16Bit Sensation: Another Layer returned with episode 7, giving us a look into Konoha and Mamoru’s strategy to make a game worth one billion yen. Episode 6 left Alcohol Soft and its employees in an impossible position after learning that the company is one billion yen in debt. 16Bit Sensation episode 7 keeps the otaku Easter eggs coming and ends on, yet again, another cliffhanger that has us already waiting for the next episode in anticipation.
Every Storm Hardens the Earth
The episode starts off strong with an incredible Easter egg that literally made my jaw drop as I was watching. Konoha, after being so confident at the end of the last episode, starts to feel anxious about expressing her idea for a game to the rest of the studio. After stating to Mamoru she needs a boost of confidence, she pulls out her smartphone and starts playing “Connect” by ClariS, also known as the iconic opening theme of Puella Magi Madoka Magica. In this moment, not only does Konoha start to feel fired up, but viewers that recognize this classic theme are bound to get hyped up and pleasantly surprised by this addition to the episode.
Thanks to Mamoru, Konoha’s drawing tablet is finally working, and she’s able to show the team at the studio her impressive drawings in a bid to convince them to work hard on a game that can pay off the debt. The reactions of the team are fun to see as they are enthralled by the level of detail that art from 20 years in the future can entail. I love that the anime consistently reminds us about how different technology was just two decades ago and how that tech showed through the otaku industry in games, art, anime, and more.
Konoha showcases her sketches for character design ideas to the team. Character designs within the anime style have evolved over the decades, and since Konoha is from 2023, her art reflects the style you’d normally see in new games today. While the team is working on the game, we hear Konoha reference popular bishoujo games such as To Heart, Fate, Air, and Rance. Konoha also offers her coworkers insight on otaku culture from the future, insisting that the game comes bundled with body pillows, acrylic stands, and other incentives that otaku like receiving with their purchases. It’s fun to see Konoha interact with people who’ve never lived through any part of the 2000s, much less 2023.
16Bit Sensation episode 7 leaves us on quite the cliffhanger concerning Mamoru. In the middle of the night, as everyone is asleep in the office, he notices Konoha’s backpack burning with blue flames. In a panic, he grabs a fire extinguisher, but the flames disappear before he can use it, leaving the bag faintly glowing in the same way we’ve seen games glow throughout the series. Mamoru opens up Konoha’s bag and finds a copy of what the series calls Gogo no Tenshitachi, which is a reference to the actual game Tenshitachi no Gogo, released in 1985. The year of the game’s release isn’t specified in the scene as Mamoru just mentions that it’s an old title.
What’s confusing to me is that Konoha had already told Mamoru that her ability to travel back in time was triggered by opening these glowing game boxes, yet Mamoru decides to open up Gogo no Tenshitachi himself. It’s possible that he wanted to see for himself if this theory was true, and it looks like he found out the hard way as he disappears into traces of golden light. Given that the real game released in 1985, it’s fair to believe that Mamoru has just traveled back to 1985, further back than even Konoha has traveled.
16Bit Sensation continues to deliver otaku goodness, fun characters, and cliffhangers every week. We’ll have to wait and see what becomes of Mamoru and Alcohol Soft, but until then check out what’s been going on in The Apothecary Diaries, which is also airing this fall.
Images via Crunchyroll
© Tamiki Wakagi / Misato Mitsumi / Kanroki (Aqua Plus) / 16bit Sensation AL PROJECT