Music Girls – Mid Season Anime Review
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)
Mid Season (6 Episodes) Review (Warning: Minor Spoilers to Follow):
Linny: Music Girls’ premiere had a lot of personality and quirks that made it seem like it was going to be anything but your generic idol show. With twists, turns and jokes galore, the first episode seemed set to bring something new to the idol sub-genre as well as appealing to a demographic that might not usually tune in to an idol series.Unfortunately, come episode 2 and onwards, Music Girls quickly dove into all the cliches and staples, proving its premiere to be nothing more than a disappointing and short misdirection. While it hits all the essential story and plot points that are sure to appeal to the classic idol crowd, anyone sucked in by the unique first episode is bound to be disappointed as they watch the show tackle the most predictable idol-centric story lines; such as an idol girl learning to come out of her shell, or one rediscovering the skill and love for make up her mother passed onto her when the group finds themselves without any appointed professional make up artists.
Tom: This is in part due to the series taking focus away from Yamadagi Hanako, our underdog/tone-deaf lead who wants to help the group in anyway possible. While still a part of the story, it’s only when the other girls most need help that Hanako takes center stage with a sudden spurt of talent for behind the scenes solutions. The show’s problem isn’t its wealth of characters, in fact the series actually continues to do a good job of never making you feel like you’re expected to know who everyone is, and only a few girls matter episode to episode, making it easy to follow along.No, the problem rests in the writing, often bungling the developments of each episode. While episodes are centered on a different set of girls, particularly focused on providing character development for one girl in each set of characters for the week, the events leading to that development don’t always feel terribly related, sometimes random or barely strung together. It doesn’t feel natural, but often instead contrived. This gives each episode a largely hit or miss feeling. Sometimes episodes flail between a solid storyline that transitions into something only thinly related. This creates hodgepodges of episodes with barely workable through lines for the girl’s emotional development.
Linny: To the show’s credit, it does contain some positive/motivating messages as well as a later episode (specifically episode 6) that returns to its quirky comedic nature. In episode 5, we watch Hanako fight for the right of the girls to be represented as they truly are instead of being made to fit into a generic idol mold during a photo magazine shoot. The message is sweet, if a little self deprecating, when a lot of the show itself falls into painfully generic idol content. And for those who are holding out in hopes of more bizarre comedy, watching an older gentleman lament about losing the spirited 17 year old girl/muse inside himself is sure to bring the chuckles. However, if you were sucked in solely because of that quirky humour, it feels a little too late and not worth sitting through 4 mediocre episodes.
Tom: Those episodes inbetween the more bizarre tone could be interesting, even if mundane, but often drag these typical ideas or concepts out for too long, turning them from intriguing insights on behind the scenes troubles into something altogether boring. Even so, with what uneven entertainment value Music Girls does provide, coupled with a much stronger mid-season episode, might still have left me willing to recommend the series, if not for the horrible visual quality, that takes a massive, and I do mean massive, dive from Episode 1. In fact the art gets so bad it almost becomes something you watch for ironically.
Linny: Music Girls is relegated to the idol loving demographic, because what little uniqueness it featured ends up being more of an occasional guest star than a staring feature. Considering how inconsistent and low budget the art can be, it may even find itself in the lower ranks in the eyes of the idol fandom. Heck, we almost made a game out of how the idol group’s manager, Ikebashi Daiki, gets a new face every time the camera angle changes. Poor art aside, it isn’t the worst idol show out there and those who do like the sound of idols sprinkled sparingly with quirky humour might find Music Girls a decent watch but not a must watch by any measure.
Tom: Music Girls started strong, but quickly fell off track. Animation plummeted, art took a massive dive, and the writing falters near every episode. There’s glimpses in each episode of what could have been a fun, whimsical, goofy show focused on this large cast of quirky girls, but that’s unfortunately all there is in the end, fleeting glimpses of something that will never be.
Music Girls (TV) is available for streaming via Crunchyroll.