Rika TachibanaTomomi MineuchiYurika KuboJapanese
Joshi Kausei
Medium: TV, series
Year: 2019
Writer/director: Noriyoshi Sasaki
Original creator: Ken Wakai
Actor: Rika Tachibana, Tomomi Mineuchi, Yurika Kubo
Keywords: anime
Country: Japan
Language: Japanese
Format: 12 three-minute episodes
Url: https://www.animenewsnetwork.com/encyclopedia/anime.php?id=21807
Website category: Anime 2019
Review date: 15 July 2019
Joshikausei
It starts misleadingly. Its first episode has a girl lying on her back in a short skirt, which to some reviewers suggested a fanservice show. (Really, really lame fanservice, mind you. You see legs.) Admittedly there's a bit of this in a few of the episodes, but that's not what the show's about.
Other viewers just didn't see very much here. It's three schoolgirls goofing around in throwaway three-minute episodes. That's true enough and I can see why such people found the show unmemorable, but personally I enjoyed it a good deal and I'm hoping for another season.
Basically it's a silent movie, realised as a short-form anime series. Sometimes it even has the kind of incidental music you'll hear on silent movies, although other scenes have a more relaxed plinky-plonky piano that feels semi-improvised. (This fits the show's tone too.) It's adapting a "silent manga", i.e. with no dialogue, although we do see the odd word balloon that contains a picture. (No intertitles, though.) Understandably the show has no overall plot, being just a bunch of slice-of-life episodes, but it's doing quite interesting things with this unusual storytelling choice.
These are silly things, admittedly. Our heroines like being daft. However their whimsical tangents are what usually drive the series, with their tendency to start doing weird goofy things with skateboards (ep.5), family restaurant napkins (ep.4) or whatever. There are three of them, each with a punning name that you almost never hear, for obvious reasons.
1. Futo Momoko (cheerful, easy-going, a bit of an airhead) is wordplay about "thighs"
2. Shibusawa Shibumi (glasses, apparently reserved and uptight) is wordplay about "shibui" (austere, strict)
3. Furui Mayumi (short, earnest, adorably aghast at anything rude) has a family name that's a homonym for "old", since she's old-fashioned. She also has blob eyebrows that look very slightly reminiscent of hikimayu.
(They have voice actors, by the way. Even if they're not talking, they can still eat, squeak and make weird noises while looking in their bags.)
There's not much to analyse here. There's no plot. It's just a bunch of gentle comedy vignettes that quite often made me laugh. Half of my pleasure in watching this show was simply the fun of seeing dialogue-free scenes that are driven by the characters' personalities and actions. You rarely see that these days. It became unfashionable ninety years ago.
There is that low-key fanservice, though. Mostly it's just Momoko's legs and so can barely be called fanservice, while the wet shirts in ep.8 are the most family-friendly ones you ever saw. However ep.6 is weird. I presume that's a physical gag about exercise and weight loss, but that doesn't come across clearly and instead it just looks sleazy in an odd, incomprehensible way. (No nudity, though. This isn't that kind of show.)
I liked it. There's one dramatic episode (the childhood flashback in ep.10), but otherwise it's just light-hearted fun. The girls are killing time and being frivolous. I'd recommend it.