There are few things that can beat having a neighbor that likes to play the piano naked. One of them is having a neighbor who doesn’t play the piano at all so you can have some peace and quiet. Another would be your neighbor being a writer that happens to be your hero as well as your rival and enjoys wearing fancy dresses. Welcome to this review of Episode 3 of Eromanga Sensei.
Japanese Original Episode Title: 全裸の館と堕落の主(あるじ)
Masamune unexpectedly gets a crowd of over-enthusiastic students led by Megumi, the class rep, screaming on his doorstep, chanting for his sister to come back to school. After kicking them out – well, technically they were already out, he just told them to leave the vicinity of his house – he tells Megumi that the abandoned house next to his is haunted, according to rumors. And that’s where they catch a glimpse of a ghost roaming by the window… Yay.
As Masamune screams at his sister’s classmates and basically tells them to leave in the most inappropriate way, followed by an awkward silence, he corrects his manners and they walk off as if that was the best day of their lives, way more cheerful than they should be. I did find this hilarious and a little bit scary.
Masamune rushes upstairs to check on his sister, expecting her to be devastated by all the attention she got from her classmates, only to find her horrified –and surprisingly touchy- having seen the ghost in the house next door. The piano starts playing and Sagiri begs her brother to check what is going on next door… and so he does. Snooping around the abandoned house’s windows, he comes across the sight of a butt-naked girl playing the piano, and she happens to be the crazed young lady that was trying to steal his illustrator on the last episode, Elf Yamada. Probably thinking he hasn’t been indiscreet enough peeping into her private life, he rings her doorbell and asks her if it was actually her playing the piano naked. Elf runs frantically around the house and puts a full outfit on, not neglecting a matching hairband, grabs a broomstick and prepares to attack. Somehow, the fact that she knows Masamune, makes his staring at her playing the piano naked more acceptable so he doesn’t get slammed in the face.
Apparently, she moved next door from him to attend her anime production meetings and paid for that massive new house in cash. They start hanging out together and decide to compete in writing to earn Eromanga Sensei’s favor. Through her studio window, he gets to look at his sister without her knowing, even though you’d think a hikikomori (especially one as private yet as famous as Sagiri) would be very, very aware of people having access to a balcony only a few meters away from theirs and being able to peek into their room. Elf is trying to discover Eromanga Sensei’s true identity to get them to work for her, but doesn’t suspect Sagiri at all. Masamune expresses his love for her stories and their personal meaning to him, and Elf appreciates, only to later argue with him about whether a writer should be writing at all times or only when they’re inspired to do so.
Masamune gets slapped senseless for not being a truly creative professional and walks out.
Themes & Trivia
Japanese Politeness: I love how Masamune switches from screaming to politely asking everyone to get the hell out.
天才 (Tensai): Means ‘genius’ in Japanese, and Elf refers to herself as one when lying on the couch. The concept of a child-prodigy is seen more often than not in most anime, to the point where you’d think there’s one in every single Japanese school. From recently popular ones such as Yagami Light from Death Note to very old ones like Urumi Kanzaki from Great Teacher Onizuka, you can easily name tons of them.
Teenagers living alone: The age of majority in Japan is 20, and it is very, very unlikely you will find teenagers casually living on their own before finishing school, while in anime it’s almost canon. In order to live on your own in Japan, as in most places, you need a guarantor, which is why most runaway teenagers will be living in a net café or sleeping on the streets… or worse.
I am slightly annoyed at the fact that Elf Yamada moved right next to the Izumi household; apart from the fact that she’s got the annoying loud-underage-prodigy-girl personality, it was too easy to introduce her to the Izumis’ life like this. A little more effort on the script rather than a blunt move like that would have been more appropriate. At least we get to see her having a more sympathetic side when she comments on Sagiri.
You should probably reconsider playing the piano naked, hun
I mean, to each his own. I like to fill up a bathtub and down a bottle of wine, but if a naked piano performance inspires you to be creative, then go for it. Maybe try closing the curtain, unless you want random neighborhood creeps staring at your 14-year-old butt.
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