yeah it kinda is

yeah it kinda is

Chitose is an newcomer seiyuu  who is only given small parts now and then. She does enjoy getting to brush up against the more famous actors who get the lead character parts – and getting to act as a fly on the wall to their hissy-fits – but she’s still frustrated about her position. Her co-stars include Sonoo, an angel in front of her fans and a brat behind the scenes who is well aware of the ridiculous way the industry works and is prepared to milk it to her benefit, and Shibasaki, who is not remotely happy with any of the things she’s expected to do as a seiyuu.

At an event after-party that Chitose kind of invited herself along to (even though her producer didnt think she was worthy of it, having such a small part in the production) she ends up meeting one of the top producers in charge of music, who seems to take a shine to her. Later, he announces his amazing, revolutionary idea – he wants to combine seiyuu with idols, because he’s apparently been cyrogenically frozen since 2003 and no one has ever done that before.

Mr Producer's pretty cute.

Mr Producer’s pretty cute.

For some reason Girlish Number is written as ‘Gi(a)rlish Number’, but only when written in romaji, which is freaking stupid so I’m not going to write it like that. Anyway, this is another ‘behind the scenes’ anime that, whilst having a very similar premise to Sore ga Seiyuu!, is a little different. I absolutely loved both Sore ga Seiyuu as well as Shirobako, but I think Girlish Number is going to take a little longer to win me over if it does. I’m not really sure about it just yet.

It looks really, really nice though. The colours are so bright and crisp and I really like the attention given to all of Chitose’s movements and how much of her thought process they show. Everyone is super colourful – which is at odds with the realism it’s meant to have. For example one of the unintentionally funny moments of the episode occurs during the anime promotion event when Sonoo and Shibasaki perform the opening theme while a large screen behind them shows some of the fake anime itself, to reveal that the seiyuu look more like anime characters than the characters they’re meant to be ‘playing’. It’s…kinda weird.

My problem so far is that I can’t quite decide if I like the characters or find them annoying. Chitose is kind of cute in her enthusiasm and enjoyment, but the extended scene of her complaining about how boring being a seiyuu is and the fact that she cant get lead character work – despite her never putting a smidge of effort into actually looking for work (she doesnt even go to auditions, apparently), made her come across as incredibly annoying and spoilt, and yet in all the other scenes she’s so earnest. I admire Sonoo’s frankness and how she refuses to do anything unnecessary – she lies to the original light novel author about having business to attend to so she doesnt have to eat dinner with him because she thinks he’s creepy, and she freely insults the original work as well as light novel authors in general (‘they’re just people who cant draw, sing or act but still want to be part of the industry. their work wouldnt even sell without illustrations’) which I thought was pretty damn funny. But she’s also incredibly bratty and somewhat stuck-up (she literally tells Chitose her acting is garbage to her face with a smile). And Shibasaki, who does seem to be the most interesting in how much she hates the over-commercialization of seiyuu and doesn’t want to be part of any of it, is an utter snob and seems to think way too highly of herself – getting mad at Chitose for walking in front of her. So uh, yeah. You’re gonna have to try harder than that if you want me to like any of you, girls.

While I do like the repeated frank and dark humour about light novel authors sucking and how seiyuu needn’t even bother reading the books in order to play the cliche parts, what bothered me most was how it does seem to sugarcoat being a newbie seiyuu – something neither Shirobako nor Sore ga Seiyuu did – at least not too much. I mean Chitose just gets handed a main role and a chance to become an ‘idol seiyuu’ out of nowhere, just because.

If this show ends up being as cynical about the idol industry as it is about light novel authors, it might actually end up being worth watching. But if its just another exercise in sugar-coating the whole thing…we have enough of those. I might watch more to see which direction the show takes but if it is the latter I doubt I’ll stick around very long.

Honestly I think glasses-boy there is far more adorable than Sonoo.

Honestly I think glasses-boy there is far more adorable than Sonoo.

Out of 5,