How to Raise a Boring Girlfriend
- Episodes: 12
- Genre: Harem, Comedy, Romance, Ecchi, School
- Airing Date: Jan. 2015 – Mar. 2015
- Producers: A-1 Pictures
Saenai Heroine no Sodatekata Preview (No Spoilers)
How to Raise a Boring Girlfriend is the story of a chance encounter with a girl on a street on a windy day that fuels a dream, the dream to create the greatest dating sim in history. Tomoya Aki has many obstacles to overcome; chiefly that he can’t write or draw. He will need to assemble a dream team of talent if he is going to have his masterpiece ready to sell at Comi-ket.
Fortunately, Tomoya knows two very talented girls and both go to his school. The first girl he recruits is his estranged childhood friend Eriri Spencer Sawamura (as the illustrator). He also calls on his sempai, Utaha Kasumigaoka. The third girl he pulls into his artistic harem is the girl that inspired it all, Megumi Katou, a girl so plain she often fades into the background. We watch Tomoya suffer for his dream literally and figuratively as he navigates the minefield of working with creatives and the not-so-subtle feelings they each have for Tomoya.
Eriri Spencer Sawamura Bio
Seiyuu Name: Saori Oonishi
Eriri Spencer Sawamura is Tomoya Aki’s childhood friend. She is popular, smart, and filled with grace and charm. She is an ideal that many of the girls and boys at their school look up to. Eriri is also viewed as a bit exotic; her mother is Japanese and her father is a British diplomat, giving her natural blonde hair and blue eyes. The refined young lady is an expert in the gentile pursuits of literature and especially art. She is the star of the art club; her paintings and designs win praise and profits. The true Eriri is a far different person than the perfect girl everyone sees. She is a foul-mouthed, track suit wearing tsundere and otaku. She spends her nights holed up in her room in her parent’s mansion drawing best-selling dojin-porn under the name Kashiwagi Eri or Egotistic Lily. She willingly joins Aki’s project even though she tells him right off the bat that she thinks it will fail and he doesn’t have what it takes to be a creator.
Eriri Spencer Sawamura Highlights
1. Eriri The Artist
Eriri is an artist through and through; you can tell from the devotion she has to her work. She has a talent for drawing that comes naturally and yet she works hard to perfect her art. She draws like a woman possessed by a demon when she is in the zone, shutting out everything and creating drawings imbued with such passion they arouse the eye. She is a lot like many artists and creators in that she needs to be inspired for accuracy. We find that out in episode 0, when the circle goes on a scouting trip and she chooses to set up an easel and paint instead of taking pictures. Also like many artists, she has trouble with deadlines. We learn that as she decides turnabout is fair play and forces Tomoya, who dragged her into his dating sim production, to help her scan and print all the pages for her doujin in order to make the Comiket deadline.
2. Eriri the Elitist
Eriri is like a princess -- an ill-mannered porno comic drawing princess, but a princess nonetheless. She’s not really royalty but was definitely raised like it. She grew up in on a large estate in a stone mansion, raised by her Japanese mother and English father. Her family has an estate in England and a cottage in the country; she even has access to a driver if she chooses. Her bedroom even has a canopy bed. Eriri was always treated like a princess in school with her fair skin and blonde hair. In episode 5, Tomoya asked her (hypothetically) what would she do if she was roped into going to a mall with someone. Her response was “I wouldn’t go. Places like that are filled with human garbage… if you need clothes why don’t you just mail order them or have your coordinator pick them out for you?” Responses like that are what Tomoya calls her “Special My-lady Shut-in quirks.” Eriri’s response is awesome. She says what many of us think about spending time in crowds or around other people. I writer married such a person, a person who would much rather shop online and stream a movie than go out. We like people like that. No, we love girls like that, because they are the ones you can cuddle up on the couch with, watching whatever is on.
3. Eriri the Tsundere
In spite of her standoffish nature, Eriri is devoted to Tomoya. Eriri and Tomoya have a complicated past. The two of them were the best of friends in elementary school. Eriri was already a budding artist creating pictures to go along with simple stories he wrote. We see in a flashback, from Tomoya’s perspective, that one day he will be the president of a game company and she will be his artist. The two have a falling out when she decides that she needs to be a closeted otaku and they don’t speak for years. The tsundere part of her personality is often on display, and you can be a good tsun without being devoted to the same person you want to kick in the ass. Drunk from liquor-filled candy, she tells Tomoya, “You’re so mean…” and cries in a corner, then moments later she tries to get in his pants. But we also see that she is still in love with him. She gets jealous when she finds him on the roof talking with Utaha-sempai. Eriri even follows him to the mall and for all intents and purposes stalks him and Katou as they shop. We see her devotion take a less stalker-esque approach in the beginning of the second season. She is worried that she won’t finish the artwork on time for them to make their deadline, so she locks herself away in her family’s cottage in the countryside in order to focus. She works herself sick and though she manages to finish develops a very high fever. We also get to see Eriri agonize over her loyalty and love for Tomoya when she is approached by another circle. She wants to be the center of Tomoya’s world. She wants him to love not only her but her art, and his honest opinion in episode 8 that her art doesn’t excite him creates such a big gap that their mending relationship almost falls apart. A grand romantic gesture and clearing of the air by Tomoya puts them back on track.
4. Eriri the Comic Relief
Eriri is having trouble getting understated Megumi, their model, to emote for so she decides to give her a prompt to help her “feel.” She ends up relating the story of her and Tomoya’s troubled relationship until she breaks down in an emotional wreck after pushing her own trauma buttons. We also see her run full speed downhill when she realizes Utaha is alone with Tomoya in a thicket; she hits her head on a branch and goes comically tumbling out of control. We find another comic moment in episode 3 when she decides to hide in Tomoya’s closet rather than let Utaha find her in his room. She emerges after what have must been more than a half hour as Utaha leaves the room with a verbal parting shot, “you should have hidden your bike, too,” which means the time she spent cramped in the closet was a complete waste. We see a couple of great moments in episode 7. In one she suckers Tomoya into her scenario building for her doujin, a scenario where the childhood friend and the protagonist get together and get freaky. The humor is Eriri changed her clothes to get in character, but when Tomoya starts improvising dialogue she reminds him she doesn’t have that many pages left and they need to just get to it. We love that directness. Her choice of language is great too, “Mess me up. I want you to do amazing things to me that I will never forget.” We know this is “dialogue” for the doujin but it is awesome to hear her say it. Her verbal sparring is best when she is paired up with Utaha; her retorts are much simpler than Utaha’s but under-her-breath comments like “die in a fire,” are delivered with just the right amount of honesty.
5. Eriri and Fashion
We have to give credit where credit is due, and as a girl in an anime who wears more than just a school uniform she gets a lot of credit. It doesn’t mean that she looks bad in that blue sailor-style school uniform, when you add the blonde twin tails it’s a knockout combination for most men. But it’s nice that she does periodically change her look. We’ve seen her in a mustard-yellow dress with white puffed sleeves and black thigh high stockings that make her look very sweet and innocent. A white blouse with short bloomer shorts and suspenders and knee-high socks seems to be one of her favorite casual wear outfits. We even get to see her dressed up in a red party dress with long white gloves as she attends one of her parents’ parties. And of course, we get to see her in a yukata. The yukata in question isn’t a fancy one, it’s just the robe from the inn where they happen to be staying, but even with her smaller bust size she still looks very sexy in it. We now move to her favorite and less sexy green track suit. The green track suit and black-rimmed glasses seems to be her favorite ensemble. She wears that likely nylon suit almost every time we see her working on her art. The suit seems to go with her change in personality, too; she’s far more likely to be loud and vulgar in her comfy clothes – and we love that.
Eriri is an amazing character. She was willfully constructed in the stereotype role of a tsundere, but not because the writer was lazy. Eriri, like the other characters in How to Raise a Boring Girlfriend, was designed with the tropes in mind as a way of poking fun at the genre. Her character is about duality; she can fit in at a formal dinner party or an all-night junk food eating anime marathon. She is similar to so many of us older otaku who have the “grown-up” conversations with some friends and coworkers while at the same time debating the amount of fan service in the summer lineup on Twitter. We are supposed to tell you in these “Honey’s Crush” articles why you should want her as your waifu, but I’m not going to do that because she’s mine and you can’t have her. The other girls in the show -- Utaha the overly harsh sempai, Michiru the free-spirited musician, and Izumi the adorable kohai -- are all wonderful characters, even Katou is a bit more than she seems. You can have them all, but hands off my twin-tailed tsundere goddess Eriri.