Kaoruko Moeta is a high school girl and aspiring manga artist who works under the pen-name “Kaos” (“Chaos”?) and wants to get her manga serialized. Unfortunately, while she does show some talent, she’s still got a ways to go before she can make it big. She also must learn to overcome her many insecurities.
After she gets the worst results on a reader survey, Kaoruko’s editor suggests that Kaoruko go to a woman’s dorm specifically for manga artists. Although hesitant at first, Kaoruko decides to move into the dorm in the hopes that she can gain some experience and improve her skills. On her very first day at the dorm, she meets with the energetic Koyume (who also happens to be her roommate); the seemingly mature Ruki; and the “manly” Tsubasa. Wacky anime hijinks then ensue.
TLDR; version of this review: if you’ve seen a “cute girls doing cute things” anime that features four girls and also happens to be based on a 4-koma; then you probably already have a good idea of what this series offers.
Now, I’ve also seen quite a few anime quite like this already (heck, I blogged one of them too); but Comic Girls feels almost unnecessary. To be blunt, this series kind of feels like it’s trying to be the next Hidamari Sketch. While that series featured girls at an art school instead of focusing specifically on comics, there’s a lot of similarities. We have 1) a main character who keeps getting mistaken for being much younger than she really is, and also happens to be the most unskilled of the bunch; 2) MC’s roommate is a blonde haired girl who is super energetic but a little too carefree—but despite her personality is surprisingly skilled; 3) two older characters who act as “senpai”s to the two younger girls; 4) one of the older girls (the blue-haired one) appears more tomboyish/manly than the other three girls; and so on and so forth.
I also can’t really seem to get over the fact that these girls are making manga while they’re still in high school. I am sure there have been serialized manga series that were produced by high school-aged mangaka but… most serialized manga are produced by adults who do it as their full-time job for a reason: making manga is a demanding job and involves time-consuming work. I just find it a little unrealistic for these girls to somehow be able to juggle their manga work AND school life. But really, this just brings up the question of why: WHY did these have to be high school girls specifically, when there have been series in the past that focused on the anime or manga industry and featured adult characters. Well, I mean, I KNOW why… but let’s not get into that.
I have to say, the one thing I dislike most about these types of “four girls doing a thing” series is that they often try to rely too heavily on character quirks—possibly in an attempt to make their characters interesting, or to go for that easy comedy. Kaoruko’s quirk is that she cries very easily at everything. Koyume’s quirk is that she’s a little too carefree about things. Tsubasa’s quirk is her “chunnibuyo” tendencies. And Ruki’s “quirk” is that she’s a porn manga artist. These quirks in itself aren’t too bad. What makes them a problem is the series’ over-reliance on these quirks instead of bothering to actually characterize their characters properly. And, to be honest, I got real sick of Kaoruko’s crying and screaming real fast. She also talks in an incredibly “baby-ish” sounding voice, which I’ve grown less tolerant of over the years.
I guess I’m also just kind of angry—because this series has beautiful, high quality animation. And I’ve noticed that it tends to be the “cute girls doing cute things” series that tend to get this treatment. Like… what the hell. It just gets my goat that a these types of shows get this treatment so much and so often when other types of great series rarely get such phenomenal animation. I know this says more about the tastes of the mass audience in Japan than anything else but… it’s just sad.
Anyway, I rambled on for way too long about this series so I’ll stop. Comic Girls is a pretty average 4-koma-based anime. I didn’t particularly find it funny, and that egregious boob grab in the latter half of the episode was bad. (Seriously, why do so many mangaka think that real girls go around just randomly grabbing each others’ boobs???) If you like this sort of stuff, you’ll likely enjoy Comic Girls. For anyone else, it’ll probably be a pretty soul-less sort of anime.
Out of five:
(A 2-rating still feels extremely generous but… despite my ranting I still don’t find it bad enough to give it a 1-rating. I’m saving that for the real stinkers.)