Saekano: How to Raise a Boring Girlfriend

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Saekano: How to Raise a Boring Girlfriend
Saenai Heroine no Sodatekata(Saekano), cover.jpg
The cover for the first light novel volume featuring Eriri Spencer Sawamura
冴えない彼女(ヒロイン)の育てかた
(Saenai Hiroin no Sodatekata)
Genre Romantic comedy, Harem[1]
Light novel
Written by Fumiaki Maruto
Illustrated by Kurehito Misaki
Published by Fujimi Shobo
Demographic Male
Imprint Fujimi Fantasia Bunko
Original run July 20, 2012 – present
Volumes 12 (List of volumes)
Manga
Written by Fumiaki Maruto
Illustrated by Takeshi Moriki
Published by Fujimi Shobo
English publisher
Demographic Shōnen
Magazine Monthly Dragon Age
Original run January 9, 2013 – present
Volumes 8 (List of volumes)
Manga
Saenai Heroine no Sodatekata: Egoistic-Lily
Written by Fumiaki Maruto
Illustrated by Niito
Published by Kadokawa Shoten
Demographic Seinen
Magazine Young Ace
Original run February 4, 2013May 2, 2014
Volumes 3 (List of volumes)
Manga
Saenai Heroine no Sodatekata: Koisuru Metronome
Written by Fumiaki Maruto
Illustrated by Sabu Musha
Published by Square Enix
Demographic Seinen
Magazine Big Gangan
Original run August 24, 2013 – present
Volumes 6 (List of volumes)
Anime television series
Directed by Kanta Kamei
Written by Fumiaki Maruto
Music by Hajime Hyakkoku
Studio A-1 Pictures
Licensed by
Amazon.com (season 2)
Original network Fuji TV (Noitamina)
English network
ANIPLUS HD (season 1)
Original run January 9, 2015June 23, 2017
Episodes 25 (List of episodes)
Game
Saenai Heroine no Sodatekata -Blessing Flowers-
Developer 5pb. and Guyzware
Publisher 5pb.
Music by Abo Takeshi and Shiki
Genre visual novel
Platform PS Vita
Released April 30, 2015
Light novel
Saenai Heroine no Sodatekata: Girls Side
Written by Fumiaki Maruto
Illustrated by Kurehito Misaki
Published by Fujimi Shobo
Demographic Male
Imprint Fujimi Fantasia Bunko
Published February 20, 2015
Wikipe-tan face.svg Anime and Manga portal

Saekano: How to Raise a Boring Girlfriend (Japanese: 冴えない彼女 (ヒロイン)の育てかた, Hepburn: Saenai Hiroin no Sodatekata), also known in the short form Saekano (冴えカノ),[2] is a Japanese light novel series by Fumiaki Maruto, with illustrations by Kurehito Misaki. Fujimi Shobo has published twelve volumes since July 2012 under their Fujimi Fantasia Bunko imprint. It has received a manga adaptation in addition to two spin-off manga adaptations. An anime television series adaptation by A-1 Pictures aired between January 9 and March 27, 2015 on Fuji TV's noitamina block, which has been licensed by Aniplex of America. A second season began airing on April 6, 2017.

Plot[edit]

Tomoya Aki, a male high school teenager who works part-time to fund his otaku lifestyle (anime, dating sims, and related merchandise) encounters a beautiful girl one day during spring vacation. A month later, he finds out that the girl is his classmate, Megumi, who is hardly noticeable to her classmates. Hoping to create a visual novel computer game, he turns to school beauties Eriri Spencer Sawamura for designing the art, and Utaha Kasumigaoka for writing the game scenario. Tomoya then recruits Megumi to star as the "heroine" (the main character's love interest) of his game, thus forming the development team "Blessing Software", in which the three most renowned students in the school (Tomoya, Eriri, and Utaha) work on one of the least noticeable (Megumi). The series follows their adventures in developing the game and their plans to sell it at the Comiket convention, as well as the emotional entanglements among the team.

Characters[edit]

Main characters[edit]

The main characters are members of a dōjin group named Blessing Software. Their goal is to produce a visual novel whose main heroine is modeled on Megumi.

Tomoya Aki (安芸 倫也, Aki Tomoya)
Voiced by: Yoshitsugu Matsuoka[3]
Tomoya is the viewpoint character in the light novel. He is a student in class 2B of Toyogasaki Academy. As an otaku, he enjoys reading comics and light novels, watching anime and playing galge. With his childhood friend Eriri and student novelist Utaha, he starts a visual novel project where he recruits Megumi Kato. He serves as the producer, director and programmer for Blessing Software, and manages Michiru's band "Icy Tail".
Eriri Spencer Sawamura (澤村・スペンサー・英梨々, Sawamura Supensā Eriri)
Voiced by: Saori Ōnishi[3]
Tomoya's childhood best friend is a student in class 2G and the most promising painter on the art club.LN 1 Born to a British father and a Japanese mother, she has blond hair styled in twin tails. She is very popular at school, acting as a refined lady,LN 1 but harbors a secret otaku lifestyle of playing video games shared with Tomoya and making adult-themed manga under the pseudonym Eri Kashiwagi (柏木 エリ, Kashiwagi Eri) in a group called "Egoistic-Lily".[3] Tomoya recruits her to be the illustrator for the Blessing Software game. Tomoya describes her as an astounding beauty but upon peeling off her surface personality, she has a cruel, sadistic, passionate, and animalistic nature. She has had a crush on Tomoya since childhood. LN 1
Utaha Kasumigaoka (霞ヶ丘 詩羽, Kasumigaoka Utaha)
Voiced by: Ai Kayano[3]
Utaha is a student in class 3C, and an up-and-coming young novelist under the pseudonym of Utako Kasumi (霞 詩子, Kasumi Utako).LN 1 Her first light novel, Koisuru Metronome, was published under the Fushikawa Fantastic Bunko imprint and had sold over 500,000 copies. She has both intelligence and beauty, and is the brightest student in the school. Most of the students hold her in awe.LN 1 Tomoya describes her as having long black-hair with an expressionless and quiet nature that gives her the appearance of a beauty, but harbors a sharp and critical tongue.LN 1[3] She calls Tomoya Rinri-kun (倫理君), translated into English as "Mr. Ethical", after he flatly rejected her suggestion that he read the last volume of Koisuru Metronome before it is published. She develops feelings for Tomoya as the series progresses. She is in charge of writing the scenario for the game by Blessing Software.
Megumi Kato (加藤 恵, Katō Megumi)
Voiced by: Kiyono Yasuno[3]
Megumi is Tomoya's classmate and the title character, who despite being good-looking, is otherwise so ordinary that she does not stand out in class at all. She knows little about otaku culture but never keeps Tomoya at arm's length. Her attitude toward Tomoya is often described as an ordinary person but is very close to him.[3] She is the inspiration and working model for Meguri, one of the main heroines of Blessing Software's game. Later on, she also begins learning and helping out with programming.
Izumi Hashima (波島 出海, Hashima Izumi)
Voiced by: Chinatsu Akasaki[3]
Izumi is a student in class 3A of Honoda Junior High, and two years younger than Tomoya.[4] She is an otaku and the member of the dōjin circle "Fancy Wave" (ファンシーウェーブ, Fanshī Wēbu).[3] It was through Tomoya's influence that she became interested in otaku culture. She is deeply grateful to Tomoya for this. She has loved Little Love Rhapsody (リトルラブ・ラプソディ, Ritoru Rabu Rapusodī), an otome video game series[3] released by Sonar (a parody of Sony) since Tomoya bought her Little Love Rhapsody 2 and a PlayStation Portable console on her birthday. There is rivalry between Eriri and Izumi, then Izumi decided to compete with Eriri in the next Winter Comiket. Izumi made up her mind to be the illustrator for her brother Iori's dōjin circle "Rouge en rouge".
Michiru Hyodo (氷堂 美智留, Hyōdō Michiru)
Voiced by: Sayuri Yahagi[3]
Michiru is Tomoya's cousin. She is a student in class 3, in the second year of Tsubaki Girls' Senior High School.[4] She is a very versatile girl except for her poor performance in school. She is good at almost everything and doesn't stick to anything for long, but she has been absorbed in singing her favorite songs and playing the guitar in the band "Icy Tail"[3] for the past year. Michiru had a prejudice against otaku culture and wasn't happy about Tomoya being an otaku until her bandmates revealed that they were all otaku. Michiru composes the music for the Blessing Software game.

Secondary groups and characters[edit]

Rouge en rogue
A well-known dōjin circle that plans to release the game Towa to Setsuna no Évangile (永遠と刹那のエヴァンジル, Towa to Setsuna no Ebanjiru, lit. The Gospel of Eternity and Transience) with illustrations by Izumi at the next Winter Comiket. Its members include Iori Hashima (波島 伊織, Hashima Iori) (Voiced by: Tetsuya Kakihara) who is Izumi's brother and the circle's representative, and Akane Kosaka (紅坂 朱音, Kōsaka Akane) (Voiced by: Hitomi Nabatame), the manga artist and founder of the group.
Fushikawa Shoten (不死川書店)
A publishing company which has its own light novel publishing imprint Fushikawa Fantastic Bunko (不死川ファンタスティック文庫). Sonoko Machida (町田 苑子, Machida Sonoko) is one of the editors there (Voiced by: Houko Kuwashima) is Utaha's editor.
Icy Tail (アイシー・テール, Aishī Tēru)
An all-girl band consisting of mostly otaku enthusiasts. Its members include Michiru Hyodo on guitar; Tokino Himekawa (姫川 時乃, Himekawa Tokino), a petite girl who also plays guitar (voiced by Eri Suzuki), Echika Mizuhara (水原 叡智佳, Mizuhara Echika) on bass (voiced by Rui Tanabe), and Ranko Morioka (森丘 藍子, Morioka Ranko) on drums (voiced by You Daichi).
Keiichi Kato (加藤 圭一, Katō Keiichi)
Voiced by Sōma Saitō
Keiichi is Megumi's cousin. He is a student at Johoku Medical School.
Sayuri Sawamura (澤村 小百合, Sawamura Sayuri)
Voiced by Mai Nakahara
Sayuri is Eriri's mother. It is revealed that she is a fujoshi.
Yoshihiko Kamigo (上郷 喜彦, Kamigō Yoshihiko)[note 1]
Voiced by Yuuma Uchida
Yoshihiko is a friend of Tomoya's.

Cherry Blessing characters[edit]

Cherry Blessing (cherry blessing 〜巡る恵みの物語〜, Cherī Buresshingu - Meguru Megumi no Monogatari, lit. Cherry Blessing: The Reincarnation Story of a Blessing) is the name of the visual novel that the Blessing Software group develops.

Seiji Azumi (安曇 誠司, Azumi Seiji)
Seiji is the main protagonist. He is a reincarnation of Soma and has vague memories of his ancestors. He is modeled on Tomoya.
Soma Hinoe (丙 双真, Hinoe Sōma)
Soma is Seiji's great-grandfather. He inherited the supernatural ability to remember what his ancestors experienced, and so he has vivid memories of distant ancestors of his.
Meguri Kano (叶 巡璃, Kanō Meguri)
Meguri is one of the two main heroines. She is Seiji's classmate. She is a reincarnation of Ruri and has vague memories of her ancestors. She is modeled on Megumi.
Ruri Hinoe (丙 瑠璃, Hinoe Ruri)
Ruri is one of the two main heroines. She is Meguri's great-grandmother. She is Soma's sister and his fiancée. She loves him deeply. She inherited the supernatural ability to remember what her ancestors experienced, and so she has vivid memories of distant ancestors of hers. Her personality is modeled on Utaha.
Kirari Spider Kawamura (河村・スパイダー・きらり, Kawamura Supaidā Kirari)
Kirari is one of the heroines. She is Seiji's childhood friend. She is modeled on Eriri.
Kaho Hibarigaoka (雲雀ヶ丘 歌穂, Hibarigaoka Kaho)
Kaho is one of the heroines. She calls Seiji Seijitsu-kun[note 2] (誠実君). She is modeled on Utaha.
Miharu Endo (炎藤 美晴留, Endō Miharu)
Miharu is one of the heroines. She is Seiji's cousin. She is modeled on Michiru.

Media[edit]

Light novels[edit]

The first light novel volume was published by Fujimi Shobo under their Fujimi Fantasia Bunko imprint on July 20, 2012. As of March 2017, twelve volumes and one short story collection have been published. In the twelfth volume, Maruto announced that the series will end in the thirteenth volume.[5]

No. Release date ISBN
1 July 20, 2012[6] ISBN 978-4-04-071078-5
2 November 20, 2012[7] ISBN 978-4-04-071081-5
3 March 19, 2013[8] ISBN 978-4-8291-3875-5
4 July 20, 2013[9] ISBN 978-4-8291-3917-2
5 November 20, 2013[10] ISBN 978-4-04-712956-6
6 April 19, 2014[11] ISBN 978-4-04-070096-0
FD August 20, 2014[12] ISBN 978-4-04-070282-7
7 December 20, 2014[13] ISBN 978-4-04-070425-8
8 June 20, 2015[14] ISBN 978-4-04-070426-5
9 November 20, 2015[15] ISBN 978-4-04-070743-3
10 July 20, 2016[16] ISBN 978-4-04-070742-6
11 November 19, 2016[17] ISBN 978-4-04-072076-0
12 March 18, 2017[18] ISBN 978-4-04-072077-7

Manga[edit]

A manga adaptation with art by Takeshi Moriki began serialization from January 9, 2013, in Fujimi Shobo's shōnen manga magazine Monthly Dragon Age. It has been collected in eight tankōbon volumes between August 2013 and November 2016.[19] It has also been published in English by Yen Press between January 2016 and December 2017.[20] A spin-off manga titled Saenai Heroine no Sodatekata: Egoistic-Lily with art by Niito began serialization from February 4, 2013, in Kadokawa Shoten's seinen manga magazine Young Ace. It has been collected in three tankōbon volumes as of June 2014. Another spin-off manga titled Saenai Heroine no Sodatekata: Koisuru Metronome with art by Sabu Musha began serialization from August 24, 2013, in Square Enix's seinen manga magazine Big Gangan. It has been collected in six tankōbon volumes as of July 2016.

Saenai Heroine no Sodatekata[edit]

No. Japanese release date Japanese ISBN English release date English ISBN
1 August 9, 2013[21] ISBN 978-4-04-712893-4 January 26, 2016[22] ISBN 978-0-31-626919-3
2 April 9, 2014[23] ISBN 978-4-04-070081-6 April 6, 2016[24] ISBN 978-0-31-631078-9
3 September 9, 2014[25] ISBN 978-4-04-070340-4 July 26, 2016[26] ISBN 978-0-31-631081-9
4 January 9, 2015[27] ISBN 978-4-04-070341-1 November 22, 2016[28] ISBN 978-0-31-631085-7
5 June 9, 2015[29] ISBN 978-4-04-070598-9 March 28, 2017[30] ISBN 978-0-31-631647-7
6 December 5, 2015[31] ISBN 978-4-04-070599-6 June 20, 2017[32] ISBN 978-0-31-639911-1
7 June 9, 2016[33] ISBN 978-4-04-070914-7 September 19, 2017[34] ISBN 978-0-31-655314-8
8 November 19, 2016[35] ISBN 978-4-04-072080-7 December 12, 2017[36] ISBN 978-0-31-647236-4

Saenai Heroine no Sodatekata: Egoistic-Lily[edit]

No. Japanese release date Japanese ISBN English release date English ISBN
1 July 2, 2013[37] ISBN 978-4-04-120784-0
2 December 4, 2013[38] ISBN 978-4-04-120999-8
3 June 4, 2014[39] ISBN 978-4-04-121089-5

Saenai Heroine no Sodatekata: Koisuru Metronome[edit]

No. Japanese release date Japanese ISBN English release date English ISBN
1 April 19, 2014[40] ISBN 978-4-75-754296-9
2 August 20, 2014[41] ISBN 978-4-75-754402-4
3 December 20, 2014[42] ISBN 978-4-75-754520-5
4 June 20, 2015[43] ISBN 978-4-75-754664-6
5 December 25, 2015[44] ISBN 978-4-75-754847-3
6 July 19, 2016[45] ISBN 978-4-75-755063-6

Anime[edit]

An anime television series adaptation of the light novel series was announced in March 2014 to premiere on Fuji TV's Noitamina block in January 2015.[46] The anime was produced by A-1 Pictures and directed by Kanta Kamei, with scripts written by series creator Fumiaki Maruto, character designs by Tomoaki Takase and music by Hajime Hyakkoku.[47] The opening theme song for the anime was "Kimiiro Signal" (君色シグナル, Kimiiro Shigunaru) by Luna Haruna, while the ending theme song was "Colorful." (カラフル。, Karafuru.) by Miku Sawai. The series began airing on January 9, 2015 and finished airing on March 27, 2015 with a total of 13 episodes.[48] The first season has been licensed for North America by Aniplex of America.[49]

A second season to the anime series, titled Saekano: How to Raise a Boring Girlfriend Flat (冴えない彼女 (ヒロイン)の育てかた♭, Saenai Hiroin no Sodatekata Furatto), was announced on May 3, 2015,[50] with the main staff and cast returning from the previous season to reprise their roles.[51] It premiered on Fuji TV's Noitamina block on April 13, 2017 and will run for 12 episodes,[52][53] with the web-only episode 0 streamed on April 5, 2017. The opening theme song for the second season is "Stella Breeze" (ステラブリーズ, Sutera Burīzu) by Luna Haruna,[54] while the ending theme song are "Pink Diary" (桜色ダイアリー, Sakurairo Daiarī) for episode 0 to 10 and "Youth Prologue" (青春プロローグ, Seishun Prologue) for episode 11, both sung by Moso Calibration.[55] The second season is streaming exclusively on Amazon Video.[56]

Video game[edit]

In an announcement on its official website, a PlayStation Vita adventure game based on the anime was slated for release on April 30, 2015. A limited edition with an original soundtrack CD and a B2-size cloth poster will retail for 8,800 yen (about US$74), a regular edition for 6,800 yen (US$57), and a download edition for 6,000 yen (US$51). The first copies of all editions will include a download code for an original custom PS Vita theme.

The game, Saenai Heroine no Sodatekata: -blessing flowers-, will utilize Live 2D software, which moves the characters with CGI but retains their two-dimensional look.

Japanese terminology and notes[edit]

  1. ^ Yoshihiko's family name "上郷" may be read either Kamigō or Kamisato. It's unclear which reading is correct for him. Kamisato is indicated in the first volume and Kamigō is indicated in volume five.
  2. ^ Seijitsu (誠実) is the Japanese word for "sincerity".

Works cited[edit]

  • ^ "LN" is shortened form for light novel and refers to a volume number of the Saekano light novels.
  • ^ "Ch." and "Vol." is shortened form for chapter and refers to a chapter number of the Saekano manga.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Saekano -How to Raise a Boring Girlfriend- - The Winter 2015 Anime Preview Guide - Anime News Network". Anime News Network. Retrieved April 5, 2015. 
  2. ^ Maruto, Fumiaki (August 20, 2014). 『冴えない彼女の育てかた FD』 [Saenai Heroine no Sodatekata Fan Disc] (in Japanese). Fujimi Shobo. p. 284. ISBN 978-4-04-070282-7. 
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l http://www.saekano.com/character/
  4. ^ a b ドラゴンマガジン [Dragon Magazine] (in Japanese). Fujimi Shobo. January 2014. 
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  14. ^ 冴えない彼女の育てかた8 at Fujimishobo.co.jp (in Japanese). Kadokawa. Retrieved November 25, 2016. 
  15. ^ 冴えない彼女の育てかた9 at Fujimishobo.co.jp (in Japanese). Kadokawa. Retrieved November 25, 2016. 
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  37. ^ 冴えない彼女の育てかた~egoistic‐lily~ (1) (in Japanese). Kadokawa. Retrieved November 25, 2016. 
  38. ^ 冴えない彼女の育てかた~egoistic‐lily~ (2) (in Japanese). Kadokawa. Retrieved November 25, 2016. 
  39. ^ 冴えない彼女の育てかた~egoistic‐lily~ (3) (in Japanese). Kadokawa. Retrieved November 25, 2016. 
  40. ^ 冴えない彼女の育てかた 恋するメトロノーム(1) (ビッグガンガンコミックス). Amazon.co.jp (in Japanese). Retrieved November 25, 2016. 
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  46. ^ "Saenai Heroine no Sodate-kata Light Novels Get Anime on Noitamina". Anime News Network. March 21, 2014. Retrieved March 21, 2014. 
  47. ^ "Bunny Drop's Kamei Helms Saenai Heroine no Sodate-kata Anime". Anime News Network. April 21, 2014. Retrieved December 19, 2016. 
  48. ^ "Saenai Heroine no Sodate-kata's New Video Previews Otaku Romantic Comedy". Anime News Network. December 6, 2014. Retrieved December 19, 2016. 
  49. ^ "Aniplex USA Licenses Saekano: How to Raise a Boring Girlfriend". Anime News Network. December 17, 2014. Retrieved December 17, 2014. 
  50. ^ "Saekano: How to Raise a Boring Girlfriend Anime Gets Sequel". Anime News Network. May 3, 2015. Retrieved January 18, 2016. 
  51. ^ "Saekano: How to Raise a Boring Girlfriend Staff Confirmed to Return for Sequel". Anime News Network. January 19, 2016. Retrieved January 19, 2016. 
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