First Impression: “Deji” Meets Girl

We’re in a bright and bluish Okinawa, at a small, nice, wooden hotel by the beach. A girl is checking in on arriving guests, complimenting them with a smile. A biwa is playing in the background, the sun shines, the people lazily sunbathe and swim, but not the expressive Higa Maise, the aforementioned girl, who has run out of luck. Trapped in a summer job and a bunch of summer complementary lessons, she’s scrubbing the floor, inflating floats, and attending the guests. That’s not how she imagined her first summer of high school. But an unexpressive guy her age, a guest coming from Tokyo and rumored to be a celebrity taking a rest, comes with a complaint about his room. The manager is not beyond teasing the slightly interested Maise, who tells him to shut up and goes upstairs with the boy. Is something the matter? He will only say that things are… a little weird. No wonder. Suddenly, they are walking through a sea scene. The guy, unfazed, asks our protagonist if this sort of thing is normal in Okinawa. We see flashforwards of red and golden birds, people flying, and a giant tree above the roof of the hotel…

“Deji” Meets Girl is a very different kind of show. For one, everything I have told here happens in two minutes, and thirty seconds of those are the ending. So, as you can see, it does an extremely good work in conveying information through quick character and setting moments (anime’s grace for small moments can achieve a lot with the short-chapter format, as Tonari no Seki-kun and Pupipo taught me). The fantasy comes, beautiful and unexpected, contrasting with a background of greatly achieved realism, and made me think about the feeling I got as a child, when a C.S. Lewis character enters Narnia. It doesn’t feel rushed, either, and is bright and colorful, and as delightfully summery as our writer Claire anticipated from the trailer (though, for now, the central character is Maise, Ichiro remaining in the background). I really like the art style. From the trailer and the feel of it, it seems that we will be going back and forth between the two worlds with the two of them. Just great. Second, even if it’s accessible to all in their twitter and Youtube channels, it is not officially translated or subbed (that I know). Other than that, I enjoyed it a lot, and the ending promises more wonders. “Deji,” she says at the end: the great, that which leaves you speechless, meets our girl.

“Deji” Meets Girl can be streamed (in Japanese, I’m afraid) at Avex Pictures Youtube channel, and Twitter webpage.

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