Girlish Number

Girlish Number

Girlish Number anime series cover art
Girlish Number

Series Overview

Girlish Number (Gi(a)rlish Number / ガーリッシュ ナンバー) is a slice of life series about anime voice actresses. And before I get into anything else about the series, allow me to just say that I have no idea why there’s an “(a)” in the middle of the word “Girlish” in the Japanese title. There’s probably some reason for it, but I don’t know what that reason is.

Anyway, the topic of anime voice actresses is pretty interesting because that’s not something I know all that much about. I have my favorite voice actors and actresses, such as Kana Hanazawa, but it’s not like I follow what she does. I just hear her voice in an anime and recognize her as a good voice actress.

Even in other anime about making anime, like Shirobako, the voice acting side of things is kind of pushed to the side. I think in that series, the voice actress was the character who got the least amount of screen time out of the five girls.

But, speaking of Shirobako, both it and Girlish Number kind of have the same message about voice acting. In both series, we see that voice acting is a very competitive industry, it’s hard to break into, and even if you do get into it, you’re probably going to have nothing but minor roles for a long time.

Where Girlish Number deviates from Shirobako is that the main voice actress, Chitose Karasuma, is a newbie who happens to land a lead role. So, the series follows Chitose as she learns how difficult it really is to survive in the industry as a new voice actress who, honestly, isn’t very good.

Millennium Princess Cast

The anime being created in Girlish Number is called “Millennium Princess × Kowloon Overlord” and is an adaptation of a light novel series. From what I can tell, it’s basically a magical girl fantasy series in which the heroines are five sisters. I’m pretty sure it’s also two cours long, which is surprising based on how bad it is.

Chitose Karasuma is the protagonist of Girlish Number and plays the lead role in Millennium Princess. She’s one of two newbie voice actresses in the series but prefers to act as if she knows the industry inside and out. Her older brother is also her manager.

Yae Kaguyama is the other newbie voice actress starring in the series. She’s basically the exact opposite of Chitose. She’s timid, respectful of her seniors, and is unsure about whether or not she’s ready for a lead role. Basically, Yae is the embodiment of how a newbie should act.

Chitose, Yae, and Koto from the anime series Girlish Number
Chitose, Yae, and Koto

Koto Katakura is the oldest voice actress working on the series, but is still considered a “newbie” because this is the first major roll she’s landed despite working in the industry for years. The best way to describe her is by saying she’s the “mom-friend” of the group.

Kazuha Shibasaki is one of two true professional voice actresses. She takes her work very seriously, isn’t one for small talk or making friends, and doesn’t have any hobbies that don’t include alcohol. While her personality does warm up throughout the series, I wouldn’t exactly call her a tsundere.

Momoka Sonou is the final member of the group and second professional voice actress. She comes from a prestigious family in the industry, with her mother also being a famous voice actress and her father being a producer. However, Momoka just wants to be seen as her own person.

Well-Written or Not?

My least favorite part of this anime is the characters. That’s not good for a slice of life series, because characters are extremely important in them. But, I really don’t think the characters in this series were all that great aside from probably Momoka and Nanami (a new girl who shows up later).

Yae, Koto, and Kazuha all felt like pretty one-dimensional characters that fell into tropes. You could probably say the same about Momoka, but I felt like she was a bit more dynamic than the rest. I really liked seeing her shifts in personality depending on who she was interacting with: Her parents, fans, and other voice actresses.

Even the supporting characters weren’t anything special. The producer of Millennium Princess was pretty entertaining, but even he was just a carbon copy of Tarou from Shirobako. Those two characters even sound alike, so I was surprised to learn they didn’t share a voice actor.

Chitose Karasuma voice acting from the anime series Girlish Number
Chitose Karasuma voice acting

The worst offender, however, is Chitose. I’m actually not sure if Chitose’s character is well-written or not. She’s absolutely insufferable, which is why I couldn’t watch more than one episode per day. I don’t think I would ever be able to binge this series, solely because of Chitose.

Everything about Chitose’s personality is awful. She acts like she’s the best at everything even though she sucks, she’s a jerk to everyone around her even when they’re kind to her, and she actually never grows throughout the series. Even by the end of the final episode, the only one she cares about is herself and how “great” she is.

Now, I say that she could just be well-written because she’s obviously supposed to be annoying. However, I also feel like we’re supposed to be encouraged by her positivity in the end. And if that was how I was supposed to feel towards her, then she’s a failed character.

Conclusion

I think a 6/10 is more than fair for Girlish Number. I was considering giving it a 5, but I did enjoy certain aspects. As I mentioned, Momoka and Nanami were good, the producer was fairly entertaining, and the series focused on an industry I don’t really know much about. But, I don’t feel like I can call this series “good.”

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