I’m back with more Comic Girls. We watched three more episodes and there were some moments I’d like to point out. As always there will be spoilers for episodes 4 through 6. (Read my notes on episodes 1 to 3.)
The fourth episode focuses on Ruki—first her deadline is coming up and then she scores her first signing. The rush up to the deadline while going to school tires Ruki out and there’s some fanservice based off that.
Leaving the dorm, we can see her flushed face. Later in English class, she sensually pushes her hair behind her ear. Later yet, before P.E. class, she exposes her nape with half-closed eyes and those rosy cheeks…
Also let me just quickly admire these お弁当 [おべんとう, obentou, lunch boxes]. I would say the pink one with a white kitty is Koyumi’s, the purple Riko’s, the simple, yet elegant blue one Tsubasa’s and the raggedy beige one is Kaos-chan’s. Kaos-chan’s clothes are mostly made by her grandmother and, since she hasn’t grown in a while, almost tattered and threadbare.
The worst thing about her signing is appearing under her pen name— 爆乳♥姫子 [ばくにゅう♥ひめこ, Bakunyū♥Himeko, Big Boobies♥Himeko]. Not only is the name embarrassing by itself, but Ruki is just an A cup. It seems her editor came up with the pseudonym. There is no changing it now that Ruki is a successful, serialized 漫画家 [まんがか, mangaka, Japanese comic artist]. And as if that weren’t enough, her author’s comments portray her as having quite a rack. To sum it up, Ruki is well-aware of the stagerring difference between the image she has created and herself. She’s afraid the fans will be disappointed in her.
In a not so gently inserted skit about digital drawing, Kaos-chan comes up with a nicer nickname—ヂギタルキちゃん [Digitaruki-chan]—a portmanteau of digital and Ruki.
Fortunately on the day of the signing dorm-mother comes to the rescue. With the power of makeup and hair curlers she transforms her into a grown woman. Dressed in a frilly top to hide her lack of curves, Ruki takes her readers by storm.
After a very Ruki-centered episode the fifth one focuses on Koyume. Out of the four girls she is the most normal high school girl. While the others work hard on their manuscripts and their worlds pretty much revolve around manga, Koyume has other friends and enjoys her youth. So in the summer she wants to go to the beach to swim and play and not work on her shoujo manga.
Of course as is customary with beach episodes, there is a lot of fanservice. Like swimsuits or breast animation. And because Kaos-chan can’t have a breast animation, she at least attracts crabs.
The second third of the episode is Koyume and Ruki doing girly things while Tsubasa and Kaos sit in a dark room and play video games. Well, doing girly things, but thinking about manga all the time—seeing a dress inspired by naval uniforms makes Ruki think of stripping it off her heroine, while Koyumi-chan recalls something her editor said when seeing a couple share a drink. They veer off course towards their insecurities regarding writing romance manga.
The third period follows Koyumi and Tsubasa (and their stalkers) on their “date” in the amusement park. What is nice about this series is how naturally it approaches Koyumi’s girl-crush on Tsubasa. I feel like that’s not so common in anime; mostly the couple will be there just to pander yuri-lovers and come off very cliched. In Comic Girls the girls’ bodies provide fanservice, but when it comes to feelings, the series is doing a pretty good job.
This episode also has two very nice low angles.
Episode 6 introduces a new character, Fuura-senpai. The whole skit is kind of annoying with high-pitched screaming, but it makes for some nice screenshots.
In the fifth episode, Nijino-sensei cosplayed Tsubasa’s characters at the amusement park together with Kaos-chan’s editor. She is now scared that the girls saw her and her secret identity as an otaku has been revealed. They didn’t, but it results in a cute misunderstanding.
In the end Nijino-sensei finds out Tsubasa writes and draws her favorite manga under the pen name of Wing V. And that the other girls are also comic artists. In turn Tsubasa, who is keeping her gender a secret and can’t therefore hold signings like Ruki, meets a fan of hers for the first time.
The moral of the latter half of this episode is that otaku are everywhere and of all genders, ages and occupations. (And shapes, sizes, et cetera.)
The last thing I want to touch upon is the manga incorporation. The series is adapted from a manga and it retains some of its qualities. Especially frames. You could have seen Ruki’s breast sequence above, but here are some more examples:
Final thoughts at the halfway point: Except for Kaos-chan acting like an old lewd man, I’m content. The animation has interesting points as described above, the story flows nicely and while it strayed from manga-related content a little in the last episode, it’s still cute enough for me to keep watching!