Saekano: How to Raise a Boring Girlfriend | 12 Episodes |Subbed | Crunchyroll
Initial Impression: This is going to be nothing but tropes, but it could be interesting. Maybe.
Alright, so it’s been a while since I’ve done a blog post, so excuse me while I brush off my reviewer hat and put it back on lol. But there’s no time like the present, so here we are! I decided to dive back into reviews with Saekano because it was literally the only thing on our watchlist that Mr. Otaku didn’t care about watching with me. That being said, let’s get into this.
Thoughts after the first episode:
This is going to be nothing but one trope after another. I wasn’t sure what I was walking into before starting this, but considering that the first scene was a bath scene with two girls arguing over anime, I didn’t know what to think. Either this was going to be great or horrendous. But, instead of the MC trying to steal a glance or trying to ignore them, he’s listening and pissed off — not because he can’t see them, but because they’re discussing anime and he can’t participate in the conversation.
The premise of this anime is the MC — Aki-kun — was inspired to create a game when he saw his classmate and enlisted the help of said classmate, his childhood friend, his senpai, and his cousin to create it. The first episode seems to give us a glimpse at what would be the mid to end point of an average anime — where everyone has already been enlisted and have been working together for months on the project already and, of course, all the girls are in love with him and fighting for his attention. He — being the oblivious otaku — doesn’t seem to notice.
We get our introductions to all the characters in the beginning, and that’s when the tropes laid in heavy. We’ve got the busty girl with long black hair, Kasumigaoka Utaha — she’s the one who works on the scripts and concept. We’ve got Sawamura, his childhood friend who has always been in love with him as the illustrator, and his cousin Michiru as the one in charge of music. Then there’s Kato, she doesn’t do much and fades into the background most times, but she’s the girl who inspired Aki-kun to start all this.
They refer to the group as “the circle” and proceeds as a typical ecchi hotspring/bathhouse anime episode. Lots of shots of girls in robes, side boobs, and even a scene where the girls get tipsy (I’m guessing here, I don’t know what they were drinking but they def looked that way), kidnap Aki-kun from his room, and get a bit handsy with him against his will off-screen before passing out in their room. Kato is the one who ultimately rescues him and they go for a walk after all this, which is where you start to see her somewhat dry and wry personality — which I honestly liked a lot. The other girls were such stock tropes, while I was amused enough, I wasn’t impressed.
Sawamura is your typical pigtailed, loud, been-in-a-onesided-love-for-way-too-long-but-he’s-still-my-man-so-keep-your-hands-and-boobs-off-him, jealous childhood friend. Utaha is your typical pretty, busty, better-at-everything-and-likes-to-tease-her-kouhai, senpai. Michiru is the overly friendly, bright and peppy, freakishly-strong-and-good-at-everything-but-not-in-a-bragging-way, friend who interrupts at just the right time to keep everyone in the group from getting too crazy.
I’m curious enough at this point to keep watching, but I wouldn’t make this a binge — it’s more of a, “I’ve got an hour to kill, let me watch an episode or two” kind of vibe. If you’re the type of person to watch anime in public, I wouldn’t recommend doing that with this one — there’s too many scenes that are inappropriate to pause on.
Final thoughts after finishing the season:
This show was not what I expected, but in a really great way. I didn’t think that I would get into it at first because it was so heavy on the tropes. But that’s actually the appeal of this anime, it leans into the tropes because the characters are otaku trying to create a dating sim game — so they’re self aware of the character types and it’s very meta in a lot of ways. I found it to be hilarious the more I watched it and I think anyone who enjoys a good dynamic of characters would enjoy this one. My favorite was definitely Kato, but honestly, all the girls grew on me after a while.
I really liked that (with the exception of Kato) all of them were established in their genres of expertise — Utaha-senpai was a working author, Eriri was a well-known dojinshi illustrator, and Michiru is the lead singer of a band she created. The show is incredibly ecchi — meaning the first episode 100% sets the tone for the rest of it, so if situations that could be taken out of context aren’t your thing, then this may not be the show for you. But, despite the situations they get into, they take the project of creating a game seriously and Tomoya Aki (the protagonist, Aki-kun) has an episode of essentially conquering the route of each girl, which is actually highly amusing. Especially since he’s an otaku who regularly states that he prefers 2D girls to 3D ones.
Al in all, I would definitely recommend this one for an amusing, chase-your-dreams-with-a-bunch-of-girls-who-not-so-secretly-love-the-protagonist anime. Definitely worth the watch, but that’s just my opinion on the matter.
💙 The Otaku Couple