Sakurasou no Pet no Kanoujou – 09

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A wild hikikomori appeared.

[rori] Sakurasou no Pet na Kanojo - 09 [C1FE26F1].mkv_snapshot_00.24_[2012.12.04_20.35.39]I won’t deny a bit if trepidation based on last week’s preview, but that was mostly unfounded – we didn’t have another Yuuko atrocity on our hands with Rita Einswoltz (Kawasumi Ayako).  Rita (despite looking about ten years older) was Mashiro’s roommate when she lived in England, and she’s mostly a fairly sensible girl.  In fact, she’s come to Japan to bring Mashiro back from the frivolous world of manga to the responsible world of bit-time art from whence she came.

[rori] Sakurasou no Pet na Kanojo - 09 [C1FE26F1].mkv_snapshot_00.34_[2012.12.04_20.35.50]Probably the headline, though, is the long-awaited appearance of shut-in genius programmer Akasaka Ryuunosuke (Horie Yui, back with another male role).  But it’s not Rita’a arrival that’s lured him from his lair, it’s school rules – apparently in this school district you can attend class once in five months and fulfill the attendance requirement sufficiently so as to avoid expulsion.  Ryuunosuke is every bit the oddball you’d expect in some respects but quite surprising in others.  His hair is long, straight and very feminine, and he’s certainly lacking in social graces.  But he’s also perfectly confident in expressing himself verbally and seems to show no especial anxiety at being amongst people – though he does proudly profess that he “hates women”.  It’s as if he’s chosen isolation for completely practical reasons (as long as he can get his tomatoes, he’s fine) but I suspect there’s more to the story than that.  Whether he becomes a regular for the remainder of the series or goes back into proxy mode remains to be seen.

[rori] Sakurasou no Pet na Kanojo - 09 [C1FE26F1].mkv_snapshot_01.06_[2012.12.04_20.36.32]The twin storylines concern Rita’s attempts to get Mashiro to return to London and the high-falutin’ art world she left behind for manga, and the upcoming culture festival at school, for which Misaki has decided that Sakurasou will submit a project that will “dominate!”  It starts out as an anime version of “Galactic Cat Nyaboron” , an idea she’s been gestating since kindergarten.  Eventually, though, we can see this will develop into another vehicle for Sorata’s character development, as it’s his suggestion – an interactive RPG version that requires group cooperation to win – that gets adopted.  This might be a vehicle for Ryuusuke to stay involved with the plot as well (as he’s been added to the OP and ED, signs are hopeful).

[rori] Sakurasou no Pet na Kanojo - 09 [C1FE26F1].mkv_snapshot_04.15_[2012.12.04_20.38.25]As to Mashiro and Rita, I consider the lame humor surrounding Rita ensconcing herself in Sorata’s bedroom just another descent into the kind of formula tripe that Sakurasou really has no need to resort to, but Ritaa’s presence does bring the question of Mashiro’s future to the fore.  If she’s really as great an artist as Rita claims she is, perhaps manga really isn’t the most suitable use of her talent?  Or perhaps the series will take this as an opportunity to advocate for manga as fine art in its own right.  In any case it’s clear that Mashiro takes her desire to stay in Japan (i.e. with Sorata) very seriously, as witness her repeated “Sorata no baka!” admonitions after he fails to fight off Rita’s advances on his room.  And indeed, after seeing her painting at an art exhibition Sorata proclaims that she really does belong in the art world – something that will surely score him no points in Sorata’s eyes.  I don’t see Rita going anywhere anytime soon, so this debate may be center stage for a while.

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25 comments

  1. J

    can you imagine how bloody amazing this series would be if it cuts out all those otaku-pandering stupid jokes? It's still a really fantastic series though, but I wish it can cut away the fluff. I do have a feeling that the next few episodes would be crucial into how the series will end up as a whole. Would it fulfill its full potential or will it floundering about doing the mediocre jokes with occasional flashes of brilliance?

  2. I do find the extremes in Sakurasou rather puzzling – I really wonder how much of it is the source and how much the adaptation. It's clear that the author is capable of really smart, subtle and dark character stuff, and clever humor as well – but why does it sink deep into the lowest common denominator morass so often? It's a lot like Hanasaku Iroha in that respect. I wonder if those two shows have anything in common…

  3. V

    Nope they don't and I'm pretty sure Hanairo had no fluff much less fanservice of any sort.

    I'm not really sure where you're drawing the comparison here.

  4. x

    Keep the coming-of-age and the talented vs talentless themes, change every otaku pandering aspect of the show and then you'll have something called Hyouka.

  5. t

    This might surprise you Enzo but the anime adaptation is cutting out a whole lot of "lowest common denominator morass" there might seem like there's a lot in the anime but there's plenty more of it in the novels that got left out of the anime.If anything the anime adds more importance to Sorata's self discovery journey than the novels with a bunch of small stuff like the anime original dialogue in ep1 where the shop keepers tell Sorata to be ambitious while pointing at the statue or for example if episode 8 had been more faithful to the novels you'd have had more pool and less job interview as well as the pool part happening before the job interview.

    Oh and since we're talking HSI , when asked by P.A to do something for their 10th birthday,Okada's proposal was an anime about an adult woman entering her working life,producers rejected the idea and asked her for something involving highschool girls.

  6. a

    is there going to be a love triangle between sorata-aoyama-Miyahara?

  7. L

    "Oh and since we're talking HSI , when asked by P.A to do something for their 10th birthday,Okada's proposal was an anime about an adult woman entering her working life,producers rejected the idea and asked her for something involving highschool girls."

    Typical.

  8. x

    @Vanth

    Hanairo wasn't an ecchi show, but it had more plenty of moerotic moments. Also, first episode couldn't have given a more misguided impression about how the rest of the show was going to be.

    Also, these two shows do have something in common (the fact that I think Enzo was implying to us):
    http://myanimelist.net/people/5978/Okada_Mari

  9. 0

    I’m inclined to pin the blame on the light novel author rather than Okada. Whatever else can be said about Okada, you don’t tend to see her writing brocon little sisters or having her heroines stage bedroom invasions, even in something like Aquarion EVOL where they let her ecchi tendencies run wild. Those tropes are common in light novels, but Okada-ecchi is not typical light novel ecchi. And indeed, we know it was the light novel author who wrote the little sister episode.

    (Something like the scene in episode 2 where Sorata ends up in his boxers because Mashiro wants him to model nude for her is more Okada’s style, though my gut feeling is that part is in the original novel as well.)

    “Rita (despite looking about ten years older) was Mashiro’s roommate when she lived in England”

    Bit strange, that. In my experience, Asian girls tend to look maybe 4-5 years younger than their European counterparts.;)

  10. I have no idea where this is coming from, as I said – haven't read the LNs. I just think it's interesting that the two shows in the last year that most exemplify the "There was a Little Girl" test were both adapted by a writer whose work tends to run in that direction. Might be complete coincidence and the adaptation would have had even more trash like episode 7 in different hands, as totoum says.

  11. B

    I watched both this and the latest episode of Girls Und Panzer today and both shows used the same damn joke.

    "Hai hai!"
    "You only need to say it once"
    "Haaaaaaaiiiiiiii…"
    "Don't drag it out!"

    Is this joke super hilarious somehow in a way that I'm not seeing? Do these two shows share writing staff? What the hell.

    This show could have been great if not for the stupid non functional comedy. I guess that's pretty common in anime though, good ideas ruined by incompetent execution.

    Also, was anyone else a bit put off by how everyone kept talking about what Mashiro "should" do? This may seem obvious but shouldn't it be her decision? Just because she is a great painter doesn't mean she is somehow obligated to paint on demand just because people tell her to, if she'd rather do manga what right do these people have to tell her otherwise? Is this a cultural cognitive dissonance? My American sense of self determination clashing with some Japanese cultural thing? It bothered me for the whole episode, she's not a goddamn robot, let her do whatever makes her happy.

  12. B

    Also, I need to stop clicking on the seiyuu links that you post, looking through their past credits makes me want to rewatch old shows and I don't have time for that dammit. This is me reading through those:

    "Ooh she was in Angel Sanctuary, that was the only manga I ever read from beginning to end, I should read it again sometime! Oh, Genshiken, that show was hilarious! Great Teach Onizuka! Man I haven't seen that in forever! Onegai Teacher <3 Mizuho <3! Rahxephon, my favorite mecha of all time!" etc. etc. etc. This is really bad for me I can't afford to fall into this trap lol.

  13. V

    Its Mari Okada, what do you expect? She's a wild card. Her writing comes off at the seams when she starts to get indulgent. When she exercises some restraint, you can tell she's got the skill for it.

  14. H

    The part that particularly bugged me about the "She should go back to 'art'…" stuff ('art' in scare quotes because isn't manga art?) is that it's like not only are they literally treating her like a pet, but they're also treating her like a time-limited object, as if her artistic talent will run out her ears or something. Mashiro's a ~16 year old girl. She can do manga for a few years, then go back to painting. Or take a break from manga and do a painting. Indeed, we see her working on a painting, right during the episode, while exchanging texts with Sorata! It's not like she said "I want to give up painting to take up Ultimate Fighting" or something that would hold the risk of ruining her hands through injury. She just wants to try something different. Hasn't she earned that?

    Although Rita's probably the kind of person who would complain at Michelangelo "Why are you painting that ceiling? You should get back to sculptures!"

  15. i

    I honestly thought it was a pretty funny joke. I chuckled a bit. It takes a little understanding of how Japanese normally say "hai" to understand.

  16. H

    Oh, and Mako's version of the "Haaaaaai" joke was a lot funnier. Mako is a great deadpan troll (almost as good as Mashiro), and tweaking Sodoko never gets old.

  17. t

    "Although Rita's probably the kind of person who would complain at Michelangelo "Why are you painting that ceiling? You should get back to sculptures!""

    I know I can't post spoilers but it's pretty frustrating to see people judge rita when they don't know everything about the situation.

  18. B

    Yes I agree the joke was funnier in GuP because Mako is awesome but it wasn't THAT funny even there. I just found it strange that the same exact joke was used in the only 2 new episodes I watched yesterday.

  19. H

    totoum, you have a different set of information. It doesn't matter what's coming in the future, what matters for discussion is what's been shown in the anime. And her motivation for wanting Mashiro to go back to painting doesn't matter. She's still doing the same thing: "I don't approve of what you're doing now, I think you were better doing this other thing." My point is that what if people told Michelangelo that he shouldn't paint the fresco on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel, because they looked at David and thought that his time was better spent doing more sculpture?

  20. H

    Beckett, that's just coincidence. If there hadn't been the schedule screwup for GuP, they would have been a week apart instead. And I would guess that's a fairly common cultural thing, since 'hai hai' is a bit overly dismissive, so the authority figure will complain about it. It may not even be much of a joke, just a general indication of dismissal and pushback against that dismissal.

  21. A

    I wouldn't call it a joke either: it's just a fairly standard way of having two people with opposing personalities bounce off each other. One of them isn't taking it seriously, and the other takes it more seriously than normal. I've never even considered that it was supposed to be funny on its own.

    Also, I've "seen it a million times" in different various. I'd call it a standard dialog cliche, but it does serve its purpose as quick and easy characterization.

  22. s

    Good thing the last episode Okada wrote was the fourth.

  23. m

    haha, the pandering does get old for me, but i guess i am not so particular, as long as i get my character growth.
    akasaka's appearance was soo anti-climatic that i actually laughed. so like him

  24. i

    In my opinion, Enzo, you are being a bit harsh on Sakurasou. I personally think the humor that you call "formula tripe" is actually well executed overall. Sure, it is overused, but i still have gotten a good chuckle off of it and it provides a good break from the more serious parts of the story. It keeps it from getting overly dramatic like some shows (little busters).

  25. i

    In completely unrelated news, Enzo, i thought you may be interested in this blog post with some tl notes by utw's shinsekai yori translator (no spoilers). Very interesting stuff!

    http://notredrevie.ws/2012/12/02/shinsekai-yori-cantus/

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