Girl Friend (Kari)
May 9, 2015
Hey. I heard there is this mobile game whereby players can date a 2D girlfriend. Much like a dating simulation but just that Girl Friend (Kari) features over 100 different girls you can date!!!!!! WOAAAAAHHHH!!!!!!! Is that just incredibly insane or what?! It is like saying there are enough waifus for everybody out there! Yeah. Waifus galore. Of course I have never played or even heard of the game till it was recently adapted into an anime series. Oh sh*t. If this is the future of otaku loner guys dating girls, what will be the future of Japan? What will be the future of mankind? Oh, who cares? With over a hundred girls to choose from, each with different personalities and traits, I’ll say that for those interested in this kind of genre or ‘dating’ (if you can call it so), you’re going to spend an awful time here checking out each girl. From going on dates, soliciting romance, increasing intimacy and the likes. Something like raising your Tamagotchi but alleviated to your 2D girlfriend status, no? For me, I’m just checking things out and see if maybe I could land a girlfriend or two. Or three. Or four… Hey… Is this anime about how to get a girlfriend? Well…
Kokomi Shiina is practising her rhythmic gymnastics since the tournament is coming up. Erena Mochizuki starts taking pictures of her and disrupts her practice because she finds her cute and adorable. Till Chloe Lemaire comes to point out it is a bad thing disrupting someone’s practice because it is like something sacred. Chloe then asks Kokomi some Japanese saying about girls Mimi and Mary stuck in the door and wall. Kokomi corrects her that it is actually walls have ears (mimi) and doors have eyes (me ari). After she leaves, Kokomi notices she dropped a photo. She tries to find her but bumps into her classmates instead. They know about Chloe as she is famous around here. I guess when you’re the only French exchange student living in the dorm, you really stand out in that sense. Along Kokomi’s journey to find her, she bumps into student council president, Kanata Amatsu who knows all about her since she is the school’s ace in rhythmic gymnast, the strict secretary, Mutsumi Shigino who wants Kanata to just get back to work instead of fooling around, Saya who is from the newspaper club interviewing her right on the spot, Erena once more who thinks Kokomi is having a fever because she is blushing too hard, Fumio Murakami the librarian committee who thinks she saw Chloe at the flower arrangement club, Haruko Yumesaki and Isuzu Shiranui of that said club but they point out Chloe was here awhile ago and may be somewhere else (here, then and everywhere) since she doesn’t stay put in a place very long. At the end of the day, Kokomi has been to all those places and still couldn’t find her. Her stomach growls once she realizes she hasn’t eaten lunch. While she is doing so, Chloe got attracted by it. Ironic, isn’t it? After having a taste of Kokomi’s lunch, Kokomi returns the photo to her. Chloe is so touched Kokomi had gone around looking for her to return it as soon as possible that she pecks her on the cheek. She would be very sad had she lost this precious photo of her mother and sister. They make a promise (Chloe dear, it is yubikiri and not hara-kiri) that if Kokomi has decided on a favour, she’ll gladly return it.
Since the tournament is coming up, Kokomi’s mom is cooking lots of food for her. Oh brother. Like any other weight conscious girl, she weighs herself and the results… Not desired! Everything she does seem to remind her about her weight. And she’s wearing a jersey not because she wants to prevent catching a cold. Akane Sakurai requests Kokomi to be the guest of her lunch hour interview since model Nao Miyoshi turned her down (she wanted to sleep) and referred her. There are lots of people watching her in the interview and as usual, Kokomi can’t help feel the questions are somewhat related to her weight or eating habits. So she is at the library trying to find books on ‘nutritional science’. That’s a nice way of saying dieting, right? Then here comes Chloe with her usual misinterpretation of the Japanese culture. When she learns Kokomi wants to diet, she can’t understand why since Japanese fried chicken are so good, etc. With Fumio explaining to Chloe about Japanese girls’ reason to diet, Kokomi’s friends hear about this. When they speak to her and she finally admits, it seems her entire groupie decides to help her diet. Everyone joins her in working out. After a hard day’s workout, Akane has misheard about their workout as helping Kokomi to train for her tournament. To reward them of this hard work, here are fresh melon breads! Holy cow! The carbohydrates… Can you resist the crispy golden glow of the tasty buns! Kokomi tries to psycho herself that she mustn’t eat it but eventually everybody gives in. So good that it makes you cry, huh? Something tells me those tears aren’t happiness… With the diet in failure, Nao talks to Kokomi and gives proper advice about her weight gain. Because when she’s working out, she builds more muscles and they are heavier than fats. Also, do not starve or skip meals but eat a well balanced diet. With that, Kokomi wants Nao to help with her dieting. Thanks to that, she easily passed the preliminaries. Word gets around that Nao is the diet guru so now all of Kokomi’s friends would like her to become their diet sensei. There goes her sleep time…
People notice Erena and Fumio’s personalities are like complete opposites. As Erena plans to enter a photo contest, she needs a model and thinks Fumio is the perfect girl. So she goes up to this expressionless girl and before she could get her permission, she starts snapping away, following wherever she goes. It’s like she has become her paparazzi? That night, Fumio resolves to refuse Erena. So at the library where Erena is being annoying with her camera, she got too close till Fumio accidentally hits it. No serious damage, though. Then she tells her straight she can’t be her model. She thought she might have said it too harsh to her and continues to worry. Similarly, Erena feels she has been rejected by her (her friends almost got the wrong idea). Maybe she’ll have to give up. However because Fumio was the one who inspired her to take pictures, she can’t just switch to another girl like that. As Erena and Fumio walk back, Fumio apologizes for hitting her camera when Erena says she plans on not participating in the contest. This weighs heavily on Fumio’s mind. She gets a surprise mail from Erena to go on a date. Erena earnestly apologizes for forcing her to be her model but she is here today with a favour to ask her permission to take a picture of her. But didn’t she not want to participate in the contest? Don’t get the wrong idea. There is no point submitting a photo she is not happy with. Fumio also explains it is not that she doesn’t want her picture taken or refuse to be her model, it is just that she isn’t good in smiling. But Erena shows a picture of her smiling beautifully (then one when she ordered the cake she loves) and she herself didn’t realize she looked like this when she smiles. Erena points out there are many things wonderful about herself she doesn’t know and she wants to take pictures of her being herself and not faking anything. Erena makes it in time for the contest and a natural and beautiful smile of Fumio earns her the top spot. Fumio now smiles more often and is grateful Erena made her as her model.
Akane and Isuzu find a box of kittens in the bush. They bring them to school to get people to adopt. Thankfully they have a girl each to take home with them: Nao, Hina Niigaki, Emi Sagara, Yukie Yatsuka and Kazuha Kumada. However their teacher reminds them about the responsibility of bringing home a life and if they have asked their parents first. When they do, bad news. Only Yukie got permission. For the rest, because of their poor grades, they have been given a condition to improve them before adopting. Realizing they can’t give up on the kittens so easily, they decide to study. Yukie is going to coach them after school but they are busy with their own activities and couldn’t make it. With time running out, pulling an all-nighter at somebody’s house is the only viable solution. But whose house is enough to accommodate everyone? Isuzu allows them to study at her home. After formally introducing each other, they learn Hina’s parents are away for flower arrangement practice so she is making dinner. Can’t let her do it herself, eh? Yeah. Everyone helps out. By the time they’re done eating and it’s already 9pm, they think of running to the store to get snacks since they’re going to pull an all-nighter. They just ate… Yukie allocates 5 minutes for them to shop all the necessities but they took 30 minutes! I don’t know about Kinoko Himejima because she is forcing Akane to buy a certain snack (all of it!) because it contains her first name. By the time they leave, it starts raining and they take shelter at a public bath. Ah… Nice warm bath… Don’t you feel there is a conspiracy to prevent them from studying and thus the kittens? When they reach home and are about the study, the electric goes out! Kinoko joins them and tells ghost stories. Some very afraid while others just laughing. When the light comes back on and Isuzu joins to help, Kinoko leaves. Hey, the fun part’s over, right? And of course they get serious in studying this time. In the end, their grades improve although they didn’t even make it to the average. However they are allowed to keep the kittens and it seems they already have names as Isuzu gave it to them when she found them.
Student council vice president, Risa Shinomiya hears a commotion. Seems the cafeteria is closed. The staffs who were on holiday are stuck in Easter Island due to bad weather. Although it is going to be suggested that students are to bring their own lunch, Kanata suggests for the student council body to run the cafeteria. Risa disagrees but with vice principal, Shizuko Todou agreeing as the food stocks will go to waste, looks like they’ll be in early for preparations and training from Todou herself who has a nutritionist licence. If the onion folly of everyone crying while cutting isn’t bad enough, we have clumsy Kanata who is cutting up everything and even thinks of trying to cut with her eyes closed! After that tough preparation, the best respite is Kanata’s tea, which is her only best skill. Only. The student council opens the cafeteria and we see some folly like Chloe mixing natto with everything and Miss Monochrome making her cameo by ordering batteries! Do they have that?! Yes they do. But no other folly is as great as Kanata messing things up and making more work for Risa. I don’t know how she piles up the curry dish into a huge serving and she even recommends a dish that is not on the menu for a student to order! Double tiring with Kanata around, eh? Word goes around that the student council is manning the cafeteria. Therefore this is a chance for others not to miss and taste their cooking. The next day there is a long line waiting outside. Risa is close to exploding as she knows she cannot handle all this. Gather all the volunteers to help! And so a bunch of girls volunteer to cook, wait and even do the heavy stuffs to lighten the load. Just when it seems things are going well, there is bad news that the school store messed up on the yakisoba bread. No bread means those students will be coming to the cafeteria to get their lunch. Kanata has another bright idea. Why not we make the yakisoba bread? Oh no… Risa vehemently refuses but with Kanata begging with those puppy dog eyes, can she resist the temptation? Of course not. She gives in. Let’s do it. And so more work for Risa as she tells Kanata to stay out. Don’t do anything! Suddenly Risa realizes she messes up an order. That is when she snaps. She breaks down and screams for somebody to help her! Kanata at your service… She calms down after drinking her good tea. Kanata is impressed Risa can run a cafeteria. Although Kanata was the one who suggested it, she merely said it as Risa is the one who did it all. Besides, everyone is happy. Now charged up, Risa gets back to work. In the end, it is a tiring but fulfilling day. They receive word the cafeteria staffs are coming back but since their plane is going round the world, they won’t be back in a day or two. This means they have to run the cafeteria… Risa is in dire need to check her stress levels after this…
Momoko Asahina and Yuzuko Hazuki are rushing to buy sweet potatoes. But by the time they queue and it’s their turn, just sold out! Nagiko Kurokawa looks for Momoko to remind her to submit the light music club’s log book. Momoko feels bad for forgetting it. Then she overhears Nagiko talking to Kokomi and Haruka Kazemichi and misinterprets that some juniors are rude and unreliable. She falls into depression so Yuzuko tries to cheer her up. Meanwhile Akari Amari from the occult club shows Nozomi Miyauchi an enigmatic phrase of ‘forging lost connections’ in one of her club’s old yearbook. Then when she hears Yuzuko telling Momoko about showing appreciation and respect, she believes this is what that phrase means. It is believed by following what it does, they can reconcile and fix their relationship with the seniors. They are joined by Ichigo Hinata and Nae Yuuki. Everyone but Yuzuko is all for this crazy attempt. I guess this means she has to be dragged into it. First they head to the library to find any old graduation albums about the cafeteria (because part of the phrase says it will lead them there). Although there is a book on it but there is a page missing and Fumio thinks if they can find the previous page, they’ll decode it. They can find old books in the old storeroom. After that slight folly of Akari scaring Nozomi, they find the book and the key to forge lost connections is ‘clad in red clothes, standing in the golden field’. They deduce it could be seniors (their uniforms are red) standing in a yellow flower garden like tulip or sunflowers. But when they head to the garden, it is barren. It isn’t season for those flowers yet. As they go back empty handed, Momoko sees the sweet potato poster. It immediately occurred to her what the riddle is. Sweet potatoes have red-like colour skin and their leaves are yellow. Momoko brings Nagiko to join the rest of the girls in a sweet potato feast (at least she doesn’t have to wait in line at the store now). Momoko and Nagiko make amends but as the latter corrects, Nagiko shortly refuted Haruka’s words about the juniors’ attitude. She believes that they need not be too formal with each other or else there will be walls built between them and thus why everyone in the club is close to each other.
Mahiro Natsume is writing a novel and this particular story she has been trying to finish since elementary school. Don’t laugh. Despite the oddball group of an alien, cyborg, ammonite, castle, Shiba dog, sea monkey and bok choy saving the world in this space opera action adventure. You mean it’s not a comedy?! Anyway Mahiro is having a writer’s block so she lets Fumio take a look at it. Impressed with her good work, Fumio borrows her work and shows it to Chloe. She too is impressed and takes them to show it to her other friends (always the same emotions of impressed, laughing and crying in that order). Now they too are interested in how the series will end. Noting Mahiro’s problem, they think it is because she doesn’t set a deadline unlike in manga, the reason she can never finish. They try to set one for her but it seems even till next year she might not be able to finish. And they really want to read it badly. It is suggested that she make weekly releases as it would be easier to do it in small bits. Yeah. This is manageable. And so all of them stare at her as she types. Impressed when she is making progress but sigh when she hits the delete and backspace key. Pressure. Isn’t this a reason why she can’t finish? One day she isn’t in the library typing her usual. They think she has runaway. Seems she is talking to her friend, Tsugumi Harumiya when they find her. Mahiro continues to be in a deadlock as she doesn’t have any good ideas. That is when the rest get ideas to seek help from others. Although Mahiro has lots of reference (is she really going to go through all that stack?), the number of admirers of her novel also increased. More pressure? Since she doesn’t want to disappoint them, she goes into full gear writing the stories. So much so, she has been writing and doesn’t realize it is time to go back. Had so much fun? The ideas can’t stop flowing, eh? Finally she finishes it and it brings a myriad of emotions to those girls. But Mahiro is also crying. She feels sad that the story has ended. She realizes the reason why she couldn’t finish it was because she didn’t want to leave the story and wanted to continue playing in their world. Sad end? But she is happy and thankful to everyone that she manages to bring a closure to his chapter. However the next day she hands them another set of story to read. It seems there is a continuation! Hooray! Mahiro decides she wants to hang out in their world a little longer. Oh yeah. Now I understand why the Naruto manga can never end…
Akane interviews Kokomi and wishes her the best since her rhythmic gymnast for the Nationals is in a fortnight. As she practises, her instructor suggests doing a difficult combo. But Kokomi is not confident as her success rate is only 80%. Her instructor encourages her to think about it since it is natural everyone is afraid of making mistakes. Later Kokomi is thinking about this and bumps into her senpai Nonoka Sasahara. She knows about her tournament and plans to go cheer for her. Kokomi thinks of playing it safe and not do those risky moves. What convinces her even more so is that this strange dream of hers whereby her friends are the judge. Kokomi messes up her routine and they give the thumbs down. She spaces out a lot and even during in practice, Erena feels her emotions are stiff. Then she sees a poster of help wanted at a cafe where Nonoka works. Kokomi thinks of trying out to help get her mind off this dilemma. Other friends recruited are Michiru Tomura and Marika Saeki. Ironically the most uncoordinated and clumsy one is Nonoka as she cannot make a decent cream soda and just messes up. But why does she keep trying to do stuffs she can’t do? Because it is cool and you’ll never know till you try. That ring a bell to you, Kokomi? One time Kokomi messes up and she is very sorry about it although it isn’t very serious. Nonoka calms her down with the coffee she makes. It’s good because she practises a lot. And with lots of words of motivation, let’s hope Kokomi can use them. Kokomi perseveres and even watches recordings of her own practice. Mom is worried and reminds her that they want her to have fun instead of scoring high. One day Kokomi goes to the cafe early and catches Nonoka in the act of making cream soda. All failures except one. She explains she decided to make cream soda because of her. Just like how she commended her coffee, she knew she will get nowhere if she gives up before she starts. She is impressed that Kokomi gets he difficult move 80% right unlike her who is starting from scratch. She only has 20% to go, right? They drink to a toast for Kokomi to get out of her slump but Kokomi drinks the wrong cream soda. On the day of the tournament, her friends and family turn out in full force to support Kokomi who is looking ever confident.
Clubs are taking turns at the lottery to determine the time slot to use the auditorium for the cultural festival. The light music club’s turn is near the end and their choice is either the first performance in the morning or the last one in the evening. Haruka is made to pick the lottery and as luck would have it, they are the last performance. They delegate their duties for the performance and it seems Haruka is to come up with the lyrics as she is the vocalist. She has a hard time and even harder that she is called by the student council to hand in their programme by the end of this week or they cannot let the band go onstage. With more pressure to write the lyrics and can’t think of one, she tells her bandmates that she would like a song that everyone can get into and enjoy singing. Well, with Haruka liking a lot of things, how can she fit all that into the song that Nagiko will be writing? So to chill out and relax, they go help other clubs in their whatever preparations and probably to get some ideas too. At the end of the day, Haruka feels that it would be nice if it wouldn’t start yet. What she meant was, everyone is so motivated and having fun, it will be a shame if it all ends. They suggest she should sing about this. After Haruka hands in their programme and the festival gets underway, they are hit with a snag as their outfits aren’t complete yet. Reality check has it they only have 2 hours before their performance. But Kurumi isn’t giving up yet and seeks the help of Koruri Tokidani who is from the sewing club. Can she finish it in time? Bring it on! And right on the dot the costume is finished as the girls head out to play a performance that brings the house down.
Akane has been selected by the student council to host the school’s beauty pageant. With her assistant, Tomo Oshii, they go around interviewing the candidates. After the voting is over, Risa comes in with news that Akane has to stand down as host because she has been selected as one of the finalists. She suggests Tomo to host but she isn’t confident of hosting such a big event. If that is the case, Akane thinks of declining her win then. Tomo feels bad for thinking about herself and will give this a shot. She her first practice broadcast, she screws up and bloopers so much on her first go that it sounded like a terrorist attack. Really! As Akane helps practice with her at the rooftop, Kinoko and the rest of the girls who are not in any particular club (Miss Monochrome is part of this ‘group’ too?) come to help and give their support. Tomo is still having troubles and the contest is tomorrow. Though, she isn’t going to throw in the towel yet. Next day, all the finalists (why do I get a feeling it is all those usual girls?) gather in the dressing room before the start as they mix around. Erena becomes a paparazzi monster since there are too many cute girls here. But she is a finalist too, right? Suddenly there is a problem. Tomo is nowhere to be found. Has she got cold feet? Akane believes she isn’t that kind of girl and might have an idea where she is. She is still practising on the rooftop and seems much better. As the event starts, Tomo nearly makes a blooper. But she sees all the stuffs from the no club girls on the rostrum and this gives her the confidence. Besides, even if she screws up a little, those no club girls help out by putting up signs to the crowd when to applaud or laugh. You can say Tomo is natural in hosting even if there are little mistakes. Thanks to that, the event is a great success and a memorable one. Akane wants to crowd to give Tomo another round of applause for doing a great job. Oh, it looks like Fumio won the overall crown.
Exams are over and winter is coming (yes it is). However Chloe is sad. She won’t tell and it is bugging her friends a lot. They hope Akane’s interview would help her reveal what’s eating her but she still won’t. Kokomi then has finally decided with the favour Chloe promised her: Please tell what is on her mind. Still won’t? After being bluffed about ogres eating her tongue, she reveals that her family wants her back in France. This means she won’t be coming back here anymore. Shock! Horror! So everyone has an emergency meeting to discuss how they can convince her parents to let her stay. First they make a video of all the great facilities the school has. The quintet who adopted the kittens seek Fumio’s help how to write a letter in French. Armed with these ‘arsenal’, Chloe is happy and is confident she can persuade her parents. But… Still gloomy… Oh no. This could mean one thing. It failed. She’s still going back. Kokomi talks to her parents about it and they tell her as parents, they too are worried if their child is living overseas alone. They believe their family has some circumstances and Chloe is the one who doesn’t want to leave the most. Instead of forcing her to stay, maybe they should see her off with a smile. And thus everybody decides to throw a party for her. I mean, with the internet age, it is not hard for them to keep in touch, right? On the night before her departure, Chloe checks out the settings of the party at Nonoka’s cafe. Suddenly papa calls her and that he is coming now! Oh dear. Does he really want to take Chloe back that bad? So when papa really shows up, it is ironic that father and daughter are in hugging and loving mode. Hey. I thought she’s going to be sad because seeing him means going back? Papa thanks them for being good friends but I guess they’re desperate enough to ask straight about taking Chloe back so suddenly. But Papa is adamant Chloe has to come home because Japan is not safe. From what he says as heard from Chloe, Japan ‘hits you’, ‘sells weapons on New Year’s day’ and ‘eating food that chokes you’. Quickly our girls realize it is Chloe’s misinterpretation of the Japanese culture during New Year. (Hit you = hit the bell, weapons = decorations actually, choking food = mochi). Once everyone explains, papa is enlightened that there is no danger. Because Chloe hasn’t fully grasped the Japanese culture yet, looks like she has to stay and study more. That’s right. She’s not leaving. Hooray! And so tomorrow’s party will be turned into a big celebration. To top the night, it starts snowing.
Kokomi, Akane and Fumio take a look at the developed photos of Erena of Chloe’s party. Because the Christmas mood is gone and everyone is now looking forward to New Year unlike in Europe, our friends take the liberty to show our foreigner exchange students like Chloe and Yulia Valkova more about their local New Year’s culture. Kokomi invites them to her home. So this is a great learning opportunity for them to learn about the things they do, play and eat on New Year’s Day. Get your notepads ready and jot them all down especially you Chloe. Can’t afford to have you misunderstand the culture and give everyone a sudden farewell heart attack. Also, we see glimpses of other characters, some familiar faces and some that you may have not seen before, chatting and doing whatever stuffs they do. The best one of them all is Miss Monochrome. She malfunctions when she tries out the mochi! How can a robot choke? I mean, she doesn’t even breathe, right? But after restarting, she’s alright. Also, Nonoka’s friends are at the cafe. They realize the owner is out for a meeting so guess who is making the meals? Oh sh*t… Thankfully he comes back in time. Phew. Kokomi and co go over to Isuzu’s house to try on kimonos. That night they patron the stalls at the shrine and take their fortunes as they wait for the countdown to the New Year. Kokomi’s wish is to spend her next New Year with Chloe.
Error 404 – Girlfriend Not Found!
Hey wait a minute. So which part does it tells us on how to get a girlfriend? I didn’t get any tips on how to land one! Say what? That was just a big misunderstanding on my part???!!! EEEEEEHHHH???!!!!! And true enough I was fooled once more by jumping into conclusions after reading that simple and single synopsis line. I am not sure if this anime is intended to promote the game since this adapted anime overall feels like it falls under the cute girls doing cute things trope. Even more so, the episodes feel like standalones and with no real plot or direction, there is hardly anything exciting at the pace they are going. Therefore some of you who aren’t into this moe kind of stuffs might find this a bore and a turn off despite the various girls present. It’s not the quantity anymore. So many girls but yet I couldn’t make up my mind on landing which one (if there was such an option). Most probably because none was uniquely a maid. Ah, now I see why this show isn’t good as I hoped it would be.
After all it was my fault for jumping to conclusions after reading that very vague one liner of the synopsis that this was how to get a girlfriend or date one. This series is just your typical cute girls doing cute things with no real plot whatsoever. If you’re tired of watching this kind of genre seasons in and seasons out, this series is no different and could be a big bore. Therefore when they seemingly put the ‘dreadful’ incident that Chloe might be going away for good just to shake things up, well, personally I didn’t feel alarmed like the girls because deep down in my guts (and experience) tells me that fate will somehow readjust itself and turn it into a good ending.
And to note that some sites listed this series under the romance genre… Where the heck is the romance???!!! Unless the definition of romance is seeing the cute girls doing cute things and whatever activities they deem to have. I suppose there is that sort of romance in that. Because the yuri part also feels very minimal. Besides, this isn’t an all-girls’ school as there are mix of other boys although sadly a big majority of them are reduced to just minor backgrounds characters with no speech. Heck, I don’t think you would even notice them or something. And you thought with so many girls, will there be fanservice? Nope. Nada. Never. None. Such a cute and clean show that perhaps a 5 year old could even watch. Really.
With over 100 girls featured in the game, I figure it will be very tough for the anime to give each one a proper screen time and thus flesh them out. Unfortunately, it is indeed very hard and sometimes it feels like those characters which are not popular get only a fraction of the appearance. Heck, I don’t think all 100 girls are featured in this anime. I have not made any head count but again my guts tell me so. That is because the opening of the first episode already sees Kokomi bumping into a few characters. And there I was like going, “Hey, are they serious in introducing that much characters at the start of the debut episode?”. How the heck am I going to remember them all? Even more so in the final episode, it is like they’re trying to squeeze in all the characters they can that I don’t remember if some of them already made their cameo or if this is their first time. More on this later. So those who are ‘lucky’ enough will get featured for an episode whether it is via group (like the studying-for-kitten-adopting episode because it saves time and gives more appearances to more girls) or via individually like Mahiro (but technically this also can be considered as a group as other girls help her out although Mahiro seemingly takes centre stage).
Therefore I surmised that Kokomi must be the most popular girl in the series (although I can be totally wrong) since from my observations, she made the ‘most’ appearance. Funnily enough, Kokomi’s physical appearance is the most generic looking of them all. I mean, with over 100 girls and the need to have something unique of them, Kokomi just feels the plainest of them all. Shoulder length brown hair with no other hair accessories to distinguish her. I also guessed that a handful of characters like Erena, Chloe, Akane and Fumio are popular enough to warrant more cameo appearances compared to others like… Uhm… What were their names again?
And thus characterization feels weak because as I have said, with so many girls but so little episodes, there isn’t any justice done to flesh them out and it would be even less justice if your favourite girl isn’t featured prominently here. You can basically guess the personalities of the characters after a few seconds of seeing them interact. Some are quirky enough to be memorable like Erena who loves cute girls so much and with a camera always in hand ready to snap (and she always can’t resist the temptation), it is like she is a future paparazzi in the making? Then there is Chloe who messes up her Japanese lines and thus misinterpreting the culture and needs to be corrected. Although it is odd just to hear her mix in a few simple French words like oui, non, merci and occasionally tres bien. What about Kinoko who is always bugging others to eat the snack that bears her first name. At first I thought Miss Monochrome was only going to make a cameo appearance as a special guest but it seems from her several cameos, she is part of the 100 girls database.
Touching on the subject of drawing and art, they seem pretty decent and typical with the girls looking cute. That is all that matters, right? With so many girls, as always they try to give some variations to the design like different hairstyle, hair colour and hair accessories. Some even in different club uniforms just to add to this and their personality. However there are some cases where I have a hard time differentiating them such as Chloe and Erena. At times and at certain angles they look very close and I can’t tell the difference. Very close resemblance too between Nagiko and Isuzu. There are some too close that I thought they were twins like in the case of Nozomi and Yuzuko. Yeah. Both have short blue hair… Can’t tell them apart… The most amusing character design goes to Hina because half her hair is dyed in purple and the other half in pink! I know she’s a hair stylist wannabe but it gives this impression that she has bipolar disorder or split character (in which she doesn’t). Aside the student girls, some of the teachers have this young and cute look so much so you might mistake them to be their fellow students (Kyouko Tachibana in particular). But some like Todou got this mature look (but not old enough to be labelled an aunty – even so, don’t say it or you’ll be damned) so at least in this context she is distinguishable.
As the plot and storyline isn’t interesting (oh come on, after seeing cute girls doing cute things hundreds of times, it is starting to get a little weary), the more interesting part is spotting seiyuus voicing the character. So whenever a familiar voice is heard, I would go, “Aha! It’s her! That voice actress!”. I do this all the time even for Kokomi’s case. Okay, maybe towards the I end I do not scream as much with delight when like in the first few episodes that Satomi Satou is the voice of Kokomi. Yes. With so many girls even those with just one line dialogues, there is bound to be some seiyuus that I am familiar with. And there are delightfully quite a handful of them. Those I have ‘spotted’ include Rina Satou as Akane, Haruka Tomatsu as Nonoka, Saori Hayami as Haruka, Youko Hikasa as Risa, Kikuko Inoue as Kanata, Minori Chihara as Mahiro, Nao Touyama as Emi, Aoi Yuuki as Isuzu, Ayana Taketatsu as Ayana, Kana Asumi as Michiru and Yukari Tamura as Koruri. Of course, not forgetting Yui Horie as the one behind Miss Monochrome.
Subsequently I found that there are other popular seiyuus too but due to the limited or one or two time appearance of the characters, there wasn’t enough time for me to remember. In other words, the funny part is that instead of remembering that character’s name, I am more inclined to remember the seiyuu who voiced her. Like that what’s-her-name character who is no doubt the voice of Aki Toyosaki. Or Eri Kitamura. Or Rie Kugimiya. Or Ryouko Shintani. Or Ryouko Shiraishi. Hey, even Chiaki Omigawa is here (the one who voiced Maka in Soul Eater). The rest include (though some I didn’t really spot but supposedly ‘popular enough’ seiyuus – at least in my books) Kaori Nazuka, Yui Ogura, Ami Koshimizu, Mai Nakahara, Ayahi Takagaki, Kanae Itou, Hisako Kanemoto, Emiri Katou, Saki Fujita, Kaori Mizuhashi, Mikako Takahashi, Rina Hidaka, Ryou Hirohashi, Houko Kuwashima, Minako Kotobuki, Saori Gotou, Maaya Uchida, Ai Kayano and Aya Endou. I know this list is incomplete but did I miss anybody out that I’m not supposed to? And when they reached the final episode, with so many girls making their cameo, some I don’t even remember if I have remembered seeing them before, I just gave up. I got tired of thinking and pointing out. I just wanted it to end.
There are a couple of misses too. At first I thought the voice behind Erena was Yuko Gotou. But something tells me it wasn’t really her although it sounded very close. As it turns out, Hitomi Harada (Yaya in Unbreakable Machine Doll) could also have that muffled dreamy voice like her. Similarly, I thought Rie Tanaka was behind Chloe’s voice. As usual, something was a little off. It wasn’t her but sounded like her. So I thought. Turns out to be Sakura Tange (titular character in Cardcaptor Sakura). Personally, Chloe’s voice felt like a Japanese trying to sound like a foreigner instead of the other way round and thus the very funny kind of sound when she speaks. Like as though a Japanese pretending to be a foreigner but fails. At least her papa who is voiced by Kenji Hamada (Jouji in Paradise Kiss, Takumi in Honey And Clover) sounds more convincing as a French father. And of course his Japanese when he speaks sounds flawless…
Wow. I didn’t know I dedicated 3 damn paragraphs (not including this one) just for the seiyuu department alone. This shows the sheer amount of seiyuus involved in this (and I am sure they too voice the same characters in the mobile game). But after that is said and done, there is one big disappointment in this section: THERE IS NO MAMIKO NOTO!!!!!!!!!!!!! No wonder at the end of the series, it feels like a big bummer and something ‘great’ was missing. Has she really fallen off the radar? I hope not… I HOPE NOT!!! Anyway just to name a few (that I know of in my books of course), a handful of veteran seiyuus too aren’t here such as Kana Hanazawa, Nana Mizuki, Yu Kobayashi, Ayako Kawasumi, Ai Shimizu, Yuka Iguchi, Miyuki Sawashiro, Marina Inoue, Rie Tanaka and yes Megumi Hayashibara. Yes, I still consider her because if Kikuko Inoue can be here, then why not her? Oh, right. Kikuko Inoue will always be 17 years old :). And if you’ve noticed, this anime is predominantly female so I don’t bother with the likes of the male seiyuu counterparts like Jun Fukuyama, Norio Wakamoto, Yuuki Kaji, Yuuichi Nakamura, Takehito Koyasu, Tomokazu Seki, Tomokazu Sugita, Mamoru Miyano, Junichi Suwabe, Shinichiro Miki, Akira Ishida, Hiroshi Kamiya and Hiro Shimono, all by which do not appear here. OMG. I just realized that this blog of mine contains the most mentioned names of anime seiyuus… OMG indeed…
I have this weird feeling hearing both the opening and ending themes. Tanoshiki Tokimeki is the opener sung by Neuron Creamsoft, which is the in-anime’s light music club and its members. But hearing Saori Hayami as the lead vocalist in this rock song feels just odd. I mean, nothing wrong but something feels like a mismatch with her voice. Plus, hearing this song doesn’t bring back memories of the rock songs in K-ON! (I have a feeling Nagiko is modelled after Mio because both similarly have long black hair, write the songs and play the bass) but funnily Asobotto Senki Goku’s second ending theme, Kasumi Yuku Sora Se Ni Shite. It must be the hard rock electric guitar which has this similar vibe. The tune of Hareru Kanaa as the ending theme isn’t bad. Just that hearing Satomi Satou singing this pop ballad sounds funny. I mean, it is like she is trying to sound overly cute (is she even singing at certain parts?) but it just doesn’t quite match and thus in a way making the song feel funny. Not forgetting the special ending theme for that cultural festival episode, Shinka-kei Girl. Another rock outfit helmed by Neuron Creamsoft and Saori Hayami leading on the vocals. Uhm… Sounds funnily odd too?
Overall, if you just really love the genre of cute girls doing cute things with nothing much ado, then this anime fits you. Otherwise if you’re like me, hoping to land a (2D) girlfriend but only leaving disappointed because all you can do is watch and see them but never getting your hands on them, then it would be bad for your loner otaku status. Okay, just kidding. Not. If you want to get a piece of the action with the girls, then just play the game. I feel the anime is just for desserts or snacking. Hope I didn’t put it the wrong way. Even thinking of having a harem of 100 over girls would be too much. It’s like ruling a mini kingdom of pretty girls. Can’t handle it all. Harem overkill. Catfight overkill. Attention-divided-till-you-have-to-clone-yourself overkill. Die of moe overdose over a hundred times? Moe overkill. Then it wouldn’t be Girlfriend Beta, but Girlfriend Omega… And then all alone…