Saekano: How to Raise a Boring Girlfriend Flat Episode 6
by Theron Martin,
How would you rate episode 6 of
Saekano: How to Raise a Boring Girlfriend Flat ?
This episode illustrates the problem with harems: give one anime girl too much consideration – even if it's for a good reason! – and you piss off another one.
That's definitely an oversimplification of what happens in this episode, but it's at least true to some extent, and it's at least a development that even the very dense Aki should have seen coming. After all, he's played enough dating sims to know that when a girl point-blank gives you a flag and you completely ignore it, there are going to be consequences down the line.
The issue arises because Aki literally drops everything and rushes to Eriri's side when he gets the impression that she has collapsed due to an illness. He has good reason to worry, as we find out that her constitution wasn't the greatest when they were kids, and she did indeed collapse now. On the plus side, prioritizing her well-being over making sure the game was finished was the right thing to do, demonstrating better than anything else how important Eriri is to him, but on the minus side, he doesn't consider that exclusively prioritizing her isn't something she'd look completely favorably on under the circumstances. After all, she overworked herself to the point of sickness to get the artwork done – and it's beautiful artwork! – but not getting the finished project delivered to the production company on time means that they have to go to Comiket without their full game, which mutes Eriri's enthusiasm over the attention that Aki has shown her. Still, she winds up getting her predicted feature time with Aki, just like Utaha did a couple of episodes ago.
The second half of the episode mostly involves Winter Comiket, though it gets comparatively little story focus considering its importance from early on in the first series. Instead, this episode is much more about character interactions – Eriri with Izumi and Aki with Iori, who stepped in to help by transporting Aki out to see Eriri. The game's apparent rousing success that sells out quickly for Blessing Software is also a comparatively minor point compared to what comes after: Megumi slamming Aki for trying to take on everything himself. She explicitly stated last episode that she was on-call to help out over the weekend and wanted to be involved in bringing the project to completion, and it's true that she could have taken care of the last-minute production matters while Aki tended to Eriri. So it's quite easy to understand why she would have taken Aki blowing off her phone call and not asking her for help as a slap in the face. Aki isn't socially keen enough to have done that as a deliberate sign of lack of trust, but there's no way that even the level-headed Megumi wouldn't take it that way. Frankly, I'm quite glad that Megumi isn't letting him get away with that without consequence, as harem girls tolerate that kind of thing too much all too often. Aki's stunned expression at the end of the episode when Megumi rebuffs his invite to the after-party is one of the franchise's sharpest individual scenes to date.
All that drama aside, the consistency of the artistry this episode was shakier than normal, as there were a few places where Eriri in particular seemed to slide off-model. And do my eyes deceive me, or was Iori's driver actually Akane, the manga artist who founded Iori Izumi's doujin circle and who we see later at Comiket? That she was named “Enaka” (Akane in reverse) is all too suspicious. Did she get involved just out of professional curiosity, or is something else afoot?
Regardless, now that Winter Comiket is in the bag, the series' future direction is unclear. Clearly Aki has some fence-mending to do with Megumi, but what else? At least this arc comes to a satisfying conclusion by not taking the path of least resistance.
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