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[WIW] Anime-Gataris! Where the heroine’s favorite show is, just on the tip of her tongue...

Quasar

Feeling kinda smurfy
Validated User
Yeah. Though unless the protags are the student council they are pretty much always villainous.

Which does make me wonder about the nugget of truth regarding student councils in Japanese schools. Of course it has always seemed like students play more of a hands on role, doing things like tidying up classrooms and class reps doing a lot of what staff would do in my school experience.
 
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yalborap

Well, that’s just Prime.
Validated User
Meant to have a me day, get some fun things done, catch up on reading and writing and watching and then do logs with a fresh mind.

Yeah that basically all didn’t happen. Recaps resume tomorrow, I’m taking today off to try and actually get my head cleared.
 

Shay Guy

Registered User
Validated User
I don't think you've commented on it yet, but have you noticed what the show's been doing right before the OP?
 

yalborap

Well, that’s just Prime.
Validated User


We survived a really jank battle in D&D, huzzah! Now, let’s get things rolling. It’s Anime-Gataris, episode 08! Here we GO!

Spoiler: Show


FRONT HALF

So they are really horny about Yui at the start of every episode. I’ve been kind of ignoring it but the artists keep doing it.

Anyways, after last time, the crew’s left in despair. Is this it? Is this the end of the anime club? With so many resources sapped at the final hour, can they even get a fraction of the remaining work done…? Should they just…Give up? Mitsuki ends up suggesting they should air it unfinished, as proof they existed. But the very idea sounds like just a lesser form of forfeit. Minoa’s distraught, in despair, and ultimately needs to leave to clear her head…

Which takes us to her house. And to the best scene in the entire anime. She ends up telling her sister about all of her struggles, and how her part as Cute Girl A might never happen now…And then, their father hears. Goes into his things. And returns with an old DAT recorder. A bit of an aged tech, but the sound quality is more than enough. You can record your lines on this and feed them back into your computer after. Use a carpeted room like their living room to get good enough acoustics.

And it all comes out.

Secret otaku dad.

He was the man at the comic convention, the one making jokes to keep people energized at the final push in the summer heat! He’s been an otaku for years! Given the recorder, I can’t help but wonder if he might have been in the original club, the one that Arisu and Minoa picked up the pieces of…Perhaps, perhaps that would explain the mystery anime. A screener copy her father had from his high school days, that a young Minoa watched…

But anyways. Minoa is re-invigorated! She sets up the recorder with the mic, gets her sister and dad ready…Dad gets too close, sister reflexively slaps him, and dad goes into quoting Mobile Suit Gundam, because of course he does.

There’s only one problem. Minoa sends a message to everyone at the end of the night, calling for them to meet her in the club room at lunch…And by morning, it’s still on Read.

Her doubts only grow throughout the first half of the day…And when she finally makes herself go to the club room, to work on her damn self if necessary, it feels bittersweet…

I mean, until Erika shows up, having pulled a daring heist to get the stuff the art club had already finished before the student council locked them out. And Miko shows up with an expanded novella adaptation that they can use. And Arisu finished up the action scenes by shamelessly riffing on good ones from other shows. And Kai replaced the dance-number ending with a production-assets one, cutting that entire section off the to-do list. And Mitsuki finished up sound effects at home.

The message? Nobody saw it…Because they were all too busy pouring their hearts and souls into this. They are united, Minoa. Driven. This may or may not succeed…But whatever happens, will be because or in spite of them putting everything into this, right up until the last second! They, will, not, surrender! Not when their director’s passion still burns so bright!!!

That just leaves one problem.

The audience. How to get enough people into that damn screening…Miko ends up quoting a club anime, and that suddenly sparks an idea. Club anime…Clubs…Anime…

A club anime talk session! Since they’ve got this huge central stage, why hog it all for themselves?! Why not put on some anime about various clubs, and then have their actual matching clubs come and talk about their experiences, how the anime is similar or different, and just enjoy watching a passionate depiction of something they love???

They’ve got so many options! Like Ace of Bench for the baseball club! Or The Fresh Prince of Tennis for, well, tennis! These big hits are easy to draw in some club members with, and soon, soon they’re getting enthusiasm, and it’s spreading! Can they do this? They might just be able to do this…!

Episode 09! Arisu Can’t Make Enough Money

BACK HALF

It’s the big day. Do or die, it all comes to here. Minoa faces her morning full of cheer, complete with sharing a reference to amazing mecha anime Guden Daran with her dad, before she’s off…Her sister’s bringing some friends by later, and even mom and dad are planning to show up, but will they be enough? There’s only one way to find out.

As the festival starts, our heroes are at full charge, handing out flyers left and right, using every connection they have to draw in as many people as they can. Erika even ends up giving one to Minoa’s sister, feeling an odd connection to this girl she’s never met…

And then, the event itself begins. Minoa finds her family there…And BEIBEI?! Seems she didn’t just come to Japan for Comiket, oh no. She’s studying in Japan, and when she heard from her classmate Minoa’s Sister that the very same girls she’d met at the con were making their own anime short, she just had to be here!

The talk goes off without a hitch, drawing more and more eyes, as the sports field fills to about 80% capacity…But then? Then it’s time for the real deal.

The anime short.

It’s…

Well, here’s the thing. As a professional piece, it’s kind of garbage. But it’s garbage in the exact way that a bunch of overly energized high schoolers short on time and high on enthusiasm would produce. Yeah, it’s rough. Yeah, it’s slapdash. Yeah, Minoa only got one take of Girl A and Man B and you can hear her mom saying dinner’s ready in the background.

But then there’s a couple of really solid shots, those postcard memories that classic anime so loved. The music holds together. The joke about ArisuRobo not working because their budget is so pitiful lands. And the moment when, in lieu of money, they call for the audience’s cheers? Yeah, that shit’s cliche as hell…But damn if it doesn’t work in the moment. When it holds, just shy of the meter filling up, and the crowd revs it up, it’s, so good.

The only other problem is the lack of the dance number they’d planned to record for the ED…But fuck it, they’ll do it live! With the working song playing, Minoa, Arisu and Miko step out in idol costumes, and do the dance number that they’d memorized so many times over in getting the choreography figured out! It’s the same dance they’ve been doing in our ED, shot for shot, and somehow, somehow that too just works.

The crowd is amazed. And why wouldn’t they be? For all of its rough edges, a couple of high school kids poured this much heart and soul into this project, and it shows. They could chase a real future with this, you know. Minoa could really enter the creative world on this. Why, we could hard cut right now to her sitting miserably at a red light, far too late at night, wait wrong anime about anime.

And when it’s all over…The chairwoman is back on the phone. Having to apologize to the principal, for failing to shut down the anime club yet again…And holy shit he’s the most evil looking man I’ve ever seen.

When the credits play for real, it’s over a shot of the hall of a karaoke club. The crew’s singing their ED song, not super well, and just hanging out, to celebrate everything they accomplished today. They’ve earned it.

And that’s the episode. You know, for all of my problems with the student council…The bulk of the previous episode, and just about all of this one, were pretty great. It’s one thing to make something special when you’ve got solid resources at your back and time. But it’s really pretty spectacular, when you can manage to pour enough raw passion and sincerity in to make that core shine through the rough edges and the limitations.

This day, the Anime Club was victorious. Not just over the student council. Not just over their own doubts. But over an entire world that would say not to take risks, not to do the stupid thing, not to show your work before you’ve filed all the sincerity off to make it fit into everyone else’s box.

Space Girl Magical Robot Travels to Another World, Where She Sings and Dances, but in the End She Ascends to Heaven and the Two Are United might not be the best entertainment. But it’s some of the most honest art I’ve seen in quite some time.

We’ll just have to see how things shake out in the aftermath of it next time, in episode NINE of Anime-Gataris! Wait for it!
 

yalborap

Well, that’s just Prime.
Validated User


I just…I just want to relax. I just want to not have the people around me always adding to my fucking stress levels. I just want to not feel like I’m having to constantly keep everyone else upright because nobody’s capable of managing their own workloads or their own mental and emotional states.

I’m fucking tired.

Anime.

Spoiler: Show


-NIKUMUCHI SADDLE HIME HIME (HINA HINA). Miracle Titans. Mudou-kun. Ace of the Bench. Fresh Prince of Tennis: Kanto Regionals. Tengen Bakuha Guden Daran! Slash Dunk. Tarako’s Basketball. Shake. Timbre! French Horn.

FRONT HALF

So, things have gotten…What’s the phrase here…

Out of hand.

It all starts simply enough, at the wrap party for Space Girl Magical Robot…, where everyone’s enjoying themselves, Miko is despairing over the separation of script writers(who have had a chance to rest) and the animation crew(who are still recovering from the madness). And Yui, hanging out with Minoa’s friends, ends up bringing up how she wishes her track efforts could be more like an anime, instead of feeling like she’s currently hit a wall…

Which leads to a simple suggestion. Watching Nikumuchi Saddle, the hot blooded sports anime about handsome boys bike racing. It’s not quite track, but it hits a lot of those “fighting against your past self” beats and has a lot of good thematics that might help! Arisu’s even got a blu-ray copy.

So that’s a pretty modest start, right? How could this get out of hand?

Minoa finds out a few days later. When she finds the entire track team is not only practicing harder than ever…But is singing the mahou shoujo song from Saddle. Hina Hina is no Hime Hime, but it’s doing the job, as the track club kids slam across the track, singing the song in their hearts! This is slightly more than planned, but hey, it’s fine, it’s fine, it’s fine…

It’s not fine.

Once the baseball club discovers that the track club got ANIME ADVICE that helped their performance, they too want ANIME ADVICE. And sure, hey, try some of the classics, like Miracle Titans, Mudou-kun, and Ace of the Bench!

After the baseball club, comes the tennis club. And the robotics club. And the tennis club. And soon, there’s a line out the door of club reps looking for the perfect anime that will give their club the hot-blooded passion that will spark them to the next level.

Allllll of that, would be fine.

If things didn’t escalate.

Because the clubs…Well, they started taking the anime advice a bit literally. From trying to use secret techniques, to borrowing comedy beats in serious practice, everything starts going a bit sideways…And yet, they’re not going so awry that the requests for advice stop. On the contrary, they get more intense, as the school begins trying to live life as an anime!

And then things get really out of control. When Yui manages to get a pair of dash boots from the robotics club, who clearly started watching HeroSchool. And Yui starts running around everywhere with her new rocket boots, despite the fact that I am reasonably certain rocket boots violate several known laws of track club ethics.

This is episode 09. The Anime Club: Forever Snobs

To Minoa’s credit, she tries to get a sanity check from her family, who confirm that yeah, doing something like rocket boots(or a rocket lacrosse stick) would be absurd. They don’t actually live in an anime, after all.

…Then she gets to school the next day and finds that nobody else got that memo. The martial arts club are building a DUELING PYRAMID, the go volleyball club have decided chess boxing wasn’t intense enough, and Minoa is quietly realizing she’s the only sane person on this entire grounds.

Also, a question.

WHO LET THE ROBOTICS CLUB WATCH ROBOTICS;NOTES?! I KNOW THE REFERENCE YOU’RE MAKING AND I KNOW YOU SHOULD NOT BE FLYING THIS CLOSE TO THE SUN

Something has gone deeply, deeply awry in this school.

BACK HALF

Did I say the school? I meant the city. Because all of the…Let’s call it success, of the various clubs, has a local TV station wanting an interview! An interview? On TV? On the wonderful box from which anime is released?! Yes! All about their school’s full powered ANIME TRAINING.

It’s enough to, honestly, inspire doubt in Minoa. Even with everyone so happy, even with Mitsuki trying to settle her unease, something just feels…Off. But is it just her imagination? Mitsuki sure thinks so. And then, the day of the interview comes, and everyone’s pumped…And they even get a shot of Yui breaking her records with her new dash boots, literally soaring to new heights on the power of anime!

Then things get…Creepy. When the interviewers offer the club advisor teacher a payment for the interview, ethically he cannot accept it…But it’s Mitsuki who’s there behind him, telling him to do it. That it’s fine. That they could just add it to the club funding, and turn it into more anime supplies…And thus, does he take the money. Things settle, as the crew goes to leave…

Except Erika receives a single, two-word message from her old friend the chairwoman. To be careful

Things almost seem normal, when the student council duo shows up the next day to demand the club be shut down, and at this point not a single one of them cares…I mean, until the fucking principal shows up. Even the fish is watching, now, as they get hit for…For receiving outside funding. And Mitsuki betrayed them by revealing it to the principal! The club is forfeit. The teacher’s job, forfeit. Their entire world…Forfeit. All as Mitsuki, or as Kai calls him, “Aurora”, simply walks away…

…Well shit. That escalated quickly and then it kept escalating through the entire building and now it’s on the edge of the roof threatening to jump. Something is going on here, far more than just the straightforward tale of a bunch of anime-loving cute girls and handsome boys doing cute/handsome things…

We will just have to see what that is next time, in episode TEN of Anime-Gataris! Wait for it!
 

redwulf25_ci

Clown Pope of Wushu
Validated User
I haven't been participating because I didn't want to drop spoilers accidentally but this is the episode I noticed what was happening. It had been happening for almost the whole show but it had finally stopped being subtle.
 

yalborap

Well, that’s just Prime.
Validated User


At last, I have a day where I can actually relax for a bit, if only because the frantic panicked attempt at festivities isn’t happening for a bit yet. Let’s try and get this done while I can breathe. It’s Anime-Gataris, episode 10! Here we GO!

Spoiler: Show


FRONT HALF

So the OP just got very, very meta, as you can see by the screenshot overhead. Not only is it solely focusing on Yui, but all those clips are the weird little focus-clips from the camera getting thirsty for them runner’s thighs right before the OP in all the previous episodes!

As for the actual episode…I don’t even know where to begin.

So it all begins with Minoa being very sad, and with the collapse of the Anime Club…But, aside from some comedy beats when she tells her family about it, her father makes a very important point. What made the Anime Club matter was not the room or the funding or the status. What made it matter is the people. A family is a family even without a home, and an Anime Club is an anime club even if they’ve got to meet on Sundays in a karaoke booth! YEAH!

And you might think that would be the path, we’ll do a bittersweet but heartfelt thing about the strength of friendship in the face of adversity, and though the Anime Club dies, the anime club will live on…

Yeah no.

Because when Minoa gets to school the next day there’s a fucking protest going on. The entire student body is furious about the principal’s decision, and are picketing the school building! So he tries to declare the school is shut down and they are now all expelled, but that just gets them to march to his office! This is getting…Out of control? Oh yes. So very much so.

And even moreso when the mob tries to force their way into his office, only for the doors to seal up under multiple inches of plate steel. It’s only DJ Cat’s swift action that draws Minoa to one side, where he shows her a secret entrance into the office. But with the door sealed, she’s alone with the principal…

And that’s when things go completely off the fucking rails.

Because he mostly wants to critique the poor quality of Space Girl Magical Robot…, but Minoa isn’t taking the bait. See, Minoa’s not like most of us internet-age creatives who, well, as the saying goes, you ruined a perfectly good artist look it’s got anxiety. She takes all of his critiques and bashing of her work in stride, because on some level she’s already looking to the next one, which presumably won’t have a sudden stripping of resources while working against an incredibly tight clock. Oh shit, my dudes, Minoa’s caught the doujin bug.

So, this leads to the principal asking what the hell even was that short…And of course, Minoa was pulling from her childhood favorite.

Are you ready for the biggest twist yet?

Turns out the principal’s an old school anime fan. He starts rattling off vintage classics from the cel era, everything from Super Dimension Bonsai Micross to Andromeda Angel, trying to find the sources for Minoa’s inspiration. Of course, he fails, because she’s mixed it all together in her head at this point, and can’t separate it out…If it was ever separate to begin with. (That she somehow saw a screener copy of something her father did in his youth, a Daicon IV style mishmash mess, is not out of the question for me)

And as our crew listen in from outside, the conversation turns to enthusiasm, to the principal’s love of those old classics, from Bishoujo Fighter Sailor Bunny to Nurusei Yakara, and to the incredibly important and deeply under appreciated role of the director in making anime.

Between Miko’s recurring despair at the lack of respect the script writer gets, to this whole setup, I’m feeling very much like the crew are telling me how they feel. And I get it. I understand. I’ve made team projects and it’s a fucking pain in my ass there’s a reason I fell into just writing light-novel-ass web fiction that I can do on my own.

Sorry, what were we talking about?

Oh, right! Anime-Gataris.

Look shit keeps getting wild. Mitsuki comes back, everyone’s calling him Aurora, he insists he has five siblings and is deeply poor and the principal got him a chance to go to a good school so that’s why he’s under the man’s thumb and had to help him shut the club down. The principal gets more and more mad about how things can go so wrong so fast, it turns out he used to be an Anime Club member in his own youth, and then went into directing, but his first series got cancelled after a terrible reception of the first episode, and now he’s full of DARK RAGE.

So dark, so raging, that he makes it rain here in the room. Which is…Very, very bad. Yes, this is bad. The good news is that the big steel plate turns out to have a kitty door in it, so maybe, just maybe, the rest of the crew can get inside! Let’s find out.

BACK HALF

Okay no that kitty door was way too small. So instead, they’ve got to find a way through the door…And that means solving the mystery that has locked the principal’s heart!

They race, using every tool they have at their disposal, from live streaming to hitting up chan boards to asking the folks running old established anime shops down in Akihabara…Well, except for Mitsuki, who seems to be stirring the flames more than actually helping…

While Minoa keeps trying to talk to the principal. And, well, I’ll give you the short version, because both sides figure it out at once.

I was a little bit off.

The anime that Minoa watched…It had a name.

Ultra Katharsis Koritsi! Eternal Symphony!

It was made not by amateur high schoolers of the cel age, but by young professionals. It was a certain man’s debut work…And the first episode received such poor ratings from a young internet culture, that he panicked, and pulled the entire thing.

Minoa saw that first episode, on its one and only airing. She fell in love with it, went back time and time again every week…But it never showed back up.

Because the man who would become the principal, felt nothing but shame about it, about all the effort and the hopes and dreams he poured into the thing.

But of course, Minoa loved it. She was touched by it, moved by it! And when the rest of the crew finally gets into the room, with the password KATHARSIS, they reveal Minoa wasn’t the only one. In the short time this mystery took to solve, people who saw that airing started coming out of the woodwork. People who bought some of the limited-release merch before it could get pulled from shelves. Tape traders who held onto this precious one-off. Passionate fans. (And one guy who’s just really into Arisu FBI open up)

Even a flawed work, even a work that the world seems to hate…Can touch hearts. Can inspire passion. Can change lives for the better.

The principal, in the end, remembers his love of this medium. The passion, the dreams, that inspired him to want to create…And the fact that, no matter the rough edges on Minoa’s work, he made someone else find their passion.

So with his passion rekindled, he takes his leave…And the Anime Club is able to return to their room. To relax. But things are…Weird.

Miko casually talks to DJ Cat. Minoa notices, but everyone else thinks their talking cat mascot is totally normal. And Mitsuki looks to that door

Oh god.

Oh god, it all makes sense.

All the Anime was in that room. She let the Anime out. She never closed the door after getting out the storyboard sketches.

And there’s one more twist, at the very end. Minoa goes to talk to the principal, but finds him gone. His office still soaked from the depression storm. And an old yearbook left on his desk. One that shows his graduation year’s Anime Club, so proud. (I’m pretty sure one of the freshmen there is a young Otaku Dad) And in the graduating member lineup, the photo to send them off, is…Mitsuki…???

Shit’s getting wild my dudes.
 
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