Rie TakahashiSatomi SatouAki ToyosakiMiyu Tomita
Wasteful Days of High School Girls (anime)
Episode 1 also reviewed here: Anime 1st episodes 2019: W
Also known as: Joshikousei no Mudazukai (anime)
Medium: TV, series
Year: 2019
Director: Takeo Takahashi, Hijiri Sanpei
Writer: Masahiro Yokotani
Original creator: Bino
Actor: Aki Toyosaki, Chinatsu Akasaki, Haruka Tomatsu, Kazuyuki Okitsu, M.A.O, Maria Naganawa, Miyu Tomita, Rie Takahashi, Satomi Satou
Keywords: anime
Country: Japan
Language: Japanese
Format: 12 episodes
Url: https://www.animenewsnetwork.com/encyclopedia/anime.php?id=21762
Website category: Anime 2019
Review date: 4 May 2022
Joshikousei no Mudazukai
It's a normal schoolgirl comedy for the first few episodes. Nothing wrong with it, but nothing special either. I was amused. After a while, though, the supporting cast hit their stride and the show becomes one of the funnier comedies of the year.
I disagree with the title's English translation, incidentally. Personally, I'd suggest "waste of being a high school girl", because the show's set at a girl's school where every named character is a spaz, loser, loon, idiot and/or beyond hope. If there's a platonic ideal of noble femininity, this rabble are as far as you can get from it. Oh, and everyone in the cast has a nickname. These are helpful and I'll use them here, for simplicity.
The core cast are okay. Baka ("idiot"), Wota ("otaku") and Robo ("robot") are three friends who hang out all the time for slightly mysterious reasons, although admittedly it's hard to imagine many other people putting up with them. Baka is the kind of loud, hyperactive annoyance who could be murdered by putting a sign on a cliff edge saying "do not jump off this cliff". Not only does everyone call her "baka", but she treats it as her name and answers to it. My favourite Baka moment involves that loaf of three-year-old bread at the start of ep.6. Wota talks like a thug, draws manga and is into Boys' Love. (She's a top-class tsukkomi.) Robo is emotionless and likes bringing home-grown bacterial cultures into school.
They're fine, but we also have...
"Loli" (little girl) is actually a year above the main trio, but has the body and (in some ways) mentality of an eight-year-old. "Why would you show your chest to someone you like? When? For what purpose?" She's funny because she has two personalities. Loli-at-home lives with her beloved granny and behaves like an infant. Loli-at-school has a complex about her appearance and stomps around talking tough and snarling at everyone. This can be hysterical.
Yamai ("darkness") is the chuunibyou to end all chuunibyou. Yamai killed me. Ask her a question and she'll start explaining about how she's a half-dragon and being pursued by dark powers. (She makes this stuff up on the spot and doesn't keep it consistent.) She'll do it even to teachers asking why she didn't do her homework. She spends so much time unintentionally tormenting her class teacher ("Waseda") that you'll start wondering if they get together romantically. Furthermore, she's aware that she keeps digging some new deranged kind of grave for herself, but she can't stop and will regularly call herself an idiot after she's been an idiot.
Those are my two favourites, although I have a lot of time for everyone. Majo ("witch") is a loner who hardly ever came to school until the gang dragged her there in ep.6. Her favourite things are blood, gore and horror movies. There are probably about eight or nine named schoolgirl characters and a few others (parental figures, teachers, boys who fancy Robo and need help, etc.)
There's cringe comedy. Majime imitating Baka to try to appeal to Robo is slightly painful in ep.4, for instance. On the other hand, though, ep.11 ends up being heartwarming. (Wota is the author avatar of the original manga's creator, Bino, while Waseda is based on her husband. In hindsight, that makes a lot of sense. The manga apparently has a certain amount of self-skewering autobiography.)
Does this show matter? No, obviously. It's about the random conversations and misadventures of weirdos and idiots. There's no plot. However, there's some top-class comedy, once it's got going. The manga even got a 2020 live-action TV adaptation, which is also very good. (Given my track record with live-action Japanese TV, I was astonished.) I'd recommend this. I'm hoping for a second season.