by Lauren Orsini,
How would you rate episode 7 of
When I saw the title of the latest Anime-Gataris episode was “Miko Quits Writing,” I assumed it was going to focus on one character's struggles, much like Kai's love life woes last week. Instead, the ensemble cast shines brightest when they're all together. In an episode that resembles Shirobako crossed with a high school comedy, the anime club once again tries to justify their existence with their biggest project yet—creating an anime of their own. It's unfortunate that this two-parter has yet to unveil this inevitably hilarious creation, but the slow pace gives the group time to explain the entire occasionally frustrating and ridiculous process of going from zero to anime on a budget.
Is anyone else tired of the Student Council coming up with bogus new excuses to shut down the anime club? I felt like we should have moved past this by now, especially after we discovered that Erika and the Student Council President have a history together, and also after we saw the president on the phone with a shadowy figure who I assumed would become the club's new antagonist, raising the stakes at the same time. Instead, it's becoming ever less believable that anyone would hold this big of a grudge, and therefore harder to take the club's predicament seriously. But hey, it sets the stage for a pretty cool premise: let's make ourselves an anime!
The biggest challenge is figuring out how these six larger-than-life club personalities could decide on just one idea. I loved Kai's terrible art and Arisu's Gundam self-insert. But finally the group decides to simplify with an anime short, while teaching the audience all about anime shorts in the process. (This was the first time I did not get a single one of their references to real life anime shorts—I just don't watch a lot of those. Fortunately, This Week in Anime contributor Michelle Liu has the answer sheet.) From there, it's time to break everyone's spirit in the silliest way possible, as they come face to face with just how grueling it is to put your all into anime production.
The best and most high-energy scenes are the ones that feature all of the characters at once. By now, the club members are comfortable enough to joke around and riff on one another. The anime within an anime clearly has a “too many cooks” issue only mildly aided by the mysterious storyboard they found in the talking cat's room. It's great to see each character taking charge of a production role—and especially cute to see Minoa playing director. I'm sure the voice actors had a lot of fun pretending to be students pretending to be voice actors. You may have noticed that Minoa's friend Yui, voiced by Rie Takahashi, did an intentionally bad impression of her own Konosuba character, Megumin.
Despite all the setbacks and hijinks, the anime club is well on their way to finishing an anime in time for the school festival. Even with this supposed cliffhanger, it's difficult to be too worried for them—this latest threat from the Student Council is no different than anything else that has been thrown at the anime club so far. It's more rewarding to just enjoy the anime club's hilarious back-and-forth and pretend that this poor attempt to create tension never happened.
Anime-Gataris is currently streaming on Crunchyroll.
Lauren writes about geek careers at Otaku Journalist.
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