Saekano -How to Raise a Boring Girlfriend- Set 1 Blu-ray review

Saekano4

Harem anime are a dime a dozen, sadly, with one coming out almost every season. It doesn’t help that we see the same tropes and archetypes being used over and over that it takes away from what a series can offer. It’s perfectly fine to see a series use this style of fanservice to create an interesting story, but right from the start Saekano -How to Raise a Boring Girlfriend- episode falls right into this funk, with episode zero primarily filled with all kinds of fan service, with a sprinkle of plot to slowly introduce a bit of the series plot. Once we get right into the first episode, things get much more interesting surrounding the plot and most importantly the characters.

Saekano -How to Raise a Boring Girlfriend- (AKA Saenai Heroine no Sodatekata) is a series heavily set around the otaku culture. The series follows the ultimate otaku character ,Tomoya Aki, who enjoys reading light novels, watching anime, playing galge games (gal games also known as bishojo or dating simulators), and collecting a huge sort of anime figures (mostly Aniplex characters like Sword Art Online). Tomoya prefers the world of 2D girls because to him they are perfect and most importantly won’t turn him down.

His ultimate goal is to finally create the perfect dating simulator game after a chance encounter happens when he meets a beautiful girl one windy day. He tries to recruit the two popular girls from his school, Eriri Spencer Sawamura, his childhood friend who is also secretly known as the 18+ doujinshi illustrator “Eri Kashiwagi”, and her rival, Utaha Kasumigaoka, who is also known as her pen name “Utako Kasumi” and is an up-and-coming young novelist, selling over 500,000 copies of her first novel. What he doesn’t know is that both of them have feelings for him, leading them to fight each other for his attention.

While the series does fall into some predictable moments at times, it’s the characters and their interactions that really make this series fun and enjoyable to watch. It’s easy to get mad at Tomoya, the hardcore-otaku who tries to impose his will on Megumi as he tries to make her the perfect heroine character. She is more of a normal girl with no real presence or personality, which makes for some amusing moments, especially when the other girls are trying to get his attention.

Movie Rating: 3.5/5 Atoms

NR 3_5 Atoms - B-

Video

What really caught my attention is how the series will randomly change in terms of random color palettes, like when we see things through Tomoya’s perspective. The character outlines change to purple which happens mainly during the characters introduction. The visuals for the series are perfect with beautifully designed backgrounds, bright vibrant colors and sharp character designs.

A-1 Pictures also did a good job of transitioning and showing different perspectives with the camera changing slightly often during long dialogue scenes which are done smoothly to keep things interesting rather than focused on one thing.

Video Rating: 4/5 Atoms

NR 4 Atoms - B(1)

Audio

It’s not unusual for certain releases to come in Japanese-only audio. Saekano -How to Raise a Boring Girlfriend- is one of those presented in Linear PCM Stereo. The series has a great cast of voices actors especially Yoshitsugu Matsuoka and Ai Kayano, who are a part of another otaku anime I was a big fan of called No Game, No Life. It’s a great series to listen to, whether you are listening to the character talk or argue and everything sounds clear that you don’t miss a moment, especially when Tomoya just starts going off on why he loves Galge games and why they are the best.

Audio Rating: 4/5 Atoms          

NR 4 Atoms - B(1)

Special Features

Saekano3Vol 1 Disc Specs:

  • Spoken Languages: Japanese
  • Subtitles: English & Spanish
  • Aspect ratio: 16:9 widescreen
  • Episodes: Episodes 0-5 (6 episodes)
  • Total Run Time: 150 min
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Rating: 13 UP

Saekano -How to Raise a Boring Girlfriend- Set 1 includes:

  • Illustration Post Cards
  • Package Illustrated by Kurehito Misaki (Original Character Design)
  • Textless Opening & Ending
  • Promo Videos
  • Web Previews

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I’m quite fond of the illustrated package for this set by Kurehito Misaki which features Eriri and Megumi Kato on the cover. You don’t get much in terms of bonuses on the disc aside from textless opening and ending credits, and a few web and other promo videos from Japan. You also get the usual illustrated set. This being six different postcards which include the Blu-ray disc art, the illustrated covers and three moments from the series including episodes 0’s heavy fanservice which might of been easy to miss Megumi in the back.

Special Features Rating: 3/5 Atoms

NR 3 Atoms - C

Final Reaction

One thing I really enjoyed about Saekano are the characters, mainly Utaha Kasumigaoka and Megumi Kato, who you see evolve in the series as she spends more time with Tomoya and his friends. It’s always quite amusing to see how a non-otaku character fits in with everyone else and that’s probably one of the reasons it’s easy to like her, especially when she starts getting more involved. It’s a fun take on the otaku culture and only has a full dull and predictable moments, but overall is pretty fun to watch because of how well the characters work together thanks to some well done writing and most importantly the voice actors.

Rating: 3.5/5 Atoms               

NR 3_5 Atoms - B-

Saekano -How to Raise a Boring Girlfriend- Set 1 Blu-ray – $59.98

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Chris Del Castillo
Chris Del Castillo 2588 posts

Growing up Chris watched a lot of the original Saturday morning cartoons and developed a love for arts and animation. Growing up he tried his hand at animation and eventually script writing, but even more his love of video games, anime and technology grew.