“You will see the tears of money.”
- Episodes: 12
- Genre: Comedy, School
- Airing Date: Oct. 8, 2017 - Dec. 24, 2017
- Studio: WAO World
Anime Preview (No Spoilers)
Minoa Asagaya regularly dreams about an anime she saw in her childhood, its title escaping her memory. Baffled by its elusiveness, she asks her classmates, hoping to find the name of the show that inspired her as a child.
Arisu Kamiigusa, a wealthy student with a secret passion for anime, overhears Minoa question her classmates. Seeking an opportunity to share her hobby, Arisu invites Minoa to revive the Anime Research Club. In doing so, they gather people with the same interest, welcoming Minoa and the viewers into the illustrious world of anime.
Arisu Kamiigusa Bio
Seiyuu Name: (Sayaka Senbongi)
Arisu Kamiigusa is quite a familiar character. We’ve seen her archetype before, one based off a history of character designs that viewers can recognize. Arisu, like the other characters in the show, fits into recognizable archetypes. She is wealthy, sheltered, ambitious, and passionate. In similar ways to her fellow club members, she is detached from reality – her running gag highlights that: her gusto to solve everything with money… And I really do mean everything.
Her development as a character takes time, but it’s her growth alongside her club members that transforms an initial gimmick into something more valuable and lasting. Just as Arisu motivated Minoa’s development, Arisu is the fulcrum to her friends’ development.
In a setting (an anime club) that wants to share the appreciation of anime, Arisu is the perfect candidate to spread its influence. The beauty of Anime-Gataris is its ability to make you part of the club. Just as Arisu welcomed like-minded friends, you are also welcomed to share your anime interests with the show’s characters.
Character Highlights (Spoilers Beyond This Point)
1. Arisu’s Willingness to Share Her Hobby
This is the scene that starts it all. Ten minutes into episode 1, Arisu meets Minoa alone. A nervous heartbeat thumps as the viewer patiently waits for Arisu to explain her intentions. The scene does a close-up of each of their faces, and in this moment, Arisu asks a question!
“Do you like anime?”
The tension from the scene evaporates. The immediate response is a joking “bonk,” an apt portrayal for Minoa’s confused and dazed expression. Just as quickly as the tension disappeared, it’s replaced by a light-hearted mood. Arisu’s former demeanors unfasten.
Dispelling expectations, Arisu is not a person who shuns contact as her school reputation implies. Her cold demeanor hides a burning love. There’s a pretty clear message with this character – that anime bridges divide. It enables her to be honest with herself and expand her personality outside of her archetype. This message continues throughout the show, and it’s very fitting that Arisu defies a particular rich girl stereotype. Class division is broken down, and Arisu starts by including Minoa into her life.
2. Arisu, the Convenient Comedic Catalyst
Arisu can be atypical in some regards, but when the show wants to play up her rich girl persona, it does so in a way that complements the development of others and lends to the show’s comedy. In this way, Arisu acts as a convenient character for the writers to foil characters and push the plot forward.
Episode 4 is a perfect example of that. After an explanation about how the anime industry makes its profits, Erika, the club president, asks Arisu about something she’s noticed, “Hey, did you buy all these discs?” To which Arisu responds:
“Well, what belongs to the Anime Club belongs to me. What belongs to me belongs to me.”
The club is confused at first. Barely even a second passes when the student council bursts into the room, shoving a receipt into everyone’s eyes. The unfortunate reality is Arisu has spent the entirety of the club funds on, unsurprisingly, anime discs. Learning that the club’s longevity is at stake, she plans to solve the problem with how she solves all her problems. However, she’s kept in check. Erika steps in, and we finally learn about Erika’s personality:
Erika further elaborates, while looking towards Arisu, “Besides, this is the kind of thing that we need to solve for ourselves.” What was initially Arisu’s problem is now everyone’s problem, and this idea of sticking together is everywhere in the show. The writers used Arisu’s characteristics to lighten the tone of the show, progress the plot, and elaborate on other characters. This final point leads us to our next.
3. Arisu Is An Amazing Supporting Character
This point elaborates further on the previous. Arisu is an amazing supporting character, and while this is obvious with how she pushes Minoa towards her dreams, it’s less obvious to others. The amazing thing about Arisu is that she can develop other characters through support and even conflict.
For this point, let’s use Arisu’s relationship with Koenji as an example. Their initial interaction is filled with tension. In episode 2, Arisu and Koenji are at a disagreement. To Arisu, light novels are a secondary consideration. If a light novel gets an anime adaptation, she will watch the anime, and only if the adaptation was goodwill she bothers to check out the original material. Koenji, a light novel enthusiast, finds this disrespectful but doesn’t openly voice her disapproval until Minoa asks about how she should watch light novel adaptations.
The tension from this scene erupts when Koenji almost leaves the club because of Arisu. Not exactly a smooth beginning to their relationship. Comparing them now and how they are later, you see their development.
Initially, neither Arisu nor Koenji could see eye-to-eye. In the last few episodes, however, both bond together over their hardships. Having created an anime together, Arisu and Koenji are now united against a critic of their show. Arisu now understands the amount of effort it takes to craft a creative work and seeing an ally in her, Koenji directs her writing woes against a common enemy. While initially fraught with conflict, Arisu helps develop multiple characters in the show.
4. Arisu Is An Idealist
While Arisu is often criticized for using money to solve her problems, the show plays it off as more of a quirk than a flaw. Approaching it this way allows the writers some leeway--they can write some otherwise unrealistic things for high schoolers. Arisu, while limited in by the manner she solves her problems (money), is given a variety of options because of it. She is an idealist that’s not bound by conventional thinking.
In particular, episode 7 is a fine example. In this episode, the student council confronts the Anime Research Club, proclaiming the anime club’s demise. The student council demands that the club produces something to show for the school festival--emphasis on “produce,” and the student council refuses any option that doesn’t involve the club’s creation of something. Things don’t look too bright for the club, but then Minoa suggests something seemingly ridiculous:
“I know, how about we make an anime together?”
It seems unrealistic, and the club even takes turns telling her then it’s implausible for an assortment of reasons, but Arisu stops this train of thought by, unsurprisingly, flashing a silver case filled with blinding riches--yes, money.
The following responses are pretty fitting: “This is the power of real money,” “So you really were a bourgeoisie,” and “I’m on board. Making our own anime sounds exciting.”
The last person to agree is Erika, but just as she did previously for Arisu, she keeps the entire club in check, “All right, fine. However… we aren’t using this money.” If Arisu is an idealist then Erika is a pragmatist, the balance of these two help to balance the club. Each member has their own compelling qualities, and Arisu is a person who’s meant to excite people about future possibilities.
5. Arisu Is One Part Individual and One Part Iconic Duo
One word. One name: Sebas.
It’s hard to detach Arisu from her loyal butler, and to do so would ignore something the writers emphasize: Arisu ignores common sense yet somehow manages perfectly fine. The show explains how by introducing Sebas. A simple snap of her fingers and the stoic butler appears instantly as if he somehow always there.
Sebas is a stereotypical name for anime butlers, and his role is meant to parody a concept: the servant is an extension of their master. The comedic synergy that these characters exhibit is meant to prove that Arisu can manage the impossible--as long as her butler does everything.
In a strange way, Arisu is a character whose flaws requires the existence of another character. It’s a package of parody, an atypical assembly, but most of all, it’s the iconic duo. These two don’t function well without each other, but together, they often steal the scene’s spotlight.
Arisu is a fun character to observe. She is a parody of the “rich girl,” but given an added quirk. Her burning love of anime allows others to accept her, and in return, she gives characters a chance to shine. As an overt parody, Arisu is a catalyst for a lot of the events in the show and character development. Her gusto to solve problems with money is both a curse and a blessing, but the relationship she builds is something money can’t buy.