Level E 4 – Can SEGA Be This Picky?

Maybe I’ve been out of the gaming sphere for too long, but is SEGA really doing so well that it can be like, “Yeah, yeah, whatever . . .” to someone with a solid story idea? Am I crazy, or would this episode make a decent mystery game? But, hey, when you have the opportunity to desecrate the bloated corpse of the Sonic franchise some more, I guess you gotta do it.

Anyway, the twist at the end of this episode totally got me, but mostly because I thought this would be the start of a completely new arc rather than a one-shot story that ends in . . . well, you know if you already watched the episode. (If you didn’t, then why are you reading this? You silly person!) This episode was notable for me mostly because I spent the whole time wondering if everyone was a bunch of aliens, haha. Seems like a fun game to play, right? Spot a character in Level E and try to decipher whether he or she is an alien. I’d probably suck at this, but whatever.

Am I crazy, or would this story have been more awesome if these high schoolers were aliens? That would be interesting, I think — alien in-fights right under the noses of humans (that end up in alien mouths). Even though nothing about this is said, I’m convinced the scientist dude in Baka’s story is an alien, too. Dude’s just too weird, you know? Plus, no human is getting that close to aliens without fucking something up. Actually, I thought the scientist would be revealed as Yamamoto’s father — the ease of access to the little brother just seemed suspicious — but, hey, whatever. I’d question what kind of father would hypnotize his kid, but alien behavior doesn’t have to make sense to humans. That’s what makes them alien.

But, yeah, I could totally see this as the plot to a decent video game, like a poor man’s Snatcher. You know, with shapeshifting aliens instead of replicants. They’re basically the same thing when you get down to it: Beings that take the forms of humans and kill them. Like you wouldn’t have fun wandering around in a dark town solving an alien-based mystery, wondering if just around the corner is an alien craving your delicious flesh and organs? Man, that would be awesome. I want to buy that already!

(Also, once again: Doesn’t the story in this episode sound like the kind of manga Mashiro and Takagi should be thinking up in Bakuman? Why can’t they come up with this? They’re too busy trying to make fighty manga, I guess.)

Poor Baka can’t get his story to sell, though. Alas. He now knows the frustration of countless writers who must suffer rejection untold times before catching a break. I do enjoy that Baka takes quite seriously one of the foundations of writing: Write what you know. And what does he know? Parasitic aliens who inhabit humans and seek out others for sustenance. But not baby-making. And he knows them personally! He could probably introduce the SEGA ZEGA executives if they like . . .

By the way, I love the visual style of this episode — it totally fits, too, because it’s like a subtle hint that the events of the episode are a fictional story within our fictional story. You can look back at the episode and see where Baka’s words are probably really embellished within his narrative. Neat stuff, I say!

9 Responses to “Level E 4 – Can SEGA Be This Picky?”

  1. Kaitune Says:

    This episode is definitely my favorite. Even though we have basically been trolled again, the (fake) story really touched me. Also, awesome art style!

  2. fathomlessblue Says:

    “is SEGA really doing so well that it can be like, “Yeah, yeah, whatever . . .” to someone with a solid story idea?”

    Decent idea? The SEGA execs must have run a mile! The only games of any merit that they’ve created in the last eight years is the Valkyria Chronicles series (unlike the shitty anime). You know a company has lost respect when they have to de-list most of their recent sonic games in a pathetic attempt of bolstering up the franchise’s image, prior to the release of sonic 4.

    Still on the subject of games, I did lol at the obvious FF7 reference in the first screencap :P.

    Anyway, this was a great one-off story. At this stage, even if every arc ends with Baka trolling everybody, I would probably still be happy.

  3. I was completely owened in this one! I started off expecting some laughs so I was making fun of stuff until it felt awkward.. Then just moments later stupid Baka restored the playful spirit in me XD

    I gotta agree with what you said. His story was great. Visuals were perfect. And it totally fits as one idea Takagi would throw without giving much thoughts to it!

    Good job. I don’t mind Baka playing with us as long as we don’t catch him before he reveals it himself haha.

  4. adaywithoutme Says:

    My guess is that the ‘Zega’ thing is how it appeared in the original manga. At this point, what’s the reason for bothering to change it? I think its gotten to be a bit of fun for staff to come up with alternate names for popular products and brands.

  5. Lol this episode was so funny! I was so confused at the start but figured it was something baka was up too and was correct! Was thinking yeah..this has to be a troll on us.

  6. Oh man, these mysteries are infinitely better than whatever Gosick puts up.

    As for Bakuman, they’re too busy being angsty about how some pretentious blogger is better than they are :v

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