself that way. She looks like she’s going to come through for him in this situation, but for….
…the curveball tossed out in the final act. Now, I didn’t think Masamune would be able to get his new proposal out under a new editor and publisher, but it did show Kagaruzaka-editor that he meant business and would accept this situation without a fight. She’s not happy to see Elf in the mix, and there is a story there to be sure. But for now, she won’t take losing him without a fight, either. The new writer contest is a bit of a long one for me. I don’t quite buy putting this in the story structure, especially since it ends up with two already published authors in what should be a new writer’s contest. The finagling leaves me feeling kinda ticked, and I think that is the point. They wanted to show this facet, warts and all, of authorship. But for all that, it was a good measure to toss the ever talked about Muramasa-sensei in the mix and in the flesh, horning in on Masamune’s hopes with her own story and matching dedication.
OK, I’ve gone on for long enough. They’ve introduced a ton of new ideas for this next arc of the show, and I’m going to be happy to seem them play out in the weeks ahead. I’m sure Elf is going to pitch more of a fit over that cliffhanger ending, and then pitch in and help out the person she loves as the story progresses. Of course that may make Masamune balk further given they’ve already shown he’s not willing to let Sagari pick up any of his slack. That would be a very interesting and dramatic development. Especially considering how far ahead she is of him already. Let’s see if he works better in the pinch…
Also, come back for more of Sagiri’s disgust!