Girlish Number

TV (12 eps)
Fall 2016
3.322 out of 5 from 1,510 votes
Rank #10,307
Girlish Number

College student Chitose Karasuma is determined not to do boring things as she enters the adult world. To this end, this bad-mannered beauty barges into a facility that trains would-be voice actors and actresses, somehow landing a job at “Number One Produce,” a seiyuu agency managed by her older brother, Gojou. In Chitose's mind, she's poised for greatness, but finds herself at a loss when she continues to only get minor roles. As she clashes with other girls in the agency, including a cunning airhead and a girl with a Kansai accent, Chitose is about to learn that there's more to succeeding in this competitive industry than she imagined.

Source: Sentai Filmworks

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An utterly watchable, wholly enjoyable, eminently forgettable show that relies almost exclusively on the assumption that you want to watch its heroine discover exactly how far arrogance and a pretty face can get you in anime.  Which, coincidentally, seems to also be the aesthetic of the show itself: it looks great, assures you it’s good, and…that’s about it. There’s no great thematic thread or character exploration or insight. It’s just a cute girl finding out how far self-assured cuteness can take her. And if, for some unfathomable reason, you don’t like her (or don’t like laughing at her, really)…uh…pretend it’s a meta-critique of cutesy anime that has no depth beyond its cutesiness? I guess?  Look, I liked Girlish Number. I’d watch a second season of Girlish Number. Heck, I’d happily buy the Blu-Ray/DVD combo-pack of Girlish Number, at retail price, and I’d even drive to the store to do it. But my compulsively obligatory bedtime routine of clutching a pillow and watching comfort anime doesn’t excuse the fact that, over the show’s 12 episodes, there is only ever one thread of real character depth (Gojo’s professional history)—and it is used so sparingly and so late in the game that it may as well have been put there by accident.  Ultimately, Girlish Number is a series that you can literally judge by its cover. No, seriously. Go look at it. Whatever your reaction, it’ll give you exactly that for 12 episodes.  That said, the heroine’s kinda cute, so…it does have that going for it.


Positive *The things that I liked the most in this anime came from the characters themselves. First of these things was that almost all the characters had a double personality in this anime and it showed how people can put up a facade in order to achieve more. Let’s take the main female Chitose as an example. When she’s on stage or in front of her bosses she’s the most obedient girl you can imagine. But besides that you see her true cocky personality. How she thinks that she’s the center of the world and the best seiyuu around contradicted her facade completely. And this can be said about almost every character. For a video review, check out my Youtube channel. Link on my profile page.  *Continuing about Chitose’s personality, as you can expect Chitose did change during this anime. But that was one of the more interesting things during the course of this anime. How she slowly started to realize that she wasn’t as great as she thought she was. She was not the best seiyuu, on the contrary she’s actually quite a weak seiyuu. So maybe it wasn’t much but seeing Chitose realizing this and than also wanting to change for the better was a predictable but ok plot. Negative *So the good things about GN came from the characters, the weaker things came from the story. Just like in my review of WWW.Working!! I felt that this anime bit off more than it could chew. With that I mean the side stories, also here there were a lot of side stories that missed a lot of development. There was again too much material introduced to conclude over the course of 12 episodes. One example is that I wanted more development in the relationship between Momoka and her mother. *And I’m going to go even further than that. I felt that the main storyline of this anime was chosen wrong. The character that, in my opinion, should have been the main character of this entire anime was Gojou. His past as a seiyuu was much more interesting than Chitose’s storyline. I wanted to know what happened when he was a seiyuu and why he quitted being one. Now that’s only touched very briefly upon but that would have and should have been the main storyline of GN. Conclusion So as a conclusion, I went into GN without large expectations and that was a good thing since this is not the greatest anime you’ll ever see. It’s ok, I saw it but I won’t remember it for a long time. So overall I’m going to rate Gi(a)rlish Number at 3 stars. This is an anime that you just watch to watch a simple minded anime. Even if you want to see an anime based on the seiyuu world, I think that there are far better options out there.


When considering Girlish Number (2016, diomedea), you wonder if it is just Shirobako going to the dark side (GN's Kuzu is far more despicable compared to Shirobako's ego-mad slacker Tarou Takanashi).  And, while Sore ga Seiyuu! was a tribute to all those wonderful voice actors and actresses creating all that anime magic ... well, Girlish Number has voice actresses too, and the series seems more like an expose' of the lack of quality in some series which play fast and loose with the project's budget. Ah, what one can hammer out while boozing it up at the local tavern! The Girlish Number project seemed from its first episodes to be a paean to the 'crummy anime.  From the opening bars of what seemed swiped from BanG Dream! (honestly, I thought the opening theme of Chihayaferu used the opening measures of the Psych! theme), to the goofy 'jingle bell' motif in the closure, the whole project screamed 'garbage production.'  The grand irony was Kazu's name is Japanese for 'garbage.'  But this was only a ruse on diomedea's part; wait for the middle episodes and you'll begin to see improvements to the animation.  The core premise is a set of five (then six) girls swept up into an 'anime project concept from hell.'  Manipulative producers.  Lack of dedication among the animators.  Totally insane managers.  Pity the five (later six) girls who are called on to add the voice to the action. It centers on the character of Chitose, an unmotivated, mediocre seiyuu who only wishes to be praised.  She has done bit parts, but she schemes to land the lead role.  The series is Chitose trying to handle 'all that.' The true veterans of the VA trade are Kazuha and Momoka.  Kazuha wishes to be a seiyuu to get away from her rural roots for the Tokyo lifestyle, but the career has been straining on her.  Momoka comes from an acting family, and her talented mother has been a great influence on her ... maybe too much.  Yae is Chitose's friend who lacks confidence in her abilities and would bask in Chitose's success.  Koto is a Kansai-accent professional who realizes that she is at the point of her career where it is small parts or career over.  At the end of the series, child actress Nanami enters the cast and is a virtual threat to Chitose who can only see Nanami as a career killing rival. Throw into the mix company president, writers, producers, assistant producers and managers.  Chitose's manager is her brother Gojou.  Not a real strong pillar of support.  Gojou knows all of Chitose’s weaknesses, her conceit, her lack of drive, her weak delivery.  And then, all the sensations of the career.  Viewing the first episode ... and being so disappointed that you never watch another.  The nervous anticipation of episode 11, and the worries over having the series renewed for a second season.  The nervous anticipation of episode 11 of the final season and the worries over the next project.  Grappling with the fears that one's prime has been passed long ago and the realization of calling it quits. And all those 'Gwahahahah's from the company leadership ... I don't want to go through that for a while. In the end, Girlish Number uses improved animation techniques (far better than that used in episode one) to prove the point that the anime industry is a fickle thing.  You see Chitose learn enough about her foibles to watch a seiyuu mature in more ways than her craft.  It's a story with a point worth realizing.

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