12 Days of Waifus – Day 7: Megumi Kato (Saekano)
Aki Tomoya (aka Rinri-kun, I’ll just call him Rinri-kun from here onwards as it sounds more amusing) is a horrible character, I think most of you who watched Saekano can attest to that. The weird part is despite Rinri-kun being such a jerk, whatever quarrels he had with a member of his harem, he somehow made up with them, by being a jerk. Realistically, I don’t think his altitude would had actually fix any kind of relationships, so watching Saekano certainly requires some suspension of disbelief.
One thing I don’t really understand is how could Kato even put up with Rinri-kun, especially with how annoying he can be at times, but I guess that’s one of the many charms of Kato-nothing fazes her. You could shout at your love for lolis right beside her, or scream how much you adore imoutos, she would just look at you with emotionless dead-fish eyes and retort with quiet, but snappy and witty remarks. I especially adore this particular aspect of hers, unlike the rest of Rinri-kun’s potential love interests who conform themselves to common LN archetypes as stereotypically as you can get. Indeed, Kato is refreshingly “normal” in a medium choked full of archetypes.
Don’t get me wrong though, you may had notice by now but I love tsundere just like the next guy, but Kato’s character is definitely the highlight for me in this show, especially considering how poorly written the other characters are even if there are tsunderes. In fact, I think Kato will be the very rare entry in this 12 waifu list who will have the least to do with archetypes. It’s kinda interesting how a gimmicky concept ended up being one of the best characterizing approach.
Aforementioned, Kato is regarded as the “normal” character who does not conform to any archetypes at all. She’s not your childhood friend, she’s not your imouto, she’s not your resident tsundere, and she’s sure as hell not your resident yandere; she’s just… there. Let’s try to imagine this typical scene from a show: let’s say two main characters are conversing, but in order to give life to the setting they are in, random characters who have exactly no role, not even a supportive role, are inserted into the background. If this is a visual novel, and there are dialogues from these nameless random characters, they will be given “names” such as “Classmate A”, or “Classmate B”. This is pretty much Kato in a nutshell-the “normal”, background character.
One of the running themes of the show is to develop (within the show) Kato into an otaku, or in accordance to the English title “How to Raise a Boring Girlfriend”. But who says “normal” is boring? Her interactions felt the most natural in the show, unlike the others with cookie-cutter personalities. I especially love her quick and witty retorts at whatever Rinri-kun is babbling about. She’s also just down-to-earth and very easy to speak to, if you go about it in a normal way that is. There’s also how Kato acts out LN-archetypal personalities in an absolutely emotionless tone, but extremely hilarious.
There’s another thing about Rinri-kun is that he doesn’t even respect people’s personal space at all, for one, because of his “idealized” version of Kato, he even went as far as claiming that Kato should not go out with anyone and his expectations that a “heroine” should not interact with any men other than the “main character”. He’s pushing his own ideals onto someone who had never even watched an anime at all. At that point, I’m not even sure how Kato could continually put up with him.
Nonetheless, speaking of anime and otaku, another charming point of Kato is that she doesn’t look like someone who shuns people. Even in Japan, the word “otaku” looks like it also has a very negative connotation. But she isn’t someone who would look down upon the otaku culture and would gladly “widen her horizon” if she wants to. Admittedly, while Rinri-kun may be an asshole, at least he recommended good titles perfect for newcomers of the culture like her, much better than a certain other lead from a certain other LN-based show.
In short, that’s about it. Kato was chosen as one of my 12 waifus because of how “normal” she is, a perfect contrast to the other characters in the show, her interactions, and being very open-minded with otaku culture despite not knowledgeable in the area, and not shunning people. If it’s possible to date an anime character, hell, she would be my first pick, as she seems genuinely fun to be with. But keep in mind though, while I rambled on and on about Kato, I don’t really like Saekano. I mean, it’s not really THAT bad of a show… but it’s pretty much standard trashy LN flair to me. Even just from the characters side, this is what I can only get: Rinri-kun being an asshole, my disinterest with the other haremmates and Kato being a Best Girl who is certainly in the wrong damn show.