Even though he's just a student, the protagonist in Wagamama High Spec also happens to be the author of a manga published in a weekly magazine. Since it's mainly an ecchi and romcom type of story, he is actually hiding this fact from most people around him. The only people that know are his younger sister and his best friend.
But then on one day, the student council president happens to find out his secret, just as she was actually looking for a male member to include in the student council. Afraid of having his secret exposed, our protagonist joins the student council under the promise of his secret staying safe.
(WARNING!: This review may contain one spoiler, even though there should be a low risk of spoilers with an anime like this. I'm not sure whether I should consider it a minor or major spoiler, but either way, read at your own risk.)
....Why? Just why? Why would you do something like this? I mean, adapting a visual novel and not getting the protagonist to appear even once? Why would you do that? All questions aside, the only reason I watched Wagamama High Spec was because it was adapted from a visual novel that, at the time of its announcement, had not yet been released, and
I was curious to see how they would pull something like this off. However, when it was announced that each episode would be 3 minutes long, I became concerned, as another short visual novel adaptation that I've seen, Final Examination Kujira, tried to cram the entire visual novel into it and, for the most part, failed. However, Wagamama High Spec was even worse; it didn't even follow the plotline it was supposed to follow!
Before we begin, I should explain what Wagamama High Spec is SUPPOSED to be about. Kouki Narumi is a high school boy who is the writer of a weekly manga; since this manga is an ecchi romantic comedy, he keeps this fact a secret to everyone except his sister, Toa, and her best friend, Mihiro Miyase. One day, the Student Council President, Kaoruko Rokuonji, reveals that she knows his secret (and that she is the manga's illustrator). Despite the objections of the Vice President, Ashe R. Sakuragi, Kouki joins the Student Council in an effort to keep the secret. It's kind of a cliche scenario, but something at least a bit charming could be born from this, right?
I must start by saying that the animation isn't too bad. It could be better, but with AXsiZ not having worked on a lot of anime yet and this being a short anime, I won't put too much heat on it. This anime goes without an opening theme, and the ending theme, "High Spec Days", is at least decent. The voice acting isn't too bad, either; there isn't much I can say beyond that, but at least they did well with their respective roles.
Now, time to get to the REAL issues with this anime. First of all, you know how I mentioned "Kouki Narumi" when I was describing this anime? Well, it's possible that he appears in the visual novel, but in the anime, he's not there at all! It's bad enough that Masaya, the protagonist of "Ao no Kanata no Four Rhythm", was barely there in the anime adaptation of that visual novel, but Kouki, a.k.a. Unappearing Protagonist-kun, isn't in his anime at all, and every excuse in the book is given to keep him away! He appears to have an appearance in the very last episode, but since he doesn't have a design or voice, that doesn't count as an actual appearance in my book. There is also the issue with this anime not sticking to the plot; instead, we see the girls, who, while somewhat interesting, barely get any character development, doing their own thing. Normally, I don't have a problem with this, but come on! Stick to the script at least a little bit, people!
Overall, Wagamama High Spec isn't a good anime at all, not to mention an unfaithful adaptation (as far as even someone who hasn't played the visual novel yet can tell). If you want to see how an adaptation can go so terribly wrong, watch this. Well, here's to hoping I don't see anymore Unappearing Protagonist-kuns!
I'll be very clear with you right from the start. This anime short is an ADVERTISEMENT for you to go play the visual novel. This is the ONLY reason for you to watch this show, so DON'T watch Wagamama High Spec if you don't plan on playing the visual novel. You WILL be wasting your time.
For me, as an avid visual novel gamer, I've already heard about WagaHai getting an English translation from Sekai Project before the anime short was even announced. I watched this show just to check out the girls and the premise before the English patch is released for the game and
expected nothing more.
And guess what? I got what I came for. Just from these short skits, I got a clear idea of which girl will be my favorite girl in the game (Toa-chan, of course). I got a feel for their personalities, their quirks, and what to expect when going through their routes in the game. I'm not even surprised when the main male character never showed up throughout the series. It costs more to hire a voice actor for a character that was voiceless in the game, and it's simply not worth investing in one for a simple commercial. Therefore, I can understand them teasing you about the main character in the show and never actually revealing him. In fact, never getting to see the main male character actually made me want to play the game even more! This is what you call good advertising.
I repeat. Wagamama High Spec is NOT an adaptation. This show is an ADVERTISEMENT. This show is for a very narrow audience, and if you're not within that group, then you will not find much value in investing your time in WagaHai.
What can I possibly say about WagaHai..... This "anime" was nothing more than an advertisement for some mobile game called KakoTama. The synopsis has nothing to do with the anime, as the "protagonist" isn't in any of the episodes until the very last one, in which he doesn't even really show up. The episodes are marked as 3 minutes long, but in actuality are only half that, with the majority being the outro and advertisement.
Honestly, this show was nothing but mislead hope. The story sounded like it could be something interesting but wasn't covered in the slightest. There was manga written by any of the
characters. There are only 4 characters in the whole show with little to no character development. Instead of getting to know them or their world, the show was a series of poorly pieced together sketches that had no correlation to each other. You could watch the show in any order and it would change nothing.
You read the synopsis right?...about that protagonist, he's not in this...yeah.
Wagamama High Spec is by in large a typical "cute girls doing cute things" anime short and bar none that's all they do with some quirky punchlines here and there.
Wagamama High Spec's comedy does fall on the closing punchline and it does hit for the most part and considering that it only has a 3 minute screentime each is probably why.
In terms of characters, they are all stereotypical however the cast do have some chemistry with each other thus the comedic moments hits at times and if an anime can make LA laugh it's kinda
done it's job.
However this anime short has out of nowhere ecchi just for the sakes of it, hell in the first episode they all strip because the air conditioner was broken...yeaaahhhh that's the level of fanservice we're getting with WagaHai!
As for voice acting, across the board, LA really didn't have an eye for anyone as most of the 4 girl cast have some level of squeak to them (bar none, it's moe so it's kinda a given), but the crazy ecchi antics these 4 girls take is really why LA is saying about the squeak and majority of the cast tend to "EHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH" or overexagerrate their vocals, but again nothing to brag about the voice acting.
The animation by AXsiZ is "ok" at best and for an anime short, typical of these kind of anime shorts thus LA won't deter the score merely for how typical the animation is.
Really LA didn't have much to talk about for WagaHai! and that's not a good thing, it didn't leave a good or bad impression on LA, it really is down to the concept a "moderately ok girls doing cute things" anime short, not as pandering as Pan de Peace (unless the ecchi gets you then yes, it will pander to that instead), but the plot although crazy, is standard fair for these kind of animes.
Wagamama High Spec is just another "cute girls doing cute things" with a touch of weird comedy, if that interests you, WagaHai! can be an easy anime short to watch.