Since Digibro asked so nicely, I will oblige a little. As an aside, this is a good argument for passive aggression. I think if Watarin wasn’t so careful it would have had the same effect.
Category Archives: Girlish Number
I just watched this and I don’t have enough faces or palms to express the amount of facepalming I wanted to perform, if facepalming can be quantified by some amount.
There are some core misreads, and the end result was just a dogpile of irony upon itself. It’s like, no seiota who actually cares about Girlish Number probably could have put up with the 24 minutes of emotional torture to hear Digibro “go wrong” regurgitating the show in his own words. It’s not like hearing nails-on-chalkboard, but it simulates a similar experience on an emotional level.
One key misread is the self-satire on the light novel author. I mean how can anyone say these things about light novel authors in light of our own self-sacrificing Watarin? Wolf of Wall Street and people being cut? GYAHAHA. No clue on how the seiyuu biz works? Or the point of Nanamin and how the second half is just as cynical as the first half, and it’s only because people don’t know what the show was making fun of anymore that they think differently? This is such a misread…
Nobody understands Girlish Number, I guess. Brisk and light? LOL.
“If you haven’t seen this show yet and somehow made it this far in the video” ROFL. It’s true. He makes more money than the blogging and analysis from real industry pros and people who actually knows what they’re talking about. It’s another form of the ouroboros where we can culturally borrow (or in some cases plain appropriate) something else and make more money. Like, all the poorly paid animators, versus, say, the money J-List makes from selling witty t-shirts. Or how much Digibro makes from Youtube.
Thankfully, all Digibro needed to do is make videos his audience likes, not actually do real research or read interviews or actually obtain some real understanding of the things he reviews. Thanks to the same broken, cynical system that perpetrate these silly light novel adaptations (not like Girlish Number is one though…).
Let me be clear, it’s not his fault for the system to be so silly. But both Chitose and Digibro can get better at it, and it’s up to them to do what they feel needed doing. It doesn’t take a charming comedy or actual time inside a seiyuu academy to know what newbie voice actresses in Japan needed to do, or what work is put into the performance. All it takes is a few hours on Google, actually. (Or maybe there’s more to Sore ga Seiyuu than Digibro has taken for granted?) Or any seiota worth their salt and gets their info from Japan or from translations of the numerous interviews out there. But hey, that’s not what kids are looking for, they just want something playing in the background while they grind away at something else. Such is how it goes.
When I watch Girlish Number I think I understand the story from the point of view of a seiyuu otaku. When I read this post I’m not sure what is going on. But rather, let me consider this hypothesis: I don’t understand how non-seiota approach the show not because they don’t understand (or even care to being to understand their ignorance, and if they did know, they don’t care anyway), but because I don’t want (or care) to understand the plebs and their alternative approach to digesting something and repurposing it for their own entertainment.
Chitose may or may not be a bitch and that’s besides the point. The idea is that a heroine like her is, as the large number of Batman x Oregairu memes preordained, Chitose is the heroine this (or our, my precious) rotten industry deserves, not the heroine it wants. This is not unexpected given our passive-aggressive mastermind behind Girlish Number’s creation. Actually, I was surprised, when the dialog almost outright said this in one of the drinking sessions.
Which is just to say, it’s a form of gap analysis, to put it in different terms. I mean, that’s the essence of passive aggression as an expression after all. But it all comes down to the core ask I have: If you don’t understand what the gap is, why would Girlish Number even be interesting? Chitose embodies the broken ideals that makes Girlish Number sting, and sing, in that her strength overcomes her flaws, that she appeals to the shallow but it’s where rubber meets the road in this corrupt world she operates in. Yae, for example, is not only like a real female seiyuu in the same disposition, but is personification of this gap. So if you didn’t know or can then review your own otaku culture and digest the commentary/criticism, trying to enjoy Girlish Number is being just as shallow as Chitose? Surely not.
If anything, it’s kind of amusing to see how outsiders think. It’s like a typical staple shonen manga plot/character where the newcomer who revolutionizes the situation because she doesn’t play by the rules. Chitose probably plays by the rules too much, that she forgot some of the other ones? I don’t know. But it’s the calculations that my brain does when I watch the show. Not the fact that Chitose’s attitude bother me, but rather, what does it really mean?
And I think that’s the kind of literary analysis that should go without saying, similar to that how Chitose is still self-aware enough about her predicaments, in that both she doesn’t give a damn (since she has no chance in hell to make her dreams true %-wise) and she gives all the damns in the world (since she’s in it to win it, it’s her dreams and passion and what her personality demands). It’s that kind of shitty industry after all.
And it’s like a beta-nerd thing to passively and pre-emptively guard yourself by saying your anime suck, Watarin. Suck it up like Chitose! I guess this is why she’s the heroine.
This blog post is like a 200-level course and requires you to be familiar with Girlish Number episodes 1-4. And seiyuu/anime biz. Spoilers, in other words.
This article may be 10 years too late but it’s better late than never.
I’m glad also the forum thread’s most triggering thing was someone linking to TVTropes to chime in how Light Novels are easier to read than regular novels (hint: it’s wrong). Pretty peaceful otherwise.
YES GUYS LIGHT NOVELS ARE A BRANDING/MARKETING THING. Remember OEL Manga? This is the same bullcrap. Maybe the magic of radobe shines in the way how it is a “by fans for fans” enterprise (ignoring the billion-dollar companies pigging back on them) so we can have self-cestual nonsense that is your average garden variety light novel best-seller, and the safe space where these terrible ideas can blossom into the same beautiful things that feeds my anime viewing habit.
Girlish Number’s Wataru partly draws his ire in the show, from precisely that. It’s impossible to ignore, once you know, how anime gets made. It’s not wrong to compare Girlish Number to Shirobako in this sense, where words like “gyara” take on a new meaning and unless you know how seiyuu gets paid, or how seiyuu do afureko, the lead character’s cheekiness in the first two episodes might be lost on you.