Girlish Number – Anime Series Review

21 comments

Episodes: 12

Genre(s)Drama, Comedy

Aired: Oct 2016 – Dec 2016

Also Known Asガーリッシュ ナンバー

Summary: College student Karasuma Chitose is determined not to do boring things as she enters the adult world. To this end, this bad-mannered beauty barges into a facility that trains would-be voice actors and actresses, somehow landing a job at “Number One Produce,” a seiyuu agency managed by her older brother, Gojou. In Chitose’s mind, she’s poised for greatness, but finds herself at a loss when she continues to only get minor roles. As she clashes with other girls in the agency, including a cunning airhead and a girl with a Kansai accent, Chitose is about to learn that there’s more to succeeding in this competitive industry than she imagined.

(Source: ANN

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ReviewFirst of all, that bit about Chitose being a college student? You can forget about it since it never comes into play during the story. I feel like that little detail about our lovable heroine was thrown in so we don’t think she’s a complete bum outside of her voice acting job, but she kind of is.

Speaking of Chitose, she is (initially) not poised for greatness. In fact, she starts off as a mediocre voice actress with an inflated ego as well as the potent ability to tune out and ignore criticisms. As a result, the viewers can find the first few episodes grating to watch because Chitose seemingly never learns or tries to improve.

But if you stick it out and continue watching, you’ll realize there’s more to this adorable yet stuck-up voice actress than what meets the eye. Chitose’s actually aware she’s not particularly talented and she tries to chase away said doubts by claiming the opposite and acting confidently. When she’s finally forced to confront these fears, we don’t see a person who has baseless confidence. We see a fragile girl who is trying to become special. And even if she isn’t special, she decides that she’ll keep trying until she eventually does become special.

To me, that’s a beautiful message. Sure, Girlish Number spent 10 episodes showing us the extent of Chitose’s stuborness (8 if you exclude the episodes focusing on Momoka and Kazuha) and the method of communication is quite heavy-handed as a result. But I found myself drawn to Chitose because I could relate to her. I think a lot of viewers could emphasize with her desire to be someone special, of her willingness to ignore her short-comings in order to feel better. If you can see yourself in Chitose and keep watching until she finally realizes she has to work hard because she isn’t special, then I think you will enjoy the show and its ending (which was actually happier than what I had expected).

While Chitose is arguably the main character, the other characters get significant screen time, too. Well, some of them do, at least, while others remain rather undeveloped. A bit of a shame, but it can’t be helped. After all, everyone is the main character in their own lives (please don’t sue me, Akamatsu Ken). Girlish Number just happens to be Chitose’s story, for the most part.

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Smug Chitose. So the usual Chitose. Her face is always interesting!

The animation varied between being beautiful or downright shaky. Expect a few off-model faces as you watch this series. There was also this interesting “blurry edges” lens effect that was probably an attempt to make the audience feel like they’re watching something unfold on-camera or something? That’s just a case. Personally, I found the effect to be a bit too distracting.

I honestly couldn’t tell you if the instrumental OST is any good since I can’t remember any notable pieces. But I really liked “Bloom,” the OP! It’s so catchy and I just get very emotional listening to its lyrics about being number one. It’s a wake-up call for everyone to try hard and not to be afraid of failure, I guess. The ED was a bit annoying; anyone who has heard it will know what I’m talking about, so I’ll leave it at that.

As for the yuri, I ship Yae x Chitose and Koto x Kazuha. But there’s case to be made for Chitose x Nanami, Kazuha x Koto, or maybe even “3-player modes.” The yuri subtext doesn’t dominate the show, but seeing voice actresses really get concerned about other voice actresses is a pleasing sight (for both casual viewers and shippers).


Chitose is the centerpiece of this show. I think it’ll be hard to enjoy the show if you don’t see yourself in Chitose (who eventually matures slightly) or if you don’t like cute and rude girls.

What started off as a cynical satire and commentary regarding the anime industry ends with an idealistic message. Give this show a shot if you want to see if you can be considered patient (it’s worth it at the end, in my opinion), or if you’re interested in seeing the many faces of the mean meme queen known as Chitose!

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21 comments on “Girlish Number – Anime Series Review”

  1. I…am not a patient person. So no Chitose faces for moi. Good review though! And I’m glad you found a character you can relate to – that’s always fun.

    (I’m stalling my Btooom posts as much as I can btw. Any idea when you can catch up?)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Fair enough. Chitose tests your patience for sure!
      Thanks and you’re right. I’ve always struggled with the question “which anime character are you most like?”
      Now I can just wear a pink wig and say I’m Chitose.
      (Ugh sorry about the delay. I plan on catching up on blog posts and notifications and tweets once I get home. Then I’ll watch btoom and *static noise since this information is boring*
      I’ll make sure to watch 3 episodes today so go on ahead if you’ve got a review for ep 3 planned out!)

      Liked by 1 person

      1. But the great question is…

        Will you be able to replicate her golden expressions?!

        (Gotcha! Enjoy the weekend and your well-earned rest. Ok, I’m assuming you have the weekend off…?)

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I can make people want to hit me with my facial expressions easy-peasy. Does that count?!

        (Thanks! Will see your posts sooooon. Oh, I do have the weekend off, but I am pretty sure I’ll be either drunk in preparation for my road trip or dead tired playing games or watching shows or blogging. A normal weekend it is! I hope your weekend is great, too)

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Yahoo!
        (Classy stuff. Red or white?
        I need to find something I can drink during the 10 hour ride two weeks from now. I knoooow it is ill-advised to drink while on a bus, but I cannot deny my roots as a smash player from San Diego. We all get fucked up and play games. It’s a rule!)

        Liked by 1 person

      4. Red. Homemade since that’s way less expensive and actually pretty tasty. Thank you, mum.

        Of course, tradition is important. Even if that involves drinking on a bus. Good luck with the ensuing hangover!

        Liked by 1 person

      5. Yummy. D’s mum the master homebrewer!
        Wahaha I might just chicken out and leave the drinking for after I get blown out of the tournament. Or maybe I should go to a bar for once…
        Thaaanks. I intend to enter the Matrix at least once during my stay in San Jose.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Seems like this is a lot more interesting than I thought it would be.

    People are all too often crippled by their doubts. As irritating as it can be sometimes to deal with overconfident people (and satisfying to see them knocked down a peg), at least they’re trying to do their best despite their limitations. That’s not a character flaw (though being a braggart is).

    Eh, what the hey. I’ll try this. If anything the world of voice acting is interesting to me so I think I’ll enjoy watching Chitose and the others’ struggles with that.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m glad to hear that! The show got thrown under the bus because of Chitose’s attitude, but I do think the show had a wonderful message. Seeing overconfident characters getting their just desserts is a boon, too.
      If you’re fine with only seeing a smaller glimpse of the voice acting world, then you might want to consider watching Shirobako one day! One of the main characters is an inspiring voice actress and she struggles for years until she finally gets a small break.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I watched an episode of Girlish Number last night. It doesn’t seem all that bad. So far Chitose doesn’t have much of an attitude yet, though 😉

        I’ll have to consider Shirobako sometime too then.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. She’s relatively mild in episode one, but I’m glad you’re enjoying it!

        I hope you do! Shirobako was pretty great, in my opinion. Very inspirational!

        Like

  3. Great review. 🙂 Far more concise than the lengthy discussion I had, hehe.

    As for the camera effect, it’s called “bokeh”, which as you guessed it, simulates a shallow depth of field as seen in a camera lens. There’s also another camera effect used called “chromatic aberration”, which is actually a lens artifact that causes the edges of objects to have a colored blur (notice how some of the lines on the edges of faces look like they have a blueish or red line that is slightly displaced). From a cinematographic perspective, it was a good use of effects that added to the flavor of the production. I might talk a little more detail about it in a separate post, so thanks for the idea. 🙂 You always give me ideas to write on, hehe!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It might have been more concise, but you really delved into the meat of the message and story!

      Ohh thanks for filling me in. Yeah, a post about those effects would be great! Oh, that’s all you, haha!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. While I didn’t enjoy the series, this review was well done, Remy! I thoroughly enjoyed reading through it. The review does a great job at pointing the series strengths while still presenting its flaws accurately. .

    Unfortunately for me, I wish I could relate with you. The aesthetic, while beautiful, did little for me overall. The series leaned too heavily on the cutesy nature and I couldn’t really connect with Chitose. Her emotional turmoil didn’t have enough of a punch for me to really feel anything. But that’s just me and it has to do with my personal draws in characters. I can see why thematically, the series would resonate with a lot of people.

    At this point I’ve accepted that I’m particularly picky and I tend to dislike series with an abundance of moe.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for the kind words!

      Mmm I can understand where you’re coming from. The show can definitely fall flat if you don’t relate to the characters. Being “picky” isn’t a bad thing, though! You like what you like! c:

      Like

  5. I enjoyed reading this review. You did a good job, and even convinced me that I should give this show a watch. You paid very attention to varying details in the characters and animation…

    I’m curious; because I plan to write reviews for my new aniblog as well, how much practice did it take to reach your current reviewing skills? I’ve tried reviewing anime before, but I was always terrible. I want to improve so that my new blog does well, and I wonder if you could give me any tips or rules you go by while reviewing. I would greatly appreciate it!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for your kind words. I’m very flattered you enjoyed reading my post!

      I started blogging around 9 months ago. To be honest, I really struggled at first. It took me several days to do my first review post (it was for a visual novel instead of an anime series, however). It gets easier with practice, in my opinion.

      When it comes reviewing series, I usually try to remember to talk about a few things. Did any characters annoy me and was their behavior justified? How was the pacing of the show? Did it feel like too much happened in some episodes while nothing happened in others? Was the animation of high quality? That’s just some of it off the top of my head. Episode reviews are another thing entirely and I’m still messing around with different formats for those.

      I would really recommend visiting seasonalprattle.com since she has written a few posts talking about upgrading your blogging game. They’re pretty informative!

      As for more general blogging tips, try to be open-minded when it comes to writing. Yes, some shows are heavily flawed but they usually also have some positives, too. Readers probably don’t want to read excessive bashing and flaming. In a similar vein, exaggerating is probably not ideal.

      I know it’s tempting just to focus on your blog, but you really socialize with others. Become friends with them! They’ll probably return the favor and comment on your posts if you do so!

      That’s about all I’ve got. Best of luck blogging!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Sorry for the delay in responding! Been super busy. D:

        Thank you so much for all the tips; they are very helpful! I will definitely keep these things in mind while writing. I’ve always found that socializing with people helped increase my views and whatnot, even when I wrote terrible reviews on an older blog. 😛 It’s like magic. Also gives you a chance to make some great friends with similar interests!

        Good luck with your blogging as well!

        Liked by 1 person

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