Wagamama High Spec
September 2, 2016
The story might sound cliché an unoriginal. But I thought a guy who likes this sort of genre should check it out for the umpteenth time. Wagamama High Spec has its main protagonist who draws a risqué manga for a weekly magazine. This secret is only known to his sister and her best friend. But when the student council president discovers this, he is forced to join the body to keep his secret intact although a member opposes his joining. And so he becomes their lap dog to do their whims and wishes just to hide this dark little secret. That’s where all the troubles pile up. Don’t laugh. You don’t know how some guys go the great lengths to hide their porn.
The air-cond is broken. The student council girls are not motivated to finish their work although they have a pile of them. Till Ashe R. Sakuragi suggests they strip since they are all girls. Kaoruko Rokuonji and Mihiro Miyase agree and straightaway give us the much needed fanservice. Toa Narumi tries to sneak away but the rest won’t allow her and start stripping her clothes. Rape scene? As she starts throwing stuffs at them, it hits the air-cond and is now working away. However it starts blowing hot air. They are in a dilemma to run out in their undies and be labelled a pervert for the rest of their lives. How do you unplug an air-cond anyway?
Mihiro wants her friends to come up with ideas for her family restaurant’s menu and the winner gets a platinum ticket for all you can eat for 1 year! That sure motivated them. However Toa comes up with snacks (the restaurant serves western food) and Ashe creates a very large donburi serving that will be hard to finish. Kaoruko creates bitter melon curry but it is too spicy even for Mihiro’s standards to handle. Ironically it became the restaurant’s most popular menu with a long queue waiting outside. Business is indeed booming.
Kaoruko needs inspiration for her manga so she sets up Toa and Mihiro to become her models as she sketches. To motivate them, she’ll give them some legendary potatoes. The duo pose in a kissing position. While Mihiro is very embarrassed, Toa is as cool as a cat. All for the potatoes! Kaoruko needs it to be more realistic as she tells them to kiss! Mihiro flusters but Toa is going ahead with it. All for the potatoes! It is when Ashe walks in on them and misinterprets their unusual love. You’re free to love whoever you want!
Kaoruko has finished her script but the place is now filled with her crumpled papers. It’s a mess! As they slowly clean up, they spot a cockroach! The girls are scared except for Mihiro. She’s cool. But she is also not pleased. Because roaches are the enemies of restaurants! One hit kill! But she warns for every single one of them, there could be 10 more hiding. She becomes a demon instructor to force them to clean up properly. Sir, yes sir! The room is now sparkly clean but little do they know those little ones are hiding in some dark corner…
Ashe reads a scary story. By the time she finishes, it is already evening and everything she sees spooks her. Whether it is the crows outside (Mihiro just feeding them) or a shadowy figure from downstairs (Kaoruko somehow all wet). She runs back to the student council room and thinks she is safe. She thought Toa is doing her programming but after calling her several times and she did not respond, she freaks out upon seeing Toa has no face! After she faints, it is revealed that Toa was blowing a bubble gum and it exploded covering over her entire face.
When Ashe and Mihiro find a scribbled letter, Kaoruko thinks it is a hidden message left behind by Toa’s brother, Kouki. Excited Kaoruko goes to great lengths to play detective and decipher the code via various unorthodox methods. So her deductions of the riddle that is based on Sumerian texts, the orbit of Jupiter and some ancient Japanese text leads her to believe the human race will die in July 2016?! And Kouki was eliminated because he learnt this secret? Sounds like BS, right? When Toa comes in, she could immediately read the scribbles as her brother failed a test and has to take a supplementary test. His writing becomes bad when he is in a hurry. There, your riddle solved. You should go back to detective school, Kaoruko.
Kaoruko is definitely overworking herself by pulling all-nighters to finish her manuscript. She agrees to lie down but can’t seem to fall asleep. Toa recently bought some music that would do the trick. Soon Kaoruko is sleeping like a baby and the others follow suit too. Refreshed Kaoruko completes her work while the rest sleeps like a baby.
A new cleaning robot arrives in the room. Ashe messes with it and it accidentally broke. Feeling the need to fix it up before the rest come back, she disguises herself as the robot made out of cardboards. Yeah, this should fool them… Ashe becomes the best robot ever as she perfectly carries out Kaoruko’s whims and fancies. Then Toa reveals a note that this robot was broken in the first place and was to be recalled. Busted…
Mihiro picked up a stray cat outside school. She knows regulations won’t allow it but she doesn’t know how to use a computer to look for its owners. Thus she leaves the cat in Toa’s care. As the cat stays at her place, it makes a mess out of things, eat her food, do whatever it wants. You know, what a cat ALWAYS do to piss you off. Thank goodness at the end of the day, there is a reply. The cat is handed back to the little girl and she couldn’t be more grateful. I think Toa couldn’t be more relieved.
Kaoruko is fired up to do a movie and upload it on the school website. A week later, this is the result. This movie is a mish-mash of everything. It has supernatural. It has food eating competition. It has espers and ninjas. Action, drama and yuri romance! All you ask for is right here! Kaoruko loves it so much and approves it but the rest definitely aren’t going to release this risqué movie.
After a long absence, it is time for the fanservice to make its return. Ah, the girls in their swimsuits at a spa resort. Ashe shows off from a high diving platform. Unfortunately she loses her bikini top. Not wanting to lose her modesty, they go after it. Why is it always it must float away to hard to reach places? The other girls are washed away by the various waves. When Ashe finally retrieves it, she slides down the giant slide. Good news is that she has her top. Bad news: Now she lost her bottom…
Just when Kouki is about to enter, Mihiro manages to stop him and send him to do more errands. This is part of their plan to throw him a surprise birthday party as they are in the midst of preparations. When he returns, they throw him a surprise as planned.
Mama Mia Low Specs & Expectations
After the first few episodes, I knew it was going to be bad. But I never thought it would even go lower than my lowered expectations. First of all, the main character never appears! That’s right. The most you see is his shadow and even that is in the final episode. Heck, he doesn’t even have a voice! The damning foreshadowing that Kouki will never appear is at the start of each episode. A board that indicates the presence of the student council members in the room. Always you see Kouki’s name being listed as absent for a variety of reasons ranging from reasonable to absurd. Whether he is away for a meeting or an errand to being away on a journey of self discovery or even overslept! Heck, the final episode even had the cheek to list it as being banned from entering! When a main character like that gets shut out in its own series he is supposed to star in, you know it is going to go downhill from then. So did they lie to us in the synopsis? Unless they used the same synopsis for the anime that was supposed to be for the game.
Therefore this short anime series feels like another generic cute girls doing cute things as well as some sort of promotion for its adult visual novel game of the same name which was released around the time this series started airing. Unfortunately the anime itself doesn’t do much to try and appeal if this is what its purpose. If this is the way they are going to make you curious and play the game, wrong way. It turned me off even further. Sure, they threw in a few lingerie and swimsuit fanservice (and a yuri scene to set our pure hearts aflutter…) just to remind us that this is an ecchi anime but those few scenes are as much as we can get out of it. It is just so freaking standard that any anime can simply come up with shameless underwear and swimsuit scenes with a snap of a finger anytime.
Making it even worse is supposedly the next episode preview. The girls in cut-out illustrations are supposed to let us know more about the world of their game in this segment like introducing the characters and stuffs. Sadly, they end up ranting away that I don’t seem to understand a thing about the game. I don’t even know what it is supposed to be about. Sure, the synopsis of the series. It feels that this section is just a waste of time. To make things even worse, halfway through the series it is like as though they have ran out of topics to talk about this series, so they try to talk about another game I believe is under the same developer, KakoTama. Again, adding a couple of new characters to this segment didn’t do any good. They didn’t really explain well about things so I still have no idea what this game is all about and supposed to be. You can bet that I won’t be checking out this game as well.
The characters are as minimal as they can get, focusing on the main quartet females of the series. It is sad that they do so much random stuffs that their characters suffer a lot. If you want to know more about them, their habits, their traits and their personality from watching this series, you’d be disappointed. Yeah, play the game to know more about them… That’s not what I’m asking for. So what can I tell about them just by watching the anime? Uhm… Toa the expressionless girl good at computer programming, Mihiro’s family runs a restaurant, Kaoruko seems to be another secret mangaka and Ashe… Uhm, Ashe… Blonde twintail. Argh! I’m going with the stereotype. Tsundere character?! And an unusual non-Japanese name means she must be a half foreigner too, right?!
Sometimes I want to draw comparisons of this anime with Seitokai No Ichizon simply because both series focuses on a group of student council members, 4 girls and a boy doing nothing and random things. And the guy always gets owned. Unfortunately as we have seen here that Kouki has been taken out of the picture throughout the series so imagine the fun and havoc this guy would have to go through by dealing with these girls. Ah, such a shame. It could end up pretty similar and close to a rip-off to Seitokai No Ichizon but if they did it in the right and funny way, we won’t mind at all. It is just sad that potential is already taken off from the beginning.
The art and drawing are pretty standard. Since it mixes the anime standard as well as the typical visual novel game style, you can very much see the difference. Of course personally I would prefer the anime style since they look much cuter compared to their original counterparts. So forgive them if you find some scenes to be of low quality and plain because this anime is developed by the relatively new AXsiZ whose only other work was a collaboration with Studio Gokumi to produce Koukaku No Pandora.
Voice acting is decent too and nothing to shout about. Must be one of the easiest voice casting ever having only 4 seiyuus for a series that lasts 3.5 minutes. So we have Mariko Honda as Kaoruko (Kurimu in Seitokai No Ichizon), Megu Sakuragawa as Ashe (Tsubasa in Love Live! S2), Chiyo Ousaki as Mihiro (Sara in Da Capo III) and Mai Goto as Toa (Mizuki in ef series). The ending theme is High Spec Days by Haruna Ooshima. It is a shame that this upbeat anime rock shows great potential if it was adapted to a full length anime series. In such a short series with already disappointments in other departments, it just feels like a waste.
Overall, a disappointing short series and the only good thing was it was short enough so that your suffering of “What did I just watch?” wouldn’t prolong any further. Maybe the game would turn out good or not but that itself is another story to tell. So it goes to show that just by putting in cute girls doing cute things and throwing in a few yummy fanservice don’t quite cut it these days. Fans are demanding more and more so this appalling cock teaser isn’t going to do to bring up its reputation. It is as good as never should be made in the first place. Just like your hidden stash of bad porn that will never ever be found. That makes it both a victory and a loss in this case.