Early Impressions: Comic Girls

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Three episodes in, welcome to “Cute Girls Doing Cute (And Relatably Nerdy) Things™ Series #242913724.”

Once again, the theme of “There’s so little else to watch that I just wanted something” played a part in my choosing this series to watch. I cannot stress enough how hard I thought about what to watch this season, because nothing really stuck out enough for me to go “This will likely be good.” With Comic Girls, this is more akin to a guilty viewing than anything I expect to be wholly heart-wrenching. My presumptions were correct.

What startled me initially, though, was that the first episode was actually decent. It introduced the characters well enough, established their quirks, and built a nice foundation for future meaningful interaction between the four and a central goal for Pink Hair specifically to strive for. I promptly noted it on my MAL as “started” and noticed that not many people agreed with me. The average rating equated to well within the 3000’s (It still is). Perhaps it was a warning sign.

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Continuing the series with actual expectations, they were crushed minimally by a forgettable second episode, though I wasn’t concerned at the time. Series can have misses. Not until an even worse third episode did the inevitable “Do I want to drop this?” decision popped into my head. There’s a certain air to a series with such empty intentions or flaccid execution that slowly makes a pit in my stomach. The feeling of teetering upon the decision of “I don’t want to watch this anymore” is, frankly, a little more enticing to watch said series for. Will it escape the drop column or not?

More about the series itself, Comic Girls is about Pink Hair, Blondie, Purple Hair and Blue Hair hanging out in an apartment supervised by Normal Hair as they struggle with and take pleasure in being aspiring manga artists. Quick aside, the colorful assortment of these characters reminds me of the Blue’s Clues episode where they paint the elephants in the notebook. Much of the anime hinges upon the silly interaction between these four teenage girls, with such riveting discussions as “I can’t believe your boobs are bigger than mine” and “Let’s dress up the loli-looking girl in elementary school clothing” and “I hope I can not be complete shit one day!” The premise of mangakas inspiring one another to be better is handled about as succinctly as Yuru Yuri exploring the trials and tribulations of homosexual romance. The shtick of Comic Girls feels more like one of those slap-on kid tattoos than anything else.

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This goes into what I noted before as “empty intentions.” What is the goal of Comic Girls? To present a show one can take seriously while having fun at the same time? Just fun? Or is it merely to profit? Content-wise, it’s more akin to the last; the same tropes one would expect from an all-girl cast, complete with subtle yuri themes, comparisons between body types, and embarrassment over the type of content they may indulge in. Does all of this service the characters or the audience? The more one thinks about it, it almost seems like a compliment to call the intentions “empty” instead of “vile.”

So, alright, Comic Girls isn’t exactly winning awards for deep thinking. Is there anything positive to say about it? Design is pretty. Okay, okay, that’s barely a compliment in this case. If I had to say anything, it’s Blue Hair. Blue Hair is actually kind of unique to the anime-verse (at least to my knowledge). Her wholesome intentions, androgynous self-perception (She notes that she might prefer being a boy in the first episode), and random enthusiasm for her line of work (She deals with high-energy Shounen manga) makes her a bright spot for an incredibly dull and clichéd cast. If not for her, it’d likely be an easy decision to drop this.

And so I’m holding on by the string of a single character. That’s safe enough, right? Jokes aside, this isn’t a recommendable title by any means. The loose expectations going into it were inflated only initially, before running on empty soon after. There’s not much to it that hasn’t been done with plenty of other slice-of-life series involving a rainbow brite cast. Hopefully Blue Hair can crossover into something more worthwhile.

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