As of late, I have seen a lot of shows about being in anime or in video games. This is another anime show, but it looks more at the life and times of being a senyuu or a female voice actor. What if after work and dedication, you finally got your dream job? What do you do then? This series, “Girlish Number” (“Gārisshu Nanbā”, but also seen as the odd “Gi(a)rlish Number”), relates the tale of Chitose Karasuma (that’s her, stuck in the middle with you), a voice actress who has been working in the anime industry for a year. Although she believes she is quite talented, she also thinks the anime industry is out to get her, as she has only been voicing minor or support characters. One day, an opportunity arises for her to voice a main role in an upcoming anime adaptation.
She is the voice of Yuna, one of the five main heroines for the upcoming anime series ‘Millennium Princess x Kowloon Overlord’. She has a positive attitude and high confidence in her abilities and talent, and initially thinks that she has the wherewithal for voice acting but just did not get enough chances from casting directors that could not see her offerings. Well, don’t we all think that? “I coulda been a contender, I coulda been someone, instead of a bum, which is what I am.”
Her fellow voice partners include, left to right:
Kazuha Shibasaki (black hair in blue outfit)
Momoka Sonō (blondie to Kazuna’s left)
Nanami Sakuragaoka (another voice actress who likes Chitose)
Yae Kugayama (purple on Chitose’s left)
Koto Katakura (green on Yae’s left)
We see all the machinations and flaming hoops everyone has to jump through in order to make it in this business. Everyone has their own personalities and quirks, but the big trick is to not anger the Gods who make the decisions about your career. Chitose has not realized this and has a tendency to mouth off on things. Adding to this is that the production company for this anime is not run as well as it should be, so the guys in charge of it (both of those open-mouthed jolly types in the back row) aren’t making the best of financial decisions.
Then, when things go south, it takes everyone with them and Chitose has to confront the idea or notion that she may have fouled her own nest in this matter. Although she is rather young to be thinking about making a comeback, this is exactly what she has to do if she wishes to continue to follow her dreams.
For me, there was a ton of off-moments in this show. They seem to spend a huge amount of time eating out and complaining. The other girls are just as big whiners as she is, but they work diligently at their craft and come off as both easy to work with and open to suggestions, which is why they keep getting hired. Also, like most people in charge, they never tell you the truth but move behind the scenes to make certain that you don’t work for them again and perhaps put out the word to other studios to freeze you out.
You scratch your head and wonder “Does the system really work like this?” It’s both friendly and fierce at the same time and a person would shake your hand as easily as stab you in the back. It certainly takes a long time for Chitose to learn what it is she needs to really do, which leads to the notion that perhaps they will accept her back. The ending implies a potential second season, where we might see the New and Improved Chitose, but then, I have noticed a lot of shows not moving on to another season (like, where the hell is Season Three of “Spice and Wolf”?)
It is, again, a middling show. There is enough of a story to keep you coming back for another episode, but it feels kind of empty and vacant, with no real progress and vague intimations of conflicts and concerns that may or may not get addressed. Sure, at the end, we all make nicey-nicey and perhaps Chitose has gained a modicum of maturity, but a lot of it seems fade away to me.
On a scale of 1 to 10:
Artwork 8 (Cute, cute girls)
Plot 7 (Rather typical)
Pacing 7 (A bit too languid, even in crisis)
Effectiveness 7 (Could have used more direct confrontations)
Conclusion 5 (It reaches a ‘coupler point’, but hasn’t ended)
Fan Service 2 (A similar show would be “Okamisan”)
Overall 7 (Good story but fell into a rut)
And remember, it’s first run until you’ve seen it. Was that good enough for you?