A Girls Club anime about cute and sexy girls drawing manga is not unique as it has been done before in past anime like Mangirl and Doujin Work. However, there seemed to be a brighter aura being emanated from this series. Let us find out if the light at the end of the tunnel led to a lily garden or a cacti field as we take a look at Comic Girls.
Genres: Comedy, Manga, Slice of Life, Yuri
Themes: Mangaka/Comic Artist
Number of episodes: 12
Plot Summary: Moeta Kaoruko (Pen name: Kaos) is 15 years old, a high school student and 4-panel manga artist! After moving to a dorm especially for female manga artists, she meets shojo manga artist Koyume, teen romance manga artist Ruki, and shonen manga artist Tsubasa. Every day, they’ll work all through the night trying to ink and finish their work! Her cute, funny life in a manga artist dorm is about to begin!
The show is pretty much about cute and sexy girls drawing manga and their daily struggles when not taking breaks. Heck, even when taking breaks their activities often serve as inspiration for new chapters each girl is working on so at times it feels like the only time they are not working on manga is when they are eating or sleeping.
The fun times they have is the standard Girls Club fare of eating sweets, shopping, going to the beach etc. They even bless viewers who can take the heat with their fantastic bodies of varying sizes. As I just said oftentimes during those fun moments the girls pay attention to what their friends and people around them are doing and jot it down as reference material when working on their manga. Also different methods of drawing manga are shown.
When not having fun the girls are either focused on their manga or facing personal struggles from the very familiar writer’s block to public perception, the role of girls and women in the manga industry and inspiration to name a few of them. The cool part about the struggles each girl has is that they are very real and relatable problems people can have in other occupations besides drawing comics. Essentially the show is a really good blend of cute, sexy, interesting and dramatic without going overboard with any of those elements.
The animation is nice and varied. The ladies all look nicely drawn and level of detail in their movement is quite commendable. Pay close attention to how the girls move and it will be noticeable. This level of detail is especially noticeable in a certain episode that delves into a different genre. Readers who have seen the show will know which episode I am referring to and newcomers can easily spot the episode I am talking about. The soundtrack blends into the background while the OP and ED are both delightful to listen to.
Let us briefly discuss the main four from left to right.
First up we have Tsubasa. She draws a shounen series and is a soft spoken tomboy not only because she enjoys “boyish” things but to relate to the main protagonist of her series, a classic Dark Hero type character. Her struggles are related to her personal life and the stigma of women writers in shounen manga. Despite my describing her as soft spoken she often gets into character when drawing manga. When that happens…weeeeeelllll…
Next up is Koyume. She draws shoujo manga, is very social, outgoing, fashionable and has a sweet tooth. Her struggles are connected to understanding romance. We will get to that in a bit.
Third is Ruki. She draws “teen erotica” manga and is (kind of) the mature one of the group despite being easily startled or embarrassed. Her struggles have to do with the what she is good at drawing and what it is she feels like drawing. Social perception also plays a role.
Lastly there is KAOS. She draws 4-panel/koma Girls Club/moe manga. As I pointed out in the first pic KAOS is self-deprecating and has very low self-esteem. Because of this she has the most struggles of the four…which similarly to the main protagonist of the Kinetic Novel Chuusotsu! 1st Graduation: From Time to Time there are many instances of KAOS doubting or belittling herself. In some cases it is used for comedic effect via overreacting or her using her catchphrase “A-BA-BA-BA-BA-BA”. It also helps that her seiyu Hikaru Akao nailed the performance making KAOS’ pessimism hilarious when it needs to be. Of course when KAOS has legitimate reason to be sad or doubt herself it is taken seriously. This leads us to what can be considered a mood point for some. See, KAOS can be best as a “jobber”, meaning she loses a lot. Viewers who dislike seeing jobbers, especially jobber protagonists may have trouble liking KAOS. Personally I get what they were going for. That is part of life. Some people have the talent to accomplish great things with hard work or sometimes little effort whereas others struggle despite giving it their all. KAOS is an example of a character who jobs a lot but with the help of caring people and the a growing inner determination, one day anyone can get that big win they dream of. Basically never give up, never surrender. No matter how difficult things get, if the career path you chose is one you truly believe you can succeed at then do not give up. That is KAOS’ journey in a nutshell.
Besides the lead four the side-characters also have their own stories to tell and genres they tackle in their own way.
Now on to the main event. This show, like Slow Start, does not hide the fact its cast is either lesbian, bisexual or ambiguously gay depending on the character. I nicknamed KAOS our #SpiritAnimal for two reasons. First of all it was because of how relatable she was to many despite being jobber. Most could understand where she came from and her struggles. The second reason is because she has great taste in women and is very thankful to GOD for the gift that is the female human species. Oh yes indeed.
As readers can tell the show is full of happy lesbians, both the fully aware and those ones who are trying to understand their true calling. Put simply it is the special kind of Yuri found in Girls Club shows. One to be treasured, similar to the Yuri in Slow Start (like the show or now).
Overall Comic Girls is another wonderful Girls Club show worthy of becoming part of the collection of any aficionado of the genre. Besides the lead cuties and hotties the side-ladies are also likable with their own relatable struggles, the animation looks simple but quickly shows that there is more to it and the soundtrack is neat. KAOS is a jobber but her tale is not one to be scoffed at. Plus she is our #SpiritAnimal. Recommended to Girls Club aficionados and whoever else is interested after reading this review.
PS: Remember the episode I hinted at that took full advantage of the show’s impressive animation? There is a lady who debuted in that episode. Put simply she is arguably the best side-character. Also be sure to keep your eyes open after her debut.