Saekano: How to Raise a Boring Girlfriend

Review time! When nerd and prolific blogger Tomoya Aki has a chance encounter with a mysterious beauty one fateful spring day, he is enamored with the idea of creating his dream dating sim! Gathering the best talent he can find, including the blond pigtailed half-British, very tsundere childhood friend Eriri Spencer Sawamura (who is talented illustrator who goes by the pen name Eri Kashiwagi, mostly famous for adult comics), the black haired, beautiful but cold, biting and sometimes possessive Utaha Kasumigaoka (who is an up and coming novelist under the pen name Utako Kasumi), and eventually his cousin Michiru Hyodo (who was born on the same day and in the same hospital as him, and has a band called Icy Tail, and seems to be a little too flirty with him), to make his dream a reality. There is only one hitch: his “muse” is anything but inspiring. Turns out, it is his fellow classmate Megumi Kato, who despite being pretty, is so utterly bland and forgettable that he didn’t even realized she existed until she thanked him for saving her beret (the incident of that spring day). With that in mind, Tomoya declares that he is not only going to make the best dating sim ever, but that Megumi will be the main heroine and he will turn her into a heroine that everyone will love! It is going to be a long road, to be certain. With fun humor (a lot of tongue in cheek and fourth wall jokes), a unique premise and interesting character development, Saekano: How to Raise a Boring Girlfriend is an enjoyable RCA that gives us a small glimpse into what goes into making a dating sim, even a small budget one. Tomoya is often focused so much on making the game that he misses what the girls around him are trying to tell him, or finds out all too late (sometimes to comedic effect, sometimes with dramatic fallout). The three main girls (Eriri, Utaha and Megumi) all grow in their own ways, as this game pushes what they can accomplish and how much they can stretch. Megumi in particular shows substantial growth, as she goes from being a boring, unmotivated person to displaying surprising depth (and occasionally a sharp wit) at times. The fan service is weird: the first episode of each season has loads of it, but then it only shows up in certain episodes, and most don’t have any at all. Also what is interesting is that the show gets better from Season 1 to 2, as the comedy is more consistent, and the show gets more emotional as well. There is a movie that came out in Japan last year, but as it has not received a translation yet, there is no way to review it. I am also avoiding the Wiki page, to avoid spoilers, so I don’t know who Tomoya will end up with. But I suppose we will just have to wait, to finally see how one Raises a Boring Girlfriend!

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