That first episode was pretty great, right? Definitely my surprise gem of the season. The visual design was great and the music was fantastically campy, but Hajime definitely sold it for me – I normally have trouble taking this kind of show seriously unless it really sells itself in some specific way, so having a protagonist who feels pretty much the same way as me (“Oh jeez, I’ve entered a very silly anime! Let’s screw around!”) is quite the breath of fresh air. I don’t know if her irreverent energy will stay as endearing if the show begins to try harder to take itself seriously, and I don’t know how the show would go about not ever becoming more focused on its actual story, but I am as always here as a student myself. Teach me, Gatchaman. Teach me your ways.
0:32 – “Ballets Pastelle!” Is she just making up these names as she goes along? Of course she is
1:20 – “So this is how you respond? That’s kinda different…” Genre savviness is a pretty great secret weapon
1:46 – Forgot how great this OP was
4:46 – “Oh, I live here now.” And then they’re just having dinner. This show certainly doesn’t waste time setting stuff up in a way that would make any kind of sense!
5:56 – “Maybe she was having a really tough time.” “No, it’s because she didn’t value her life.” They’re really hammering the difference between her relative and his hardline morality. I smell a theme!
8:19 – And they allude to but don’t fully explain some “disaster” while actually making the scene about elaborating the guy’s character. I didn’t expect subtlety here!
8:27 – “Yeah, I’m great. I fought a monster!” Pff, secret identities? Who’s got the time for that?
9:51 – “Senpai, let’s make collages!” It’s like a show from the actual perspective of a manic pixie dream girl. Pretty surreal, given anime’s usual female-character fantasies
9:56 – “Isn’t your sword pretty?” He is floored by how pretty it is. Again, it seems like this show is just fast-forwarding through setup and character elaboration that normal shows would linger on for full episodes (establishing the world, getting her to the apartment, creating a dynamic between these two, pushing his development via her enthusiasm). I am actually all in favor of this, since all this stuff is classic genre fare and they’re clearly trying to get to something
13:22 – Finally someone figures out Hajime’s actual game . How dare you insult our silly premise, Hajime!
13:58 – “Pai-pai, are you on Galax too?” And Hajime loses interest in their hero mission to return to her actual priority, social networking for her scrapbooking club
15:02 – “A manifestation of our soul – so that’s why our weapons are different! But why is it a sword for you, and scissors for me?” Yeah, I’m not used to seeing protagonists try and figure out their own visual motifs within the second episode. Loving this show
16:55 – “This place probably isn’t real, right? And we’re JJ’s employees, it’s not like he’d put us in danger. Welp, only one way to be sure! ”
19:30 – “I’m sure it’ll tell us where the missing people went!” Premise: defeated. Now to invite MESS-chan to the collage club…
20:55 – “We don’t need an ambulance. Galax is far more useful.” “The world has been updated. Plus fifty points!” They’re hinting at some pretty interesting ideas here regarding all that “gameification of real life” stuff the kids go on about. I wonder if they’ll go somewhere with it
21:42 – “Man, I’m starving!” as she throws the food, mirroring Hajime’s declaration in the first episode. And it looks like they’re immediately going somewhere with it
Holy shit, I think this show’s gonna be really good! It absolutely burned down the genre setup this episode, did a great deal of work further establishing the characters, and was just breathlessly paced throughout. The writing is also actually pretty high quality, revealed through the lightly written conversations that achieved both narrative and character purposes, the efficient, understated, and constant subversions of genre staples, and the various hints at a few actual thematic undercurrents. I particularly like how quick the show is to address its own ideas – things like her personality making her predisposed to not immediately believe in their mission, or the natural conflict between her and the guy’s personalities, aren’t just hinted at – they’re built over the episode and then brought to a boil, which fits with Hajime’s “this place probably isn’t real, so I’ll walk off a cliff to test that” philosophy. It’s still pretty breezy fare, but I’m both fine with that and no longer have trouble believing it could actually come together as a story. Surprise gem indeed.