After finally completing the first route of his visual novel, Blessing Software's producer Tomoya Aki is optimistic about the future of his team and achieving their goal of creating the best game of the season.
However, they still have a long way to go. For one, Megumi Katou still has an incredibly flat personality and is unable to fit the role of Tomoya's ideal heroine. The other members of Blessing Software, Eriri Spencer Sawamura, Utaha Kasumigaoka, and Michiru Hyoudou, often forget she is even there due to her lack of presence and character.
Throughout the development of their game, Blessing Software learns the struggles of working in an industry where deadlines must be met and edits are made constantly, and the hardships of working in a group setting.
This is the second season of Saekano and like it should it starts of after the ending of the first one.
I liked the first season but to me it didn't seem to be anything special or worth remembering, i mean you had the best girl fight like you have in any harem show nowadays, but this second season just raised the bar so high that it kept me waiting and hoping that thursday would finally come so i could watch this show.
Story - 9
-This story is very straightforward, you have the MC, Tomoya and his circle trying to make
this game happen. Althought they sure as hell struggle a lot in the meanwhile, making the actual completition of the game a lot more rewarding in general.
Art - 10
-The art in saekano was just plain fenomenal, from the ecchi parts to the emocional parts, it was totally outstanding for the harem type of show.
Sound - 8
-The sound was good throught the series, i've seen better and i've seen worse. Nothing to complain here althought near the end there were some really good songs in the emocional moments.
Caracters - 9
-The main caracter oh well it's your harem protagonist, has all the girls but since he is an otaku doesn't really want any of them. That can sometimes get a bit anoying, but he is the key caracter in the story after all. The girls on the other hand, might have "cliched" personalities like the childhood friend tsundere and so on but the anime actually jokes with that a lot and that makes it really entertaning. All of the girls have interesting aspects about them and make the story was more interesting overall. And yes this is the type of show where everyone fights about the best girl.
Enjoyment and overall - 9
-This show for sure raised the bar and for sure is a must watch for those who enjoyed the first season, but speaking personally, mostly near the end, this series became something that i felt growing, the caracters, their struggles and everything arround them changed in this 23 episodes. I loved the ending and overall loved the series as a whole. This is not your average harem show with no plot at all, Saekano has a story and is really nicely executed.
Thanks for reading this far, and if you just skipped to see the end, tldr it was an awesome show and you should give it a try for sure.
After stumbling across this series and binge-watching the entirety of Season 1, with regard to this season, I think I was able to get more enjoyment overall from the show. I felt like this season there was more focus on the character dynamics between Tomoya, Megumi, Utaha and Eriri. As a result I felt like they were able to get much more character development than I felt they did in Season 1.
I feel like Saenai Heroine no Sodatekata is one of the better anime in the Harem genre and it doesn't really have many of the failings one might find when watching anime with Harem
within it. The only perceived negative I can give the show is maybe the way it handles the fan service and even then it doesn't bother me personally.
If you watched season 1 of this anime and you are considering giving season 2 a go, I can recommend you do it. You will enjoy just as much, if not more than Season 1!
The road for a ‘Creative’ is a long and difficult one. The pressure of meeting deadlines, constantly improving yourself, and ultimately making something that you want is a struggle that many artists find themselves in as they try and share with the world the vision that they have. And so we find ourselves with the second season of Saekano, as we see the conclusion of what the doujin circle ‘Blessing Software’ has to offer.
Story: Picking off from the first season, Saekano Flat (which I will refer to as ‘Flat’ for the rest of the review) continues the story of Tomoya Aki and
the rest of Blessing Software as they complete the destined galge that the group’s members have been tirelessly working on.
Similar to its first season, Flat refines and solidifies the cast’s struggles and relationships with each other alongside the characters’ progress with the development of the game. In particular, the show focuses heavily on two of the main female leads, Utaha and Eriri, as they come to terms with their lives as creators and what it is they want, as many of the show’s conflicts and problems are centered around these two and the kind of goals they have for themselves and with Tomoya. As such, the story feels a lot more personal for these girls, and the screentime is used as such to dedicate moments and developments that center around them, thus giving the audience a better understanding of their characterization.
An issue with the story however is how much of an imbalance there is with the characterization. Personally, I feel like Eriri’s portion of the story is far stronger while Utaha’s feels muted in comparison. Utaha’s struggles just don’t seem as impactful when compared to how the series builds up Eriri and the kinds of things she deals with later on in the series. I chalk that up more on the series using Eriri as the series’ climax, but it still does feel unfair when looking at the two at face value.
Another is how the rest of the main cast, Tomoya and Kato, have their problems mostly have their problems shoved to the side. Tomoya kind of averts this problem by being a core aspect that influences the rest of the cast, and as such, gains growth and the ability to grow from that, but Kato mostly gets shoved to the side and only really gets to shine in 1-2 episodes as the main focus. The way they present her is nice, but I honestly wished that they did more with her than just do what they did with her.
With all of these factors in play, the show ultimately culminates into an ending that I would largely describe as ‘fitting’ given the kinds of factors put in play. It’s not the most dramatic ending, especially compared to some of the more high-tension scenes from previous episodes. But it is what I feel like is a very fitting ending for the series and ends on a high note all things considering, as the show still retains its comedic charm despite all of the drama that had happened before.
Overall, Flat was a solid second season that had many good and bittersweet aspects to it that culminated into a well-rounded show. Indeed the imbalance of dedication and time spent on the characters made some seem more important than others, but its usage of the artist struggle and personal desire to excel contrasting the struggle of personal vs. professional life made up for a good portion of the mistakes that the show ended up making on its journey to the end. (You know, despite it only having eleven episodes. Eleven episodes for a cour is weird.)
+ Finished story (because many anime don’t actually do this.)
+ Drastic characterization (with consequences and bittersweet moments)
- Imbalance with how drastic characterization is between characters
Characters: The cast itself doesn’t change much between seasons, so instead of a general rundown, I’m going to be talking more about the specifics on some of the cast shifts.
Most prominently for the series are Utaha and Eriri. As mentioned before, these two are Flat’s centerpiece when compared to the one arc they each got in season one. Compared to season one focusing more on them licking at old wounds, Flat shows the girls and their attempts at looking towards the future as the show asks the question: What happens once the game’s finished? I praised the show before for given a realistic spin on the idealistic ‘harem’ scenario, as each of the girls have their own separate lives and personalities apart from their involvement with the game and Tomoya, and Flat gives further evidence for that fact as the story progresses. You see these girls blossom by themselves as individual character, and it’s a really nice change of pace that in my opinion separates this show from other harem/drama shows, and as such, gives itself a positive identity.
Then there’s Tomoya. If I really had to pin down what Tomoya does, it would be riding off of the ‘character development train’ that both Eriri and Utaha forge ahead on. Most of Tomoya’s characterization and struggle comes off from those two girls as he sees the result of his actions and comes to terms with what has to be done with all of them. While yes he has a few unsightly moments, it results in a lot of genuine growth that is again, something that’s a nice change of pace. It sucks that it comes from a source that’s not him, but it doesn’t really hurt the series that much when you put it in context.
Kato however doesn’t do all that much. As mentioned before, she only has like…one, may one and a half episodes dedicated to her. She mostly plays a background role to all of this rather than the ‘main heroine’ as the series (namely Tomoya) made her out to be. The one episode she does get in the middle fixes several of the problems that we encounter, but doesn’t really justify her lack of involvement if you ask me.
Comparatively, the rest of the cast is hardly there. Because the show is so heavily focused on our main 4 characters, everyone else is basically shoved to the side and if anything, act as a slight instigator to some sections of the plot. It’s a shame too, because characters like the Hashima siblings and Michiru had potential; they just weren’t used much at all. (They do point this out in the show, however it doesn’t rectify the problem.)
+ Heavy main characterization
- Kato does very little (And that’s a bad thing if you ask me.)
- The supporting cast basically does nothing.
Art: Produced by A-1, the art for Saekano is the same light and gentle artstyle that it had back in season one. The red highlights on the eyebrows for the girls still bother me, but there really isn’t much different or bad in the way of the art department.
There are also quite a number of camera shots that’re intentionally framed for fanservice (mostly involving Utaha actually) however. I’d argue that it’s tasteful fanservice, since the circumstances that they come about could actually happen in real life to some degree. They’re not really that common, and if noticed, don’t really impact the story or anything of that sort to any major degree.
+ Pretty much the same art as Season 1
+/- Fanservice shots (Some people still don’t like fanservice no matter what it is.)
Sound: The new OP and ED for Flat, “Stella Breeze” and “Sakura-iro Diary” both share a similar style as being bright and gentle pieces with a slight bit of energy and a hint of somberness to them. Both of them are actually quite nice, and personally, I think that they’re a good reflection for the series that they’re a part of.
My only complaint is how similar the two of them sound. They both share such a similar tone in sound that I’d argue that you could switch the two around and you could achieve a similar effect in the series. Overall though, really nice tracks, though I’d also argue that they’re not quite that memorable? Yeah, I’ll go with that.
+ Good tracks that reflect the series
- Sound very samey
Personal Enjoyment: With the plethora of harem/romance shows that I have haphazardly slapped onto my list, it becomes an increasingly difficult trial for me to find many harem shows that I would not only actually enjoy, but also find interesting due to how samey many of them feel while watching. Saekano not only gives me that interesting harem story that I was looking for, but also speaks to me as a creator and gives me a way to relate to these characters. So for that reason, Saekano is one of my all-time favorites in the category.
Did I like this series?
I did. I really did. Despite it having a very, very bittersweet climax and resolution, I really enjoyed the characters and the story. Not only that, but I like how Saekano itself acts as a bit of a parody of the harem genre because all of the characters know and avoid the general conventions of the genre while also proving itself to be more than just a show with several girls chasing after him. The character interactions are also really, really fun to watch.
What didn’t I like about this series?
Personally, I just don’t like the climax. Not for how it was presented or how it was written, but for how it hits me personally. It’s very hard to make decisions like that, and as a fan of the series; it’s an understandably bittersweet moment to witness because if I may be honest, I like the entire main cast; maybe Kato more than anyone, but I still like everyone.
Would I recommend this series?
If you watched Season one, watch Flat. I promise you won’t regret it. (Or maybe you will because you, like me, have personal attachment to these characters. I don’t know.) If you haven’t, I would suggest this show highly. It’s has a lot of merit to it, and tells a complete story about the problems with personal life vs. professional life combined with the struggles with being a creator, a topic that not that many anime actually cover despite itself being an art medium.
When I finished watching the first season of Saenai Heroine no Sodatekata, I had mixed feelings about it, as I enjoyed the idea of an anime that explores how authors in Japan get their inspiration to create and write stories, this general concept has been done in other anime shows, like Bakuman which focuses on manga creation, and Shirobako which focused on anime production, Saekano focuses on one of the more niche sources of otaku entertainment, that being the visual novel genre, specifically the ones in which romancing attractive anime-like girls is the main appeal. The author behind the source material for the Saekano anime
is known as Fumiaki Maruto, who is also the scriptwriter for the critically acclaimed White Album 2 visual novel, so I'm going to assume that most of the information conveyed about visual novel writing here is at least accurate to some degree. Saekano Season 1 was also heavy with anime and visual novel harem tropes, such as having one important male lead and many female characters who held romantic feelings towards him of varying degrees, and more than a few sexual fanservice scenes and a ton of camera shots focused on the bodies of the female characters. The show had a self-aware style of humor that I found not very clever personally if I am going to be honest. Going on to season 2 I didn't expect nothing much besides a bit more exploration of VN writing, more fanservice, more meta humor, and maybe some minor relationship development.
To a pleasant surprise, this season did focus a lot more on the substantial matters of the story while cutting down on the parts that I felt weakened the first season, such as the fanservice and meta humor, even though it's still present in this season as well. The story in Season 2 explores more on the struggles and challenges that a team of creators can experience while creating a successful intellectual property, touching on subjects like conflicts between team members, dissatisfaction with your own work, insecurity, etc and gradually becomes more and more serious, especially in it's latter half, going so far as to attempt to create emotional scenes, of which the effectiveness thereof varies heavily depending on how you see it. The ending, while not wholly conclusive, had enough weigh to it that I was satisfied with what I got overall.
Talking about the characters, I found that the male lead Tomoya, and 3 of the heroines: Megumi, Utaha (my personal favorite from Season 1) and Eriri, where the ones that received the most development and best scenes in this season. Tomoya is in no way a very compelling or likable protagonist, but despite that I felt that Season 2 did a decent job in making him grow as a creator and face the fact that things aren't going to be easy for him and he can make mistakes like everyone does, his interactions with the female characters range from somewhat amusing, to awkward, to surprisingly compelling, especially when it concerns Megumi. Megumi had a few emotional scenes in the latter half, which you would usually have not seen coming given that she was portrayed as a boring person with little emotional range for most of the story, I really grew to like here more compared to what I felt towards her in season 1. Utaha and Eriri also have good development, much more so towards each other than towards Tomoya, these two females aren't just a black haired beauty and a twin tailed tsundere, they are hardworking people with hopes, dreams, strengths and weaknesses and have their own lives to live. The rest of the cast include Tomoya's female cousin, his rival from another studio and his younger sister, I felt that they had forgettable roles in this season and didn't leave much of an impression. Another positive is that the story actually had noticeable progression of a romantic relationship between Tomoya and one of the female leads.
On the production values, A-1 Pictures did a prety decent job for this anime, the OP and ED feel like something out of a visual novel. The original soundtrack was not very memorable personally, the one standout piece of music was the climatic song in the final episode. Voice acting was fitting, especially for Utaha and Megumi. The art style focuses on making the female designs look sexually attractive as possible, which is fitting for this kind of show and makes the fanservice scenes have an erotic vive to them despite not being as heavy as some other series. There is some brief decent animation here and there scattered through the season, I recall.
Is this a great anime? Personally no, I can't say it is, since Tomoya is still not a strong protagonist and his behavior and actions can come across as irritating to some people, also a few dramatic scenes lacked enough buildup to have a strong emotional resonance with the audience.
Is this an enjoyable anime? I imagine that people who liked Season 1 in any way will probably find Season 2 to be a fun watch and I recommend them to watch this if they haven't. People who didn't enjoy Season 1 may still not like this one despite it's improvements in some areas. However, even if you don't like this anime, I ask you to please don't insult it by proclaiming it as nothing but bottom of the barrel trash, it's clearly attempting to have something to say, try to look at it for what it's trying to be.
I give this anime an overall critical score of 6/10, with my personal enjoyment as the a viewer being that of a 7/10.