Sasami@Unmotivated Episode 2 – Après Nous, L’Exposition

"No, we're not doing an MMO episode, dammit!"

“No, we’re not doing an MMO episode, dammit!”

Summary: Tsurugi and Kamiomi wonder why so few pupils have been attending class lately. Via Sasami, they quickly find out that they have all been addicted to a social game-eque MMORPG named Yamatono Orochi. Interested to see what makes the game so attractive, Kamiomi and the Yagami sisters start pla–Oh God, not this again.

So, imagine you have this show that has not much else than its own zaniness and casual resemblance to mythology going for it. Do you exploit that for all it could possibly be worth, keeping on dropping subtle hints about the true nature about your characters and making one weird thing happen after another while your viewers scratch their heads wondering just what could possibly be happening? Will you tickle the fancy of a dedicated group of beloved fans who scan your anime for the most feeble of meta-textual hints and clever adaptations of well known Japanese myths?

Of course not!

For the beauty of confusion, Sasami would have benefited greatly from keeping its true nature a secret. Sadly enough, words like “subtlety”, “hint” and “buildup” are not in the dictionary of whoever got away with writing this nonsense, which at its turn indeed reduces Sasami to what retractors of the first episode claimed it to be: a meaningless mess. Of course, because the target audience for every anime ever is apparently horny schoolboys who only watch this show because they saw the word “sister” in the summary, this week’s episode of Sasami took its time to sit down and explain everything happening on screen. Within the first minute of the episode we learn exactly what Sasami and her brother are and how the whole world turned into chocolate last episode. Oh, okay. So, why should I continue watching this show, then?

Chiwa Saitou plays a character whose sole defining trait is being rampant pervert. Happy now, Madoka fans?

Chiwa Saitou plays a character whose sole defining trait is being rampant pervert. Happy now, Madoka fans?

Great start of an episode of quality, intellectually stimulating entertainment, don’t you think? Have no fear! It gets even better. The following 20 minutes consist of:

  • Trite humour, aka “Haha, look, shut-ins are silly and don’t like you touching their stuff! Ha ha, it’s even funnier the twenty-seventh time!”
  • Creepy fetishes, aka more pointless bath scenes and Tama needing to go to the loo for no reason whatsoever. It’s episode 7 of So-Ra-No-Wo-To all over again!
  • The creativity of a paramecium, aka when Shaft needs to repeat a reaction face, you know they are giving zilch sods. Where did all the neat artsiness from last episode go? If you want to do a one-shot-only episode à la Panty and Stocking, do it properly.
  • More hilarious incest antics of course!

This new trend of an obligatory MMORPG episode is getting even more nauseatingly predictable than the ever-present beach or festival episodes, and this particularly grating example is driven even further into the ground by constant explaining of all the jokes and wackiness ensuing. Apparently, Sasami@Unmotivated‘s idea of “funny” is one person doing something random, followed by another person yelling at them not to do that thing, in case you were stupid enough to not know that the thing was supposed to be nonsensical in the first place. I think someone at SHAFT has been watching too much My Ordinary Life. At one point, Sasami even directly addresses the audience to explain the impossibly stupid and far-fetched reason why she cannot accept her brother and the Yagami sisters playing the game she loves. The supposed “twist” at the end of the episode gets utterly ruined by an instant clarification, and a rerun of the information revealed to the apparently braindead audience at the beginning of the episode. “Show, Don’t Tell”, what’s that?

"Whatcha doin'?" - "Looking up the plot summary on Wikipedia!"

“Whatcha doin’?” – “Looking up the plot summary on Wikipedia!”

Quite bluntly put, Sasami@Unmotivated makes a complete disaster out of the traditionally exposition-heavy second episode — a tradition it should have avoided in the first place. It becomes rather obvious that your episode does not amount to much when the ending song and the preview of all things are the funniest part. Blatant violations of the most primordial of writing rules and soulless humour turn this clichéfest into a boring nuisance, despite some very interesting ideas. Let’s hope SHAFT finds some more motivation to turn this shut-in’s unmotivated antics into something more worth getting motivated for next week.

2 thoughts on “Sasami@Unmotivated Episode 2 – Après Nous, L’Exposition

  1. Unfortunately I didn’t have time to join the post this week, so let me just add I’m not convinced Sasami totally understands the situation herself, especially since she has no idea what the sisters are. I do agree they probably showed more of their hand than they should have, but I’m not sure that’s a 100% accurate explanation of what’s going on. Also calling it a “clichéfest” just because it has an MMO episode might be a little harsh. I am hard pressed to think of another series with a similar concept and presentation.

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