A TV anime adaptation of the Girlfriend (Kari) a mobile game where players can have girlfriends through playing the game.
Shiina Kokomi is a hard working but even tempered high school girl who is the lead performer in her school's rhythmic gymnastics club. The story follows her and her growing circle of friends as they support each other through the various trials and situations that comprise high school life.
Have you been feeling sleep deprived?
Have you been feeling restless when trying to sleep?
Have you previously experienced insomnia?
Have you awoken up feeling tired in the morning?
If you answered, “yes" to any of these questions, look no further, there is a solution for you. It’s called, “Girlfriend (Kari)! The most sleep-inducing anime ever with cute characters, narrating you to sleep.
Now, what does “Girlfriend (Kari)” contain, one might ask? It contains four essential components: 1) no progression, 2) lackluster characters, 3) placid sounds, and 4) cute designs.
1) No Story Progression: Story progression is overrated. Who needs it? We don’t
need an overarching, complex story with depth. Yeah. We just need to focus on the cuteness factor and their daily lives at school, that’s it. Don't worry about it.
2) Lackluster Characters: The budget called for cute, bubbly characters with little substances, it’s the most important factor. We don't need to learn about their past, or their backstory, or how they became cute. We just need to know that they're cute and they all love each other. Again, don’t worry about it.
3) Placid Sounds: Can you hear me, now? No, that’s because I’m whispering and most of the girls do this. They like to talk in a sweet, low tone voice because they act cute. Furthermore, the background music enhances their cuteness by adding quiet and relaxing music. Again, don't worry about it.
4) Cute Design: The most important component is that every character is overly sweet, cutely drawn, and slightly moe and appealing. Every character, especially Chloe Lemaire, has a cute facial expression with lovely smiles. Do worry about it. Because, you will be affected by how cute their smiles are.
Now, a word with some previous customers:
Viewer A – “After watching the first 10 minutes of Girlfriend (Kari), I was able to have a good night sleep. And I haven’t had a good night sleep in over three days!”
Viewer B – “The nice, quiet, whispering sounds helped me sleep like a baby.”
This anime may differ from viewer to viewer, some may sleep within the first couple of minutes, others within a few episodes, and remember do not overdose on viewing.
Girlfriend is the adaptation of a dating simulation game for mobile phones in which you date the girls of Seiou academy. This might trick you into believing this series is about romance and structured a la Amagami, but in reality Girlfriend is a school comedy composed of individual episodes featuring different main characters (and often side characters) that have daily life, friendship or reaching your own goals as central themes.
While there's nothing particularly wrong with it on a surface level, I found Girlfriend to be an exceptionally bland rendition of the school-set slice of life category. The issues lie in its structure, as standalone
episodes with generally no recurring characters are unable to enstablish the necessary emphatic link with the viewer, with the characters theirselves being no more than one-dimensional tropes and the individual stories often being a mere display of said tropes. It's harmless and not particularly horrible, and it will likely please the moe enthusiast, but it will hardly leave an impression on anyone else.
If you are curious as to what happened in twelve episodes of Girlfriend (Kari), simply multiply that number by zero. This adaptation was as flat and uninspiring as anime come, with all characters of significance assigned popular archetypes. Distinctive personalities were nowhere to be found, ignored completely in favor of these simplified archetypes and their associated cliches. I would relate this viewing experience to watching a bird attempt to fly with a broken wing. It truly is a shame, considering the string of accolades and talent decorating this assembly of seiyuu veterans.
Despite the girls being second-rate individually in complexion, their group chemistry
was commendable. However, their collective resilience would remain grounded by the lack of a definitive nucleus to rally around. However, if any character was a leader worthy of mention it would undoubtedly be Chloe Lemaire. I had no idea the seiyuu behind Sakura Kinomoto (Cardcaptor Sakura) could cool the pace down with such quality French! Her one-two punch of tone and wordplay made for quite a few shining moments, but with all due respect their was no chance at salvaging this wrecked ship.
Girlfriend (Kari) is a slice of life anime that takes on an everyday school life approach. Girlfriend's strong points are...umm...I'm going to get back to that later. Girlfriend's weak points are pretty much everything. Despite the rating I gave this show, I'm going to be fair with this review. While I don't consider this show "bad", it's still very un-enjoyable, even though I like the slice of life genre.
=== The "Story" ===
This review will contain no spoilers as there's no story to spoil. Yep. There isn't anything I could say that would spoil any events in this anime, that would ruin the enjoyment for the
viewer. The story of Girlfriend basically follows the everyday lives of a group of girls, attending a high school. It's an ultra-simplistic, slow paced slice of life where nothing of real significance happens. That's one problem with the anime which I will get into later. First impressions may have you thinking that this anime revolves around one main character after the first two episodes. However, every episode or so actually changes focus to another character throughout the whole anime. So there's no character development in this show. It's a bit hard for me to say what the main driving point of this anime is. It seems it doesn't even have one and just focuses completely on slice of life. I'm guessing that's the driving point. Now just because it doesn't have a story doesn't mean the anime isn't worth watching. However, let's get into the details and find out what makes this show so, so boring. The characters.
=== The "Characters" ===
It's not easy to explain the character cast in this anime, so I'm going to just start this section off with a bang. In my opinion, the character cast in Girlfriend (Kari) is the worst character cast in anime. Indeed, may the butt-hurt come-ith on to me.
This show does not have, what it likes to call, "main" characters. Instead, I consider them all side characters as none of them are "the show". When they're not the main focus of the show, they just act as side/supporting characters anyways. This anime was going for an approach where it covered a bunch of characters, rather than just a few. That's fine and all. No issue there. However, let me explain the characters themselves.
The characters that are provided for the show are the most boring, un-engaging, one dimensional, clones you'll probably ever see. None of the characters have any interesting personality or unique charm. In fact, all the characters have the same dull personality. Every girl in this show is a shy, cheerful, easy-going, friendly person. Every character that this show covers fits that description and no other character is different. This anime I'm guessing tried to create a "balance" by having the characters being all the same. However, they ended up creating clones. Heck, just look at the anime cover. They all have the same looking and similar shaped face. Clones confirmed! That's not what I consider balanced, if there's many things that are all completely the same. The only thing that makes these characters slightly different from each other, aside from hair, chest size, etc, is that some have different hobbies. One likes to read and write(like me). One likes to cook(unlike me). One performs gymnastics (highly unlike my fat ass), and so on and so on. Now all this show does with the characters is have them buzzing around the school doing things that honestly put me to sleep at some points. Not even kidding with that. On top of that, this show doesn't even try to attempt humor. At least if it does, it's so shallow and un-witty that it didn't give me a reaction, other than face to palm or slapping my forehead so hard that I actually remembered that I could of had a V8. To be fair, I did chuckle a couple times, not going to lie.
It may seem like I'm being harsh and unfair, but I'm being as nice as I can. I'm describing these characters as accurate as I can and I've watched every episode. These characters are really that poorly written. It maybe fair to say that they're written just to be in a slice of life anime, but I don't know. All good slice of life anime seem to have good characters. Why couldn't these characters be any better? I'll say it takes much tolerance to even like these characters, as they really have nothing interesting going on for them. I guess that just depends on personal taste. They certainly aren't unlikable. Overall, the worst characters you'll probably ever see. That's all you need to know. The cast of characters from School Days having whoopy is more engaging to watch.
The art in this anime is actually pretty good, for what the show offers. For a slice of life show, it does a good job at capturing that slice of life atmosphere. Nothing too fancy or dramatic, but nothing bland either. Watching this anime, it became obvious the anime directors rigorously slave-labored the art department to create the most beautiful and stunning normal looking high school girls ever. For what they did, they did alright. This girls look cute for sure, along with some of them "packing". The only problem I have is that all characters look the same, as I mentioned earlier. That's fine though really. Overall, the art, in my opinion, is just right for the show. I would say the art is the strongest point of the anime by far. See, I told you I would get back to that. Also, can I get me some MOE HYPE!?
The animations are alright too. I mean there isn't any cool animations here or anything. However, that is due to the anime having nothing going on in terms of action, drama, etc. For that, the animation gets a past. Oh and the sound. Personally, I found the OP to be kind of catchy and all the girls do sound like high school students. Sound gets a pass from me too. I'm sorry. I'm not very sound when it comes to reviewing sound. Errkay, moving on...
=== Personal "Enjoyment" ===
Alright, here comes the BOOM! As a person that enjoys sitting back and watching a good slice of life anime, this anime made me want to flip short buses, with my shiny red helmet. This made me want to sacrifice a squirrel on my chest, while getting my legs mauled by a gang of "Parasytes"! I fell asleep at episode 9 and this anime made me dislike the slice of life genre just a tad.
Now while I really like slice of life shows, this just didn't even come close for me in terms of enjoying it. When watching slice of life shows, it's best when the character cast is engaging, while the things they are doing are interesting. As you can guess, from the vibe/swag of this review, that doesn't exist in this show. Personally, there isn't anymore I can say about my own enjoyment level from this show. It just didn't work for me. However I will say this. Despite me giving this a 1 rating, I do not hate this show. In fact, there's nothing to hate about it. Sure, I dislike it, but how could someone possibly hate a slice of life. especially one like Girlfriend (Kari)? I wouldn't even call it a bad show, as I felt the creators didn't even try. So my rating comes from pure enjoyment and nothing else.
Alright, to get maximum enjoyment from watching Girlfriend (Kari), you'll need to come in expecting no story and may have to accept the huge lack of engaging characters. You need to come with the mind set that nothing interesting happens and you are just watching it to watch the characters being cute and friendly with each other. All in all, if you like a show that is ultra-simplistic and slow-paced, while having some fine arts and pretty girls to look at, which sets that slice of life mood up nicely, then you may enjoy this. Anything else, stay as far away as possible. Unplug your Ethernet cord, or disable your device's Wi-fi if you have to.
Saying this may land me in some hot water, but here it goes. In my opinion, Girlfriend (Kari) is the worst slice of life anime ever. Yeah, I know. I keep saying worst this and that, but this is how I honestly feel. I don't know. I may eat my own words later on. I just don't see anything good coming from this show. Sure the art is good and all, but no where near the best, I'm going to go out on a limb and say that playing the Girlfriend mobile game is probably more engaging than watching this pile of white hill billy trailer trash.
Just remember, despite the rating I gave, I don't hate it. This anime is NOT MEANT TO BE TAKEN SERIOUSLY! WHY SO SERIOUS!? It's just that this show is made for a certain group of people and the anime doesn't try to appeal to anyone outside their own boundaries. All I can really say at this point is that if you plan to watch this show, please just find something like it that's better. Sadly, I have no better recommendation for this show, but I'm sure there are more like Girlfriend (Kari). If you decide to go ahead and watch this show, then I say good luck. I hope you don't regret it. Be strong!
Who's that girl, the quiet one avoiding everyone and looking straight ahead? That girl who loves music? That weird girl who loves tech? What was her name again? Until you remember lets just say she is one fabulous anime girl with headphones.