Lie in April 20, Shirobako 21, Saekano 8

Kousei's looking pretty happy for the moment ...
Kousei’s looking pretty happy for the moment …

Not much change in Your Lie in April. Everyone’s still getting the rug pulled out from under them. Kaori continues to die, adding an attack of some sort right when Kousei and Ryouta come to visit, right after Kousei admitted to Ryouta that he was in love with her. To make it even worse for Kousei, and us, the show adds an unpleasant coda to the black cat motif they’d been doing this episode, starting with the one he tried to rescue as a kid, then the happy, content one behind Kousei and Tsubaki, and then, well … A bit of overkill, so to speak.

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Tsubaki’s story this week is partly a retread; she’s already had her rug pulled away over Kousei. Of course he doesn’t think of her that way. So we walk in familiar ground while their scenes add lemonade motif into their flashbacks, which I prefer to cats because lemonade doesn’t get killed, and this episode has death and doom looming everywhere else. And thank heavens for Tsubaki: she makes a move, and she makes it in a wonderful Tsubaki way, by going roundabout with Kousei about his feelings for Kaori, then telling him that she should love her instead. Then she kicks him and runs off. Just what the show needed! I’ve heard some gripes about the show’s comic bits, but without them this would all be a wearisome exercise in the joy of music, and pointless romantic-era-dripped death.

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Shirobako 21 starts with the theme from last week, “Why do you make anime,” and takes it in a different direction: “Why the hell is Hiraoka making anime?” I suppose it’s the nature of the show to want to dig deeper into the psyche of the man who replaced Tarou as the biggest thorn in Musashino’s side. In terms of plot, Segawa asks to not be assigned any more work from Hiraoka or Titanic Productions (a name that should have sounded ominous from the beginning). Aoi has to handle the complaints while keeping the production line rolling. It’s more of a setup for a bigger crisis, I think. There are lots of scenes where animators and whatnot work hard and finish on schedule, setting us up for a whammy down the line. Everyone there works with the fear of another Jiggly meltdown.

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I admired Aoi last week for not letting the “What do I want to do?” question get to her, but this week she can’t avoid it. I wonder about it too, since she is basically administration and not talent. True, Aerial Girls Squad would not get finished without her, but she doesn’t actually create any of it. With all the crap Hiraoka throws at her (and kudos to her for not backing down), Aoi has to be wondering more. But most of the time the show gives the characters the answers they need, and a visit Isokawa’s new company shows her how another person supports the creative talent they have. So it looks like Hiraoka will somehow be brought into the fold, although, in spite of Yano’s talk of how passionate he used to be, I’d still kick him out the door. Does that make me a lousy anime producer?

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How many episodes of Saekano are there, anyway? I assumed it was one season–most shows like this only go that long–but they’ve got so much business to take care of I guess it’s actually two. Otherwise they wouldn’t have an episode like this, where Tomoya and Megumi go to help Izumi sell her book at Comiket, since the only point of it seems to be to establish Izumi’s raw talent and to get Eriri jealous. As for that, I’m on her side. Tomoya, you know it’s impolite to praise an artist when another is in the room, or something like that. Nice contrast there, since Izumi earlier talked about how she loves meeting people with the same interests. Her view is more open than Eriri’s. Maybe if the latter didn’t have her parents manning her booth … Meanwhile, Megumi, in her usual deadpan fashion, tosses out some of her funniest lines yet. Oh, since I muttered about symbols in Shigatsu, Eriri loses her hat. In the first episode, Megumi lost her hat. Are thy working on a hat theme?

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