We’re 75% done with Comic Girls. The last episode was a little weak, but other than that we’re still loving every second. I definitely plan on reading the manga for comparison. Even though manga creation is on the sidelines, while slice-of-life is shooting, I am still enjoying it very much. Let’s get started!
The seventh episode focuses mainly on developing Kaos-chan. It opens with Koyume-chan getting serialized. With everyone else in the dorm being serialized, Kaos-chan feels even less worthy. (The way she always puts herself down reminds me of someone…)
Somehow, my husband was more fascinated with the convenient censoring than Koyume’s declaration that Kaos will always be her main character.
Fuura-senpai is nearing a deadline and, as is customary, she is not quite on schedule. So Kaos-chan helps and learns a lot in the process—not only drawing backgrounds, but also about Fuura-senpai’s art journey.
The second half is about Kaos-chan’s trip to the city. Taking the train alone somewhere she has never been, seeing Akihabara for the first time, buying merchandise, getting chased by a police woman, and tweeting about it all.
It’s amazing how she never realized that she could nerd out with the other manga artists. She passes a couple of girls talking about anime and wishes she had friends like that. Only to realize 20 minutes later that Koyume appreciates the cuteness of her Rukanyan figure, Tsubasa enjoys the same anime,… I feel that the underlying massage of this and the previous episode are similar.
Be true to yourself as an otaku.
Then comes the real objective of Kaos-chan’s journey – 眼鏡 [めがね, megane, eyeglasses]. She experiences bouts of impostor syndrome, though. Glasses are meant for cool, mature and/or mysterious characters! Amisawa’s reason pushes her over the ridge—being able to watch your favorite anime in high definition!
Just before the ending we get a detailed look at Kaos’ half of the room. Figures, books, body pillow, wall scrolls, a low desk and a 座椅子 [ざいす, zaisu, that legless chair]. Minimal otaku setup, right?
Onto episode 8! Before the opening sequence Amisawa-san, the editor, rejects Kaos-chan’s storyboard yet again. This triggers a bout of despair from Kaos-chan. The other girls try to encourage her, but although she is trying her best, the results just aren’t coming…yet.
This skit, about storyboarding and worries about not ever being good enough, hit close to home—I just started another creative project last week, which currently consists of drawing storyboards and having them criticized.
While working on their manga, the girls have to deal with studying hard for finals. If you’re interested, 1221 was the year 承久の乱 [じょうきゅうのらん, jōkyū no ran, Jōkyū War] occurred. Unfortunately the study group is not as effective as needed.
The second half of the eighth episode focuses on the trio of grownups—Ririko, the matron, Amisawa-san, the editor and Nijino-sensei, the teacher.
This just occurred to me now, but do note the low number of characters in this anime. I think there are just eight recurring characters? Five girls and three women?
Returning to the storyline, the matron can sure hold her alcohol. Amisawa is an honest drunk, spewing all her bottled-up emotions, regrets and problems. Nijino-sensei is a chatty drunk perhaps. Regarding Nijino-sensei, I find it very improbable that the girls wouldn’t recognize her…
The flashback showing the three women in their teens was amazing in the sense that we got to learn more about their background, but rather unrealistic. They haven’t really changed since high school. Neither their hair, nor their interactions, which I find hard to believe. After all, it’s been 10 years.
Either way, it was nice to see more of Amisawa-san. Usually all we get is a stern “Rejected!” and that’s that. It was nice to see where she is coming from and that she might actually be Kaos-chan’s biggest fan.
Episode 9 seemed of lower quality to us. Both in story and in the animation.
We can divide the episode into three innings—in the first the girls help Tsubasa with a slice-of-life chapter, in the second Koyume tries losing weight and in the third everyone looks for Tsubasa’s manuscript at school.
Let’s go chronologically: There are so many great moments in this episode, but nothing really holding them together. To start with, the scene where Kaos and Ruki see Koyume and Tsubasa’s traits in Koyume’s manga. The scene where Kaos-chan despairs over her storyboard. And when she asks if the difference between Koyume and herself is in the approach—neither of them has made much progress on their storyboards, but Koyume will go out for a change of pace, while Kaos would mull over her own incompetence in their room.
Anyway, the focus of the first inning is Tsubasa. Her hero’s battle has finished and now the editor suggests a peaceful slice of life chapter. The problem is that Tsubasa has long forgotten what that looks like. Luckily Koyume is an expert. So they spend an afternoon eating good things, shopping for cute outfits and hair accessories.
I think the idea is pretty good and it develops Tsu-chan’s character well, but, like I already wrote, there just isn’t any flow to it.
The second inning is about Koyume’s weight. Now, that’s a bad story. Let’s not talk about it, because I don’t have a single good thing to say.
The last inning is about Tsubasa’s manuscript. It was a little strange to see action in this anime, but not bad.
While searching for Tsubasa’s manuscript, they find a lot of Koyume’s things in the lost and found and more importantly we get a peek at Nijino-sensei’s manga! As far as we know she was (and maybe still is) a fan of boys’ love. The girls say it doesn’t look professional, but I’d say it isn’t half bad. It’s not like Japanese high schools are full of budding mangaka. I must say, the school hasn’t been properly cleaned in at least 10 years, seeing the manuscript is still there.
Last thing before the ending sequence is returning of the manuscript. Turns out it had been forgotten in the science lab and Fuura-senpai hasn’t been able to return it, because the girls were running around the school looking for it. How could they not recognize her?!
Bottom line: The last episode was a letdown, but numbers 7 and 8 were stellar. I feel like the character development is amazing.
Kaos-chan is very relatable—a huge dork with no self-esteem whatsoever. Now if I only were that resilient. Amisawa-san says it in the series—Kaos is in tears over every rejection, but turns up glowing and hopeful every week with a new storyboard.
Tsubasa gets a lot of screen time as well. I enjoyed seeing her girlish side, hints of her daily routine and more on how she works.
Koyume is kind of strange in her development. Somehow she feels unrealistic. A sparkly high school student, who has a bunch of normie friends and a serialized manga? I wonder if I just can’t believe that or is she is just badly written.
Ruki had a lot of screen time in previous episodes, so now she is a bit sidelined.
Looking forward to the last three episodes.
Hopefully we can watch them sometime next week.