Music Girls – Anime Preview
Synopsis: Haru Chitose, Eri Kumagai, Sarasa Ryuoh, Kiri Mukae, Uori Mukae, Sasame Mitsukuri, Miku Nishio, Hiyo Yukino, Shupe Gushiken, Kotoko Kintoki, and Roro Morooka are the eleven members of “Music Girls,” an idol group produced by Pine Records. However, they’re a third-rate idol group that can’t seem to sell CDs at all. But even though they’re obscure and constantly in debt, the members and their producer, Ikebashi, are all trying their hardest. Ikebashi gets the idea that Music Girls needs a new member—an idol who can light a fire under them so that they can grasp success! (Official Crunchyroll Synopsis)
1st Episode Review (Warning: Minor Spoilers to Follow):
Tom: Music Girls is yet another entry in the Idol sub-genre, which is often plagued by bland casts, overly lengthy music segments, and simply unimaginative storytelling. That said, Music Girls is surprisingly charming, bucking trends with plenty of quirky characters, fun writing and a general silly vibe that keeps the show from feeling outright generic and cash grabby.
Linny: Indeed, our cast consists of some very quirky characters, from the idol group members and their manager to our lead girl, Yamadagi Hanako and her parents. It’s all the more surprising when you compare it with other idol anime, which never let their casts be too quirky beyond having it as a ‘cute’ appeal point. In the case of Music Girls, it seems squarely all about delivering some strange comedic content. While it does start off with our main idol group being a clear underdog in the industry like so many idol shows tend to do, there’s very little melodrama about it and it’s just treated as one of several components of the story.
Tom: One problem with a lot of idol anime is how many characters get dumped on you early on. You often end up feeling like you’re in some type of overly grounded harem anime, with far too many characters you’re expected to familiarize yourself with, as if audiences make their own flash cards just to keep up. But Music Girls keeps it simple. It really only wants us to remember Hanako, our plucky ‘idol’ obsessed girl who gets roped into the Music Girl’s shenanigans through a fledgling talent contest. Everyone else is there, the entire 11 person group, but outside of the synopsis above listing off the entire cast’s names, you never get the sense you’re expected remember everyone. A couple characters stick out here or there, but the show feels more natural in centering much of its attention around Hanako and her budding desire to become an idol herself.
Linny: What’s bound to win audiences over is just how quirky and weird Music Girls is, coming off almost more of a comedy than a true idol show. Even our protagonist comes with several major twists; Hanako avoids the cliche of the total newb, who knows nothing about idols yet she also isn’t a die-hard fan that’s obsessed over every little detail of the industry, or even dreamed of being one since birth. The episode keeps a few things vague, so she might end up falling into some sort of trope later on but the little surprises, like her misunderstanding of what idols are, help to make Music Girls stand out in its genre.
Tom: Overall I was pleasantly surprised with Music Girls, as I often find Idols shows to be bottom of the barrel, or too self-serious to feel like they’re approachable for anyone but the biggest of Idol lovers. Music Girls has such a pleasant vibe to it, with plenty of quirks and comedy to keep it interesting. The only downside is some early CGI in the opening credits, which fails on all accounts to match itself with the proper 2D character designs. Thankfully this is currently relegated to the opening animation, and all of the dance work in the main body of the episode is classically animated, making sure immersion is never broken. Despite my expectations, I actually find myself recommending Music Girls as a potentially solid Idol show even the non-die hards can appreciate.
Linny: While Music Girls does set itself apart from the crowd, I’m still personally hesitant to confidently label it as a show especially meant for non idol fans just yet. It should be a great fit for someone who’s a fan of the sub-genre but craves something a little more fresh and unique. Still, this first episode does seem to present things in a manner even non-fans can appreciate. Give this show a chance if you love your comedy a little quirky and it might just surprise you.
Music Girls (TV) is available for streaming via Crunchyroll.