Wasteful Days of High School Girls – Anime Review
Synopsis: They say youth is wasted on the young, and that’s especially true for Tanaka, Sakuchi and Saginomiya, whose shenanigans are the stuff of legend. They’re young, they’re ridiculous and they’re ready to waste away their days as high school girls! (Official HIDIVE Synopsis)
Review (Warning: Minor Spoilers to Follow):
Tom: Wasteful Days of High School Girls hardly has a premise at all. It’s short on set up, barely offering the idea that Akane, Shiori and Nozomu were once friends, split apart and now back together as they enter their high school years. What follows is an outrageous comedy that spans beyond this trio, offering a plethora of odd, bizarre and hilarious characters. Nozomu herself, or Baka as she comes to be known, sets the stage for this comedy, choosing to give on point nicknames to each of these manic/off-tilt girls that encapsulate what they’re all about. The sheer comedy that ensues over these twelve episodes sets Wasteful Days as a “must not miss” title of the Summer and the only Summer offering truly in the running to claim top spot, as Anime of the Year, for 2019.
Linny: Wasteful Days does an impressive job of delivering solid comedy throughout its whole run and while its gags may not always be super outrageous, every episode always delivers a couple of solid jokes at the very least. Despite its staggeringly large cast, Wasteful Days manages to make each of them memorable by letting each one have a stand out shtick and enough story lines or episodes focused on them to leave a mark on the viewers. These girls all interact in mixed groups or one on one, showing off the chemistry between them and making them feel like rounded out characters and classmates.
Tom: Wasteful Days keeps itself fresh by flicking about between each of the girls episode to episode. Typically it does so by making one of the girls the ‘pseudo main character’ each week, following them through whatever idiotic adventure they’ve gotten themselves into, while throwing a few of the other girls in for good measure. One example is Momoi Saku, or Loli, the shortest girl in the class and last to develop physically. Not only does she not physically match her age, but mentally the girl seems stunted too. Loli’s episode depicts her as desperate to appear her age, yet failing horrendously at every turn thanks to her youthful misconceptions and poorly thought out schemes. Or there’s Yamamoto Minami, the show’s requisite Chuunibyou, who often ends up only causing herself trouble when she needs to be rescued from her Chuunibyou shenanigans, like when she gets herself stuck up a tree or all her ‘battle-worn’ bandages end up causing her a terrible rash. Every character gets just the right amount of screen time and Baka herself holds the whole thing together, with her insane, sometimes random, ideas and her manic personality acting as the glue to each episode, often only making whatever efforts the week’s focal character is up to turn out even worse.
Linny: If I had to pick a bone with the show, it would be over its handling of a lesbian character, Lily whose whole deal is that she is literally allergic to men and very attracted to girls, often having to resort to physical punishments like pinching herself hard to stop herself from kissing a classmate. Now to be fair, Wasteful Days does mock every one of its cast members but because of how marginalized and mistreated non binary oriented characters can be in mainstream entertainment, Lily’s closeted orientation and the insinuation that it makes her want to engage in ‘unwanted’ behaviour might make it feel like the story/show has a negative opinion about people of that orientation. As comedies go, it’s definitely not the worst example of a LGBT character, but because thresholds differ from person to person, I thought this was a factor worth mentioning as a heads up to anyone who might find this a major turn off.
Tom: Lily is definitely the most problematic aspect to the entire show. Her entire concept is rooted in a typically nasty portrayal of LGBT characters, where their sex drive often sees them violating someone’s physical space just because they’re that thirsty. There’s some explanation for it in the Wasteful Days manga (of which the anime is adapted from) but again Lily’s origins continue to play into outdated, stereotypical, offensive LGBT concepts that are likely to offend anyone looking for more positive and honest portrayals of Non-Straight characters. It’s an unfortunate black mark on the show, especially when the only other disappointments are some weak art in later episodes and a final episode that gives all the girls one last bit of screen time, in an effort to provide some sense of closer, but ends up feeling a little like a “Best Gags” compilation than anything truly new. Thankfully Lily is mostly relegated to just two episodes, her introduction in Episode 5, and Episode 9, which is more centered on Loli than anyone else. But those are the two episodes to avoid if Lily’s character sounds like a near deal breaker to you.
Linny: Most of Wasteful Days is a non stop parade of gags, over the top personalities, and situations which gives the show a silly and playful vibe that screams at the audience to not take any of this seriously. This show’s main and only intention is to tickle your funny bone but I would also like to give it props for actually pulling off a short but thoughtful and encouraging plot line about the pursuit of creative passions and careers in Episode 11. It could have easily ended the story on a cruel and humiliating note for the sake of comedy but instead it offers a message of hope for anyone who feels overwhelmed by the challenges of seeking a creative profession. If you’re a comedy lover or just looking for a goofy, chuckle inducing show, you HAVE to give Wasteful Days of High School Girls a try and be prepared for a bizarre bunch of girls and their hilarious everyday lives.
Tom: Despite Lily, some lukewarm art, and a final episode that doesn’t quite nail it (It’s by no means bad either), Wasteful Days is one of anime’s best comedies for this year. When it’s in top form its gags are absolutely hilarious and outside of its poor treatment of Lily as a character, it’s a joy to watch week to week. It’s so good the show sits as one of my top contenders for Anime of the Year and I think it’s well worth a look in for anyone eager for truly off the wall, oh so good anime comedy.
Wasteful Days of High School Girls is available for streaming via HIDIVE.