Mangirl! Review

This is review number one hundred and ninety four. This anime is part of the Winter 2013 lineup. The anime I’ll be reviewing is called Mangirl! It’s a twelve episode anime that runs for three minutes about four girls creating a manga. The anime had some interesting things to present but the flaws are also massive. Let’s read on.

Story

The anime is about four amateur publishers tasked to create their own manga. The journey won’t be an easy one but they are determined to make a successful manga. They are serious at their job but they also enjoy the casual nonsense and jokes during work. Problems may come their way but the girls are ready to work hard.

Taking the Pants Off

This show is a three minute anime about the inner workings of the manga publication. It tells of the things editors do to publish their monthly manga but also having some random fun along the way. The premise is pretty decent but you should keep in mind that it’s a four panel anime. These anime do not have a story and just a basic premise (publishing manga) as a format for the jokes. I personally feel that the premise could’ve worked on a more serious format but the point of a four panel anime is to make you laugh and enjoy its simple setup. The anime works great on those fronts but offers nothing more.

While the premise is about a look at how manga are published and the various factors contributing to it, this aspect of the anime is really just a theme. Everything is light handedly served and there is no ounce of a serious professional look at the industry. There are some things mentioned like transcribing a manga and research for a manga but it is all just a context for the anime to revolve around in. The actual purpose of the anime is fluff. The show is really about four girls in a slice of life setting spending time together and joking around. It’s the typical slice of life comedy with cute girls wrapped around the idea of making a manga. The manga aspects do make the anime unique but the whole thing is just a way for the girls to spend time together or eat all the time. It is expected though because it is a four panel anime. You can’t create a story with this kind of anime and it’s more of a setup/punch line kind of manga told in just four panels. The entire anime is just a simple situational slice of life comedy anime.

To be fair, the anime does present some interesting aspect of publishing a manga. There are the typical things you’d expect like creating a storyboard and editors hounding the author before the deadline that the anime uses to build an episode out of. There are also things like picking the right font for the manga to convey the appropriate mood of the scene and even a gravure shoot for the front cover of the manga. While these things are just light handedly, it still has some intrigue to them and the anime utilizes them pretty smartly. Creating an episode where the characters do research for a manga compliments the actual content of the anime and it makes the scenarios more fun to watch. I am also impressed at how the anime give us a look at the life cycle of a manga. It’s very subtly presented. From its pitch to the editors to its compiled version to its very own anime adaptation, it gave us a look at how a manga slowly grows into something pretty exciting. The anime had enough manga aspects to entice the viewers and I’ll give points for that. You might even want to try making your own manga after seeing the things done in the anime but I think it could’ve meant a whole lot more if the approach was entirely different.

The anime had an interesting thing to present about the various duties of an editor and the life cycle of a manga. I truly believe it could’ve worked on a more serious anime. Mangirl lacks realism. The first episode had four girls declaring that they’ll make a manga then they just magically did. The whole story then just went through the motions. This is a missed opportunity for the anime, in my opinion. They should’ve given us a more realistic idea of how publishing a manga works. Everything was just so lighthearted that it irritates me. There is something to present about the business minded appeal of the industry combined with the artistic passion of creating a manga that could’ve worked well with this anime. It doesn’t want to be serious though. The characters just ate and did random things together while apparently working hard because their manga just miraculously becomes successful. It feels hollow but I guess you should expect that from a three minute anime.

The anime did a lot in the span of three minutes though so it is commendable. Don’t expect a story in this anime. It’s just one of those anime you can enjoy because it’s funny and simplistic and straightforward. It’s the perfect kind of anime when you just want to relax and think about nothing. The comedy aspect was nicely done. It had the random thing nailed while it let the characters just go crazy. It’ll make you laugh with all the light jabs at certain anime and just the plain ridiculousness of certain scenes.

The characters are all one dimensional. It’s another thing you’d expect in a three minute anime. The damn thing had no story so the characters are really just stereotypical. There is the loud girl, the kind girl, the quiet girl and the serious girl. They just go with the flow of the anime and just deliver some gags along the way. The anime is so short that you can’t really appreciate the characters even for their generic-ness. Their interaction is pretty fun to watch though. The characters all look great when they interact among each other and do some jokes together. The side characters are also the same. They just move with the story and they don’t really stand out like the main characters.

mangirl8

All in all though, I believe Mangirl had some interesting things and some things you can appreciate but there are also some noticeable flaws. Aside from the lack of a more serious manga publishing tone, the various episodes and progression of the story is also massively cliché. This is the bad kind of cliché though. There is no time to set something up so it relied on cliché scenarios to carry the anime along. I can ignore the cliché though because asking for something remarkable in three minutes is pretty impossible. No, wait. I’ve seen some anime work great in three minutes but majority of them are unfulfilling time wasters. Mangirl falls in that category as well. It’s both good and bad in a way.

Sight and Sound

Character design is simple. It just took some generic characters and gave them decent looking clothes. I do love some of the outfit of the characters in the anime. Even though they don’t change, they still stand out in a small way. The characters are all generic cute girls though with big bright eyes and small faces. They look great and that’s really all that matters.

The animation is decent. It doesn’t really stand out and the quality is inconsistent but it was good enough to move the anime along. The characters retain their cute charm so that’s a great plus. The frame rate is pretty low though and some movements are awkward like the leap frog sequence in the opening.

The anime’s OP is “girl meets DEADLINE” by M@N☆GIRL! (Kanako Miyamoto, Yuri Komagata, Moemi Otaka, Ayaka Ohashi). It’s sung by the main characters of the anime. It’s a cute song that nicely fits the anime. The pace was a bit slow but the voices nicely stand out. The OP sequence features all the girls jumping. Like I said, the leap frog scene is awkward and you can tell the animation is a bit faulty just by OP. It has cute girls and nothing more.

The anime’s ED is “Mainichi☆Mangirl! (毎日☆まんがーる!)” by M@N☆GIRL! (Kanako Miyamoto, Yuri Komagata, Moemi Otaka, Ayaka Ohashi). This was only played at the last episode of the anime. It’s also sung by the girls and it’s another cute song. I think this one is more cuter and the girls had an individual line to show off their cute voices. It’s pretty much the same as the OP though. There is no ED sequence.

Overall Score

3/10 “It’s a decent anime but the anime certainly had a potential three minutes can never fully present.”

The content is pretty decent and the episodes were enjoyable but the anime could’ve really worked if it was in a normal format style instead of just three minutes. The lack of a serious look at publishing manga is also a wasted chance the anime didn’t utilize. If you enjoy comedy and cute girls then you’ll enjoy this anime. Three minutes isn’t that much of a loss though so try checking it out for yourself.

One thought on “Mangirl! Review

  1. People’s initial reactions to the title sounding dirty or involving gender-bending or cross-dressing made me laugh out loud. The show overall was average. It merely existed.

Thoughts~

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