Turning Girls is just a cute little comedy web series about the struggles of adulthood. If you have an hour of free time, like cringe comedy/slice of life, and don't mind EXTREMELY limited animation, give this series a quick watch for some quality laughs.
Granted, one of the reasons TG didn't do so well in the west is because its comedy is mostly geared towards Japanese women in their late 20's. But I still found it totally fun and (usually) relatable.
That might seem high for a series with like... ZERO production value. Fair criticism for an anime, sure. But if I tell you a little story,
maybe you'll begin to forgive Turning Girls' non-existent animation:
This series aired Summer of 2013, when Studio Trigger was busy with the production of its first TV anime, Kill la Kill. Earlier that year, Trigger also had concluded producing an ONA for Anime Bancho called "Inferno Cop". Limited by time and budget, Trigger allotted *2 hours* to make each episode of Inferno Cop. TWO HOURS AN EPISODE.
And yet! This first web series was a rousing success, even overseas. So Anime Bancho requested another web series while Kill la Kill was in the works. What to do? Spend even LESS time per episode?
Then-- an idea. All the female staff at Trigger were gathered together and asked, "Hey. Can you make an anime for us?" The answer: Turning Girls.
Although Otsuka is formally the executive director, the series was written, drawn and directed by the women at Trigger. None of them were animators (and... it shows). But the comedy is gold. It maintains that absurdist Trigger charm. And as audio director Hiromi Wakabayashi states, the characters are an honest reflection of the staff who worked on it. So the comedy and dialogue feel very genuine.
While you can count the frames per episode on your fingers and toes, everything else about this show is mad impressive. Handing this project over to non-animators was a bold strategy, but it really paid off. The comedy is on point. The writing is clever. And it stands alone as a show made by women, for women, in a male-dominated industry. That's freakin' awesome.