Aimi TanakaMikako IzawaYuka OzakiHiyori Kono
Anima Yell!
Episode 1 also reviewed here: Anime 1st episodes 2018: A
Medium: TV, series
Year: 2018
Director: Masako Sato
Writer: Fumihiko Shimo
Original creator: Tsukasa Unohana
Actor: Aimi Tanaka, Eriko Matsui, Haruka Shiraishi, Hiyori Kono, Mikako Izawa, Nao Natsuno, Risae Matsuda, Satsumi Matsuda, Tomori Kusunoki, Yuina Yamada, Yuka Ozaki, Yurina Furukawa
Keywords: anime
Country: Japan
Language: Japanese
Format: 12 episodes
Website category: Anime 2018
Review date: 20 January 2020
Anima Yell
It's about a school cheerleading club. Personally I struggle to get my head around that activity, but that wasn't really an obstacle. The show's fun. I can't imagine anyone ever feeling the need to rewatch it, but it's twelve episodes of "likeable and nice". It's another Cute Girls Doing Cute Things show.
It's based on a four-panel manga from Manga Time Kirara Carat. This means: (a) lesbians and (b) almost no men. (Hizume has a legendary brother, though.) That's all in accordance with Kirara's reputation. However the gender balance is justified by the choice of activity, while the lesbianism is a bit more overt than usual. All five main characters will be either:
1. in love with and/or have a huge longstanding crush on another of the main characters
2. the oblivious object of (1), or
3. the best friend of a one-episode character who's in love with another girl and is looking for advice in how to take the next step.
The cast all have theme animals in their names, which are occasionally the subject of jokes that will baffle English-speaking viewers. Our main heroine is Kohana Hatoya (pigeon, pink hair), with a heart of gold, a head of air and a somewhat questionable inability to take "no" for an answer. She's also determined to do stunts, despite being scared of heights. She's super-energetic and quite funny. (On hearing about an alleged ghost, she wants to invite it to join the cheerleading club.)
Hizume Arima (horse, dark blue/purple hair) is the one with issues. This provides a certain amount of emotional weight at the very beginning and very end of the series. She got booted out of her last cheerleading club for being the star and leaving everyone else behind. There's such a disparity between her joyfully performing persona and her morose ordinary self that it can take time for someone who only knows one to recognise the other.
Uki Sawatari (monkey, blonde) is the sensible one. She and Kohana have been best friends for years and it's generally Uki who'll act like everyone's mother and point out when Kohana's talking rubbish. However Uki's also infatuated with Kohana.
Kana Ushiku (cow, red hair) is Hizume's tsundere lesbian stalker. She was also part of Hizume's previous cheerleading squad and is very good at it. They make her join the club.
Kotetsu Tatejima (tiger) is the other one. She tends to fade into the background a bit, as the only club member who's not half of an unrequited lesbian crush. There's nothing wrong with the character, though.
Is this a good show? Well, it's okay. It's capable of being more emotionally meaningful than its usual level, e.g. Hizume, or Uki's cheerleader-hating little brother in ep.9. (I quite liked that episode.) It would also be wrong to confuse it with content-free puff like Is The Order A Rabbit?. The girls have an activity and a goal. They're trying to improve at it and support people. They do performances, or indeed anything helpful that Kohana regards as within acceptable cheerleading club bounds. (The manga club in ep.10 was funny.)
Basically, though, it's nice. Occasionally it's capable of feeling like the 4-panel manga adaptation it is, e.g. ep.11, but for the most part you wouldn't guess. It feels like an unremarkable anime of its genre, pleasant but a bit inconsequential.