This is a show with a rather capacious title. It is referred to as “Locodol”, short for “Futsū no Joshikōsei ga Locodol Yattemita” or “Normal High School Girls Tried Being Locodols”. OK, a Locodol stands for “Local Idol”, which would be a person (a girl, in this case), who is a city-wide idol or regional-wide idol and not someone nationally known.
In the town of Nagarekawa, Nanako Usami, (second from right), a normal high school girl, is approached by her uncle to become that “Locodol”, partnering with upper-classmate normal high school girl Yukari Kohinata, (second from left) to form the idol unit, Nagarekawa Girls. As the girls use their talent to promote the city of Nagarekawa and their businesses, they are joined by normal high school girl Yui Mikoze, (far right; she wears a costume of Uogokoro-kun) and other normal high school girl Mirai Nazukari, (far left) who serves as Yui’s substitute.
The story follows their attempts to try and promote all the virtues of the town while trying to remain normal high school girls. I found this an interesting show, as I have never really encountered the concept of a local idol. They are not all that different from being Miss Firebaugh or Madam Pecan Queen or whatever regional or town prize or award is given to them. Also, the lengths that uncle goes to in having the girls show up at every civic function, no matter how small, borders on the obsessive.
And what happens when the mascot starts to overshadow the girls? I mean, they do keep a good personal relationship with each other, as all understand how tough and demanding the job it is, but how can you not feel slighted when some blue blob with a fish lashed to its back draws all the attention? Adding to the mayhem is the Locodol Festival, where a variety of these folks compete for the best of the best. It just adds another layer of weirdness to an already strange show.
At its core, it is about the bonds of friendship, but they approach it in an off-kilter manner. I did like the show, and not just because everyone looks cute (as they really do), but in the ways they act, within themselves and with one another, to form a strong bond, forged by adversity (you try to perform in front of a bunch of people wearing just a bikini. I can imagine it gets a bit rocky). The show in and of itself is a bit thin, as it seems more a reason to truck out the moe factor than any real universal truths, but it is a gentle show and one I really liked. We also did not address the issue of what happens when these ladies are too old to be locodols, but I guess that might have been too heavy of a message to initially address in a light and easy show as this.
On a scale of 1 to 10:
Artwork 8 (Cute, cute, cute)
Plot 8 (Something you don’t see every day)
Pacing 7 (Does run hot and cold)
Effectiveness 8 (It does explain something well that you don’t regularly see)
Conclusion 5 (It reaches a ‘coupler point’, but hasn’t ended)
Fan Service 3 (A similar show would be “Wedding Peach”)
Overall 7 (Cute story, but kinda aimless)
And remember, it’s first run until you’ve seen it. We’re all here!