Since I won’t be going into in-depth coverage of SaeKano b in our weekly podcast, I have decided to dedicate blog posts when it seems fitting. So let’s get started!
A Script in Peril
In this episode, we have continue from last week’s cliffhanger where Aki confronts Utaha about the necessary changes that need to be made to her game scenario. While Utaha doesn’t get the answer she wants, we do get the answer that Blessing Software needs. The script is WAY to wordy to be played as a game. Aki figures this out after adding the scenario to an alpha build of the game, and he realizes that the script needs to change to fit the needs of a game rather than a novel.
While visual novels follow from their namesake analog format, it’s the visual and interactive aspect of them that draws in the reader. This is what Aki wants from the game they are creating. It’s one thing to have Kasumi Utako’s story in your game, but a completely different ballgame when it comes to actually making a visceral experience for the player.
Aki tends to do the right thing when it matters the most. This wasn’t the easiest experience for both Utaha and himself, but it was necessary to make sure that their game is successful enough to compete with Rouge en Rouge‘s game in their same genre. Luckily, Utaha is able to see where Aki is coming from and they completely revise both Meguri and Ruri’s story paths. This does lead to Aki’s contribution to the story.
Happily Ever Harem
Aki finds a way to not just keep BOTH heroine routes, but he manages to add another one on top of it! Since he wants to have a possibility where both heroines are happy, Aki decides to add a 3rd main route to the game, where both heroines live happily with the protagonist.
This kind of story is clearly outside of Utaha’s realm of expertise. Thus, she gives the task of writing this scenario to Aki himself. She not only wants to push him as a writer, but she wants to see for herself if Aki is capable to bringing such a possibility of communal happiness to life–in-game and IRL.
Writer, Dreamer, Lover
Megumi comes in the clutch again this week, realizing the true reason why Utaha wrote this new scenario for Ruri. She want’s Aki to choose and accept her.
Utaha tends to pull from her own experiences and personality when she creates her heroines. This is true for her character Sayaka in Koisuru Metronome, as well as for Ruri in their circle’s game. Whether Aki understands this or not, Utaha really is just a lonely girl who wants to experience the love and acceptance of the guy she likes. To be chosen over all the other love interests, just like Sayaka and Ruri.
The last scene in the episode really broke a few walls down for me. Megumi calls out to Aki while in character as Ruri, a character who’s personality is based off of Utaha, but who is visually based off of Megumi. As Megumi got into character as Ruri, many lines were blurred as a result. We’ve got game and real life, Megumi and Ruri, Megumi and Utaha, Utaha and Ruri. Utaha really wanted Aki to choose the Ruri that most relfected herself in the character over the previous version that is closer to Megumi.
This scene gave me weird chills because I wasn’t really sure who we were really seeing talking to Aki. It was as if three character were melded into one. I was left wondering how it must have felt for Utaha to watch Aki and “Ruri” dance together outside of the folk dance circle. Does she see herself dancing with Aki? Her character representation? Or maybe even just Megumi? All we know is that this seems to be the favor that Utaha asks of Megumi on the school roof when Megumi confronts her about whether the new Ruri is actually Sayaka (and Utaha herself). This also finally gives the inspiration Eriri needed to overcome her drawing slump, albeit reluctantly and with disdain.
Feel free to post any comments or feedback below. This is my first blog post covering an episode of a show in-depth so any feedback is much appreciated! -Rolando