Gi(a)rlish Number Anime Review : Messed Up Anime Production

An anime with seiyuu theme has been around since Shirobako aired in 2014. Sore ga Seiyuu! followed in 2015 and now we had Gi(a)rlish Number in 2016. This anime is adapted from serial novel started on March 2016. The anime was aired a few months later from October to December 2016. To be honest, when I watched Gi(a)rlish Number, I had no idea what is the story about. I don’t even know this anime is about seiyuu. But surprise is nice. Since I had no idea at all about the story, I can’t guess anything. So, there is an element of surprise for me when I watched this anime

The story of Gi(a)rlish Number is about anime production. We see from producer side and seiyuu side. Although this anime doesn’t provide with too many details about anime production (it can be boring), it provides us with general information of how messed up an anime production could be. Yes, what I mean on the title is not about how this messed up this anime is but how messed up the production of an anime inside this anime. Perhaps this anime wasn’t meant to be real but the general idea and implementation of this anime clearly makes sense in real life. It’s not comical or fantasy but offers a realistic story that can be taken as a lesson in real life.

I admit, I am impressed with the story but not quite satisfied with the ending. The beginning of this anime really amazing. The realistic feelings, putting aside the illogical anime logic makes every detail seems really great. Perhaps we can get another season? Well… The ending open the door for sequels but I am not sure about the reception of this anime in Japan. Howeer, Chitose is very cute and the story is impressive, I can expect this anime have a very good reception.

One word to describe, Excellent. Diomedea is the studio behind Gi(a)rlish Number and its work is awesome indeed. Although the story takes place on real location with no fantasy, they pay a lot of attention to everything. Compared to other 2016 anime I’ve watched, Gi(a)rlish Number is the best. I haven’t watched Kimi no Na wa and Hibike Euphonium though. So, Gi(a)rlish number in overall might be on the third place.

Also excellent. The opening theme song is “Bloom”, performed by 5 main seiyuus on the anime. A truly good song. A masterpiece of work. Well-arranged and well-performed by the 5 seiyuus. So beautiful that I can be addicted to this song for quite sometime. The ending theme song is “Ima wa Mijikashi Yume Miyo Otome”, also performed by 5 main seiyuus. While not as beautiful as the opening theme song, it is still a very good song that play beautifully with the ending animation. The BGMs are also very nice and suitable for many scenes on the anime. This anime is also very strong in music.

Characters & Seiyuu
This also the beautiful part of this anime. Although the main character is a girl, the amount of male characters makes this anime feels well-balanced between male and female characters. And of course, without forgetting that the main character in focus is Chitose.

Karasuma Chitose

Voiced by : Senbongi Sayaka
Voice Acting Score : Very Good
A college student who works as newbie seiyuu. Her brother is her manager who referred her as “Kuso Shinjin” which can be translated as “Shitty Newbie”. It can’t be helped. Chitose lacks of talent and self-awareness. She only wants to hear comments that praise her and gets depressed easily when people are talking bad about her. Her voice acting is bad at first but improved steadily after several episodes. Koto nicknamed her Chii-sama.

Senbongi Sayaka’s voice acting kinda resembles Chitose’s. But the good thing is, Bon-chan didn’t start as a bad seiyuu. So, it goes from good to excellent as the story progress. I can see the challenge that Bon-chan have to face. With Chitose being a bad seiyuu means Bon-chan should act like someone who can’t do voice acting correctly but her acting must not sound like someone pretending. Bon-chan is the tallest female seiyuu in the main cast but she is actually the second youngest of all seiyuu in the anime.

Kugayama Yae

Voiced by : Hondo Kaede
Voice Acting Score : Excellent
Newbie seiyuu who works together with Chitose. She is a shy and innocent girl. Often being the subject of Chitose’s  bully. Despite that, she is still think of Chitose as a valuable friend. Koto nicknamed her Yae-pon.

If anything I wanted to say about Hondo Kaede’s voice acting, it is excellent from the first line to end of her final line in this anime, unlike Bon-chan’s who improved step by step to become excellent. Her voice acting is really cute. That cuteness really brings Yae-pon’s charm as a cute and innocent character. Kaede-chan is the youngest seiyuu in the anime. She started her seiyuu career in 2016 which means her experience is still less than two years when doing her role in this anime.

Katakura Koto

Voiced by : Ishikawa Yui
Voice Acting Score : Outstanding
Another newbie seiyuu who works together with Chitose. She speaks using Kansai-ben and usually calls her friends politely. She is 26 years old and appears to be the oldest female seiyuu in the group. The older, the wiser she said. But in this case, she is correct by she is clearly the wisest in the group.

Ishikawa Yui is the best performing seiyuu in this anime. Slightly better than Hondo Kaede which is already excellent. But Isshii is not really a newbie seiyuu, unlike Kaede-chan. Isshii’s challenge is Kansai-ben, probably. She speaks Kansai-ben flawlessly and that is quite something. The way she handles Koto is amazing. It just feels so natural to the character. Isshii is the oldest main seiyuu and also the one with more year experience.

Sonou Momoka

Voiced by : Suzuki Eri
Voice Acting Score : Good
The youngest seiyuu in the group although she is actually have more experience than Chitose, Yae, and Koto. Momoka is still 17 years old and the only girl who don’t  drink sake. She is the daughter of famous female seiyuu and famous anime producer. Her parents position and experience gives her easier start than the others. Unlike Chitose, she works professionally despite her young age but there is a time where she wanted to selfish too.

Suzuki Eri voice acting is generally good. But seriously, it is just on par with Bon-chan on start which later simply outperform her. The irony is, Momoka is the professional seiyuu here but her seiyuu is less impressive than Chitose’s and even Yae’s. Generally speaking, her role does seem to be less challenging than the other 4 characters. So I guess that is the reason why her voice acting sounds pretty common. Eripyon’s started her seiyuu career in 2013 but she got her major role in 2014. Also on 2014, she joined The IDOLM@STER CINDERELLA GIRLS and participate on the unit’s 2nd Live in the same year.

Shibasaki Kazuha

Voiced by : Oonishi Saori
Voice Acting Score : Very Good
A professional seiyuu with unfriendly personality. Her attitude to workmate is irritating but she is good in giving lip service to her fans. Her parents against her will to become seiyuu and some reasons, she hated them and her hometown. But it’s all is mainly because her misunderstanding her parents intention. She is closer to Momoka because both are professional seiyuu. She drinks quite often and quite a lot to forget her problems.

At first, Oonishi Saori is the least impressive seiyuu. I really feel that her voice acting is pretty so-so. But she is just Chitose, improved gradually on each episodes and eventually becomes very good, although still not in excellent level. The best part I like is when she get drunk and speak with some unknown dialects. That sounds quite challenging and not so easy to pull. Although Oonishi-chan made her debut 5 years after Isshii, she has more roles than other lead female seiyuu.

Karasuma Gojogirlish_number_chara_gojoVoiced by : Umehara Yuuichirou
Voice Acting Score : Very Good
A former seiyuu who switch his career to become seiyuu manager. Gojo is Chitose’s big brother and manager. Yae and Koto is also under his care. He is a responsible person and doesn’t like it when Chitose just lazying around without practicing her voice acting. She gives numerous advice to Chitose but perhaps Chitose cares very little about them.

The first time I listen to Umehara Yuuichirou voice acting although I have listen to his voice in radio before. It is very good. A calm voice with deep tone that works nicely on Gojo’s personality. Ume-chan was one of the winner of 2015 Seiyuu Awards. He is talented for sure. Ume-chan is also a member of The IDOLM@STER SideM.

Sakuragaoka Nanamigirlish_number_chara_nanamiVoiced by : Satou Amina
Voice Acting Score : Very Good
An 18-year-old newbie seiyuu who join the show in late episode. She is a big fan of Chitose and seems to be very grateful to be able see Chitose when doing voice acting. She sees Chitose as a respectable senpai and wanted to become like her.

Satou Amina did very good. Her voice is cute and fits Nanami’s appearance just right. Amina was formerly a member of AKB48. She left the unit to pursue career as seiyuu but sometime later ended up in THE IDOLM@STER CINDERELLA GIRLS.

Kuzu-Pgirlish_number_chara_kuzuVoiced by : Nakai Kazuya
Voice Acting Score : Excellent
The producer in charge of the planning and production of animee series where Chitose become the main heroine. He chose Chitose to be a the main heroine on his upcoming anime project for a reason. He seems to be irresposible and slacking off very often. In most of the time, he enjoy the good part of his work but there is a problem happen, he left it to Towada.

Nakai Kazuya made his major debut as seiyuu on the same year when Hondo Kaede was born. So you should know that he is a veteran seiyuu with 20 years experience. The way he act as Kuzu-P is excellent. He sounds so carefree, so easygoing, and so irresponsible as way. Really match Kuzu-P personalities.

Towada-Pgirlish_number_chara_towadaVoiced by : Eguchi Takuya
Voice Acting Score : Very Good
Assistant Producer of Kuzu. He is very responsible and serious about his job. But unlucky for him to have Kuzu as his boss, he often dragged into trouble caused by Kuzu and forced to cover him.

Eguchi Takuya handles his role as Towada-P nicely. A role as young producer with not many experience is definitely not a problem for him. Especially with his voice acting experience for more than 7 years.

The somewhat interesting thing in this anime is almost every seiyuu have to handle their character speaks while getting drunk. After all, this anime were designed to clearly resembles modern Japanese lifestyle. So, drunk characters really makes sense. I am impressed with how the seiyuu(s) voicing their drunk characters.

Girlish_Number_seiyuu.jpgFrom Left to Right : Oonishi Saori, Hondo Kaede, Senbongi Sayaka, Ishikawa Yui, Suzuki Eri

Closing Thought
An anime that you shouldn’t miss in 2016. Not the best but still very good. The animation is beautiful, the music is excellent, the characters are attractive, interesting, and well-balanced, and the voice acting are top-notch despite so many newbie seiyuus. This anime has every component to be an excellent anime but the story is a bit short of it. The ending is not quite satisfying although I still consider it good. A sequel is possible to made for this anime although I doubt there would be any. But if there is a sequel, I definitely wouldn’t miss it.

Story 8
Animation 9
Sounds & Musics 9
Characters 9
Voice Acting 9
Overall 9
Rated as Very Good

(+) Very good and realistic story telling without illogical anime logic
(+) Excellent Animation
(+) Excellent Music
(+) Cute and attractive character design
(+) Interesting characters’ personality
(+) Generally very good to excellent voice acting

(-) Ending could be much better
(-) Yae left out without her background story

Bonus : Chitose’s weird and funny Expressions

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