Thanasis is a writer, professional geek, and assistant editor at MANGA.TOKYO. He started watching anime with the mecha shows of the 70s and hasn't stopped since. He loves JRPGs.
Girlish Number is a peculiar show. It’s evident that the show is no more about the work of a seiyuu, but instead it’s a collection of comedic tidbits about an in-anime anime that is unimaginably bad. Many of these scenes are also unimaginably boring, but its underlying themes and the cute characteristics of its cast give Girlish Number a certain charm that’s hard to go unnoticed.
Japanese Title: 浜辺の千歳と通らぬ予算
The episode starts with a scene that most anime fans put aside when they think of their favorite shows: in the eyes of the production company, an anime is a collection of income and expenses excel sheets. Even if the show is careful not to overreact, it’s evident from the production member that looks at the excel sheet that there’s something wrong with the numbers. Budgets are very important and each title is created with the hopes that the revenues will surpass the expenses. I haven’t met a lot of producers, but I’m willing to bet that Kuzu is one of those who care more about having fun and less about creating a title that has artistic worth. He takes the team to Okinawa to create some bonus material for the Blu-ray and DVD editions of the anime.
Most of the times the bonus material that accompanies the usual commentary and interviews has something to do with fan-service. Sexy sells, and an MV of an idol group playing at the beach wearing cute swimsuits sells even more. The music video has all the necessary elements: it starts with a music app showing the name of the song and continues with the girls having fun at the beach. A perfect example of in-anime marketing.
The rest of the Okinawa scenes are a mix of comedy and drama. Chitose and Shibasaki compare their confidence to their boob size. All actresses gather in a room to drink and have fun, a gathering that results in a refreshing pillow fight scene, and a great talk between Katakura and Shibasaki about the struggles of leaving your home to chase your dream and how important is to have a family that doesn’t stand in your way, even if it would have been better to have a family that also understands your feelings.
The second part of the episode was about Momoka and her family issues, Chitose and her failed audition attempts, and the events that follow the completion of an anime. Momoka is trying very hard not to be overshadowed by her successful mother. She is a pro, no doubt about that, and her every move is well choreographed to benefit her professional advancement and caress the image she projects to the outside world. But her issues are evident, nonetheless. In the end, both famous and amateur seiyuu seem to have their own issues to deal with.
Ah, there was no way I could end this section without mentioning that there was no character development for Chitose. She remains the same arrogant girl she always was, but there is something about her that makes her very sympathetic.
Music Video: Girlish Number is not just about voice actresses. These seiyuu were selected to form an idol group that is expected to dance and sing and appear in all kinds of events. The insert song is Itadaki☆High Tension, and it will come out in stores in December 14.
Pillow Fight: Pillow fights are one of the noblest combat engagements. Pillows as weapons, girls in their PJs, feathers flying all around the room. When you have that fan-servicy look on pillow fights, you can imagine how funny I found Chitose’s hit on Momoka.
Social Media: Kuzu’s post in Okinawa may have been on purpose to attract media attention on their promotional efforts, but many company employees forget that their personal lives don’t remain personal the moment they post something online. Lately, there have been many cases where people were fired because of their social posting habits.
A very competitive industry: The voice acting scene is one of the most competitive in Japan. Thousands of young talents emerge each year, but the voice acting jobs are not enough to accommodate their increasing number. As Yae put it: ‘Most rookie seiyuu rest for seven days a week.’
This episode was not bad. If not for Chitose and her charming pricky attitude, the show would have been probably lost into anime oblivion, just like KyuuSure. I still don’t get how that anime managed to get a second season. Girlish Number has a decent art style, and a voice acting cast that cares a lot about their characters. It’s not easy to voice act a voice actor. Too meta.
If there is something I would like to keep from this episode, that’s Momoka’s side story. Chitose is no longer in the spotlight, as I’m very interested to learn what will happen with the Sonou family, and if Momoka will manage to express her feelings to her mother.
Did you like the latest episode of Girlish Number? Let me know in the comments below, and don’t forget to check our latest episodic reviews!