Today, Saekano volume 10 is finally released; and while I haven’t got mine to read this time around, the summary’s basically out. This won’t be a detailed one, but it should cover the important points.
EDIT: Even if I’ve picked up my copy of the book, saekanosummaries has written a more detailed summary, so I’ll refrain from making a complete one.
Volume 10 begins on the premise of the game production training camp: basically, Tomoya and other members of his circle, blessing software, went on a trip to the beach “for the sake of completing the game” but inadvertently had Eriri and Utaha joining them. You know the drill: swimsuit, fanservice, and other romcom classics. Or so we thought.
Akane Kousaka, the “final boss”, suddenly appeared and got into criticizing and giving feedback to Eriri and Utaha regarding their work, which went pretty severe. While Eriri could still swallow Akane’s critiques, Utaha on the other hand started losing her confidence by having her work dismissed; the old Utaha-senpai who used to be very confident in herself and love teasing Tomoya is nowhere to be found. Eriri and Utaha then decided to go home in the middle of the camp; it’s especially painful for Utaha to show her weakness to Tomoya.
“Sorry, I can’t be the God that you always want me to be.”
On the way back, Utaha’s tears overflowed in the train, and it’s up to Eriri to support her this time. Tomoya kept thinking about Utaha even throughout the camp, and finally decided later on: he will write a scenario with Utaha as the main heroine, comprising of all the memories from their meeting until now. Sad times, fun times, all of it. And with the help of everyone on the circle, the scenario born from Tomoya’s explosive delusion was completed. The scenario that he wrote basically retells events from previous volumes (especially volume 2, or anime episode 6) in the form of Tomoya’s scenario, along with some new scenes that Tomoya wrote himself.
In the first event, the protagonist of the story meets the heroine at her novel signing event in the bookstore just like Tomoya’s first meeting with Utaha. The second event mirrors the moment Utaha asked Tomoya to give his thought about Koisuru Metronome’s final volume, and he refused. The third and fourth events are basically classic galge events, nothing much to be said.
The fifth event is the original conclusion of the route: the protagonist and the heroine became independent after a conflict with their chief editor and pursued each of their own paths. While this scenario doesn’t exactly present a happy ending, it does shine a similar light with what happened to Tomoya and Utaha in volume 7. This event is not used in the final scenario though, since it is replaced with the one used in chapter 8; this is where things get complicated.
In the game that Utaha played in chapter 8, instead of going separate ways, the protagonist and the heroine worked together to make a new plot and things ended on a happy note — completely different from the original one, which was left in the first draft. The reason Tomoya changed it that way is because he thinks that a cliché happy ending like that fits a moege better, but here’s the problem: he used Utaha herself as the basis of the story. The real Utaha is not someone who can easily back down when faced with a challenge; she will stand up and keep pushing for her ideal. She is a prodigy, a goddess, a creator; even without the protagonist, she should have been able to stand for herself. And that Utaha, that heroine, is not fit to be the main heroine of the game. That is the reason Tomoya scrapped chapter 7’s final event.
“I can’t forgive this scenario.”
Utaha denied the scenario precisely because she is a creator. For one, she can’t accept the way things turned out so easy for the heroine, but the most despicable thing she found about the scenario is the fact that she RELIED on someone else for something she considers her “life” as writer — as a creator. Disregarding the fact that she may love the story, as proven later on by the fact that she continues playing the game in Eriri’s house as written in the epilogue, she definitely can’t accept that ending as a creator, more so because the story itself uses her as the reference. Rather than a simple misinterpretation, it may feel more of an insult to a creator — a thorn to her pride as a writer. Ironically, that “insult” is the best torch that can re-ignite her burning passion to write again, even standing up to Akane’s standard.
“I definitely can’t accept this heroine.”
Those words pierced through Tomoya’s heart. Both of them who used to walk together are now continuing on each of their own path.
On the epilogue, according to what Akane Kousaka said on the day of Summer Comiket, Utaha seems to have returned to her usual self or become even more motivated, definitely caused by Tomoya’s scenario. We are left to wonder whether Tomoya is a genuine creator or a mere prince of Otaku.
This volume basically showed us how ‘greedy’ the woman called Akane Kousaka is, being a monster with both talent and hard work in her disposal. Although the romcom aspect of Saekano is good, showing glimpses of a creator’s pride is definitely one of this series’ charms.
Several relevant details to add:
- It was implicitly said that the circle has held a similar training camp last year, and it was marked as “season 2 spoiler” written in furigana, possibly hinting an original anime episode for the 2nd season.
- Yes, the reason Megumi is mad at Tomoya is because she found out about Utaha stealing his first kiss in volume 7; Tomoya properly explained himself afterwards.
- They do have interactions with first-name basis here.
- For those who asked about Megumi’s portion in the story, I think she has the least amount of screentime due to the chapters mostly focusing on Utaha’s (and Eriri’s) interaction. The other members of blessing software barely get any screentime (like their convo with Tomoya on the train).
While Megumi is not getting much spotlight this time, I am pretty satisfied. The way things ended after volume 9 and Girls Side2 gave me the same weird feeling with Captain America: Civil War’s ending (okay, that’s a pretty outlandish comparison), so it’s nice to have a refreshing new conflict — more so if it may contribute to a character’s development.