SaiKano: Another Love Song
|English Title: She, the Ultimate Weapon: Another Love Song|
|Japanese Title: Saishuu Heiki Kanojo: Another Love Song|
|Also Known As: SaiKano: Another Love Song, SaiKano OVA|
|Format: 2 OVA|
|Allegiance: Studio Fantasia|
|Director: Kase Mitsuko|
|Intelligence Agency Report by: Erigion|
|The war against the unknown invaders is going badly for the Japanese Self-Defense Forces. Every day they lose more men and territory; their only hope is the new ultimate weapon being developed. Lieutenant Mizuki is the test bed for the technology that eventually finds its way into Chise. This is Mizuki’s story as she discovers the limits to her capabilities and watches Chise as she develops into the Ultimate Weapon.|
|Field Agent Report by: Erigion|
Mention SaiKano to me and I think of angst and melodrama at its very worst. The original TV series was filled with scenes and side stories that did nothing to move the overall story forward and were only there to try to make you sad. It was almost as if the director and writer thought the thirteen-episode format was too long to tell their desired story. But when given only a two episode OVA to work with, they have to cut down on side shows and useless emotional fluff, which makes SaiKano: Another Love Song a bit easier to swallow.
One of the biggest improvements over the original SaiKano was the change in main character. The whining Chise and the moaning Shuuji were replaced by a headstrong and willful woman in Mizuki, who is a breath of fresh air when compared to your average character in SaiKano. But even this switch couldn’t save SaiKano: Another Love Song. Even though the director couldn’t shove countless and worthless side stories into the OVA, he was still unable to do justice to the relationship between Mizuki and Chise. Their relationship developed in an utterly predictable way, even though the setting of SaiKano: Another Love Song didn’t allow Mizuki and Chise to interact in person. To make up for this lack of dialogue and interaction, the director threw in a psychic connection between Lt. Mizuki and Chise. It’s vaguely explained and serves as nothing more than to give Chise the ability to piss and moan in the OVA. But as a “bonus,” this connection gives the director the ability to create a number of worthless melodramatic moments between the two. In fact, everything from the setting to the side characters to the backstory of Mizuki was made with creating melodrama in mind.
But like the TV series, SaiKano: Another Love Song is technically competent. The animation is smooth and well done. However, it wasn’t anything spectacular or unexpected for an OVA. The character art from the TV series returns, so if you were bothered by it before, you’ll be bothered by it again. Also back is Fumiko Orikasa, who reprises her role as Chise, resulting in more high pitched whining. Aside from that, the rest of the voice acting was solid. The OST was average, nothing terrible, but nothing terribly impressive either.
All in all, SaiKano: Another Love Song is a step, albeit a small one, above its predecessor. But deep down inside, SaiKano, in all its iterations, is about angst and melodrama, which just isn’t my cup of tea.