I wonder if Osamu is a PC unlockable? Does he have a True Route…?
|…I will say this, I’m not a player of many games these days, and I never really go into dating sims to begin with. But this adaptation of chapters 12 & 13 was quite well done!|
Chapter One: We really didn’t get along
It’s almost too late for second thoughts, Kiriha
It’s pretty rare that I give much thought to how much the show follows the manga; I’m a medium purist I guess, and demand that a medium obey its own rules rather that stay beholden to its original medium. But I’ll indulge in that pursuit for a bit, seeing as how this episode just dives right into its central trope. And if ever there was a trusty old canard in anime storytelling, it’s forcing the characters into a video game-like environment. Actually the trope is far older than electronic media, and you can chase it back to Gilbert & Sullivan, back to Shakespeare, back to Aristophanes. Let’s take our stock characters and our stock situation and introduce a magic catalyst that changes the situations by degrees and the characters by larger degrees, if it’s pulled off well. It’s pretty basic stuff, and it’s almost a tired old trope by now, but I think Hamada puts a great spin on it by focusing the turn on Chisato. She’s needed some character development and this is as good a narrative device as any.
Chapter Two: I think I fell in love with you
LOL. They even have the same silly, overused, cheesy, and generic “isn’t this magical?” music! (clip has sound!)
Actually, it’s a really good narrative device to use if we have Chisato at the center. It’s not really a deconstruction, but it does serve as a nice poke in the eye to some of the unintended consequences in these games. None of us really fit into that string of multiple choice or flag generating events, just as none of us really fit easily into boxes we place ourselves and other in when it comes to real life. Games are good for that only because we can agree on the rules for ease of engagement. But, Ookada’s first mistake is against himself, as he assumes he’s just some homely dude that no one good looking would date. He might as well “lower his standards” and ask out an equally homely girl, right? Bad move, dude. At this point, I have to say the writing treated him as a pretty one-dimensional character, and I think that was on purpose. He’s meant to contrast against both Chisato and Kazuya, and he’s able to move the plot along, bud man,tossing in an insult – that he doesn’t really voice to anyone, but it’s not doubtful that it informs his opinions, and a typically tone-deaf and demeaning one at that – towards Chisato.
You said you’d stand by me in the middle of Chapter Three
Kiriha’s glare is almost enough to drill holes into heads….
In that we have more than enough negativity to pour into his PC copy of Pure Heart, and this creates the newest amasogi. I love the strange way the monster-du-jour shows itself. So far we’ve had a creepy long haired spook, a possessed library and it’s book-golem, and now we have galgame UIs. It’s just innocent looking enough and just enticing enough to cover it’s horrifying intentions and belay worry – everyone seems to be enjoying themselves, seems being the operative word. And yes, it creates a special cherry tree on the school grounds where there was none before. I also love how Kiriha and Kazuya split the work, with Kiriha attuned to threat itself like she usually is, and Kazuya handling the real heavy lifting, even if that means he only has to learn to max out the game combos. That’s a neat detail, and it even goes a long way in showing Osamu’s depth of thinking, once agains giving him legs as supporting character, and giving him a bit of development. Getting the combos was the best way forward at the time, and he knew better than to take advantage of exploits, seeing as how this affected real people and he couldn’t predict the outcome – you know, kinda like how real life works. For all his otaku weirdness, he’s a good kid. But that just enforces how much Kazuya needs to use those free responses. If it weren’t for Ookada treating her like a flag in the first place, this wouldn’t be happening, so he has to change that dull multiple choice script, and take advantage of his childhood friendship with her and for her. Treating her like a person, and in the process, finding meaning in his own memories. That pretty much set’s things to right, bringing the doll full circle. It’s all over but the PC only Adults Only Ending.
But you were up to your old tricks in Chapters Four
Five and Six
Characters to become important later (contains two NSFW images!)
Well, like I said a the top, I wanted to dive a bit more into the adaptation. They do end up leaving some chunks out, and they also end up combining a few plot elements together, but all in all the episode was as straightforward as it needed to be. The two manga chapters have a bunch of asides and a few end of chapter gag strips, but that would only break the flow of a television production, so I’m happy to include them here. In the meantime, I’m just going to assume some might come in as web only content or tipped into the discs later on as specials. I’m happy with the episode regardless. This was one of my favorite stories in the early run of the manga, and I’m happy to see that they did a bang up job with it. It succeeded in showing the real value in the friendship that both Kazuya and Chisato share, and it elevates her from just “helpful ally that fades into the background when the fighting starts” to someone that can add layers to the story in her own right. Yes, that’s a bit of foreshadowing. Next time, the show looks like it gets back to the wackiness in typical blunt force. The service is gonna get stupid-weird-ridiculous!
It’s gonna be the game where everyone wins!