I really like how this shot is set up; I’m using it as the splash image even though the theme of the episode is captured by a single line of dialogue because the shot where that line is spoken is just an extreme close-up of some guy’s face.
Midori has developed a prototype board game, but is anxious about letting her friends play through it at what she sees as an early stage of development. While soliciting the opinion of her boss, Takeru, the pair are interrupted by George, an acquaintance of Takeru’s from his days at the American military complex in Okinawa. When George, now a board game designer himself, asks to play the prototype, Midori panics, and he responds by asserting that the game will never be finished.
Determined to prove him wrong, Midori brings the prototype up to version 0.1 as fast as possible and gets a game going with Miki and Aya. The post-game is awkward for all involved, but Midori walks away confident that the observations and suggestions from her friends will complement her artistic vision and strengthen the final product.
This is another episode where not very many things actually happen, but I at least feel like we get all of the important context for what does happen. Admittedly, that Takeru’s old “friend” from what might be the marines went back to the U.S. and became an acclaimed game designer is a bit of a stretch, but someone’s gotta make them games, and Takeru himself wouldn’t have worked as well as a pseudo-antagonist speaking from experience.
The core lesson of the episode is important – and it’s one that I’ve seen given from another angle in a memorable Extra Credits video entitled Fail Faster. For its part, I think Saikoro Club here adds a helpful dimension in that Midori is actively modeling a positive mindset. The real board games are cool, but taking a real look at making an imaginary board game like this is the kind of thing that makes a cute-girls-doing-cute-things show really stand out.
Also the blonde girl has a name (and, presumably, a nationality):
…but she’s not even onscreen for a minute, and, judging by the preview, she’s not going to be doing much next time either. Stop taunting us, show!
A must-see episode that flips the usual shtick and gives us a glimpse behind the curtain.
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