***THIS IS A SPOILER FREE REVIEW***
Shoujo-tachi wa Kouya wo Mezasu is one of the many anime that shows the viewer the inner makings of certain forms of Japanese media. In this particular instance, Visual Novels take the spotlight and along the way we see how the high schoolers get from A to B in the game development process. Unfortunately...it's not quite a straight line approach.
You are going to see a recurring theme in my review because of how average the show is. The first average aspect of the show is the story/plot. The driving force of this anime is to make Kuroda's goal of making a Visual Novel come true. Classmates Andou, Houjou, Kai, Kobayakawa, and Yuuki rally together with Kuroda in order to make this game happen but along the way there is “drama” and “character development”. When I say drama I mean really lame drama and when I say character development I mean the most bare bones quality of character development. It's just so...so average unfortunately. It's like the studio had a checklist and was checking things off as it happened. “We need Houjou to grow some more; ok done next person.” I really wanted to like the plot but it falls way short of other anime that explore different Japanese media creation like Shirobako.
I read some reviews online after watching the final episode in order to gauge how others where feeling about the show and the one thing that took me by surprise was how much they liked the animation. I found that the animation for the show was pretty bare bones and uninspiring. The character models are nice and attractive but literally everything else is as average as you can get. Also for whatever reason the eyes were really off in this show. The faces just seemed so plain.
The sound was not too bad in this show but it was far from amazing. The voice actors did a good job relaying emotion and the background music/sounds fit the scenes.
You absolutely cannot f*** up this aspect of the show especially when other shows doing similar topics do character development and interactions so well (referring to Shirobako again). Shoujo-tachi wa Kouya wo Mezasu provided us with some scenes that genuinely made me smile and/or laugh but they were far and few between. It really felt like a show that was going through the motions. Hell I still do not know why they introduced Kuroda's brother as a plot device. I did not care for any of the characters except for possibly Yuuki (for super cute reasons) and actually really despised Andou's character.
This show was hard to sit all the way through because of how mundane it came off as. I really wanted to like the show because Visual Novels are one of my favorite mediums for games but after watching the whole season, I'm not really any closer to understanding how they come to fruition. Everything about this show is lacking and if there is ever a continuation of the story I will most likely pass.
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Bueno, llega mi analisis de 3 lineas como siempre:
¿La remcomiendo? NO. La serie es LENTA, el argumento aburrido y por una extraña razón siempre parece que nos hará ver algo que termina siendo 'nada' (un romance a 0). No tengo mucho más que añadir, esperaba más de algunos personajes como la presidenta del club la cual su personalidad pienso que se tubo que destacar más, o el amigo del protagonista (pues si lo quitáramos de la serie casi que no hubiese pasado nada)
How to put it the first episode had a lot of character building. The MC was brilliantly done. After watching the show I can see someone might either love the series or hate the series as the show starts pulling things from directions--- that someone has to have experienced before they actually may enjoy the series. What's great about that is they talk about game development an also have a lot of technical things which ryme up to interest if anyone's actually done things. Characters who give tips are ACTUALLY benificial tips like the writer who said "Just keep writing 3 kb", or the fishermen "There's not that many people who want to help a local fisherman these days." Then there's an epic scene which actually gives some meaning to the story.
"Or she was actually doing more work then all of us combined." While the characters themselves are pretty normal but they are really good at normal. Some shows can't even make people feel normal.
The series has a lot of genuis under the nose of the show. But besides that I can understand why someone would rate the show and dismiss it as "Stupid."
In summary someone will either love or hate the show.
Girls Beyond the Wasteland is an effort to explain the otaku culture, those fans of anime, manga, and VG and the people who cater to the likes and interests of that mindset. The question is, does the story of the six teens who create the genre measure up to this demanding culture.
Quick answer: No.
Rokuhara is a team of four girls and two guys, six unlikely members drawn into the Business Management Club of the local high school to create a bishoujo game. These six make for a rough fit. We can introduce them as pairs. First, the alpha females Kuroda and Andou. Kuroda is the visionary leader of the VG production team, refined and sophisticated. Andou is the blue-collar programmer who can assemble the components the team offers into a smooth set for gameplay. These are dyed-true-blue contrarians, doomed never to agree to anything, particularly if the genre of the proposed game is to be yuri, BL, or straight romance. Andou quits often in protest only to be lured back somehow. Pair two. Call them the 'study in contrast' females. And why call them Yuuka and Yuuki? Clarity? The character design of these two are strikingly similar (school uniforms don't help), with pigtails, slight difference in hair-color, and physical size the only clues. Look twice to be sure who has entered the scene. Yuuka is the extrovert whose flare for the dramatic makes her an ideal voice actress. Yuuki is the shy artist whose character designs and backgrounds are highly noticeable. Yuuki herself does not like to attract attention. Finally, the two males Bunta and Atomu, the foils for the girls of Rokuhara to trivialize. Bunta is by all rights the MC, a would-be writer who is invited by Kuroda to draft the script for the VG project. Other than that. Bunta is an unmotivated teen who doesn't have a clue of what his future could hold. Atomu becomes the talent-less jack-of-all-trades producer of a 'pretty girl' game. As one who is always rejected by girls whom he asked out on dates, Atomu sees the bishoujo game as the ultimate revenge, damning all 3D girls in favor of the 2D girls he will create.
Through 12 episodes, these six will learn the general concept of 'game producers' in a world that runs from initial work to create concepts and characters to the threat of hostile corporate takeover once their work begins to find acceptance. Slowly, a warped sense of friendships is forged. The thought of harem perks up, but with Bunta, there is no notion of romance. For Atomu ... romance? Don't you dare trifle with that poor boy's tortured psyche! This strained the whole plot with notions of love triangles that never form, where a girl's attitude of boys runs closer to scorn than love's rapture. When friendship betrayed is compensated for with a zeal to complete the project. And the thought of doing a second game ... for fun! Bah!
The strained plot was not aided by the animation. Call Girls Beyond the Wasteland a study of impacted file footage. Watch the opening theme where Kuroda and Andou are 'talking shop.' Clumsy. And all the girls plunging in full fall ... a touch of the weirdness. Just your flat animation telling the flat story of six diverse personalities pulling together to get the job done. I can only put up with so much 'ganbare!' Note to Word Check: I said ‘ganbare’ (Japanese for ‘do your best’), not ‘garbage.’ Confusion understandable.
I had some confusion with the translation of the original Japanese title Shoujo-tachi wa Kouya wo Mezasu. Specifically the term Kouya. The HIDIVE selection offered ' ...Beyond the Youth' vs. A-P's entry as ' ... Beyond the Wasteland.’ The 'Beyond the Youth' comes up in the last episode, where a high school instructor gives a lesson on the expectations when the boys and girls of high years graduate and become the young men and women, and in a few years beyond that need to excise the 'young' label. In short, one's future, one's destiny. As for 'Beyond the Wasteland,' this refers to Kuroda's term for the flamboyant lifestyle of the otaku whose tastes determine success or failure for the VG producer. Both thoughts are engaging, but in the end, both are lost upon the storyline. Bunta still remains without direction in his life ... just an inkling. Kuroda's suggestion of making a VG just for fun is rejected. The aspect of hard work rewarded for its own sake seems to have destroyed the 'fun’ element. The final results are less satisfying than lost in the otaku culture.
It's a premise which doesn't deserve a second season. While 'Wasteland' is not wasted effort, it's an effort that doesn’t need to be repeated.