Meet Umi, Sora and Ao, the three hardest working school girls in all of Japan. As the proprietors of the best odd-jobs service around, they'll take on any task and guarantee the result! Unfortunately, spending your whole day doing other people's homework and cleaning sewers doesn't leave much time to go to school yourself, so when the girls take on the task of convincing someone else to go back to school, it may prove to be their hardest job ever! Have these junior Jills of all trades finally met their match? Find out in Grrl Power!
Makasete Iruka wastes no time as it spends its first three minutes showing you the concept of the show rather than explaining it. The Irukaya is a group of three girls who'll help anyone in town who asks for it, so we see each member doing just that, right from the get-go.
This is a very tightly written show, with every scene flowing logically to the next one without skipping over anything important or focusing on anything unimportant. It's also quick-witted, making good use of well-timed jokes that sometimes even call back to earlier events. That's a sign that the creators were actually thinking ahead and
considering the episode as a whole during the writing process.
It's got a quirky attitude, too, so its scenarios aren't exactly typical; you wouldn't normally see grade-schoolers riding jet skis or cleaning chimneys. Director Akitarou Daichi's signature brand of visual comedy is apparent in every scene here, adding extra flavor to all of the characters. While their designs are simple and childish, their animations are fluid and dynamic. It's particularly commendable how the animators accurately portrayed sign language for the deaf character, Ao; her hand-gestured side remarks are adorable and, at times, hilarious.
In addition to holding your attention the entire time, Daichi's snappy directing also provides much-needed momentum to the story so that it can successfully reach an actual point by the end of its short run time. Because, underneath its goofy exterior lies an unexpectedly heady theme. It's one about having to go to school and whether or not there's truly any merit in it.
Riku, a kid who refuses to attend school on the grounds that nothing taught there has any real world value, thinks his life will be a walk in the park if he joins the Irukaya instead. However, he soon finds out just how easy of a life he's been living up until that point, as it turns out that helping others is a difficult job. He's unable to even keep up with the other girls. The lesson here would presumably just be something like "Stay in school, kids!", but that's not so much the case. While it is shown that staying in school is probably a good idea, the show also offers legitimate criticisms of the schooling system and how it won't necessarily teach kids everything they'll need to know when it comes to living in the real world. The real message is one about making the right choices for yourself in your own life and sticking with what makes you happy.
Makasete Iruka's concept could've made for a great full-fledged TV series (especially with that super catchy OP; OVAs usually don't even have OPs.), but unfortunately this short 24-minute episode is most likely all we'll ever get. Still, it's an incredibly fun episode that leaves you with something real to think about once it's over which is pretty rare for comedy anime.