Senryu Girl – Anime Preview
Synopsis: Yukishiro Nanako may seem like a normal girl, but she expresses herself only through written senryu poetry! This means she communicates in 5-7-5 syllables as she and her ex-delinquent bestie, Busujima Eiji, run their high school’s Literature Club. (Official HIDIVE Synopsis)
1st Episode Review (Warning: Minor Spoilers to Follow):
Senryu Girl operates with a thin premise that’s already stretched beyond its capacity. The entire crux of this slice of life comedy is that Yukishiro cannot talk in any other way than through written Haiku. It’s a gag that feels best suited to a side character, yet Yukishiro is our heroine. Other jokes pepper the landscape, hoping to craft some variety. Examples include the ex-delinquent, Eiji, whom Yukishiro has a crush on, yet he’s too dense to notice, or inadvertently scares others because he lacks normal facial queues. These additional avenues of comedy are often dull or fall flat, failing to provide even the most minor of chuckle. Adding this to an already weak main character, makes the twelve-minute run time linger, and out live its welcome, rarely crafting truly worthwhile comedy.
Being a slice of life however means Senryu Girl is perhaps less about the comedy and more so about the relationships that Yukishiro has in her everyday life. There’s a soft romantic undercurrent running through the series, with the peppering of heart-warming interactions where a daft Eiji fails to realize just how Yukishiro feels about him. But outside of hopeless romantics this undercurrent feels worn and tired, encumbered by too many tired tropes to feel new and fresh. The best slice of life offer up unique characters, or give us casts who feel well-rounded and varied. Senryu Girl struggles to even make its primary cast spark in the same way stand outs like Flying Witch and Non Non Biyori do.
One example is how Yukishiro embodies the ‘perfect’ woman, at least by traditional Japanese standards. She’s meek, shy, kind, and not terribly bright. She’s a quiet woman who, quite literally, doesn’t voice herself. Yukishiro, outside of her unusual quirk of speaking only through written haiku, feels like all too familiar a character, lacking a strong appeal for more discerning audiences. The same can be said for her love interest, Eiji, who feels little different from the most typical of lovable delinquents that anime has no shortage of.
Ultimately Senryu Girl seems to hinge on your fondness for Haiku, or perhaps a general appreciation and understanding of the Japanese language. It feels like greater humor is hidden within the series Haiku, making up almost half of the dialogue and focus. Without appreciation for the, perhaps, clever writing, what’s left isn’t nearly enough to suck the viewer in. This is a series best left to hopeless romantics, slice of life aficionados, and those better familiar with the Japanese language itself.
Senryu Girl is available for streaming via HIDIVE