Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Girlish Number Episode #01 Anime Review

This industry is seriously messed up.

What They Say:
No one wants to get stuck in a boring profession, so when college student Chitose Karasuma storms into a voice acting training facility, she thinks that her future is poised for awesomeness. However, this bad-mannered beauty is in for more than she bargained for as she gets accepted into the talent agency “Number One Produce.” Together with her coworkers, including a girl with a Kansai accent and a cunning airhead, Chitose charges into the competitive world of professional voice acting.

The Review:
Content: (Please note that the content portion of this review may contain spoilers)
Considering how all-around fantastic the Summer 2016 anime line-up was, this season has some pretty big shoes to fill -- and what better way to do that than with a crossbreed idol/seiyuu anime featuring a fiery, pink-haired bundle of two-dimensional love? Right off the bat, Chitose Karasuma of Girlish Number is playing to all of my affinities, but can the rest of the series hold up? If this pilot is an example of everything yet to come for the series, yes. Yes, it can.

Following the widespread success of Shirobako, there's been a noticeable boom in industry-based anime. With shows like Sore Ga Seiyuu and even New Game being less than a year old at the time of my writing this, it's surprising how quickly these niche anime have taken off. Girlish Number seems to be a little different, however. Instead of highlighting things like hard work and self-satisfaction, this series focuses more on the slightly corrupt aspects of the industry. In just the first several minutes of the series, we witness conflicting seiyuu, incredulous cockiness, and even creepy dudes who try and get with up-and-coming voice actresses. Needless to say, Girish Number gets its point across right away while still maintaining a hilarious and professional atmosphere.

The pilot kicks off with Chitose and several other seiyuu from her current series (Which she only plays a side-character in) giving a presentation at some kind of event/convention/promo gig thing. After the seiyuu go around and introduce themselves, the episode kicks off into what may be (But probably isn't) the opening song of the series performed by the two main actresses, Momoko Sonou and Kazuha Shibasaki. The explosive performance from these two appears to be spot-on and perfectly executed but meanwhile, the two seiyuu completely despise each other. After the performance comes to a close, all of the female actors go their separate ways. That is, all of them except Chitose who decides to go out to dinner with her production staff -- a decision that would soon shape her future. But we'll get to that in a second.

One of the more interesting aspects of Chitose's new life as a seiyuu would be that her agent is actually her brother, Gojou, who was somehow able to get her into the production company he works for. The relationship between these two is just one of the many comedic elements that wind up sculpting consistent hilarity throughout the duration of the pilot. And it's all comes full-circle when Gojou finds out his sister is being cast as the main heroine for a new idol series based purely on her looks and how she went out to dinner with the guys one night. This decision comes straight down from star music producer, Kuzu-P, who is essentially just the coolest dude in town.

Chitose, initially thinking she was in trouble, graciously accepts her role as Yuuna and begins the first step to becoming a popular voice actress. You go, girl.

In Summary:
I know it's early, but I already love Girlish Number. Just the fact that there is a seiyuu-centered anime that details how terribly cocky some of them can be is already a hilarious subject matter in itself. But when the protagonist of that series is as strangely lovable and bad-mannered as Chitose, everything just seems so fresh and...well, fun. The character roster's first impression is going to grow on all of us quickly, I can feel it. That impression in itself is a feat. Said feat, being backed by well-written comedy and adorable character designs delivers a surprisingly fantastic first impression and quickly paves an open road to awesomeness for Girlish Number. I'm even more excited to follow this series now than I was when I first heard of it.

Grade: A-

Streamed By: The Anime Network

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