Sometimes a show comes along that just deserves to be eviscerated. Perhaps it showcases the worst of anime’s stereotypes. Perhaps it takes an interesting premise and ruins it with befuddling plots or infuriating character arcs. Perhaps you think a show should literally be labelled a war crime by the Geneva Convention. That’s where the HATEWATCH comes in. When the show does it to such a degree, sometimes you need to watch it just for the cathartic value of demolishing whatever dreg of culture or bad taste it represents. This is #HATEWATCH 2017. The show: A Sister Is All You Need. Its sins: ANIME IS STILL GETTING AWAY WITH THIS LITTLE SISTER BS
It is absolutely despicable what this show tries to leverage considering how empty and devoid of content all of its episodes have been. We’re supposed to believe that Itsuki is a good guy just because he throws Haruto a bone in playing a tabletop game, and that apparently also makes all his other assholish behavior tolerable. It’s almost immediately undermined with how much a jerk Itsuki is while they’re playing. He metagames Haruto’s entire game and basically tries to skip all of his encounters. He’s still a despicable human being and the show doesn’t do anything to prove us otherwise.
The real star of this shitshow was how disgustingly pornographic this episode was. Eromanga at its worst had ample censorship for its disgusting material. This episode not only just covers things up with a sticker like having it revealed should be a prize for the buyers of the show, but also literally depicts rape as a pleasurable thing for the women being raped, just because it’s an RPG. It’s the most disgusting thing I’ve ever seen watching anime and that is saying a lot. I wonder if this author understands just how much he’s fallen from grace. I hope this is a man who is mentally ill and really just needs some professional help.
Marlin’s Ethics Lesson of the Week
This is not a philosophically defended ethical principle, but it is pretty important for any group that wants to play a tabletop game. The first rule of all tabletops should be that no erotic material should make it into the game. Even if most people are okay with it, it just makes things super awkward eventually, if not immediately, especially if there are members of the opposite sex playing with you. It’s common courtesy that tabletop games should be crafted to accommodate the players, not the dungeonmaster. Secondly, Haruto commits the gravest sin I’ve ever seen in a tabletop, having the dungeonmaster date one of the players. For a personal story, there was a group I was a part of, and I am absolutely convinced that the DM and her boyfriend coordinated before every game to make sure his two players (yes, her boyfriend got to control two characters) were minmaxed out the wazzoo making every fight inconsequential. Additionally, he was never punished for deplorable behavior during roleplaying scenarios. It also invariably leads to absolute party breakdown if they break up. You can’t eat your cake and have it, Haruto.
- I can’t tell all of the ripoffs they were going for in those character designs, but I hate them all. (Jel: for the special abilities, Miyako had Mikoto’s railgun attack and Chihiro had Touma’s Imagine Breaker, both from A Certain Magical Index and/or A Certain Scientific Railgun. Itsuki was copying Archer from Fate/Stay Night, in case the lazy “Unlimited Blade Works” mention didn’t give it away.)
- Haruto keeps talking about how writers are these curmudgeonly assholes (my words not his) who have to think through scenarios, why wouldn’t he expect Itsuki to try and metagame the whole thing?
- Is this show meant to be uncensored in the Blu-Ray? I feel like this episode would be a straight up hentai at that point.
For context, I went back and watched the “RPG” episode of Haganai since I remember actually enjoying that. I’m not going to try and tell you Haganai is some masterpiece of storytelling, but it was a lot better than this trash. The characters are unique, well defined, and interact with each other in a way consistent with their established personalities. The humor properly skewers RPG mechanics by putting it’s own twist on things, particularly with Kodaka’s “wizard” class and Yozora’s bizarre rose warrior. There’s even a few laugh out loud moments, like everyone ignoring Kodaka’s emotional speech and slaughtering the mobs of monsters he tries to defend. It’s a very competent, focused comedy.
So, what happened to Yomi Hirasaka in the last six years that made him lose his touch? Because I would certainly not describe this episode as “competent, focused comedy”. It was completely devoid of anything original and the RPG setting was just an excuse to get the girls felt up by tentacles… and each other, but that goes without saying at this point. It does nothing interesting with the premise, turning the cast into stock anime heroes and even attempting to make a joke out of how unoriginal they are. As with every other episode, it just meanders around, randomly hitting its plot points while the jokes fall flat.
[Extended side note: as a specific example of how the humor is better in Haganai, take the references to A Certain Magical Index in the Random Observations above. In the Haganai episode, they also make a reference by making Maria, who is a little girl nun with silver hair, look exactly like Index, who is also a little girl nun with silver hair. On top of that, they share the same voice actress. So when they mention she looks familiar, it make sense and it’s actually kind of funny. In this episode, it seems like they are just randomly pulling references out of a hat and it’s not funny at all.]
Perhaps worst of all, this is all done to prove that Itsuki is such a great guy because he suggested playing a game to cheer his friend up. NOPE. Being a good person is not a bartering system. Doing nice things doesn’t give you free reign to do whatever else you want. Even if that were the case, doing one barely considerate act would not cover over Itsuki’s massive list of flaws. That’s arguably the worst thing about this series and it drives me crazy, but I suppose this isn’t #LOVEWATCH, is it?