First Impressions: Comic Girls

Comic Girls is an anime series based on the manga series of the same name. It’s about a group of teenage girls who all end up living in a dorm specifically set aside for female manga artists. The series follows along Kaoruko Moeta (aka Kaos) immediately after finding out test audiences don’t like the manga she created. She then ends up moving into the female manga artist dorm alongside another, freewheeling manga artist named Koyume Koizuka. The pair end up as roommates. Kaos wants to draw 4-panel manga and has trouble drawing realistic looking female characters. Koyume is a fabulous artist of female characters, but can’t draw male characters. The two end up meeting two older manga artists who are at the dorm, serialized authors Ruki Irokawa and Tsubasa Katsuki. The four of them end up bonding as Tsubasa has a deadline rapidly approaching and needs all the help she can get.

Overall, the episode was interesting. The characters are all a little different and each have their own weaknesses. They all, also, seem to know their own weaknesses. This makes it interesting as you know as they grow closer together, they will each help each other overcome said weaknesses. There were some weird, cringe-worthy moments such as a moment when Koyume runs up behind Ruki and gropes her breasts. This is followed by an even more awkward discussion (while still groping her) about how strange it is that Ruki writes lewd manga with her having small breasts. Yes, that’s an actual moment in the show that’s played up for laughs, but it just felt uncomfortable for all involved (including the viewer). Koyume also is shown to have a major crush on Tsubasa because she feels she looks masculine. Her apparent physically masculine looks and demeanor appeared to be played for laughs where in one scene where Ruki said Tsubasa would turn into a boy if she kept acting as she did. Again, these moments were odd in an otherwise interesting show about four teenage artists. I’ll give it another episode to see if it’ll let me down or overcome these moments.

stardf29: Manga Time Kirara‘s huge lineup of cute-girls-doing-cute-things manga frequently gets anime adaptations, and now we’ve come full circle with one about actually drawing manga. First of all, I love how the four main girls each draw a different type of manga, covering the four major manga types of 4-panel slice-of life, shounen action, shoujo romance, and… uh, risque stuff. Each girl likewise has her own challenges and backstories that shape their manga career, such as how shoujo mangaka Kouyume can’t draw boys well or how Ruki originally wanted to draw children’s manga but her editors pushed her in a more mature direction. The main girl Kaoruko has the most prominent mini-storyline in this premiere as she has to overcome a severe lack of confidence, not helped by the negative public reception to her work, just to even help out with beta on Tsubasa’s manga. The show is an absolute riot comedy-wise, too; while it does have its missteps (I’m no more a fan of the boob jokes than MDMRN is), the way the characters play off each other is overall great, and Tsubasa’s shift into shounen-protagonist mode is absolutely hilarious. Overall, this is a show about a group of very different people living in the same space and growing up together, a type of show I absolutely adore (see: Hidamari Sketch, Mahoraba, Sakurasou, Rokujyouma, Kawaisou), and the execution of this premiere suggests Comic Girls will not be an exception. Even with my stricter viewing schedule, this is definitely a show I will be following to the end.

Dr Steve: Generally I would have to agree with my sempai above. Comic Girls ep. 1 is a funny, decently-paced introduction to four aspiring mangaka girls. (One of them, although in high school, is continually mistaken for being in junior high or even middle school! I could relate: Once a friendly undergrad even mistook me for a freshman—when I was already studying for my PhD.) I would add that the girls all have very well-defined characters, and don’t really fall into particular stereotypes. I think this bodes well for the series,  and look forward to more! 🙂

Comic Girls can be streamed legally at Crunchyroll.

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