Home > Asobi ni Iku Yo!, Episode Reviews > Asobi ni Iku Yo! Episode 6 – Virtual Lie

Asobi ni Iku Yo! Episode 6 – Virtual Lie

I’ll say this about Asobi ni Iku Yo!: every episode is something different. So after ending the decidedly mediocre catgirl religion arc with explosive action scenes, this episode is mostly a fairly normal slice of life episode, or what passes for everyday life when you’re a fugitive living in your crush’s home, which has been converted into an embassy for alien catgirls.

Not even assistroid sign acrobatics can make this tacky fan service and blatant advertising for the uncensored DVDs palatable, or anything but shameless pandering

The main plot focuses on Aoi and Manami, who have made a bargain: Aoi will teach gun-crazy Manami how to shoot properly if Manami helps get Kio to fall for Aoi. After Kio forbids them from shooting outside because they’ll scare the neighbors, and Aoi proves to be as comically incompetent at cooking as 90% of anime females, the catgirls let them use their holodeck to practice each.

There, what appeared to be a fairly stock gag episode quickly turns into a virtual reality relationship mindscrew, as Manami summons a virtualized Kio and forces him to be honest about his feelings for Aoi and her. Which turns into a meaningful conversation when he admits he had feelings for her, until he heard her talking to her CIA handler and assumed she was talking to a boyfriend.

Here's Manami, waving around a loaded revolver in a fast food restaurant. I've seen better gun safety in a Tarantino film

Thinking she has a boyfriend, he eventually gets over her, which he describes as a weight lifted from his shoulders. He no longer has to worry if she likes him or not; he’s free to move on, and find someone else.

Knowing that her opportunity to have a relationship with Kio fell apart based on a misunderstanding is devastating to Manami, who breaks down in tears and starts blaming Kio. She admits her own failure to acknowledge her own feelings (she’s been denying them the whole show) and, unwilling to admit it’s her own fault, gets angry at Kio for blaming himself for not confessing his feelings to her first. It’s the perfect thing for both characters to do and a good bit of dramatic writing, to boot. This is one of my favorite scenes in the show so far.

Typical girl: in a room full of guns, and all she wants to do is talk about her feelings

But it’s made even better by what happens next. Real-life Kio tactfully puts down the food Aoi’s digital Kio said he loved, which makes Manami wonder if her Kio’s confession was what the actual Kio thinks, or just the projection of her own mind.

Which raises another question: if you can’t trust your gut feelings on your childhood friend, how well do you really know the person? Manami’s virtual Kio seemed to her just like the real thing: he even sarcastically dodged her personal questions, which is what forced her to make him tell the truth in the first place. But of course he would seem real to her if he was just a projection of her own subconscious image of him.

The atmospheric maneuvering system Eris's ship uses makes it look like it's on wires when filmed. Great joke, even if it's doubly geeky

How well can we know someone, and how many of the problems in our own relationships stem from the mistaken conceptions we have of other people? In every relationship there are weird moments of dissonance that reveal some failure to accurately model a person in our head: some gift treated with contempt, or something that gets recommended but you absolutely hate.

Building that model, learning to understand and interact with that person seems like something absolutely critical to a relationship. But what happens when that conception of the person fails? And how do we relate to someone if we can’t trust that the idea we have of a person will necessarily correlate with the flesh and blood person we interact with?

Neither Aoi nor Manami are interested in the catgirl's suggestion of simulated sex with Kio

These are not questions that Asobi ni Iku Yo! is interested in answering, because they can’t be satisfactorily answered with naked girls or gun battles. But I do have to give them credit for at least asking them, and injecting even more ambiguity and depth into character relationships that it’s been handling pretty deftly for several episodes now.

There’s a B-plot here, too, about Kio and his film club trying to use Eris and her science fiction gadgets in a movie and failing, because they look too much like something from a cheesy B-movie. It has some (okay, one) good gags, but the main takeaway here is the huge cop-out on Eris being in heat.

Eris being in heat finally gets more than a passing mention, but it only turns out to be good for a bit of hardcore cuddling

Because it’s affecting her ability to do her job, the other catgirls give her some kind of hormone suppression to prematurely end her mating season. In return, all we get are some lame scenes of her rubbing herself against Kio.

Oh well, I guess that is something actual cats do. It’s nice to see anime catgirls reflecting actual cats for once, and not just some weird bestial fetishism.

So, while this episode was generally pretty rough it had a few great moments that reminded that, despite the lack of narrative focus and juvenile writing, this show can bring out good writing when it wants to.

Goodbye, comedy goldmine. We scarcely knew ye

Watch this episode here.

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