Spring 2018 First Impressions: Comic Girls – Needs More Tanuki

Comic Girls follows a group of high school girls whose dream it is to create manga. Kaoruko “Kaos-chan” Moeta is the world’s most anxious teen and a hopeful 4-koma manga artist, Koizuka Koyume loves to draw shojo manga but can’t draw a handsome boy to save her life, Katsuki Tsubasa is publishing her intense shounen manga, and Irokawa Ruki who accidentally got into drawing ero manga due to her fixation on large-breasted women. Through befriending each other, the girls all learn something about a successful manga.

comic girls 1-3

Comic Girls seems set to be the most traditional “cute girls doing cute things” show this season. It has all the usual trappings: light comedy, it’s based on a 4koma, everybody looks suitably moe and, unlike Pretty Derby, it isn’t trying to do too much at once. The character designs are blobby but pleasant, the colour palette is bright, sparkly and pretty, and each of the girls are cute and endearing in their own ways.

Despite all that, the first episode didn’t really grab me and I did find myself getting impatient and looking a few times to see how far through the episode I was. A big part of that was the fact that the humour was a bit hit and miss. Some jokes work well, like the opening stinger where the high school girl gets told that her manga is garbage, and one of the comments is “I’ve never seen such an unrealistic high school girl in my life. The author should try and look at reality a little more.” I also really enjoyed the scene where Kaoruko and Koizuka bonded over the fact that they’re both absolutely hopeless at drawing hot people. But other jokes didn’t work so well, like the inevitable boob-grabbing/fixation jokes, and the comedic timing wasn’t always up to scratch. In a genre so saturated this is something that has to be spot on, especially when the subject matter is similar enough to compare to hits like Monthly Girls’ Nozaki-kun which is still one of the best comedies in recent years.

The series is also pretty light on story. While that is to be expected of what is ultimately supposed to be a chilled out, comedic slice of life show, but I felt that this episode spent too much time getting Kaoruko to the dorm and slowly introducing the characters. Because of that there wasn’t much actually going on until the last seven minutes or so and I found myself getting impatient for something to just happen, already. Resisting the temptations of Twitter when I was supposed to be watching this was hard.

On the positive side, the artwork for this series is really pretty and the animation, though not especially striking, is perfectly sufficient for a series like this. A relatively unknown studio like Nexus isn’t going to have the same quality as a studio like Doga Kobo, but they manage to keep the characters on model and include some nice background artwork and well-drawn close-ups.

comic girls 1-1.jpg

For people who really love slice of life shows centred around cute girls there is definitely something here. But in a stacked season where there’s so many interesting anime on the way, I just can’t justify devoting much more of my time to this. For me this is more of a back log show; I’ll wait, see what other people think, and if it turns out that the series improves as it continues then I’ll check it out when I have the time to binge it all at once.

Highlights:

  • Pretty art style with well-drawn characters
  • Some jokes, like the screen-tone segment, are really funny

Lowlights:

  • Very slow pacing for a comedy anime
  • Tired boob-groping/”pervert” jokes (I know I harp on about these, but I’m just so tired)
  • Not every joke lands and the comedic timing isn’t as snappy as it needs to be due to the glacial pace of the episode

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