gi(a)rlish number 1

“Nothing but a dog and pony show.”


At first, I thought Girlish Number is going to be yet another moe low calorie idol show. I was kind of looking forward to it as a change of pace from all the boy group idol shows this season, but something odd happened in the first few minutes that established this show might be more than what it appears. The girls got catty with each other. That is not something I expected. That is not something Love Live or any other moe low calorie idol show will show.

Furthermore, all the girls in Girlish Number have personalities. They are real people, not one note caricatures. The purple-haired girl who acts like a sweetheart on stage? Well, she is pretty self-absorbed and rude off-stage. She has her own issues. The short blonde girl who might be an ojou-sama in any other idol show? She does nice things and not-so-nice things. She is a jaded veteran with her own voice. The pink-haired main character girl, Chitose, behaves and thinks like a normal girl. She argues with his brother/agent like any two siblings would argue (and not in a I Can’t Believe My Little Sister Is So Cute type of way). The characters sound like real human beings.

(I like one of Chitose’s and her brother’s exchanges where she goes, “I’ll murder you!” And he responds with, “Try, you shitty little sister.”)

(For some strange reason, Chitose kind of reminds me of Bee from Bee and Puppycat. Must be the sweater.)


The show also goes straight to some issues in the industry. This anime doesn’t uppercut the industry instead opting to deliver soft body blows, but not even Shirobako did that. Girlish Number openly discusses how naive girls might be exploited, how poorly non-star seiyuu are paid, how awful some of the events are to the girls (but they have to go since it makes up most of their earnings), and even how they seem like cattle. Chitose is allowed to go to a celebratory yakiniku dinner for an anime that she had one line in because the other female seiyuu bailed out, and they needed a girl to show up at the party. All the men, except for Chitose’s brother, are portrayed as either slimy or potentially slimy. None of them are grease-free.

I am intrigued where this show will go. If it keeps putting on mild critiques of the anime industry, it might be a fun, watchable show. If it starts to dive into deeper criticisms of the industry, then things become very interesting.


“Why would they make anime that they know won’t sell?”

Good question, Chitose, good question. I ask myself that every season thin slicing. What exactly is the market for Cheating Craft, Bloodivores, All Out!, and Nanbaka? Are they considered successes if they sell even a thousand copies of their Blu-Rays?


Based on this show and Shirobako, I’m convinced all anime are green-lit in a dark, tiny bar hidden away in a Tokyo alleyway. Somewhere, right now, a PA Works executive is working up the courage to greenlight another season of Haruchika. I did like the touch where the main executive hands the bartender a file who then brings it to Chitose’s brother/agent. That’s customer service in Japan. If I handed a bartender in San Francisco a file, he’d probably throw it back at me.


I really like that egg sweater. Diomedéa has done a fairly good job with the art and clothing selection for the characters in this show. I hope they will change outfits as the season progresses and not end up like New Game where the characters wear the same boring office lady clothes day in and day out.


I also really like the facial expressions.


Ending to this episode is also great with the reveal that the company decided to make a new franchise about a seiyuu idol who writes light novels because light novels are hot and idols are hot so combining them is a logical thing to do. One, I’m glad that it isn’t a magic battle high school. Two, I’m not sure how hot idols or light novels are these days. I would assume the new hotness are f2p collectible card mobile games. Puzzle and Dragons Cross! Touken Ranbu – Hanamaru! Dream Festival! Feel the excitement of spending premium currency to buy virtual card packs!

(Best part of this scene is Chitose’s brother realizing how all the compliments from the other executives are making his sister’s head swell. He has that, “What have I done?!” look to him. Again, it’s an anime with characters who seem like people rather than entries in


Three MVPs…

1. Egg sweater.

2. Chitose’s brother.

3. Yakiniku.

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