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.
Chitose takes the spotlight from last week’s amazing episode that focused on Momoka and Shibasaki. The episode resembled a slow-building European movie: it usually sucks at the beginning, but as the plot builds up it ends up delivering a great conclusion. Although ‘plot’ is not a word with which the series is familiar, Episode 9 of Girlish Number gave us an uneventful first half with a few interesting moments, and a great second half that built on Chitose’s character.
Japanese Title: 焦燥千歳と疾走ルーキー
How do you make a self-centered prick realize that the world is not revolving around her? You take away some of the stars that she thought would light on her forever. Fictional anime Kyuusure starts its second season, and with the second season come new characters, and with the new characters come new seiyuu. Nanami-san is a young star that has to rely on the advice of her senpai’s, or at least that’s what Chitose thinks. Her look during the new cast event betrays her conflicting emotions. Her delusions about her status as a voice actor haven’t changed, but she feels that maybe something else is changing. The way she looks at Nanami-chan sets the tone of the whole episode, a tone that builds into a crescendo that delivers its final note as Chitose realizes that she is about to lose the most important thing in her life: the support of her brother.
At first, Chitose’s ego is inflated by the admiration of the rookie seiyuu towards her. Nanami’s genuine enthusiasm continues as she defends an objectively bad anime with her love for the original work, a love that tainted her ability to be a critic, and instead became a supporter of the first season. She even bought everything there was there to buy. That’s one dedicated fan. I don’t know if that was referring to the unconditional love that many fans show to their favorite titles, or the ready-to-trigger damnation that the same fans show to everything that is not made according to their expert taste. Nevertheless, Nanami’s positive attitude creates a sense of camaraderie that spreads to everyone involved in the production but two, a missing Chitose that throws up in the bathroom, and a drunk Kuzu that, like Chitose, realizes that there is something wrong with the way he behaves. More about Kuzu in a while.
Back to Chitose, in a scene that resembled the one when she is given the lead role and she is called a star, the president takes her brother from her. She will instead manage the new talent, Nanami-san. Chitose is set aside as easily as she was first chosen. This quote by the President sums up the whole situation in one nifty, sad (but true) sentence:
The privilege of youth is being able to chase dreams. And it’s our duty to sell those dreams
Chitose finds it hard to laugh now. She is broken. She is confused. She is jealous. So jealous that hits her brother right where it hurts by reminding him that he is a failed seiyuu. Everything is crumbling in front of her, and maybe this is the shock she needed to realize that maybe Cinderella is just a story.
Kuzu went through a similar shock, a shock that felt a little too forced. Although his co-workers keep calling him ‘trash’, we learn from Towada that Kuzu wasn’t always the prick we came to know. He was ad diligent and hard-working guy. What happened? He was driven away by his rival, whose name I don’t really remember, if it was even mentioned. Their meeting in the hostess club came right from a shounen manga, and even the animation changed to resemble the difference in the mood. Even though the scene ended in humor, the result was the same: Kuzu, like Chitose, comes to a revelation he can’t ignore and asks for Towada’s help. To be honest, I felt sorry for the guy. And the hostess that his rival stole from him wasn’t that pretty.
Kuzu and Rival Scene: The reason Kuzu became a self-centered asshole was that he was driven away from his previous company by a bigger self-centered asshole, if that was even possible. His rival was so repulsive that I secretly wished for Kuzu to punch him in the face.
Streaming: It was expected that an anime like Girlish Number would mention illegal streaming at some point, but the mention was brief and uneventful. It’s true that the revenue model in the anime industry has changed in the last decade due to the advent of illegal streaming sites. For the same reason we have less original anime and more adaptations that promote the original work. For the same reason amazing anime may never get as second season when mediocre titles may get a third or a fourth.
Girlish Number is an anime that does a few things better than others. The plot is not as thick as I would expect it to be, but there is one thing that it does so good that it shines over any flaws: character building. Each and every personality is so unique that my otherwise weak memory has no problem remembering the names of even the minor characters. The writing is incredible. Even in an uninteresting situation, the words of each character are always in-role.
That could be part of next week’s title. Chitose is finally realizing that her dreams mean nothing to the people who can make them true, and the only person that she could rely on is no longer there to help her. She has not only lost her brother as a manager, but also as her only friend.
Did you like the episode? Let me know in the comments below and don’t forget to check the rest of our episodic reviews!