Wave, Listen to Me! – Mid Season Review
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Synopsis: On a drunken night out to complain about an ex, Minare Koda absentmindedly shares too much information with a stranger from the radio station. The next morning, she’s shocked to hear her voice on the radio. Bursting into the station with intentions to justify her previous night’s rant quickly turns into an interview on-air and the offer to share her chaotic life with an unsuspecting audience! (Official Funimation Synopsis)
Mid Season (6 Episodes) Review (Warning: Minor Spoilers to Follow):
Tom: Wave, Listen to me! initially presents itself as the story of Minare Koda and her journey in the world of radio. The truth, however, is that Wave is so much more centered on the happenstance and drama in Minare Koda’s life. While that includes her gradual shift from waitress to small time radio star, love, happenstance, and other interpersonal drama/comedy frequently guide the story in other directions, making it a much more character driven narrative where the main plot takes a backseat in favor of whatever clever idea or relationship pops up in surprise. It’s actually this more random, whatever life throws at you, content that really keeps Wave, Listen to me! interesting. When the show does get back to, what might be considered, the main plot that’s when things frequently get weird. We go from a predominantly funny, quit witted and snappy comedy/romance/drama into something much more experimental. It’s where Wave, Listen to Me! really manages to emulates the kind of low budget, hit or miss radio entertainment it’s going for. But at the same time that makes it exactly the kind of hit or miss, bizarre content that’s bound to be a bit more uneven for audiences and not entirely where the series’ strengths actually lie.
Linny: Wave is indeed a most peculiar show, jumping between all kinds of topics and tones constantly, despite the initial aura of mainly being about Minare getting into her radio jockey job. However, that part of the story is actually a really slow build and it takes several episodes for Minare to even actually be able to do her first proper gig, almost halfway through the show. And it’s not just the late development but how the show chooses to focus on several other people and events around Minare that makes this show feel like such an odd mix. For example, while the show already has had all sorts of crazy incidents like Minare getting fired, getting evicted, her boss getting involved in an accident and being bedridden,etc, things escalate around episode 5 where we see an intense attempted murder get called off thanks to Minare’s first broadcast as a radio jockey scaring the murderer who then seems to promptly get hit by a car as they try to escape. Then in episode 6, Minare and a coworker are sent to go investigate an alleged haunting that ends with what seems like actual blood seeping through the ceilings and dripping onto them. So if you were expecting a straight up radio heavy/based story, you will most likely find yourself completely thrown off by this wild ride. But on the other hand, this eclectic mix and fast pace is perfect for sucking in viewers and offering a rather unique experience and story in its medium. It’s bound to leave most audiences on the edge of their seat, eager to find out what’s next as it sometimes strays straight into unpredictable territory.
Tom: What really makes Wave, Listen to me! work is the main character herself, Minare Koda. She’s the kind of quick witted, trash talking, high strung, caught up in herself woman that makes for a fascinating lead, although probably the kind of person you’d want to avoid in real life. It’s often her reactions to the drama that finds her, the quirky characters that stumble into her life, and her own deep seated issues she’s kind of self-aware about that keep Wave, Listen to me! from feeling at all dry, even during the more radio knowledge drop segments, because she’s there to keep the personality going. It’s make or break with her, either you love her bombastic character or she kills it for you outright.
Linny: There’s no denying that Minare is a dynamic lead; one that is crude like no other anime heroine I’ve seen. She speaks her mind with flourish, spews out declarations of love for the people she likes and has plenty of attitude, immediately leaving quite an impression. And while that’s very interesting and often fun, she does on occasion steer straight into uncomfortable territory; namely when she spits out a homophobic line stating her boss’ homosexuality as a reason to not apologize to him for her own mistakes. At that point, her crudeness becomes much harder, if not impossible to encourage or enjoy. In fact, it feels like there’s a general vein of homophobia running through the show itself, such as portraying the one gay character in the show with heavy negative stereotypes aka getting handsy with male clientele/staff during photographs and completely forgiving the driver who injured him grievously simply because said driver is allegedly good looking. These moments are brief so there’s definitely a chance that it will get overlooked by some, especially since Wave is an otherwise fun and fast paced show that’s constantly throwing out all sorts of surprise developments. But it feels pertinent to bring up for those that might find it a deal breaker all the same.
Tom: Despite the periodic homophobic line or event here or there, Wave, Listen to me! is otherwise a fun, more adult anime offering this season. Minare Koda, if you can look past the issues mentioned above, is a fun lead who carries the show on her personality alone. If you’re hoping for an introduction to radio, as edu-anime are so common these days, understand this isn’t really that. Instead it’s a fast-talking comedy, character piece with constant swerves to keep audiences alight with unexpected content.
Linny: Wave, Listen to me! is definitely a one of a kind. Not only does it have radio as a catalyst plot piece, something uncommon in and of itself, but its cast are all rather unusual in personality and even in design. It’s fast paced and rarely stops to take a breath, hitting the audience with all manners of events, dialogue and developments non stop. Most of its cast manage to leave an impression, from Chuuya Nakahara, Minare’s co-worker and jilted admirer who has high dreams of taking over the restaurant and can’t seem to say no to her; to their new co-worker, Makie Tachibana who reveals a rather tragic and shocking backstory. Even Mizuho Nanba, the seemingly shy and pure young intern at the radio station turns out to be into ghosts and a bit of a character in her own right highlighting just how much punch Wave puts into every aspect of its story. If you like high energy shows that take real life setting and elements then dial it up several octaves, you may just find yourself enamored by Wave, Listen to me!
Wave, Listen to Me! is available for streaming via Funimation.com