Girlish Number follows Chitose Karasuma as she aims to become a popular voice actress. The problem is, she sucks. Not only does she suck but she honestly believes she’s great, even one of the greatest in the business, she just needs to be discovered. This leads to an arrogant, self-absorbed bitch of a protagonist which fit perfectly in the setting. The show is backed up with a wide cast of characters including fellow voice actors, her manager and other staff from the anime. Chitose’s personalty perfectly clashes with other newbies including the unsure Yae Kugayama and the anime obsessed Koto Katakura and popular voice actors like the self-absorbed Kazuha Shibasaki and daughter of a popular voice actor and director; Momoka Sono.
The series starts off taking jabs at the industry every opportunity it can get saying the industry is garbage or light novel writers just want to be part of anime but can’t do anything important (keep in mind this is written by a LN writer) and while the jokes continue through the show, a slow transition to a more serious side of the industry opens up eventually for us to explore. This leads to my first complaint as it feels like the first and second halves almost come from completely different shows. The comedy is a lot less in the second half and there isn’t much focus on the anime but the characters. This isn’t a probably in itself but it felt like a sudden switch. If the setting switched like the comedy it would have been a lot better.
It also feels like the show had way too many ideas for the amount of time it had. Constantly new ideas are brought up for arcs that could last 5 or 6 episodes and are resolved in 2 or 3 (or they’re brought up, ignored then resolved later in 1 or 2 episodes). Some are seemingly forgotten completely. What happened to the author of the light novel they adapted? We see him brought up a couple times but his depression is broken by something really stupid and it seems like he was forgotten until the finale. There was also pretty pointless plot points brought up. Koto gets a little backstory later in the series with a reveal that wasn’t foreshadowed at all until that episode when a picture is shown basically confirming before actually confirming a few minutes later. I don’t mind world building but it felt pointless here. Koto shows up the least out of the voice actors and knowing this information really added nothing to her character or the story and felt like a waste of time.
I do like the arcs in concept though I wish they had more time. Within 12 episodes we get: Chitose improving, Chitose depressed when she finds out she’s bad, a new voice actor “replacing” Chitose, Momoka and Kazuha’s family issues, Chitose’s brother’s past, Kuzu’s (the producer) backstory (which also wasn’t really resolved) and hinting that Yae is is getting more and more popular. We have all these plot points and arcs but most of them lead nowhere or are left untied. The few that are resolved felt rushed.
That’s not to say I disliked the show. When it was on point, it was on point. The high points existed through the whole show and made the lower points bearable. Things such as the anime’s terrible animation yet the crowd cheering when the PV was shown was great.
The animation for Girlish Number itself was good but nothing special. This did mean it didn’t have a significant drop in quality often seen in shows that started amazing looking and looked consistent all the way through.
The soundtrack was pretty meh. I can’t think of any songs I’d hum along to the the opening and ending tracks, while catchy, were just generic J-Pop songs. It was nice having the main cast sing the OP but that’s not exactly unique for cute girl shows.