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Doubletakes: Domestic Girlfriend (Episodes 11 & 12)

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Solid Writing Advice

Natsuo goes to his literature teacher’s house to beg to become his apprentice. The literature teacher is also a famous novelist, and Natsuo wants to be a novelist too. But his literature teacher declines to help, saying that if Natsuo wants to become a novelist, his best chance at that is simply to keep writing, doing the work no matter what.

Reaction as a fan: …Not sure where this came from, or how it fits into the themes of the show so far, or even the main plot… but that was some seriously solid and accurate writing advice. Next time someone whines to me about writing, I’m just going to… point them in… this direction.

Reaction as a writer: Well. I’m gonna take it that this means the writers of this show actually know what they’re doing, at least on a basic level — and that they’ll resolve things in the rest of this episode and in the next (and final) one.


Bonus Take — Found Out… Again, But A Lot Worse

Hina and Natsuo have sex during the school trip, and the principle of the school finds out about it.

Reaction as a fan: WHAT DID YOU GUYS EXPECT, BANGING ON YOUR SCHOOL TRIP? But I have to admit, I did actually stop assuming they’d get caught the more this episode panned out. Rui seems to have accepted that she can never have Natsuo (SHE WAS TOO GOOD FOR HIM ANYWAY, HMMPH), and also… every scene between Hina and Natsuo was portrayed as so dang cute and wholesome somehow, despite that THEY ARE REALLY NOT. I was almost starting to root for them again. Or at least starting to accept that this show, in the end, really IS just about the fantasy of getting to bang a teacher. But now I’m back to gleefully thinking this story will hammer home that people SHOULDN’T bang their teachers.

Reaction as a writer: Which will it be?!! Normally by this point I’d be panicked, wondering how the show can possibly wrap up satisfactorily with only one episode left… but DomeKano has been very tight and dense with the writing so far, so I actually have faith they can manage it.

On that, though. The show’s writing has almost been too tight, in fact — because I realize now that’s probably why we got Momo and that other extra girl. The show is only twelve episodes, which is short for an anime already, but the writers probably could have told this entire story in much less. The two extra chicks feel like they were inserted only to flesh out the short show/fill in extra space — which is a problem in and of itself in some ways, but I feel better at least knowing the main story was, the whole time, about Natsuo, his teacher, and his sister — more of a love triangle drama and less of a harem show, after all.

Now. As I rub my hands together with an evil smile, let us see what the last episode brings. I’m so pumped they got caught; YOU TWO NEVER SHOULD HAVE GOTTEN INVOLVED IN THE FIRST PLACE.


It’s all about novel writing?!

Hina breaks up with Natsuo and transfers schools in order to protect their reputations. Natsuo takes it incredibly hard, entering a depressive state. But he comes out of the depressive state for the purpose of siphoning all his attention and emotion into the penning of a new novel… which then wins a prize, and puts his dream of becoming a novelist firmly into his hands at last.

Then Rui comes onto him and announces her intention to get into his pants again, despite that he banged her older sister.

And at her new school, Hina remembers Natsuo fondly but has clearly begun trying to move on.

Reaction as a fan: I was getting behind this show’s resolution… up till the moment when Rui decided she still wanted Natsuo. YOU COULD DO SO MUCH BETTER, RUI. CHRIST. HAVE YOU LEARNED NOTHING FROM NATSUO’S BULLSHIT? I get that she is forgiving him/giving him a second chance, thereby proving Natsuo even more redeemable… but my patience is gone and I’m mad about it. If it were me, I wouldn’t give the dude a second chance.

Reaction as a writer: As a… writer… I don’t feel like I have much leeway to complain. While I don’t think the whole novelist/writing concept was worked into this story 1) soon enough for us to realize it was important, and 2) without some shaky execution, can I honestly whine about an anime that presents a final message like this one? “No matter what weird, painful shit you’ve gone through, no matter how much you’ve screwed up, just keep going, and, y’know, maybe focus all those life experiences into your artwork, and then, eventually, you’ll be fine.” That’s an excellent message. So why have I finished this anime with a horrible taste in my mouth?

You know what? I have many theories on that, mostly involving underage sex with teachers and step-siblings. But they honestly aren’t worth taking the time to write about. This show’s opening theme song’s first lines pretty much sum up the entire story — so that’s the thought I will end on instead. “Inexperienced. Heartless. But even so… be beautiful.” Natsuo, Hina… they were both inexperienced, heartless, and INCREDIBLY STUPID in various ways, but I guess we were still meant to find the beauty in that. It’s clear Natsuo did, by turning his trials into art. Oh boy.

Brutally honest end remarks? I personally didn’t need to spend time watching this entire wreck of an anime to learn to find the beauty in a screwed up situation and make art of it — so I feel like I wasted a lot of my time traumatizing myself for no significant emotional or intellectual payoff. But hey. I stand by my appreciation of this show’s initial opening/hook. The animation was pretty, too. The opening theme song was cool. Those are the few positives I will take away from it.

That’s all for Domestic Girlfriend. Thanks for tuning into another session of Doubletakes!

Follow Frongi:
DEE CORe Contributor, DEE Kai (会) podcast co-host. Writer. Actor. Cosplayer. Generally found screaming about anime.
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