I like Sae. She’s the closest approximation to who I am out of all the Hidamari Sketch girls, on top of her being an actual writer. Granted, it’s never really explained how good she is, nor are we treated to a lengthy sample of her work. This is forgivable. There is nothing more tragic to watch than an actual struggling writer.
Throughout the show, we’ve been told that Sae is a best-selling romance novelist, despite being only in high school. Sure she could write them novels well, but the joke is that she doesn’t have a boyfriend. It could be argued that Hiro is her life partner (lol), but that has little to do with the stories she writes.
Sae is basically pulling romance plots from secondary sources, with no real-life experiences to draw from. Is this desirable? Is the authenticity of first-hand experiences important in making your fiction good?
As someone who primarily writes about mecha, magical girls and perverts, I’m only 1 for 3 (guess which one!) in terms of empirical knowledge. For everything else, I imitate from the fiction that I consume. Regardless of subject matter, whatever I read and write will always differ from the real thing. True realism in fiction isn’t as generally important as verisimilitude, or the believability of things. While fact doesn’t always make sense, fiction does need to make sense.
Sae tries to cover up this perceived shortcoming by claiming that she does indeed have a boyfriend or two. It never really works, as she’s always in a flustered state by that point. (We writers do have our pride to defend, too. I do maintain that I’m not a pervert, despite some of my stories!) But what is this light feeling I have in my heart? I know what you feel, Sae!
Because that’s what fiction is about: the writer having only one life, but still desiring a thousand. And maybe for Sae, she’s gunning for a thousand happy marriages.