C3AFA Singapore 2019: Saekano the Movie: finale Review

Disclaimer: I entered the Saekano the Movie: Finale screening during C3AFA Singapore 2019 as someone who didn’t watch the anime series. Despite trying to read up on the series beforehand, I barely knew who the characters were, and I was only certain that this movie was the definitive conclusion to the series. As such, it’s highly recommended that you watch the series first before experiencing the movie.

Saekano the Movie: Finale continues where the ending of the second season left off. Eriri and Utaha have split from “blessing software” and are now working with MARZ, another company that produces the popular commercial title Fields Chronicles. The movie follows Tomoya’s journey with the remaining members of blessing software to finish developing his game in time for the Winter Comiket and how his relationships among the members — notably Megumi Kato — and ex-members have changed.

Stills from the movie at the Saekano booth at C3AFA Singapore 2019

As a newcomer to the series, I took a while to become familiar with the characters. Once I knew who was who, I had an easy time remembering them because of their character designs and various quirks. The character relationships were very interesting to watch, especially with Eriri and Utaha no longer being members of blessing software. Despite Eriri and Utaha’s exit and Tomoya had his own projects to work on, Tomoya was someone who strongly valued his friend and seriously considered helping them outside the doujin circle. In the trailer, Megumi evidently did not like the idea of Tomoya helping the two, probably because their exit from the circle hurt her a lot and, to her, it felt like Utaha and Eriri were given priority over the circle and their own project.

With the amount of screen time Megumi received in the movie and as the titular “Boring Girlfriend”, I found Megumi to be quite interesting instead. As a movie-only viewer, I felt that she tried to portray herself as calm and deadpan. While she cared for Tomoya, she expressed this through revising the game’s plotline with him and letting him keep in touch with former blessed software members. It was an intangible form of care and support that was not made apparent until later on in the movie. However, Megumi is the type of character who rarely expresses how she feels until she could no longer manage her bottled emotions, especially for her romantic feelings. When she gets angry, you could tell she is clearly mad, albeit in a more passive-aggressive form. Megumi ignores the person in the form of a “cold war”, but if she cares about the person enough, she would eventually find a way to make up with them. It seemed like she was trying to be a “good and proper” girl in front of everyone by trying to support Tomoya even if she doesn’t approve of what he does and suppressing her true feelings. However, this leads to Megumi feeling more resentful. As for the further development of Megumi’s relationship with Tomoya, you will have to see the movie.

Stills from the movie at the Saekano booth at C3AFA Singapore 2019

The movie’s backstory of struggling to become a creator and trying to make it in the industry was both noteworthy and all too real. It illustrates the reality of the difficulties creators face when trying to deliver new and exciting content.. Even if they do, that content might not be well-received by the public, and you might not be satisfied with the quality. While the movie focuses on the relationships between Tomoya and the girls, it does show the effort and work Tomoya and the others, including Eriri and Utaha, put in for their respective games. From the trailer alone, one could feel they probably stayed up countless nights, did multiple story and art revisions, and more to complete their games by the deadlines. I suspect many creators go through a similar process because they would like “nothing but the best”, a theme emphasized throughout the movie. From Tomoya’s team to solo developers, all of them would accept nothing less than perfection. 

Out of all the creators, Akane Kosaka, the founder of the “Rogue en Rogue” doujin circle, gets a special mention here becauseI have utter respect for her dedication, determination, and overbearing passion for her work. In the movie, nothing could stop her even when challenges threatened to upend her life, she pushed through with stubborn grit and determination. I found her relatable as I have taken the exact route of pushing through to pursue my passions and hobbies, despite the obstacles in my way.

What really warmed my heart was the movie’s fairly complete ending. Without spoiling too much, the movie managed to tie up all of Tomoya’s potential romantic relationships neatly without leaving loose threads. It left me feeling satisfied, and I was happy to know that each of them had their own ending, even if they ended up with Tomoya or not. If you’re hoping for a complete and happy ending to the Saekano series, this movie is definitely for you. 

An avid Fate/Grand Order and Onmyoji player, you can find TsukinoTheHag thinking about food if they're not playing games
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