Girlish Number returns awesome as ever. This time the anime recording is ending, bringing a few summer activities as well as somewhat negative conclusions with it… while Chitose proves deluded as ever in an episode chiefly centered on her personal issues.
The opening song is selling well, which fuels her imagination. She walks into an anime store to see the series’ promotion, dressed with all the dissimulation accessories you’d expect of a nationwide star. Yae and Koto spot her, but they’re not disguised; which changes absolutely nothing since they’re not actually well-known, flee this reality as Chitose may. What’s worse, some otaku, knee-deep into the matome site culture, blast the anime and its source material. It’s a short instant, but one that offers a pertinent parody of Japanese otaku, and how they’re infected by the negativity and cynicism of matome sites, battering shows on the sole basis of hearsay as a result.
The Chii-sama is offended but soon recovers, still proud of the sales. She decides to focus on the future. At the last recording she talks to Momoka and Shibasaki about the opening – but they didn’t even remember the song, much less know of its numbers. The little blonde even tells Chitose not to worry about fleeting things such as charts positions. Our newbie identifies this attitude as characteristic of a true star seiyuu… and is later in the episode (still an unsuccessful rookie) seen repeating the exact same phrases to Goujo when he talks to her… about the anime (yes, she thinks it’s okay for her to forget about her career’s lone main role).
There are several instances of her being deluded in this episode. At Comiket, she participates in a sign event; all the seiyuu are happy to do it and give away all the signed papers, but the Chii-sama’s eyes are looking into the distance, probably imagining herself basking the admiration Momoka and Shibasaki are currently the object of. She questions the value of the event she’s doing, and when she looks at the disparaging comments she’s getting on an online stream, she cries to Goujo, not understanding why all this hate is coming her way. She runs away, and though he doesn’t tell her, Goujo knows the reason – it’s because she’s the only one not doing anything. Even at the event, she handed the papers in a much less enthusiastic manner than the earnest Yae and Koto. Why would anyone appreciate a newbie who acts like she’s in any position to treat her early fans indifferently?
But maybe she can find solace in the struggles of others. First of all, the original writer finally breaks down. When he gives the seiyuu flowers, he mumbles “what’s an anime?”, words which announce his fate: the trauma will activate his brain’s defenses, erasing all memories of the anime in the process. When his editor talks to him about the adaptation later on, he jumps from his chair in cheerfulness and claims he hopes the anime will be fun. As a result, the editor must push for a delay on the next light novel volume’s release date; but business isn’t necessarily so understanding. This is almost certainly hyperbolic, but it shows Girlish’s approach once again; parodical, yet always aware of the nature of the struggles those in the industry may face.
That said, it’s no surprise the author would be reduced to this pitiful state. Facing productions issues for the last episode, Kuzu-P nods to the words of every party involved, essentially letting the issue resolve itself, whoever the fall guy may be, no matter how unfair the solution. What’s worse, the show’s director, working into the wee hours, has fallen asleep on the job. It’s clear the planning is terrible; the storyboards were on time, but it’s a race against time, all thanks to Kuzu’s antics. What’s more, he throws the responsibility of telling the men in black suits about the (not too positive) business numbers onto a fidgety Towada. The man is serious, a bit downhearted by all this but hardworking; but he shouldn’t worry, for Kuzu-P will never let his people fall to depression! He, too, knows the financial situation is bad… for at this rate, how can they embezzle the budget?! Yes, that’s his worry (he even the describes the deed as “normal” in the next episode preview) – but thankfully, the man always has a masterplan. Tune in next time to hear all about it.
Oh, and did we tell you… the anime our protagonists are working (hard or otherwise) on will have a second season?
Girlish Number remains quite brilliant. The only worry is that, as the show progresses, it focuses more and more on Chitose’s character flaws – all of which are certainly interesting, but share little relation with the setting. She could very well be in a completely different field and face the exact same hurdles. However, this isn’t yet an issue. The parody of industry-related problems was hilariously grim as usual, and the purely financial aspect is new, effectively furthering the show’s exploration of this most strange business. Next time, we have a beach episode to look forward to – which may sound like mere relaxation, but depending on how the show progresses from there, it can hopefully reach new heights and imprint its silhouette on the seasonal throne’s backrest.
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