Idol Anime At Its Peak – ‘Music Girls’ Episode 1 & 2 Review

What’s the show? Music Girls, Episode 1 & 2.

“Music Girls” is this Summer 2018’s answer to ‘Comic Girls’? I thought the same thing—then watched the show—then immediately realised “no, this isn’t what I expected at all… this is the greatest anime of all time.”

…I’m sorry, what?! Yes! This is not only the inevitable and subsequent pinnacle of the idol anime genre it is the pure culmination of anime as an art form!

…I don’t… uh—are you okay? Oh, I’m sorry is there something wrong with my unbridled enthusiasm and adulation towards a show that literally nobody is talking about?! It’s not like this hasn’t happened before! *cough*Last Period*cough*

Cute earrings though.

But surely you jest sir, I mean this show just looks so? Ordinary? Cheap? Generic? Hastily slapped together to profit off the idol craze of two+ years ago? Ah! But that’s where your wrong! Music Girls is an incisive dig into the cutthroat world of Japanese idols told from an outsiders perspective, with all the bitchy backstabbing and conniving treachery you’d see in a season of an American soap or reality TV program! It is, without mincing my words too much, ~trash~.

Notice that someone is missing from the group shot?

Wait? Didn’t you say this was the “pure culmination of anime as an art form” just like a sentence ago?! Did I? Oh don’t mind that, that’s just some hyperbole for the poster… nobody really expects an idol anime to be anything other than an excuse to ogle flawless looking girls in matching outfits gyrate and smile for their audience of socially awkward and overweight men.

There’s that Studio Deen ~quality~. (I kid I kid, I love Studio Deen)

Scathing! Hey, at least this time it’s not me making the leaps, it’s the anime. This group called ‘Music Girls’ (super original name, btw!) Literally has 28 fans and they are the atypical Japanese idol fan… nerdy, sweaty, overeager, kinda creepy and absolutely devoted. You know, everything a woman doesn’t want in a fan in one perfect to manage package!

I’m still not sure what this show is even about at this point… Hey, neither is the show! So much of these first two episode feels like post-it notes hastily drawn into existence by a studio that’s forcing out an idol-related project. Forget the squirrely animation and inconsistent characterisation this show has a hard time knowing whether it even wants to move at some points! The first episode has an idol performance that’s supposed to ‘move’ and ‘evoke’ the main character but half of the routine is shown in static still shots!

I swear the one on the left is voiced by the same voice actress as Kanna Kamuri…

That… that kinda sounds bad. You’d think so, but you know what, no… I damn well love this stupid show.

How… how on earth can you defend something this obviously inept? When it comes down to it this show has a lot of obvious ‘rookie mistakes’ but it also entirely makes up for them with a kind of Youtube-esque enthusiasm that’s hard to quantify. Yes, I realise this was actually made by a competent studio—Studio Deen, responsible for the visually loose but still top quality Konosuba. But what we actually get here is so painfully amateurish that it’s hard not to be enraptured. No it’s not a train wreck like what Marchen Madchen turned out to be it’s more… it’s more like someone fell asleep at the wheel and left a reality TV buff in control of the series composition—the fault is more with the script writers than it is the animators. This show somehow straddles the line between intentionally and unintentionally bad and I don’t know which it favours! It also features a genuinely likable (if extremely large) cast of characters I really want to get to know.

No lenses! Too cool for that!

Uh-huh, “get to know” in what way? Well Episode 2 has an extended bath segment that is literally among the most attention to detail this show has provided thus far. Like seriously the animations in this scene are more detailed than the Idol segments and it’s all just to give a little fan-service… Sure goes to show where their priorities were, doesn’t it?!

What? Don’t look at me; you’re the one still watching it! That I am… That. I. Am.

I’ve got a little time…

Anything else you want to add? For a (presumably) GCDCT show there are actual male characters in this show which is as surprise! We have Hanako’s dad, something of a travelling musician who’s mere existence has imparted a wealth of knowledge onto his daughter and ended up turning her into an Idol savant, we also have their manager who thankfully doesn’t up and grab any of the girls inappropriately like so many other anime coaches/managers have these past seasons! Ultimately though, I’m here for the sweet waifus and this show has an abundance of them!

Proud parents?

Oh yeah? Any particular favourites? Main girl Hanako is delightfully naiive if a little bit infuriating but for my money it’s no-lens glasses girl Sasako who’s alway DTB (Down To Bathe) and big breasted Haru, but then again it’s probably just because they’ve had the most screen time thus far!

Seems legit.

I feel like you haven’t even talked about the show’s plot at this point just a bunch of disparate elements and character traits? Hanako is talented at everything idol related—dance, choreography, costuming, you name it—oh except singing, she’s terrible at that. But still she is enraptured by this new world she’s discovered and so joins the ‘Music Girls’ group—as an assistant! And you know what? That’s more interesting of a concept to me than two seasons of Love Live ever was!

She’s stupid and cute! What a combo!

Good luck with that! So did you want to give a recommendation for Episode 1 & 2 of ‘Music Girls’? I’d almost forgotten this show was airing ‘til I did my Top 15 Best OP’s of Summer 2018 list, there I was beguiled by a cute and upbeat song with a genuinely interesting (and surprisingly Western-sitcom-y) video accompaniment! From there it was only a matter of time before I sunk my teeth into the show proper and boy was I in for a surprise! This show is ~really~ good and simultaneously ~really~ bad! But despite (or because of) that I am fully committed to this show wherever it goes! Weekly reviews will continue of this show and I’ll accordingly add it to my Review Schedule. Now, do I recommend it? If you like cute girls and kinda trashy anime then heck yes I do! Now excuse me while I fend off these rabid Love Live commenters…


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9 comments

  1. Nooooo…not again. Not another review where you make me so curious about something that I just have to check it out. Must…..resist…….must…crap it’s too late again 😭😭😭😂😂😂😂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Matt! Ongaku Shoujo also had a 25-minute short film three years ago of the same name that might be worth checking out — it had a much more visually pleasing aesthetic and art style and was animated by Studio Deen rookies as a first foray into anime and I absolutely loved it! It’s why I was excited for the full-length anime, but clearly according to general consensus I shouldn’t have been ;-;

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for the info! Also, don’t listen to the general consensus, so many of my favourite anime are low-rated on MAL, like what you like and don’t let anyone tell you differently!

      Like

  3. I had a totally different impression of the qualities of this show. I don’t think it’s bad, but I sure don’t think it’s particularly different from other idol shows, particularly Wake Up, Girls! I mean, most of the difference is that it realizes its idols are C-grade idols, and that the main character is not someone trying to be an idol, but it really doesn’t seem that different overall in the conversations they have. Kind of like a mix of Wake Up, Girls! and Idolm@ster, done by Studio Deen, which has recently seemed to regress closer to their pre-Kore wa Zombie / Sankarea animation, but at least hasn’t matched the problems they had back then. Although the performance animation is WAY better than anything in Wake Up, Girls!, which was all arms and feet and static shots (seriously, it was like a new car brochure as far as never showing you the whole picture).

    I think if Music Girls ends up being any sort of “incisive dig into the cutthroat world of Japanese idols told from an outsiders perspective, with all the bitchy backstabbing and conniving treachery you’d see in a season of an American soap or reality TV program” it will be entirely by accident, not like WUG intended to be with it’s I-1 Club.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I feel bad because I said that entirely sarcastically, but obviously sarcasm doesn’t translate through text alone. (To be fair I was pretty drunk when I wrote this review).

      I think my experience with the show is fresher because I haven’t seen ‘Wake Up, Girls!’ or ‘Idolmaster’…

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      1. Nah, sarcasm doesn’t come through, especially in a world where Poe’s Law is so prevalent.

        I don’t necessarily agree with DerekL about Idolm@ster, but WUG is definitely a different take on it, if you can get past its terribleness as an anime qua anime. I’ve seen audio dramas with better animation.

        Liked by 1 person

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