I had a lot of complaints about this episode, so I’m trying a new format with this post where I go through specific scenes in the episode. In case you didn’t know, this series is actually about people playing Phantasy Star Online 2, rather than experiencing it, so don’t go in expecting a “trapped in game” scenario.
The opening song for the series wasn’t a bad start…it broke a very painful starting scene with a more mellow song. Now we fast-forward through a couple of minutes depicting the main character getting to school, which by the way gives us this great shot:
The security guard scene that follows just makes no sense to me. The main character, who is obviously the right age to be a student, walks into the school wearing the uniform and apparently, the fact that he forgets where his ID is makes him suspicious enough for the security guard. That is just not a normal reaction and deserves an explanation…you can’t just wave it away with “there has been a lot of suspicious stuff recently”. This is a private school, not an American airport. Also, there’s a subtitle error in the Crunchyroll/HorribleSubs version of this scene when the student council president shows up. She’s confirming that the main character is actually a student, but it’s translated as though she’s agreeing with the guard that the main character is suspicious.
Oh…Seiga Academy! I get it…because Phantasy Star Online is made by…gotcha. Yeah, that wasn’t subtle at all and neither was this:
Anyway, from there, the story reveals its true intention by having the student council president call the main character to the student council and give him an assignment.
Yeah…we’ve never seen anything like this before in anime, right? Surely, someone as dignified as the student council president (at least that’s how she’s presented) would have a good reason/explanation for this.
…for what reason? Is the academy secretly the creator of the game? Is the academy performing some sort of psychological study on MMORPGs and that game just happens to be popular in the school? Are the students having problems with their coursework because they’re playing this game? Did the academy just randomly come up with this or was someone else doing it up until they mysteriously vanished? Come on, give me something!
From there, the main character gets assigned to play the game for the student council for…reasons? Skipping the obvious jab at randomized character creation on the first try and moving on to actual in-game. The player character dancing on the stairs in the opening world was actually a nice touch…because that actually happens in every MMO in existence. But then we get to the battle scene…
I can’t tell whether this is a subtitle error or just obscenely bad script. Didn’t SORO just say to aim for the weak spot on the back of the enemy? Why would the main character be asking for confirmation on aiming for the head? No one said to aim for the head, right? Unless I missed one of his friend’s instruction pages or something, this line is entirely wrong.
There’s also the big reveal at the end that the student council president was SORO all along. Were we supposed to infer from the scene that she was the one originally writing the reports to the academy? As for the ending song, I had to mute the video because the dancing robot was actually pretty funny, but the song was pretty bad.
This might actually have been the best scene in the episode…but was there any indication that the student council president had this kind of personality from the first episode?