Episode 10

by Lauren Orsini,

How would you rate episode 10 of
Anime-Gataris ?

In “Anime Club Finally Falls” it's safe to say that Anime-Gataris has officially gone off the rails. While it's always showed signs of unraveling into madness, this episode clinched it. A final stand-off with the principal turned out to be just the surface-level conflict, as the very cornerstones of Minoa's reality begin to fall apart. Even as things get crazy, the show loses none of its silliness. It's firing on all cylinders, but the aggressive speed at which developments occur gives me the feeling that Anime-Gataris is trying to do way too many things at once.

The principal has a real beef with the anime club, but why? After all, the whole school adores it so much that they even picket the principal to bring it back! Aided by Neko-senpai, Minoa manages to confront him in his office. It turns out the principal has been watching their every move, including their crude attempt at their own anime. Even though it's all critique and no praise, Minoa takes it as a compliment that he's been paying them so much attention. When he compares it to some older shows, it's clear that he's an anime fan himself. (My favorite fake title of the day: Super Dimension Bonsai Micross.) But could he have been more than an anime fan, a director perhaps? One who got his first anime canceled and never recovered? And could the reason nobody knows what childhood anime Minoa saw be because it was canceled after one episode? Wouldn't it be way too perfect if those shows were one and the same?

But of course that's exactly how it goes down. It's more than a coincidence—it's kismet. Once, Anime-Gataris was a show about anime fans sharing the medium they love. Over time, it has instead become a show in which the most unbelievable parts of anime occur on a regular basis—it has become an amalgamation of the club members' favorite shows. From Nakano's heel-turn and back again to a ridiculously quick Japan-wide search for the missing anime title to the principal's extremely specific problem that only Minoa could solve, it's one impossibility after the next. It may appear like everything has gone smoothly, but the mystery isn't over yet. When Nakano's apology goes down far too smoothly, the Principal is instantly placated, and everybody's suddenly talking to Neko-senpai like it's the most natural thing in the world, only Minoa suspects that something is very wrong.

Since the first episode, Anime-Gataris has had unsolved mysteries. For example, where did the red beret that Minoa found in the locked room go, and what will come of its loss? Who is the man that looks like Nakano standing near the principal in the old anime club portrait? (Nakano's sob story was so ridiculously similar to Osomatsu-san that of course it couldn't be true!) Even as we're faced with these head-scratchers, Anime-Gataris isn't just dramatic, but funny. Even though I loved the extension of the Yui gag to the entire opening theme, and Kai calling the kettle black when he disparages the principal as a chuunibyou, I had to admit that there were a lot of irons in the fire here, perhaps too many to hone in on what's really going on. Neko-senpai calls the upcoming episode the “climax”, so we'll just have to wait another week and hope all this wackiness pays off.

Rating: B

Anime-Gataris is currently streaming on Crunchyroll.

Lauren writes about geek careers at Otaku Journalist.

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