Saekano: How to Raise a Boring Girlfriend - Reviews

Alt title: Saenai Heroine no Sodate-kata

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Poio's avatar
Apr 6, 2015


Hello everyone.
If you've read something of mine already you can scroll down to the 'watch if' section and move on. Newbies are expected to read the following paragraph to understand why I rate this anime higher than One Piece.

I rate anime based on how it relates to others of its genre. It's very hard for me to understand the logic behind people saying that "this anime is bad because it has a harem" or "cliche stuff" or "it's always a guy without any superpower getting all the girls, boring". When I review Gundam I will not tell you it is bad because it has giant flying robots in it - that would make no sense, and I try to make sense when not heavily medicated.
Off to the good bits.

Watch if:

- You understand what this type of anime brings to the table,
- Final resolution is optional (this might have more seasons)
- You're not expecting giant robots or secret jutsu,
- Fanservice is not a huge problem for you,
- You don't require loli/yandere


Don't watch if:

- You were told this is the third and final season of Naruto,
- You're expecting nudity on censorship-level (none of this here)
- You think this might resemble "White Album",
- You belong to the "OMG another weak MC!" WhineClub(Tm)

This review will seem very non-descriptive. I've actually just finished the series, and I could most likely relay the whole plot for you, but that's counterproductive. You will like it, and you will like it even more if I don't tell you the details.

Story

"Things start at school. There's a boy, some kind of club/group is formed, and so there are girls. He desires to do something, they desire to do... you get the idea."
 
Loved it. For some reason made me think of Sakurasou no Pet na Kanojo and Bakuman. It's actually so well made, that additional seasons are possible and welcome. Granted - veterans of the genre won't find anything new here, but it works well, it's putting a "we know this is cliche" spin on things and is actually enjoyable. I sat through this in one day, and I don't even finish the bad ones, ever.

Animation

"One rarely watches these shows for the story"

Everything from the opening through fanservice scenes going on to backgrounds is great. The level of detail is beyond what one expects from a 12ep series with this kind of plot. The level of detail and crisp animation made any forced nudity absolutely needless.

Sound

"It has guitars, can't go wrong with that."

OP and ED are great. The music in the anime itself is also good, actually catchy and you won't have that feeling "was there even music in this anime?". VA work is also good, especially for the "heroine" who really had a tough job.

Characters

"Every single female character in these series is the same..."

Once you've watched a few, not to mention tens of these you will find yourself recognizing traits and responses. It's something to be expected here as well. The "heroine" character stands out as a fresh idea, but the "cliche" roles are also well done. You will not dislike the cast, favorites obviously would vary with individual taste.

Overall

I really enjoyed this anime. I might have said that before, but you will enjoy it too. Its bright, funny and (what's so rare with these) leaves you wanting more. Worth your time.

8/10 story
9/10 animation
9/10 sound
8/10 characters
8.5/10 overall
InfiniteSummer's avatar
Jan 26, 2015

Oh wow, why am I not surprised. Where should I begin?
Should I call this Manga Art on life? Since there's Kirito 2 in it.
Another anime with a spineless main character that is a hoe magnet but have absolutely no talent/cool points/attractiveness whatsoever.
Hoho, and did I mention it's animated by the same company as SAO and the main character is voiced by the same voice actor as Shitrito?
Let me get one thing straight, I do not hate SAO, the plot and concept is amazing. It's the characters that ruin it for me.
Saekano appears to be the same victim of character garbagization.

They both originated from light novels.
We have the arrogant brat, who thinks he's on top of the world, aka Kirito 2, who looks absolutely identical to each other, only difference is the specs.
We have the overly obsessive siscon/cousincon/relativecon.
We have the extreme tsundere, the one who's honest with her feelings and the girl who the main character will end up with and not even the world ending could stop it.
And as usual, we have a joke of a bestfriend to the main guy who is just there for comedy purposes and is portrayed as a 100% loser.
However, as similar as they could be. Even with the rubbish casts, you get that odd sense of curiosity of what's going to happen next and still stick to watching till the end of it anyway.

Unlike most generic animes that you will drop if it's not interesting/pisses you off. Both of them just keeps you coming for more, keeping your hopes up, hoping that the next episode might be better.
My advise is that u watch it till the end or  don't start watching at all.

I'd recommend it to anyone having zen like patience/having a goal of watching all anime in existence/otakus/having too much free time/just in it for the lulz.
I do NOT recommend it to anyone who watch anime for fun/hates SAO/loves life.

Coincidence? Loomynarty!

I might change this review as this anime eventually completes but for now, i'm sticking with this rant.

6/10 story
9/10 animation
8/10 sound
2/10 characters
6/10 overall
deadpansnarker's avatar
Aug 9, 2015

If you’re like me and read reviews or look at the rating before deciding to watch an anime, then this one is probably going into your Won’t Watch list.

Allow me to change your mind.

Make no mistake, a lot of the criticism Saekano has received from the other esteemed reviewers on this page is justified, if you can look past the sarcasm and occasional shouting. First of all, it doesn’t help that it’s a harem anime; a trope that has so oversaturated the industry that it’s becoming difficult to tell the good from the bad. With any harem anime also comes the inseparable problem of character development. The premise for each of the heroines falling in love with Tomoya can be pretty weak in some cases, and how exactly do you make 5 uniquely unforgettable heroines without falling into the trap of standard characterizations – tsundere, kuudere, yandere, dandere or just dere? To the less discerning viewer, Eriri, the quintessential childhood friend (another trope), is no doubt a typical case of the former, while the remainder of the supporting female cast round out the list in some particular order. Tomoya, whose voice actor people know better as Kirito rather than his real name, seems at sometimes to exist only to act as a foil for the rest of his otaku circle, even though he’s supposedly the director and main character of the story. This is likely to turn off those who cannot stand weak protagonists in the tradition of Amano Yukiteru. Watching Saekano inevitably invokes flashbacks and inferior comparisons to similar better anime that have gone before (before the lolicons took over the world) such as Sakurasou, Bakuman and even Kaminomi so that the end product might taste a bit stale to those who have been around for a while.

But what’s wrong with that? The individual elements that make the story may be borrowed, but the finished product is in this author’s opinion one of the hidden gems of an otherwise nondescript Winter 2015. The story combines the best elements of those anime I’ve named above – the creative struggle in Sakurasou, but lazier, like Welcome to the NHK! and cheekier, like Kaminomi. The entrance of Iori halfway through the series provides a tangible villain for the viewer to root against, which I thought was a nice touch. The humour ranges from cheesy (Nisekoi) to witty (Gintama) and isn’t afraid to venture into the sexual realm (Bakemonogatari). Tomoya may be your plain old straight man character, but much like Shinpachi, he's absolutely integral to the series's lampshading and occasional breaking of the fourth wall. This anime knows very well that it's full of cliches and doesn't hesitate to bash itself over it.

Most importantly to me however, is that it's still not clear who will emerge as the eventual victor that wins the heart of this completely clueless otaku, if anybody does. It's not like Nisekoi where they can throw in any girl and you know they're just wasting time before Team Chitoge triumphs in the bitter end. I am going down with the Onodera ship.

Eriri is obviously Chuunibyou’s Dekomori reborn, but her role as the one-dimensional tsundere lasts only up till episode 9. Utaha is your eccentric femme fatale senpai but with a soft side and also a dark side – kind of a poor man’s Hitagi Senjougahara. Even Tomoya can be cool when he wants to be. Ironically, Kato – the titular boring girlfriend – is to me the most interesting of the lot. I haven’t seen a heroine with such a lack of(?) or lazy(?) character – even the rest of the cast can’t agree which she is. Her deadpan responses to everything made me both irritated enough to want to throw my laptop out the window and tickled enough to want to collapse from laughter. She has to be doing this on purpose. I don't know who the hell Yasuno Kiyono is but she should definitely get bigger voice acting roles in the future.

For audiophiles: The OP and ED are both all right, but do check out the Asterisk DnB remix of Sawai Miku’s Colorful. 2 weeks in and I'm still playing it on loop. The OST also contains a rearranged version of Bill Withers’ Lovely Day, and when it came on I felt both incredibly happy and lonely knowing that I might be the only person who noticed. Love that 70's-80's R&B influence though. Slightly less obscure: a cover of Gurren Lagann's OP in the final episode which gave me a spontaneous erection I will not apologise for. My fellow anisong lovers will understand.

When all is said and done however, it’s likely that Saekano will go down as one of those niche anime where you either drop it at the first episode or see it through to the end. You'll either love or hate the characters; dry humour and tasteful ecchi is not for everyone. The only people who can appreciate otaku culture are, well, otaku. But if you’re left with nothing to watch since Shippuden ran out of fillers, why not give Saekano a try? You don't have to pick up To Love-Ru Darkness just yet.

7.5/10 story
8/10 animation
9/10 sound
8.5/10 characters
8/10 overall
ACrankyOldMan's avatar
Jan 21, 2019

The main concept of the show itself is pretty funny where the main protagonist wants to make a game based on an interaction that he had with a girl from his school, a girl that he doesn't know and never interacted with.

He asks this girl to be his main heroine for his video game and she agrees. He also asks his 2 closest friends to help 'm out, one of them is a girl who draws kinky art and the other girl is an established writer. Both these girls have feelings for the main protagonist.

The heroine girl doesn't really know how to express herself but agrees to basically try anything our main protagonist asks of her which ends up pissing off the 2 others girls because they'd love the attention he is giving the heroine girl.

There is a lot of history between the main protagonist, the artist and the writer. Both girls don't hide the fact that they're interested in the main protagonist but he's got his reasons for keeping them at an arm's length. It's not that he doesn't care for them but they both have put 'm in a situation where he had to make certain choices which he didn't appreciate... a burden he also doesn't know how to deal with. The first season is basically the main cast acknowledging the issues that they have and trying to find answers on how to fix them.

As the show progresses we are introduced to more characters with even crazier personalities but they all add a nice extra layer to an already sound foundation.

8/10 story
9/10 animation
8/10 sound
9/10 characters
8/10 overall
WeissSchnee87's avatar
Jul 5, 2018

This anime me feel three emotions. It made me feel frustrated, bored and angry. Today I will you why I felt these three things. Our main character (The Your Lie in April lookalike) is extremely annoying and aggravating. He uses these girls just for his dating sim, nothing else. He doesn't really try to get to know them as people, he's just like (YOU NEED TO BE A GOOD HEROINE HAHAHAHAHA XD) The Your Lie in April looklike is always screaming all the time and for some reason the people around him don't react to him? There just there like Oh that kid screaming about dating sims over there, Oh he's completely normal. He literally asks the girl he's basing the heroine on (her name is Megumi) to not see her cousin anymore because.... his little ego is twisted up? Before I get too carried away, let me tell you the plot of this "masterpiece." The Your Lie in April inpersonator wants to create a dating sim where everyone hearts sing. In order to do this he convices three girls to be on his team. The girls are Megumi, Utaha (the only redeemable character in the show) and Eriri. As you go further into the show, the more you realize they do absolutely NOTHING to progress with the development with the game. They ask him for help on their manga, Eriri gets mad that he helped a middle school girl selling her manga. COME ON. Then she's like "You never look so excited with my manga" SHUT UP.. PLEASE... HOW ABOUT THE GAME YOU HAVE BEEN WORKING ON!!! Ugh well, there's so many more cringey and werid moments in this anime but I feel that this is already too long. Before I go, I hope you guys have a nice day and I'll see you later. 

3/10 story
6/10 animation
4/10 sound
1/10 characters
2.5/10 overall