Modal Consumption Versus Textual Exception: WUG Step Edition

The public service announcement: Wake Up, Girls! pilot is a movie. Episode 1 of the TV series should not be watched before the movie is. You CAN watch the TV series by itself but that’s like eating a burger by not eating anything but the buns. Yea, you can have a meal this way but it is in no way a valid means of sampling a burger.

That being said, there’s nothing wrong with eating just the buns or watching just the TV series, it is just that doing so puts you in a poor position to criticize, I would think. Of course you can still complain that the burger is too big and you can’t spare another ~26 minutes of your life to watch the full movie (it’s only ~52 minutes, or a tad more than 2 episodes long), I’m with you, like I still have a handful of shows to sample this season and we are on week 2 already. [If you remember, I’m one of those people who would watch Xenoglossia by skipping the middle entirely.]

It kind of boils down to this:

1. Do you need to watch the movie? YES.

2. Who made this confusion possible? Yamakan. Yep. Of course blaming everything on Yamakan is just SOP but the marketing for this show can be a little less confusing. I assumed he wanted to shoehorn the whole pilot in, and couldn’t do it in the allotted time, so, this movie.

Anyway, what I want to talk about in this blog post is how many blogs reviewed WUG in a “first impression” or “enough to pass for judging by the book cover” without watching the movie. As it were, it’s like like judging by Chapter 3 rather than even the Cover? LOL.


Methodology: I trawled Google Blog Search and Anime Nano. Then I added a couple from my RSS feed collection. If you didn’t show up in any of those 3 spots, I didn’t count you in. If you didn’t blog in English, I didn’t even look. I quickly read your posts to determine if you watched the movie. In one case it was not clear but I inferred that the blogger didn’t as the post didn’t contain information unique to the movie. Apologies in advance if I made any mistakes. I checked around 17:45 Eastern time on January 13th, so anyone after that (like this) gets left out.

I then also rated each impression as “rotten/not rotten” in Rotten Tomato style. The ones I can’t figure out I leave as neutral and ignore them. Given numeric or letter grades are rare in this context I try to use judgment and err on the “negative” side. If you drop or plan to drop, it’s a negative. If you keep watching, I’m more inclined to rate it positive.

Prediction: I’m hoping to catch a significant number (50%?) of reviews/impression pieces that do not include the movie, because they treat these seasonal review exercises in a rote, factory-like manner where everything’s the same. If they do fansubs, it’s just another download, etc. It’s albeit a little harder on a legit channel because the UI often gives more clue as to what a series has to offer, but the same can be said there probably.

As for the RT metric, I’ll let the results speak for themselves. I would think people who watched the movie would like it more than those who didn’t, because the movie is actually pretty good and the first episode isn’t visually good, not to mention the disorientation possibility for lacking the back story.

Results: Those who watched the movie: 13

Those who did not watch the movie: 7

Analysis: Looks like for people who cared enough to blog about it, most are at least aware of the movie and did watch it before shooting the crap. There are a few blogs that didn’t review the movie but acknowledge it. The rest, I assume, just didn’t know.

Some identified the movie as an OVA, which I marked with a *. I wonder what that means.

I’m actually hesitating counting Tenka Seiha as a minus because you can’t ever tell sometimes, but he seems to have dropped it so there it goes. Mahou Tofu is a true neutral; s/he would have to rate it >= 6 out of 10 to get a +, and I think it actually gets there. For the sake of negative bias, I counted it as neutral however. I think DiGi Kerot actually likes WUG, but his blog post is way too negative to count as a plus.

While only about 1/3 of the sites here skipped the movie, which is somewhat fewer than I expected, the bigger revelation is that a much smaller percentage of the bloggers skipped it out of ignorance. The rest skipped it ostensibly because they didn’t want to spend the time on it, probably because it is marketed as “extra” to the story.

What’s more surprising is that this Yamakan anime, more people seems to like it than not, across the board. If this was Rotten Tomatoes it would have gotten something like ~65% with ANN’s reviewers leading the way with pull quotes, LOL.

Conclusion: In reality WUG should’ve just labeled TV episode 1 as episode 2, and labeled the movie as episode 1. Problem solved!

The more important metric, however, is how rotten each side breaks down. That makes 4 of 7 positive, versus 9 of 13 positive. WUG may be statistically higher ranked for viewers that watched the movie, which is good–you would think ranking a better thing against a worse version of itself should have that effect. But really? I think it’s within the margin of error, barely. Could really go either way.

In order to improve this we will have to sample other anime and get some kind of mean and more samples to get a standard deviation. I think at any rate, it doesn’t disprove the judge-by-cover adage, or that anime blogging is just crap these days.

3 Responses to “Modal Consumption Versus Textual Exception: WUG Step Edition”

  • mt-i

    Except it’s not just 52 minutes. It’s also Â¥1800 + the train fare and time to reach one of the few theaters where it’s actually showing + the opportunity cost (I feel _Yoyo to nene_ was a much better use of a movie afternoon, somehow) + etc. Meaning that aside from a minority of rabid Yamakan followers, almost nobody will actually watch this over here.

    So the TV show has to stand on its own somehow (unless Yamakan only cares about his rabid followers, which is not impossible).

    • omo

      Agreed, it’s a valid complaint.

      But none of these bloggers belong to that category; I don’t even think a majority of them pay to watch either in some form.

    • DiGiKerot

      Yoyo and Nene probably has a better song and dance sequence as well…


      But, meh. For the record, my current tl;dr thoughts on the show are that I like it, but I kind of feel that the show is going out of it’s way a bit to make me feel bad about doing so, if you catch my drift.

      (I’m not unconvinced that the movie being a pain to see in Japan wasn’t taken into account in the production of the TV episode, but more in a deliberate obfuscation of context fashion. That’s a whole other discussion, though)

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