By the time you will get this post, I will already be flying somewhere for vacation, so I won’t be writing posts for five or six days. I have a post scheduled for tomorrow as well, so I think everything should work out alright. Just giving you guys a heads up.
Yeah, I think I am slowly being pulled into the cute girls doing cute things and school idol anime. Both of these shows focus on a cast of cute girls. There is drama between them and an outside force that wants each of them to do better. That is the easiest comparison that I can make between them. The one rule that I am maintaining with these cute girls doing cute things shows is that the plot must be going somewhere. I can’t watch people doing silly gags and drinking tea all day if it amounts to nothing. Each character must be doing something that furthers some sort of plot or the show must have some forward momentum. Kind of like how Azumanga Daioh has the characters graduating at the end of the series. Even something simple as that helps me feel like I’m not wasting my time. Okay, enough rambling. Let’s talk about these two shows.
This is an anime that took me by complete surprise. I first thought this would be yet another idol anime, but what happened after the opening song intrigued me. There were characters talking about how they were forced into doing another event for the anime they are apart of. I knew there was something more to this anime because it seemed like Girlish Number was going to have some deep thoughts about the anime industry itself. In some ways, the show does though the industry part is underwritten. What Girlish Number really is about is Chitose Kurasuma and friend’s journey through the voice acting industry.
Chitose Kurasuma is a character that thinks she has it all all, that so she barely tries at anything. Like I said before somewhere else, she is like the Angelica of her voice acting group and needs to be taught how to grow up. At some point, Chitose gets a little too much for the show, so I was glad the show took a break from her to developing the supporting cast. When the show returned to Chitose, I felt better about her and so did the side characters. Most of the anime is focused on her learning she needs to work hard to earn her keep. The other parts are developing the supporting cast and showing the troubled production side of the anime they are voicing. I first thought this was a cynical show, but I take that back. Girlish Number wants all the main characters who are struggling to succeed. I highly recommend this show because it’s a thoughtful watch that has a lot to say.
Sound! Euphonium 2
Sound Euphonium is a sports anime (I’m not going to rant about it here, but if you want me to tell you about why band deserves to be called a sport, ask me about it later) about a band club. Last season, they decided to go all the way to nationals and won a regional competition. This season is about the band working hard so they go all the way. There is some character drama along the way which the second half of this show focuses more on. The first half’s episodes are split into the group working hard and then have some element of typical moe stuff. As an example, the show can focus on some bit of what happened in last year’s band and then the next half is festival episode with characters dressing in cute costumes and doing cute things. It’s really distracting and annoying.
The main character’s name is Kumiko and she’s a Euphonium player. She is quite a subtle protagonist, but can be active from time to time. Kumiko is the audience avatar for all the drama that occurs in the band. These things could be why Asuka, the euphonium senpai, is suddenly quitting the band, why that random band member that quit last year wants back in, why her sister wants to quit college, and other things. You can say that she doesn’t actually have to be in each conflict, but I think she develops from one instance by using that experience to help somebody else with their own emotional issues. She becomes a more rounded person as time goes on.
Last thing I want to talk about is the production values. This is a Kyoto Animation show and that’s pretty obvious. The character designs and art designs are similar to a lot of things they do and so is the art quality. Each background shot looks like the real location that is shown. Even the animation and directing are top notch. Kyoto Animation can be called a lot of things, but lacking is not one of them. I know that I was blinded by the fact that this was a band show when I first watched it, but I have learned to really enjoy it every since then. Don’t let the cute girls doing cute things stuff about Kyoto Animation distract you, this one is worth watching. Even with all the flaws it accumulated in the second season, it’s good. Maybe it’s nostalgia from band, but a show needs to work hard to get that nostalgia ticket from me and this one does.