Sagrada Reset Episode 15
by Gabriella Ekens,
How would you rate episode 15 of
Sagrada Reset ?
Good news everyone! Well, bad news if you enjoyed reading these write-ups. Sagrada Reset didn't get enough votes on the seasonal poll to get a second cour of coverage. That means this will be the final episode review. In lieu of this development, I'll be cutting the episodic analysis a little short this time to get into the postmortem. Sagrada Reset was a bad show that not many people (including your humble reviewer) seemed to have liked. Why did things turn out that way, and did it have to be like this?
As for the episode itself, Kei solves Honoka's problems by getting her to acknowledge her own misery in the dream world. The Bureau's dream-destroying strategy had just lead Honoka to a sort of cognitive suicide, so Kei resets to start over. In this version, Kei convinces Chiruchiru not to save Honoka from the town-destroying monster that represents her repressed loneliness. Instead, he's the one who does it, encouraging Honoka to connect to a real person – him. This is, of course, a false promise since Kei can't inhabit the dream world full-time. So at the last second, Kei substitutes the Old Cat Man, who can take his place here full time, and the two hit it off. Both Honoka and the Cat Man are slightly less miserable, and Kei has saved another woman. Success!
In the meantime, Sumire and Haruki have a chat, where they declare their mutual animosity and opposition to one another in the War for Kei's Dick. This is pretty much the worst way to position the show's two main female characters and I hate it. As usual, Haruki gets the worst of it – while both girls base their immense supernatural powers entirely around their love for Self-Insert McBoringface, Sumire has some agency. She probably wants to destroy the fatalistic destiny machine that her powers keep her trapped inside of. Haruki, meanwhile, just wants to be (and basically is) a tool in Kei's pocket. Barf.
Overall, while I rag on the story a lot, I still have to call Sagrada Reset's failings primarily visual. If this show had been imbued with an even decently lively production, I think it would've attracted a much bigger audience. The story's actually not too far from the formula for these sorts of character-based high school procedurals. (I personally call them women-fixer shows, since that's what they always seem to be about.) My Teen Romance Comedy SNAFU and the Monogatari series both fit into this basic schema, and they both became immensely popular. Otaku do like this genre, and Sagrada Reset isn't an entirely uninspired example of it. The setting is interesting, and I can see the philosophical examination of the various powers working out interestingly with some tweaks, but those other shows had snappy, stylish productions and Sagrada Reset does not. There were antics and gags, as well as characters who could actually emote. Sagrada Reset is about as visually interesting as cardboard.
Of course, this isn't meant to minimize problems in the show's writing, which I've taken issue with on many points. This is all just to point out that many of these narrative snags could have been smoothed over by a stronger production, as far as a broader audience is concerned. I have similar criticisms of My Teen Romance Comedy SNAFU and Monogatari's stories, but those still managed to be popular in spite of (or even because of) their story flaws, because they were packaged in an entertaining way. By contrast, I don't think anyone on the production team really cared all that much about Sagrada Reset. Every shot is just about the least inspired one possible, and the whole thing feels like it was made to fill time. As much as the narrative wasn't for me, it was far from the least inspired drivel in the world, and it did deserve better. More than anything, I think I'll remember Sagrada Reset as a missed opportunity. But unlike in Sakurada, there are no more second chances here.
Sagrada Reset is currently streaming on Amazon's Anime Strike.
Gabriella Ekens studies film and literature at a US university. Follow her on twitter.
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