The fourth wall never stood a chance.
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Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
Eita’s aunt Saeko finally showed up after the ending sequence of the last episode to drop a line alluding toward understanding Eita’s situation better than anyone except the audience. I was hoping this meant that this would lead to the characters being forced to accept that their current relationship was rather ridiculous, and I was blown away with how far they went with it.
The reason Saeko understands these tropes and archetypes better than the characters acting out ad embodying them is pretty simple: she makes visual novels of the same genre. This leads to her classifying every character and action as something she’s seen in countless games. Of course the characters think she’s a little crazy for treating “real life” like one of these cliché stories, but from the perspective of the audience it’s a breath of fresh air since, regardless of what any of the characters may try to tell each other, they really have been living out these clichés this entire time, and it was getting a bit grating to see things continue in that direction without any reality breaking its way in. Contrary to what the other characters think of her, Saeko is pure reality busting through the well-worn formula the series has been resting on. It’s not the first time it’s subverted its tropes, but it’s the first time they make a very real threat to the possibility of this charade continuing, or at least that’s how it seems it should be once the facts are presented.
However, in order to accept this, it’s almost necessary to completely give up on taking a huge part of this series seriously. It’s nice to see Saeko pop up to point out that this five-person relationship is not how things work in the real world, but once that’s acknowledged and each character embodies his or her respective archetype more than ever, you really have to look at it as a pure comedy and enjoy how brilliant it’s being in that regard.
The real downside to all this is that it’s happening so late. There are only two episodes left, and the club is only just now going to the beach. Their interactions for these final two episodes should be much more interesting because of the catalyst Saeko has provided, but it doesn’t feel like this is possibly enough time to really change anything. While I wouldn’t discount Saeko’s presence for any reason, and in many ways her contribution made for some of the moments I enjoyed most in this series (not that finding a high point in the series picking itself apart after I was getting fed up with it is necessarily a positive thing), it feels like a lot of what was set up in this episode won’t matter whatsoever, unless the series eventually gets another season (which probably isn’t too unlikely, but for now this is all we have).
Saeko is loads of fun. While Oreshura has cleverly subverted its genre’s tropes in the past, it’s not very often we get to see a character show up and point out that the characters have all just been living a cliché fantasy, and having a visual novel background to explain why she’s so familiar with all of this is a perfect touch. If you’ve been legitimately involved in the story and the characters’ relationships and wanted to know how things would turn out, this might not be a good thing, but if you’ve been seeing things the same as Saeko, there’s some great comedy to be had. Unfortunately, it also sets up some very interesting ideas that will never come to fruition with the number of episodes this series has left.
Streamed By: Crunchyroll
Toshiba Satellite L655-S5191 PSK2CU-1C301U Notebook PC.