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Saekano Blu-ray Set 2 (a J!-ENT Anime on Blu-ray Disc Review)

June 18, 2016 by  



saekano-2

Hilarious, fun but also more dramatic for the second half series, “Saekano” is an entertaining anime series for those who want to get a glimpse of the challenges involved in creating a gal-ge video game.  Recommended!

Image courtesy of © 2015 Fumiaki Maruto, Kurehita Misaki, KADOKAWA FUJIMISHIBI/Project Saenai. All Rights Reserved.


TITLE: Saekano Blu-ray Set 2

SERIES RELEASE DATE: 2015

DURATION: Episodes 6-12 (175 Minutes)

BLU-RAY INFORMATION: 1080p High Definition/16×9, Japanese Linear PCM Stereo, Subtitles: English

COMPANY: Aniplex of America Inc.

RATED: TV PG

Release Date: May 31, 2016


Originally Created by Fumiaki Maruto

Directed by Kanta Kamei

Screenplay by Fumiaki Maruto

Music by Hajime Hyakkoku

Original Character Design by Kurehito Misaki

Art Director: Natsuki Kusakabe

Anime Character Design by Tomoaki Takase

Production by A-1 Pictures


Featuring the following voice talent:

Ai Kayano as Utaha Kasumigaoka

Kiyono Yasuno as Megumi Katō

Saori Ōnishi as Eriri Spencer Sawamura

Yoshitsugu Matsuoka as Tomoya Aki


After many agreements and disagreements, the members of Tomoya’s gal-ge production team “blessing software” are finally working hard! Eriri is really into the game’s character design as Utaha is devoting herself more to the scenario than her own novels, and even Megumi exerts her “stealth ability” on the internet. However, there is one problem – who is doing the music? Tomoya tries to convince his cousin, Michiru, who plays in her own band. But Michiru doesn’t only show a lack of interest in games but tells the members to stop being otakus and get a life. Is blessing software breaking up without completing the game!?


As Tomoya tries to organize his team to create his gal-ge video game, he still needs someone to make the music and probably need some help in programming.  Who can Tomoya turn to as their deadline to have a game made before Winter Comike is coming up?

Also, find out more of the history between Tomoya and Utaha and Eriri.

Find out what happens in the second and final volume of “Saekano” on Blu-ray!

What is “Saekano”?

In 2012, Fumiaki Maruto and illustrator Kurehito Misaki created the Japanese light novel series, “Saenai Hiroin no Sodatekata” a.k.a. “Saekano”.

The light novel received a manga adaptation and in 2015, A-1 Pictures would create a television series adaptation for FujiTV’s noitamina block.

The anime series is directed by Kantai Kamei (“Dimension W”, “Bunny Drop”, “Nanana’s Buried Treasure”), a screenplay by creator Fumiaki Maruto, music by Hajime Hyakkoku (“K-ON!”, “Jewelpet: Magical Change”), character designs by Tomoaki Takase (“Wagnaria!!”) and background art by Natsuki Kusakabe (“Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood”, “Ro-Kyu-Bu! SS”, “Date A Live”).

The anime series features voice acting by Ai Kayano (“Food Wars! Shokugeki no Soma”, “Aquarion Evol”, “Lagrange – The Flower of Rin-ne”), Kiyono Yasuno (“Macross Delta”, “Ushio & Tora”, “Wake Up, Girls!”), Saori Onishi (“The Irregular at Magic High School”, “Active Raid”, “Strike the Blood”) and Yoshitsugu Matsuoka (“Sword Art Online”, “Love Lab”, “Yowamushi Pedal”).

And now the second volume featuring episodes 6-12 has been released on Blu-ray courtesy of Aniplex, Inc.

The series revolves around Toyogasaki Academy student Tomoya Aki, an otaku who works part-time to fund his lifestyle of watching anime, playing dating sims and more.

One day, he encounters a beautiful girl during spring vacation and a month later, finds out that girl is his classmate named Megumi.

Tomoya wants to create a visual novel computer game, so he recruits the beautiful high school students, his childhood friend and student novelist, Eriri Spencer Sawamura to design the art and Utaha Kasumigaoka to write the games scenario.

Needing a heroine, he recruits the naive Megumi Kato as the “heroine”, who will be the main character’s love interest.

But with deadlines looming and the personalities of the girls all clashing, can Tomoya get them all on the same page in order to meet the deadline (and release it at Winter Comike) and will he find the additional people to join his gal-ge team?


The main story focuses on:

Tomoya Aki – Tomoya is a student at Toyogasaki Academy and is a otaku who loves reading manga, watching anime and playing galge (pretty girl games). He wants to create a visual novel, so he tries to recruit the people needed for the game by Blessing Software.

Eriri Spencer Sawamura – Tomoya’s childhood friend and is half British and half Japanese. While she is popular and refined, she also has a secret otaku lifestyle of playing video games. She creates adult-themed manga and goes by the name Eri Kashiwagi and is part of the group, “Egoistic-Lily”. She is tsundere, cruel and sadistic.

Utaha Kasumigaoka – An up-and-coming young novelist going by the name of Utako Kasumi, her first light novel “Koisuru Metronome” published under Fushikawa Fantastic Bunko sold over 500,000 copies. She is beautiful and intelligent and popular.

Megumi Kato – Tomoya’s classmate who is ordinary, knows nothing about otaku culture and is the person that Tomoya wants to recruit as his “heroine” for his visual novel.

Izumi Hashima – Two years younger than Tomoya but she looks up to Tomoya for introducing her to otaku culture.  Eriri looks at her as a rival because Tomoya always wants to help her out.  Izumi is the youngest sister of Iori, who represents the dojin circle, Rouge en Rogue.

Michiru Hyodo – Tomoya’s cousin.  She likes to hardly wear anything when she’s home and has a band known as Icy Tail (a pun on the Japanese word, “Aishiteru” which  means love).


VIDEO:

“Saekano Blu-ray” features gorgeous animation by A-1 Pictures. Character designs are well-done and well-shaded, while backgrounds and structures are well-detailed. Overall, picture quality is vibrant and the series looks fantastic in HD!

AUDIO & SUBTITLES:

“Saekano Blu-ray Set” is presented in Japanese Linear PCM Stereo. Dialogue is crystal clear and subtitles are in English.

SPECIAL FEATURES:

“Saekano” vol. 2 comes with the web previews for episodes 6-12.

EXTRAS:

“Saekano” vol. 2 comes with a slipcase, eight illustration post cards and reversible cover.


The life and struggles of those who try to create a gal-ge game (a visual novel/dating sim which focuses on a guy meeting different female characters and by selecting the right choices, you will end up with one of the female characters at the end of the game).

As the first volume focused on Tomoya bringing together a talented writer and artist, but also choosing a (quiet and shy) girl to be his protagonist’s voice actress, he still needs additional help in finalizing the game before it’s deadline and presentation at Winter Comike.

But still tensions still persist as the girl’s do not all get along but also issues that each of the girl’s have with Tomoya.

With the final six episodes, the series focuses on the past that Tomoya had with Tomoya and Eri, his friend Izumi, his cousin Michiru (who he wants to convince to make music for the video game) and more.

By far, these last six episodes are much deeper as the episodes explore the feelings these girls have towards Tomoya.  And being the naive guy he is and his focus on creating a video game, he is of course, blind to the fact that each of them have feelings towards him.

And despite the more emotional tone set by a few episodes, for those who love the fan service, will still get plenty of it in volume 2!

My favorite episodes in this latest episode are episode 9 as we learn how Eriri and Tomoya were friends, and how they were very close when they were younger but why there was a rift between the two.  Also, episode 11 when Tomoya introduces everyone to his cousin Michiru.  Of course, it doesn’t hel much that Michiru hardly wears anything and she’s Tomoya’s age and now living with him.

The second volume is in my opinion much better than the first half, because the storyline shows a more dramatic element, retains the humor and fan service style, but the episodes were better written this time around.

The Blu-ray release features vibrant animation and voice acting for the series is quite solid and you have Yoshitsugu Matsuoka, voice of Kirito for “Sword Art Online” playing the main character role of otaku, Tomoya. It’s important to note that the anime series is in Japanese only, there are no English dubs included.

Special features includes the web previews for episodes 6-12 and also comes with a slipcase, eight postcards and a Blu-ray case with a reversible cover.

Overall, “Saekano” is a fun and enjoyable series about a group of high school students who have very different personalities, trying to work together to create a visual novel.

Hilarious, fun but also more dramatic for the second half series, “Saekano” is an entertaining anime series for those who want to get a glimpse of the challenges involved in creating a gal-ge video game.  Recommended!

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