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.
The latest episode of Girlish Number continues the story of Chitose and her journey towards fame. Every title has an adjective describing Chitose and a sentence describing the episode. While cheery was fitting for Episode 4, I would have chosen selfish instead. At least her friends were indeed pleasant.
Japanese Title: イケイケ千歳とゆかいな仲間たち
Chitose desperately wants to become famous. Such is her desire that the very first scene of the anime is her dreaming about walking the red carpet and praising a little girl who is infatuated with her. Her dream couldn’t be further from the truth, but Chitose doesn’t care. Just before the main screening event for the first episode, she acts all high and mighty, bragging to her also-amateur friends about her ‘dedication’ to the job. Momoko and Kazuha call bullshit, but at least they do it behind her back.
The episode continues the tradition of exploring not what could go right, but what could actually go wrong with a show. Manager Kuzu, the embodiment of everything that is wrong with the industry, is able to maintain his cheerful and utterly annoying demeanor through every situation thrown at him. The author still doesn’t have the storyboards for the first episode – oh well, they will be on time, don’t worry. The first episode is not ready for the screening event – oh well, let’s have the girls sing the opening song at a live TV performance. The episode sucks – oh well, we can focus on the girl group. As long as there are fans and money to be made, there is no need for sad faces, is there?
The rest of the episode focused on how selfish Chitose can be, and how kind-hearted her friends are. In the Tanabata festival, Yae and Koto wished for their friends and the show. Chitose wished for more money. When the first episode failed miserably, Yae and Koto were disappointed and angry. Chitose only cared for the comments about her part and felt quite satisfied that at least SHE was supported by the fans. It’s all about her, and I’m sure that at some point her selfishness will hit her like a boomerang.
What I learned (or was reminded of) from this episode of Girlish Number:
Twitter: Anime are keeping up with their audience. Chitose is using Twitter to keep on track with what the fans are saying about her. What I learned from this episode is the power of the hashtags. You can really keep track of what people are saying with the right hashtag. The thing is that the only thing you actually keep track of is what the people using that particular service are saying about that particular topic. There is much room for misinterpretations.
Siscon: Anime culture loves portmanteau words. Siscon comes from sister and complex and indicates a person, male or female, with a strong and sometimes sexual attachment to their sister, blood-related or not.
Tanabata Festival: Tanabata (七夕) means the evening of the seventh and it’s a Japanese festival that originates from the Chinese Qixi festival. It celebrates the meeting of the deities Orihime and Hikoboshi who are usually separated by the Milky Way. The stars that represent the two gods are Vega and Altair. The festivities usually start on July 7.
We recently wrote an article about the first steps an aspiring seiyuu should take if she wants to be part of the industry. There are many wannabe voice actors out there, and who could blame them; it must be very appealing to be able to lend your voice to someone’s favorite character. I’ve never been a fan of a specific seiyuu, but that doesn’t mean that I don’t recognize their contribution to my favorite titles. It’s their passion and their acting abilities that give life to the characters.
That said, no industry is all roses, and Girlish Number is trying to show some grey areas where incompetence and greed can break a show to the point of no return. Many shows lately have pushed forward their episodes or changed their release dates. The pressure on the production companies and the people who work for anime is huge and many times things don’t go as smoothly as expected.
Girlish Number is by no means an exceptional show, but what it delivers on what it wanted to achieve from the first episode: a comedic take on the industry that says, ‘reality is harsher than you think’.
I’ve said in previous reviews that Chitose is an interesting character. She is faulty and selfish. She is both the heroine and the antagonist of this series. She is just a girl that wants to be famous. She could have been a model, or a chef, an actor or a singer. I want to see if and why she’ll have a change of heart.
What did you think of this episode? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below!