If anything, Saekano – or Saenai Heroine No Sodateka – took my by surprise, because for a premise that´s basically your generic everyday harem animu, Saekano opens with two girls in their naked glory discussing how otaku-pandering shows are ruining the industry, at this point, I felt confused.
Mind you, this is episode 0, so the ironic tone and borderline parody humor might just be a flock, or not. One way or another, for now I believe that Saekano has the second best opening episode of the entire season so far (that doesn´t say much, though) simply because it´s fresh, strange and sometimes witty.
We are introduced to our cast through the eyes of the harem ringleader – or as best girl Utaha dubs him, Mr.Ethical – just to be quickly shut down by our characters because blatant info dumping is cheap and requires no screenplay talent. After this, we are treated to naked bodies, more making fun of anime tropes and a pseudo-touching moment of bonding at the end of the episode.
And here comes my problem.
I love me some parody, especially if it´s about something big like otaku-pandering, moe or harem anime, the thing is, I´m not even sure if this is parody or not.
Surely the characters, and especially Utaha bashes the genre to the floor at every possible chance but, a second later – or even while she´s talking smack of untalented scriptwriters – her boobs are up the screen and little miss childhood slash foreign friend blushes over her massive knockers compared to hers. Is it parody? irony? hypocrisy?
Nevertheless, I enjoyed the first episode a lot, I just didn´t expect it to take the path that it has chosen, hopefully they´ll hold this tone for the rest of the series and don´t dwell on generic, unimportant tropes or melodrama that could ruin this otherwise ironic series.