Well first of all, there are a lot of complaints about the fanservice. All I can say is…yes there is, I’m sorry, I didn’t think they would be this blatant with the fanservice. I can’t blame anyone who drops it for this reason, but I will still hold my opinion that its story is top tier. I’ll point to my old post on OreTsuba, which was far, far worse with its fanservice where even I, with pretty high tolerance, wanted to drop it multiple times, but it is still probably the most impressive (due to the difficulty of its storyboarding) visual novel adaptation ever. Point being, while I won’t defend criticisms of the show for its fanservice, it doesn’t change my stance that the story has really great themes to tell.
The episode begins immediately with Yumiko (aka not-Gahara) trying to stab Yuuji which he expertly dodges. The scene switches to Amane discussing the not-Gahara problem with him while doing some things under the desk. While I just said I wouldn’t defend fanservice, I’ll note that fanservice surrounding Amane is very in-character for reasons to be later revealed. Anything about character interactions that seems strange is due to “circumstances,” which some people are interpreting as poor characterization.
The opening debuts and I can say I really love some of the things they did with it. To avoid risking spoilers, that’s all. Figure it out yourself if you’re curious enough.
Yuuji once again mentions his “master’s” teachings about reading books in well-lit places. He then notices Makina sleeping with an apple, notes it isn’t poisonous (hi Snow White reference) and decides to continue reading in the cool shade near her. After waking up, she heads to the pond to catch some “clawfish.” After some short lines, she decides to call Yuuji, onii-chan. He then helps her catch a crawfish and explains how they can turn blue. Makina gets excited and decides to try it herself.
Meanwhile, Yumiko recalls how she had been looking into Kazami Yuuji and could not find any information on him. It should be noted that Yumiko does have resources beyond a random normal person, so if she cannot find any information on him, you can be assured that something is amiss. For some reason she refuses to accept him.
Her attacks continue, this time in chibi form! I can say I’m really glad they included the chibi art, as it was one of the charms of the visual novel. Chizuru explains that fake Gahara is scared of a new person of the opposite sex who she knows nothing about intruding into her “territory,” as she was a student since the school’s founding. On the other hand, Yuuji expresses some of his feelings for the first time. Despite having fun, he feels uneasy, as if having fun does not suit him. Chizuru explains that’s how all the students felt when they first entered, confirming that all the other girls are similar to him who bear certain “circumstances.”
It seems Makina has opened up a lot to Yuuji as she follows him around like a little sister and asks for a story. I’m sad they will not be including Yuuji’s brilliant storytelling, at least not yet. Amane is surprised at how fast Makina opened up to Yuuji and hopes he can do the same with Yumiko, who apparently initiated some volunteer work, showing she is not solely some maniac killer. Then she notices a blond woman outside the school gates…
Yuuji goes out to meet the mysterious woman known as JB. She says how she is checking out his normal school life at a normal school after “preparing a solid history for him.” She also warns him about a potential “accidental death.” Furthermore, apparently he walked 200 kilometers when he first cam here because he hates train rides.
The girls are quite curious as to who she was. He explains she is his boss and guarantor. His job is to clean some garbage and describes it as dirty work. So basically, a janitor. He also explains how before this, he was a freeloader of JB’s friend. After this friend died, JB took charge of him and gave him the aforementioned janitorial work. Amane is adamant about confirming that he has no girlfriend, and Michiru gets more animation.
Just as he is about to open his room, Yumiko appears with extra crazy eyes, about to stab him (again). This time, rather than just dodging, Yuuji harshly stops her with brute force, twisting her wrist. He quickly explains how he failed to hold back because he was too surprised and tries to convince her that he is not an enemy. After a little banter, she finally calls him by his last name for the first time, showing a little progress has been made. Finally, in a strange decision, the prologue is thrown into the ending which isn’t until the 3rd game. We see each of the girls as they transfer into the school, with potential hints into their pasts.
Not much to say about this episode. This and the next few should just be developing basic character relationships as they adapt the common route, although they seem to be cutting a lot. I don’t think anything too interesting will happen until they start on an actual route. Otherwise, the adaptation has been as good as I could hope for. The only unease I have is the length since 1 cour is guaranteed to failure, but considering what they’ve foreshadowed and shown so far, I can’t imagine they’ll screw up so badly. At least I hope not.
It is obvious by now that Yuuji is aware all of the girls have special circumstances. He, too, has his own circumstances, and one can probably assume everyone here is aware of this fact. Regardless of how ordinary the school or students may or may not be, the circumstances of each student are nothing but. People do not transfer into this school without such pasts. However, Yuuji is not interested in judging them for whatever their circumstances may be, because he is aware they are similar to him. Without prying into their pasts, he befriends them as best he can, such as playing with Makina who acts like a child. Christians can learn a lot from this, as we are all similar to each other with the same circumstance of being sinners. Judging others, especially atheists, is not our role but God’s. Instead, we should be more like Yuuji who understands that others have their own special circumstances and rather than judging, simply accepts them and does his best to get along with them – even if she is trying to stab him.