I do not know how else to start this G-View than by saying “This show surprised me quite a bit”. Find out what I mean as we take a look at Akanesasu Shoujo.
Alternate Title: The Girl in Twilight (EN)
Genres: Science Fiction
Themes: Mecha Musume, Multiverse, Yuri
Number of Episodes: 12
G-Rating: 8/10 (Personal), 7/10 (Depends on viewer’s patience and overall interest).
Plot Summary: Every clear day at 4:44 pm, Asuka and four of her friends go to the temple tree on top of a hill, tune their radio to a different frequency, and pray to open the door to another world. It hasn’t worked yet, but bubbly Asuka is determined that one day it will, even if some of her friends, like pragmatic Yu and Chloe, don’t necessarily agree. And then one day, it does – the girls find the right frequency and suddenly their prayers land them in a golden twilight world where they are promptly attacked. They only survive because another girl intervenes – one who looks strangely like Asuka herself.
There are two important details readers need to know before giving this show a go.
1: The pacing. The show has a slow start. The premiere does its job of giving viewers an idea on what to expect but for some it may not be interesting enough. Episode 2 does not help much either. Personally I did not get fully invested in the show until Episode 4 when the second character arc started, though Episode 3 was not bad. I consider Episodes 2 and 3, the first character arc the weakest. It does not mean the episodes suck, rather I personally consider it the weakest of the five arcs. The show has a mostly consistent narrative structure. What I mean is each arc starts with an episode that sets up what is going on, the personal dilemma one of the girls must face and the rules of the world they ventured into along with whatever connection it has to the central girl of the arc. The second part of character arcs has the team prepare for the upcoming battle, the central character finding the answers she is looking for and then having pretty cool climaxes. More on those later.
2: This will be a necessary spoiler. Nothing major but it will help explain what kind of show this is. Without going into great detail this is a show about the Multiverse. What is the Multiverse? Western comic book (including TV shows and movies) fans (Marvel and DC especially) may have an idea. Put simply it is short for “Multiple Universe”. The gist of it is seeing multiple versions of the same person whose differences range from small to vastly yet they still share common traits. Of course the rules change depending on the writer/s but the fundamentals remain similar.
Let us say you are from Universe A. In this universe you successfully graduated from college and went on to have a nice life. But what if you dropped out of college and were not able to find a stable life? That is where the “You” from Universe B comes in. Then there is the “You” from Universe C who did graduate from college but never got married. These are all examples but basically every single life making decision creates a different branching universe. In Multiverse stories the protagonists visit other universes (“Fragments” in this series) and potentially interact with different versions of themselves. It is through these interactions along with other personal circumstances that help our heroines develop. Decisions revolving around simple things like companionship to the more complicated like love and loss. Also time travel and the Multiverse have different rules when it comes to interactions.
As long as viewers take these two paragraphs into consideration they will be able to watch the show with little trouble. Again it depends on level of interest.
When it comes to the action scenes they are all quite good with them getting better and better with each fight against the forces of Twilight. Think of the Twilight as a yellow cloud thing that consumes everything in its path, like a living shadow of doom. Thing is the battles are all CG. Like the pacing the CG starts off a bit rough but with each battle it gets progressively better and smoother. The same can be said for the overall animation. With each arc it shows improvement all the way to the finale where the animators show off what they can really do. The character art is solid and more importantly the ladies are quite fetching. The show takes advantage of this at certain points but does not go overboard with the sexiness. The soundtrack is nothing extraordinary but I openly admit to loving the OP. It is one of my favorites of the Fall 2018 season. The ED is nice too.
Next up let us briefly go over the leading ladies.
First up is the leader of the Radio Club, Asuka (black hair). She starts off as a happy go lucky genki who enjoys making friends and dragging everyone on crazy adventures. However, her being the leading lady there is much more to her.
Second is Nana (gold-ish hair). She starts off as the lamest member but fortunately is the focus of the first character arc, meaning she becomes much better as the show goes on. She is the fashion expert of the group but surprisingly the one with the most social knowledge.
Third is Mia (silver hair). The youngest, cutest and tallest. My favorite of the five. Her arc is also my favorite.
Fourth is Chloe (aqua blue hair). She is the quiet one with the simplest character arc…on the surface. It is a familiar arc but one people need to experience themselves to better understand why it is a big deal for some.
Fifth is Yu (dark brown hair). She is the strict and uptight one who gets dragged along on adventures by Asuka. She shares a similarity with Asuka in that her character arc is has multiple layers.
Lastly there is the second Asuka. She is the opposite of her cheerful genki self, a serious no-nonsense (at first) badass kind of edgy babe with solid abs. Deep down though she is still an Asuka.
As for the seventh girl…weeeeeeeelllll. Let me put it this way. Girl #7 is a game changer. It made me wonder “Would I have enjoyed this show as much as I did without Girl #7’s presence and influence? Probably not.” She does not get as much screen time as the other six but when she does it is often a wonderful experience. As some readers may have guessed Girl #7’s introduction is when the yuri kicked in. Trust me when I say there is much more to the yuri on this show than just Girl #7’s awesomeness.
Before we wrap things up let us briefly talk about the ending. It is one of those “Lure/Bait” shows. What do I mean? Usually it is “Manga Lure/Bait” meaning “Read the manga to find out what happens next”. In the case of this show it is a “Game Lure/Bait”, meaning “Check out the mobile game to learn more. That is kind of a bummer…BUT, thing is the main story told in the anime does wrap up. Although there remain some unanswered questions the main plot is resolved, though some of said questions have enough hints for viewers to piece together what may have happened. Not all questions but I personally was able to answer some of them. Think of it as it being the end of one big adventure and the start of others.
Overall Akanesasu Shoujo is my pick for “Surprise anime of Fall 2018” and is also “one of the overlooked gems of the year”. It is an enjoyable show provided viewers have enough patience and interest. The main journey is an interesting one complete with cool surprises and twists, the cast intentionally have some cracks that get filled over time and they all become fun, the action is pretty cool so long as viewers can tolerate the CG that gets better over time and the main event definitely delivers. While the ending is a “Game lure/bait” the main story does have a conclusion. I cannot guarantee many will like the show but do encourage the open-minded and patient to give it a try.
Update: Sad news. The aforementioned game closed after only three months, leaving the fate of the anime in question.