Wake Up, Girls! is an idol group of seven girls. The audition for Wake Up, Girls! member started in 2012 by Avex Audition. Maximum age allowed at that time was 22 years old. The list of girls who passed the audition is as follow :
|Name||Date of Birth||Place of Birth||Blood-type||Hobby||Special Skills|
|Yoshioka Mayu||11/11/95||Osaka||O||Writing Novel||Classic Ballet|
|Aoyama Yoshino||05/05/96||Kumamoto||A||Reading Manga||Calligraphy|
|Okuno Kaya||03/01/91||Iwate||A||Playing with Cat and Dog||Touhoku dialect and Piano|
The unit made their debut in early 2014 with the released of anime film Wake Up, Girls! Shicinin no Aidoru. The film was released on January 10, 2014 followed by 12-episode TV anime aired from January 11, 2014 to March 29, 2014. In continuation of the TV Anime, 2 anime film 5 dubbed Wake Up, Girls! Seishun no Kage and Wake Up, Girls! Beyond The Bottom were released on September 25, 2015 and December 11, 2015.
In this review, I only cover the first anime film and the TV series. As an anime with idol theme, I’d say the momentum of Wake Up, Girls! film and TV series isn’t quite right. Yes, at that time, Idol-themed was popular, thanks to Love Live! strong reception inside and outside of Japan. However, Wake Up, Girls! was mostly overshadowed by μ’s popularity, especially with 2nd TV Series of Love Live! aired not too long after Wake Up, Girls! TV series. Most anime otaku, especiall foreign otaku(s) had their eyes on Love Live!
The story of Wake Up, Girls! itself isn’t bad. It’s actually very good! It has much less noticeable flaw compared to Love Live!. Well, Love Live! itself has too much noticeable flaw since I paid a lot of attention about logic in anime. Started with a small agency in Sendai recruiting idols. Seven idols were recruited. Their first live performance is far from impressive. Not even noticeable. They also have to face many challenges. Internal conflicts between members are also unavoidable. To overcome all of these challenges, they must have strong will, determination, and friendship. Wake Up, Girls! is not about fun. It’s about one’s determination to become an idol.
The characters in Wake Up, Girls! anime have similar given name with their seiyuu. The kanji is different though. I list the comparison here.
Date of Birth
Date of Birth
|November 7, 1997||O||159cm||Yoshioka Mayu
|November 11, 1995||O||159cm|
|January 19, 1998||O||155cm||Eino Airi
|January 19, 1993||O||153cm|
|January 22, 1999||A||150cm||Tanaka Minami
|January 22, 1996||A||156cm|
|May 15, 1997||A||159cm||Aoyama Yoshino
|May 5, 1996||A||159cm|
|July 19, 1999||A||148cm||Yamashita Nanami
|June 19, 1995||A||160cm|
|March 1, 1995||A||164cm||Okuno Kaya
|March 1, 1991||A||151cm|
|September 1, 1995||O||162cm||Takagi Miyu
|September 8, 1996||O||164cm|
Every characters have different personality. My favorite is Katayama Minami because of Tanaka Minami’s cute voice. She sounds so cheerful and innocent, perfectly match Katayama Minami’s personality. Kikuma Kaya is my second favorite due to her mature personality. Okuno Kaya also did a great job in voicing her. Okamoto Miyu is also interesting because of her fun personality combined with Takagi Miyu’s cute voice. The other four is pretty decent and quite stand out I think.
While Wake Up, Girls! story is very good, the animation is rather weak, far from impressive. Especially for a 2013-2014 anime. It’s on par with Digimon Adventure Tri. film in 2015. Both looks like an anime from 2005. While the character design is okay, color gradient looks weak and shading is not so good. It’s quite a let down although it is still acceptable. But with this level of animation, this anime can’t compete against the glorious animation of Love Live and THE IDOLM@STER CINDERELLA GIRLS. Even K-ON! from 2009 still looks noticeably better.
Idol-themed anime is also about music, right? Wake Up, Girls! also fell short in the music. Basically, the insert songs are good, but not good enough for anime with idol or music theme. Even A Channel still offers more and better insert song (at least according to my ears). And A Channel is anime about daily life and not related music. Background Music is a bit weak too. It’s not quite making me feel the emotion that the characters feel despite this anime has quite a lot of potential scene.
A mixed bag of feeling. The concept of Wake Up, Girls! is more than just good. It’s very good, even better and makes more senses than Love Live! But the animation and music kinda let it down. I wanna blame the studio for this but I don’t know, honestly. If Sunrise or Kyoto-Animation were the studio behind Wake Up, Girls!, I thought this anime could be much better. But that was only my wild guess. Even with its weakness, I’d say Wake Up, Girls! is still a very good anime, thanks to the story it delivered.
|Sounds & Musics||7|
|Rated as||Very Good|
(+) Very good story concept
(+) Real world idol casts that you can still see even after the anime finished
(-) Animation quality is below average for a 2014 anime, although still acceptable
(-) Music is not quite good for anime with idol and music theme