Comic Girls

August 11, 2018

It’s time to take a look into the lives of manga artists once more. What’s that you say? Need something light hearted and not so serious like Bakuman? Because that was giving lots of tension and pressure on how stressful the lives of manga artists are? Also, Mangaka-san To Assistant-san To feels more pervy than anything. We also need a bunch of girls doing it instead of guys. More power to girls! And that is how Comic Girls came to be. A group of girls living in a dorm specifically for manga artists as they help each other draw and grow closer and bond. Oh wait. Doesn’t this sound like another one of those generic cute girls doing cute things but manga artist version?

Episode 1
Kaoruko Moeta AKA Kaos has been told by her editor, Mayu Amisawa that her manga sucks! Oh my. More accurately all the feedback says it is crappy and unrealistic! Please don’t kill yourself… Amisawa has an idea to improve her predicament. As the manga dorm for girls is looking for tenants, Kaos applies to be a resident. Along the way, she gets spooked by the landlady, Ririka Hanazono who thinks she is a lost girl. More spooking for her when she discovers her roommate who also recently moved in today, Koyume Koizuka is such a lively personality. Once everything calms down, they both tell each other their shortfalls and hence their reason here. Kaos’ weakness is she is unable to draw proper body proportion because of her petite status while Koyume despite being able to draw cute and lovely girls, she sucks at drawing boys. They start crying over their future when their next door neighbour and manga senpai, Ruki Irokawa and Tsubasa Katsuki walk in. They think they are their saviour and embrace them! Tsubasa advises them to keep drawing until they get close to their ideal and not be too focused in just getting popular. Later the newbies would like to check out the rooms of their senpai and are ushered in. First thing they look for is for dirty porn materials from Ruki since they heard she specializes in drawing porn! Heck, Koyume even gropes her boobs to check if she has the biggest bust but she is only A-Cup???!!! The cat is out of the bag that despite being a ‘washboard’, she is good in drawing big boobs. It all started when she intentionally drew for younger audiences but Amisawa find it mature and sent her to another department in which that editor loves those erotic style and now she is known under her penname as Big Boobs Himeko. With Tsubasa meeting her deadline, the rest help her out. Koyume could figure out Tsubasa’s coded language and know what needs to be done! Kaos worst fear comes true as she makes several mistakes blotching the panels. Is she preparing to die? Don’t worry, nothing like Tsubasa in her character mode could do to fix it. They work round the clock to finish it, though it feels like Tsubasa has been the one doing the most work as she also fixes their mistake. Kaos notes she is strong and kind like her shonen manga’s protagonist, that’s why she is able to draw such fun manga. Kaos still feels sad she won’t make friends at any rate but you know, the dorm girls already consider her as friends. So happy she wants to tell her mom about it. Man, she really had no friends. Although her manga continues to receive stinging comments, Kaos doesn’t lose motivation and is spurred to draw more.

Episode 2
The girls go out shopping together. Kaos and Koyume experience the terrifying crowded train network. Why don’t Tokyo businessmen give a sh*t about cute girls? After surviving, they head to the manga store to buy manga and then the stationery building to get supplies. Tsubasa spots a couple of young and new mangaka wannabe. She advises them the kind of pen they should buy. They think Kaos is also the same amateur as them and give her the same encouragement. Not sure if Kaos is offended or not. Koyume doesn’t have enough to cover the items she bought so Tsubasa pays some for her as repayment for helping with her manga. It’s back to school and Koyume and Kaos are new transfer students. While Tsubasa is very popular among the girls, Ruki prefers to keep her mangaka job a secret for fear of others knowing what she draws. But because of that, rumours spread that she does shady jobs as she usually distance herself. Maybe her cover is already blown? Too bad Koyume will be in a different class from the rest. The homeroom teacher is Miharu Nijino. She might look cute but she is strict as hell. Kaos wants to be scolded by her? During her introduction, Kaos panics. Heck, she hasn’t used her real name for so long she is unsure on how to pronounce it!!! You kidding me?! More panicking ensues when she sees the class staring at her. But with support from Ruki and Tsubasa, it goes smoothly. Later when other girls talk to her, they ask her simple questions but it gets too much for her to handle. Favourite celebrities? Do seiyuus count? Favourite fashion? Is cosplay fashion? Favourite hobbies? Are collecting figurines valid? So much so she couldn’t answer and passes out. After recovering, Kaos still feels uneasy to be surrounded by so many strangers. Tsubasa advises she should use this opportunity to observe people and create manga. Kaos might feel left behind in terms of friends because Koyume has already made a couple of them at the end of the day. But Kaos wants to make lots of memories here and is glad she came to this dorm. The rest see her ability to make friends with animals. But there is a stray kitten afraid of her. They notice the similarity between them. So afraid, so cute.

Episode 3
Kaos incorporates her high school life in her manga and lets Amisawa look at it. All seems fine until she notices there are lots of eating and weird eating sound effects. Please reconsider everything! Kaos has her friends analyse and it seems they too can find all sorts of shortcomings. One of them being her bad fashion sense. But it becomes a sob story after she tells them she can’t throw away the clothes she has because they’re all from grandma. They give her a makeover and after doing her hair, I think they purposely put her in a kindergarten uniform for laughs and something to fawn over. The stray kitten is now a resident of the dorm. Folks, meet Nyaos. Anyway Kaos misinterprets thinking Ruki is trying to make Koyume have sex with her. Turns out she is just her model for her manga. Ruki then has Kaos pose as Koyume’s lover but doesn’t quite fit it. When she thinks of getting Tsubasa, Koyume starts flustering. That’s the look she wants for her inspiration. Kaos finds it troubling her art sucks so Ruki notices she draws more straight lines. She has her observe Koyume and her curves everywhere. Is she trying to imply she is fat? Breast size becomes the argument but Kaos disagrees with Ruki’s idea that all love big boobs. It is rather about the girl looking embarrassed about her chest size. Kaos doesn’t consider herself in the same boat as Ruki because she has given up on her tiny boobs growing anymore! How about Tsubasa? They notice her slightly toned body. Looks like her ideal body is to have lots of muscles! Like a body builder? Not sure if I should be impressed or freak out. Because Kaos continues to work on her manga, she forgets to eat and passes out. Even with Ririka cooking for her, she doesn’t like all the food she cooks. I don’t think just putting it all in her mouth proves she has eaten them. Because of that, Kaos falls ill. But Ririka manages to call home and finds out what food she likes and cooks it for her. With her better now, Kaos resubmits her manga to Amisawa. Everything looks fine and dandy until a panel that shows a crepe eating her! Is this what she was thinking about a crepe melting in your mouth? Rejected!

Episode 4
Ruki is trying to finish her manga deadline that she has not slept for 2 days! As she doesn’t want to skip school, her weariness is obvious. But she looks and sounds so erotic when tired?! Also, Tsubasa reveals she can’t sleep without her favourite pillow so she tosses Kaos as a substitute. Sleeping like a baby. The girls offer to help her but with Kaos and Koyume even freaking out at kissing scenes, I wonder what will their reaction will be when they get to the real pervy scenes. Yeah… And Tsubasa is not one bit the least ashamed. Because the female protagonist is modelled after Koyume, this makes her embarrassed and she won’t let others do those parts. Can you handle them all? If you’re wondering why Ruki doesn’t use a computer as help, that’s because she sucks at using electronics. Heck, she doesn’t even know what a PC unit is! Even after Kaos helps fix it up and being a pro at showing her how to use the software, old fashion habits from Ruki die hard. Ruki manages to finish and her manga is an instant hit. If being in a dilemma her perversion is being spread throughout the world, her editor has set her up for a book signing event. It’s not that her family will find out that scares her. It’s that she will not live up to her penname! What does her penname describe again? She thinks of using Koyume as her substitute but her outlandish character would make it even worse. On the day of her book signing, Ririka helps put makeup on her. She looks stunningly mature! A long queue at the event but thank goodness all her fans are females, right? At first she is nervous but after seeing how everyone praises and loves her, Ruki is full of confidence. Heck, she is now like a counsellor giving advice to women who have troubles in their relationship?! Arigatou sensei! At the end of the event, Ruki is in tears over how happy she is today. She remembers the harsh days she slogged through even when she is sick or tragedy back home struck, she thought she was walking down the wrong path. But it all pays off now and she will never feel embarrassed about what she does again. But maybe she still will for her penname because there’s the afternoon session, Big Boobs Himeko sensei.

Episode 5
It is summer and the girls head to the beach. Only Koyume is prepared to have fun in a swimsuit since the rest never really expected it. That means they don’t have much confidence in flaunting their body like Koyume. She takes them to rent swimsuits so they could have some fun in the sand. Ruki might have some confidence issues with her body. Is it more insulting to note the growth in her height than her boobs? Kaos and Tsubasa bum around in the dorm while the duo go out shopping for clothes. Ruki could read Koyume’s mind that she wants to date Tsubasa although the latter gives excuse she is a girl. She assures that she isn’t the first since there are many girls who have done so asking Tsubasa on a date. Koyume flusters even more when Ruki suggests they both go on a date. Back at the dorm, Koyume has cold feet doing so but since Ririka has tickets to the amusement park, that broke the ice. Koyume and Tsubasa begin their date there as the other busybodies spy them from afar. They then stumble into a cosplay area whereby some cosplayers are Kaos’ old friends. They run away in embarrassment after seeing her. They continue tailing the lovebirds and there were a few times the atmosphere was so close in giving off some romantic spark. In the Ferris Wheel, Koyume relays her fears about not making any improvements in her manga unlike the rest. Tsubasa assures her to continue as she is because being able to have fun while she is drawing is what’s best about her. In the end when the rest are eager to know if there is any ‘development’ between them, well, it isn’t wrong for Koyume to say that they made some development and progress in manga.

Episode 6
Kaos thinks there is a ghost watching her! Koyume checks around but doesn’t find any. After that we see a creepy female figure in the background!!! HOLY SH*T!!! Is this turning into a horror genre?! When the figure pops up again, Kaos loses her head. Screaming, that is. Ghost girl turns out to be Suzu Fuura, a former resident of the dorm. Oh, she specializes in horror manga. Over the next few scenes, Fuura continues to haunt Kaos! She loves her scream because she is able to draw!!! OMFG! Kaos is going to die young!!! At this rate, Kaos will not be able to draw so the rest protect her one night from Fuura. Why does it have to be stormy too? Scream fest begins with Fuura trying to get in because she is scared of lightning but Kaos is more afraid of her! But when Fuura says how lonely she is, this strikes a chord with Kaos as she lets her in. Upon closer look, Kaos realizes Fuura is quite a pretty girl. Then it’s back to more screaming. Man, there has never been an episode with so much screaming!!! I believe they’re normal friends now but is Fuura going back to haunt Ruki? It seems that Nijino was one of the cosplayers that the quartet stumbled into then. She is worried if they found out about her secret passion. This keeps bugging her so her first chance to find out is to call out Tsubasa for napping in her class (she was tired from working on her manga all night). She tries to ask subtle questions while Tsubasa tries not to get herself exposed. ‘Interrogation’ ends when Koyume pities her and comes to her defence. On another occasion, Tsubasa once again gets caught by her doodling during her class. Tsubasa thought this is it for her when Nijino asks if she is a fan of this series. It seems she is a big fan of it. Then when it is revealed that Tsubasa is that author of the said series, Nijino cannot believe it. A student of hers as a successful author she worships? No way. As proof, Tsubasa shows the manuscript she was working on and to be submitted. Nijino bows down to the almighty sensei. Tsubasa says many of her fans think she is male and hence she doesn’t appear in public. She hopes Nijino could keep this a secret too. After Nijino learns the quartet do the same thing and live in the same dorm, she realizes it is run by her friend Ririka. She is not pleased she is not told about this. Kaos submits to Amisawa about the perfect characters she created based on Fuura and Nijino. Cool. But, where’s the story? Rejected!

Episode 7
Kaos hears Koyume’s manga will be serialized. She begs not to be forgotten as a background character. WTF. Kaos gets another scare from Fuura. But she learns she has a deadline approaching and can’t get any assistants due to her unpopularity. Don’t worry. Kaos will help. Until she sees her room in the attic with lots of skeletons and creepy dolls. Oh boy. Scream fest part 2. But Kaos either has no experience in the jobs Fuura gives her or it’s just too scary. She learns they are from the same region and while it might seem like they might become best friends, Fuura’s unintentional creepy hug has her screaming again. Loud enough for Ruki to come to her rescue. At first she didn’t believe Kaos helped in some of the art because she thinks Kaos cannot draw that well! Once the confusion is over, Kaos feels Fuura isn’t such a bad person and her hug in some ways did calm her down. With Kaos pondering about the appeal of mature women, Ruki suggests she wears glasses. The thought of wearing one seems to freak her out because of the burden of becoming a mature woman. Huh? One morning, Koyume is frantically looking for something she lost. Guess what? Kaos! WTF?! She left a note saying she has gone out alone to do errands for the first time. Yeah, she got ‘molested’ by old grannies thinking how cute this grandkid is. I think she got pampered too. Kaos is able to shop and buy things at the anime store. However a policewoman thinks she is a lost child so panic Kaos runs away. Hiding inside a box did the trick? Miraculously her friends manage to find her. Like an abandoned kitten? Apparently they know where to find her because of the panicky posts she posted online. Glad to be back in the company of her friends, now they visit the glasses shop. Trying out all sorts of glasses, Kaos thinks she looks weird in all of them. Nijino and her friend are also here to try out some glasses. Kaos gets her advice since she is in a dilemma over wearing glasses just for the sake of wearing them. Kaos eventually decides to get one when it is suggested she can watch anime in HD. Yeah, now Kaos sees reality in HD! Everything so clear and beautiful! And then when she tries to draw, she sees how clear the lines and hence how much she sucks! Time to put away the glasses. And that was the most short-lived glasses girl story ever.

Episode 8
Another day, another rejected manga. Man, this one really hit Kaos hard. You can tell and feel for her when she starts saying how useless she is in the manga industry. Everyone gives their best advice but eventually there is another problem cropping up: The exams. Kaos and Koyume suck in studying on their own so they get their senpai to help on their history. I can understand why this subject is so hard to understand… In class when Tsubasa asks Nijino for help, ever since she knows her identity, she always thinks it is help for manga instead of actual school work. During the exam, Nijino observes the quartet. Ruki seems fine. Kaos’ face shows she is obviously going to explode from the stress. Tsubasa outright sleeping! WTF is Koyume posing?! I suppose she forgot whatever that is supposed to mean. The adults go drinking and I guess this is where Amisawa gets to rant how bad she feels putting down Kaos every time. They also think back about their times together in high school as they were from the same manga club. Nijino and Amisawa get further drunk when Ririka brings them back to her place for drinking. They love her hospitality so much so they don’t mind if they never get married and will just have her take care of them for the rest of their life. Nijino is excited as she ponders if she can go bug Tsubasa for some artwork. Speaking of the devil (angel, rather), here she comes in looking for some screen tones. She is restrained so that our manga sensei could get the supplies she needs before this rabid fan girl gets her. And then Fuura comes in to ask for horror advice. Time for scream fest. Amisawa peeks at Kaos working in her room. It breaks her heart to see her breaking down that her work will never be accepted and how low her self-confidence has plunged. Hence Amisawa sends her a very strong and nice message of advice to lift her spirits. She does not want Kaos to stop drawing. When Kaos texts back about doing her best, Amisawa calls her and gets tough on her. Back to square one? Is she tsundere? In the end when Kaos submits her next work, despite changing her style to grading like a school test, unfortunately this means Kaos still fails big time. She’ll need a lot more than motivation now…

Episode 9
Everyone celebrates Koyume’s manga getting colour pages. Of course this has Kaos trying to use her as a model for motivation but she ends up making herself anxious when Koyume’s style doesn’t fit hers. Does this mean she is doomed to never done a storyboard? The girls go out shopping together and Koyume takes the lead in helping Tsubasa find her fashion sense. Roles reversal for once. Koyume has been so happy with her serialization that the rest finally noticed and pointed out to her: Is she getting fat? Horror! True enough, she gains weight. Every girl’s nightmare. So worried she can’t even draw. She seeks ways to lose weight but it often backfires. Like asking Ruki for advice, she instead became Ruki’s model for her porn work thanks to her nice boobs. Jogging with Tsubasa has her tired so Tsubasa appreciates the extra workout load of carrying her back. Therefore Koyume decides to just be herself. Screw it all because she is going to order her favourite sweets otherwise she will regret it for the rest of her life. During school’s recess, Tsubasa is looking panicky. It seems the manuscript she was drawing this morning in class (not paying attention, huh?) is missing. It would be bad if it is leaked before publication and thus putting her identity at risk. The quartet go search and retrace their steps but nothing. They talk to Nijino about it and she like an adult make mature decisions like splitting the group to find the manuscript faster. Of course her ulterior motive is to read it before others. When Kaos finds an old briefcase stuck behind the library shelves, this isn’t Tsubasa’s briefcase. Yeah, it wouldn’t make sense for her to put it there. But Nijino starts to panic. This is actually her manuscript from her days in the manga club. She quickly snatches it back while giving some excuses. Tsubasa is depressed at the end of the day because they put in so much effort to find it but no results. As the friends give their support, a girl then hands it back to her. It was found in the science lab but when she tried to give it back to her, she wasn’t there. Everyone is grateful to her but who is this chick? You mean you don’t recognize her? Not her voice? Okay. So as she lets her hair loose, everyone recognizes this beautiful chick turned horror girl Fuura! Let the scream fest begin! Yeah, Fuura loves hearing those screams too. Music to her ears.

Episode 10
Christmas is around the corner and Ruki hates it! Why?! It’s that time of the year where she gets jealous watching others as a couple but she is still single and alone. To take her mind off, she works on her manga. However she gets jealous her character gets more love than her! Maybe help with Tsubasa’s work? Too bad she is doing a love story for a change! She seeks solace in Fuura despite her creepiness. Despite Fuura wanting to curse couples, thankfully Ruki doesn’t intend to go that far. When she returns to her room, the rest surprise her with a birthday surprise. Christmas Eve is her birthday. Yeah, she totally forgot about it. They celebrate and praise her a lot. Keep those praises coming. The girls are going back to their hometown for the New Year holiday stretch but when Kaos calls home, mom has gone on a holiday with dad! Aloha! Not wanted? Poor Kaos… Hence Tsubasa brings her along to her home. At first Kaos is puzzled to Tsubasa suddenly becoming feminine. She’ll know why soon… Her family lives in a huge mansion with maids! And they’re so elegant! They welcome back Tsubasa like as though she’s the world’s most precious thing! It seems when Tsubasa cannot keep up with the elegance anymore, Ruki comes by in time to help her out. She also has (poor) Photoshop of Tsubasa ‘studying’. Kaos is so lost in the refinement culture… It is revealed that there are lots of conditions for Tsubasa staying at the dorm. Ruki has managed to convince them that Tsubasa is studying and doing her best otherwise they’ll drag her back here thinking she is neglecting everything to draw manga! The more Tsubasa spends time here, the more she becomes refined until she doesn’t even know what manga is and lost motivation to do it! Until Kaos threatens to show this elegant side of Tsubasa to Koyume… Welcome back. The friends visit the shrine on New Year. It’s that usual Kaos panic again as she draws bad luck. Ririka has the girls help bake sweet potatoes. But they use Tsubasa’s old manuscripts for the fire. This is also to help clear out her stockpile that is clogging her room. She feels sad for parting with them but has to come to terms with it. Ruki has no regrets parting with hers. Only if people could forget it from their minds. Koyume? She easily would forgo hers just for the food! Fuura trolls everyone by screaming, making everyone think the papers are burning in pain! So real. Because Kaos feels it is a waste to further burn Tsubasa’s old works, she decides to use her old rejected ones. Man, there are bags of them… And thanks to them, now they can enjoy their hot sweet potato meal. Thank the failures…

Episode 11
The girls have to fill in a career survey form. Manga artist seems their first choice but surprisingly Ruki puts nursery school teacher. She loves kids and the thought of drawing manga as a living might not be enough to put food on the table. But the rest disagree if she should draw together with the kids… Tsubasa seems to have nightmares just thinking her career choice would be what her mom says. That horrible, huh? Fuura joins in the discussion and wants to be something that scares people? I think she is just doing it for kicks. Kaos believes she is more useless than Tsubasa as she hasn’t done anything right. Time for Ririka to help out with her advice. She lets them know she also drew manga like them during her student days. She had her fans but were unable to meet their expectations. Unlike them, they are all manga professionals. As a year has passed, it will soon be time for the girls to move out. So Ririka has them head down to the basement storage and clean out some of the treasures. It’s tempting to read what they can find. But Kaos sees lots of motivational messages and is pumped up to do her best. Hence the next time she sees Amisawa, she hands her 4 manuscripts! Wow. She is really going for broke. The first one is a romantic comedy. However, Kaos ideal male seems to be weird. Uhm, chopping wood? Is that what being manly is all about? Sorry, it’s based on her father. Oops. The next one is about porn! How did Kaos draw this if she is so embarrassed herself? Guess what? The male too has that same weird characteristics from the first one like wood chopping. It’s like she copy and paste? The third one is some adventure RPG. I’ll cut it short: It has wood chopping too. Oh boy. The last one is a slice of life story of a girl. Hmm… Hey, this looks pretty decent. This might actually work! The irony is that she didn’t have any story in mind and just drew what came to mind. Later back home, Kaos receives a call from Amisawa asking if she could do a few consecutive guest spots. If this is well received, it might lead to a comic serial! OMG! Kaos finally makes it! Yeah, she couldn’t even believe it either. Her friends rejoice upon hearing this great news. Tsubasa and Kaos are in great spirits, putting mangaka as their first career choice. The former writing nothing in the second and the latter writing some long winded message why there is nothing else that beats being a mangaka.

Episode 12
Kaos receives the good news that her first part was well received. However, now that she thinks about it, it is because all her friends helped out. So it passed because of their part? This means she has nightmares about completing the second part. Amisawa as a fire breathing smoker as threat?! Worst, Kaos’ friends have to leave the dorm earlier due to family commitments, leaving Kaos alone. Oh boy. You’re on your own. When Amisawa calls to check on her, you can tell Kaos is breaking down and talking about loneliness and crying. Yeah, at least she has an experience of what being a real mangaka is: Trying to beat the deadline! More tears when Ririka plays both the dorm lady and mother. Maybe Kaos’ just confused with all the kindness. Kaos gets a surprise visit from her real mom. Looks like she messed up the date to pick her up. Mom brought the entire collection of embarrassing Kaos photos. Always crying… Except when it comes to drawing. Mom really puts her drawing on a high pedestal! More embarrassment when she bought lots of manga magazine Kaos’ work is featured in and gave it for free for those who bought stuffs from her! Kaos might sound lost but she knows she has to be strong and finish her manuscript. Hence she can’t come home with mom now. Still having writer’s block, she looks at her first part for inspiration but only serves to bring more tears. Would this girl stop crying already? When her friends text motivational messages, that’s when she got her pen moving. The day comes for Kaos to eventually move out. And she also submitted her manuscript right on the deadline! Amisawa then calls to praise how her second part is so good it is her best work yet. I think those tears are justified. That’s not the end of it. More free flowing tears seeing messages from her friends and believing how a lucky girl she is. Next spring, all the friends reunite again at the dorm. You know things are back to normal when Kaos says her works continue to be rejected. Nothing fixes that by drawing some more?

Mangirl: Comical Party
Wait a minute. So all of them get to continue to live back at the dorm? Although there are no rules to say how long one can stay, but if all of them are coming back to live here again for the next year, why the drama and sadness of leaving the dorm? I mean, it’s going to be just a few weeks, right? They make it sound like they’re never coming back again but here they are. Not because their manga work sucks (maybe for Kaos) and hence the irony all of them get sent back to live here again. Because I thought those who don’t leave end up like Fuura as the ‘ghost’ who ‘haunts’ the dorm. She’s a former dorm resident, right? And she has a whole ‘base’ in the attic and Ririka allows it? I’m also not sure how big the dorm is but if the quartet are going to continue staying here, would there be more space for new mangaka wannabe tenants? Oh right. Not taking any for the moment. It would be utter chaos (pun not intended) if more girls are added to the fray.

Is it me or does this series have some sort of uncanny resemblance to Hidamari Sketch? In that series, a group of art students live together in a dorm doing fun stuffs together. Here, we have a group of mangaka wannabe girls dwelling in a dorm especially for them while doing fun stuffs together till the end.

Like shows in this genre without any real serious plot, the onus falls heavily on the cast of characters. Therefore characters in a series can really make or break a series depending on how likeable or relatable they are to the viewers. For me, after watching countless of such cute girls doing cute things genre, I have established this neutral stance in recent shows of this category. While the characters here are certainly not copy and paste from other characters in other similar genres, they are nothing extraordinary and if you look at them from a general point of view, they have some of that general similarity. Like the insecure and low self-confidence girl, the shy girl, the social outcast, the my-own-pace girl and the tomboy. It isn’t a one-size-fits-all glove but it is still a glove nevertheless.

Thus the characters are almost likeable thanks to their flaws and the struggles they face. Like Kaos who has self-confidence perhaps smaller than her stature and her running joke is that she is unable to write a decent manga. She is the master of being rejected if I should say. So once she manages to do and accomplish something that simple, it becomes a big celebratory event. I know not every idea can be accepted but coming up with a decent plot and artwork should be the norm for every manga artists from all walks of life and level. So for Kaos to not be able to do something simple like that makes you wonder if she is fit to be a manga artist in the first place. Passion is one thing but can she survive on that alone in this cutthroat industry? Since she is cute and lovable, I guess she’ll pass. Somehow. Keep on persevering, Kaos. Besides, she is the only character I know who can’t even remember her own name despite not being amnesiac of nature! That’s really bringing your uselessness level to something.

The other part that Kaos is good at is being a master of weeping. With such low self-confidence I can see why. Maybe she should have made this her second career. Don’t laugh. There is a profession of professional criers. At least in China. Time and time again as we see from Kaos struggling to be a decent manga artist, it makes me wonder if this is a sign from God to tell her she should switch to another career. I mean, with Kaos continuing to draw, it tells us she is persevering and continuing to believe in her dream. But if she is going to keep on sucking and being terrible, this is something she has to put some serious thought in. Even if it is going to cost her more buckets of tears. So for her being successful that one time makes it look like a big fluke instead of her talent finally blooming. Sure, you can say it will take a few more years but with all the up and coming talented ones, she’ll be in the dust by the time she settles in. Then she can continue crying all she wants… The greatest potential manga artist that has never been… If Kaos is struggling this much already, imagine what she will be if she was in the world of Bakuman… Can’t even imagine.

Of all the members in the dorm, Koyume seems the least stressed up as she is mostly doing things at her own pace. Perhaps the weight gain experience was the most stressful event in her life ever since she came to the dorm. Ruki sometimes mirrors life’s irony. The thing you are very good at in life could be the thing that you hate doing most in life. You keep doing it simply because it brings food to the table. It is not uncommon for female to do porn that resembles male fantasy but many would never think that a female would be the one behind such erotic works. Tsubasa might be cool thanks to her chuunibyou-like behaviour sometimes but it is interesting when her background comes to the limelight. It would be more interesting to see more of her past and how she ended up in this situation. A rich girl fooling her parents to live out her dream manga artist life. This has got to be some real deception since we see hints how mom could be the scary type if made mad or disappointed. You don’t want to disappoint her, do you? No wonder she sees mom as a demon. Is this where her chuunibyou stems from? At least it gives her inspiration.

Completing this dorm is the ‘scary’ resident Fuura whom I believe has a better luck in making horror movies that she herself should star in rather than drawing horror manga. Heck, even if she becomes one of those living attractions in haunted houses at amusement parks, she would definitely pull off a good job. Besides, doesn’t she love to hear people scream? Isn’t that why she keeps on scaring the dorm residents especially Kaos whose shrieking brings so much pleasure and joy? Life is a series of connections as the adults who were once friends and doing manga in their high school days are now some playing some sort of guidance to our young ones. They might have not been successful in their time so it feels like they are living their legacy through them if they make it big.

Although the art and animation leans more towards the cute and kawaii style, there was something bugging me at first when I looked at the characters. They look kinda familiar… Then it hit me. Oh my! Why do our main quartet have this uncanny resemblance to the characters in Mahou Shoujo Madoka Magica???!!! Kaos looks like a petite version of Madoka while Ruki takes on Akemi’s resemblance. But the ‘scarier’ ones are Tsubasa and Koyume because they look like almost exact replicas of Sayaka and Mami respectively! Is this what those magical girls do when their series’ run is over? Instead of becoming witches, they become manga artists instead. Haha! Oops. Having said that their resemblance is uncannily similar to Mahou Shoujo Madoka Magica, this means that I also see shades of Hidamari Sketch character designs in them. But this is mainly only in Kaos and Koyume who generally look more like Yuno and Miyako respectively. Animated by Nexus, this is their first solo animation production having only done shorts like Wakaba Girl or movies like Santa Company. They also did Rakudai Kishi No Cavalry but that was joint with Silver Link.

Voice acting sounds pretty decent with main casts including Hikaru Akao as Kaos (also doubling as Nyaos), Kaede Hondo as Koyume (Hitomi in Hinamatsuri), Rie Takahashi as Tsubasa (Emilia in Re: Zero Kara Hajimeru Isekai Seikatsu) and Saori Oonishi as Ruki (Ais in DanMachi). I believe it is one of the few animes where hearing them scream is so much fun. Really. Thanks to Fuura becoming the scare staple of the series, you can bet this series can be technically classified as a scream fest despite not even remotely close to a horror genre. It was a delighted for me to have spot Mamiko Noto as Kaos’ mom even if it was just cameo. Aloha! I really feel the industry is using less and less of my numero uno these days… Sighs… Also making her cameo is Ayako Kawasumi is Tsubasa’s mom. Other casts are Reina Ueda as Fuura (Aishela in Grancrest Senki), Aya Endo as Ririka (Tchaikovsky in ClassicaLoid), Ayaka Nanase as Nijino (Yoshino in Sakura Quest) and Minami Tsuda as Amisawa (Yui in YuruYuri).

The opening and ending themes are sung by the main quartet (aptly named after the series’ name as well). Memories as the opener sound like your typical lively upbeat anime pop while Namida Wa Misenai as the ending theme goes to a slower beat. Surprisingly I didn’t expect myself to like the ending theme. Not to say it is a masterpiece or best in the world but I somehow enjoy listening to it. It could be the nice beat or tempo that makes it enjoyable to hear.

Overall, not really a bad series and one of the genre of cute girls doing cute things. However nothing really that extraordinary in my books either. It is fun and enjoyable for the season it premiered but anything more than that, nothing really memorable. Maybe the scream fest… If you are expecting this series to be one where it tells you the ins and outs of the industry, you would be disappointed since Bakuman and Shirobako already set that standard high. Sorry if the title and synopsis sounds a bit misleading but we could have guessed when we saw a poster of a group of cute girls together. These girls should at least decently make it big as they have the support and the right surroundings to help improve their manga unlike others who are not so fortunate. Otherwise… It’ll be just sad if they don’t. Too revise and modify a famous quote, it’s not the part of rejecting manga that makes you a failure. It’s the part of no trying again and giving up. 100 rejected ideas don’t mean they are bad. Maybe it just means other people just have bad taste in your stuffs ;p.