The series follows three girls aspiring to become idols while also working part time at a game center. Little do they know that, in reality, they are gathered by a mysterious organization to protect the Earth from a large meteorite.
Crane Game Girls (CGG), like a number of the anime shorts Crunchyroll have taken to scooping up in the last couple of years, is one of those shows that you both question the point of licensing, but are also kind of glad they did. It's story is simple enough. Our idol trio: Asuka (the serious one); Mirai (the dumb one) & Kyoko (the other one) are sent to work at a game arcade by their gorilla boss (more on him later). With the guidance of their supervisor Sayo, they strive to become the best idols they can while also unknowingly saving the world, both of which somehow involve them learning techniques to win on crane games.
As odd as it might seem to say, there's a decent idea for a story behind CGG. That the trio at first do not know that they are saving the world from asteroid strikes, not just playing crane games, means they begin by just getting to know each other & better at the games, before having to overcome the burden of knowing what their real purpose is, finally coming together to save the day. There's even room for a sequel, God forbid. You could get a decent little show out of that framework, not that CGG is that show.
The idea of saving the world by playing crane games is silly enough to work. There's plenty of anime that don't really integrate the thing they're advertising into the story. Often they do little more than produce a regular slice of life or comedy show, then simply make references to the thing they're supposed to be selling. Admittedly, the point at which the episodes switch from “witty banter” & plot development to using the crane games can feel rather abrupt & awkward. But at least it sticks with the idea & by the finale where the trio put al their techniques to use destroying the final asteroid, their clothes & lives being pushed to the limit, you can at least see the funny side.
Oh, did I mention that CGG is an advert? Because it is, although maybe not quite for what you expect. Perhaps they're more well known in Japan, but it took a bit of digging & google translation to find that the shows main sponsor appears to be a company called Prize Hunter (uhouho.jp) where you seem to be able to play real crane games through your web browser to win prizes. The gorilla that is the idols boss is the sites mascot (uho uho is the onomatopoeia for a primate's call). That certainly explains why the show's about crane games, although it also makes it a bit like a fruit machine company showing you the guaranteed techniques to win the jackpot.
It's not a surprise to see Kyotoma producing CGG, as they seem to be one of a few newer studios producing flash anime shorts lately. For what it is, CGG looks all right, although for some reason characters just can't seem to bend their elbows without their arms looking like Mr. Tickle. It doesn't have some of the issues (intentional or otherwise) with wandering noses & the like that JK Meshi did, although I'd say that show was more fun. The music is the bland idol pop you'd expect.
As anime shorts looking to sell things you can't buy outside Japan go, CGG is decent enough. There's a neat idea for a story behind it, the product is obvious but not obnoxiously pushed & as flash anime go, it looks all right. Incidentally, if someone at Konami is reading this, I want to pitch an idea: A short anime where a group of idols save the world by learning how to win big at pachinko, supervised by Solid Snake.
Addendum: Apparently there was also a series of accompanying episodes where the VAs would play crane games. CR didn't pick it up, so I have no idea what it's like. I don't think it's an unfair presumption to say it's not worth looking for, however, unless you really like watching Japanese women pretending to be excited about things.read more
This whole anime is the equivalent of a good flash animation on YouTube/Newgrounds. Just watch it when you're going to marathon some heavy anime ('cause it's pretty short).
You know those flash animation you see on Newgrounds or on Youtube like "Eddsworld", "Jello Apocalypse", or other famous ones... Yea it's basically that.
I mean, look at the art style man, it's something out of Newground, just with a hint of anime and "2moe4mebruh" spices. Everything about the whole anime is laughable and really childish. It is a cute, 4 and a half minutes show.
I am not saying it's a bad thing. Really it's not, it's a good anime if you're going to marathon some serious (i.e shonen, mystery, etc) anime, and you need at least something between 2... maybe 3 episode in.
Should you watch it? Probably not, unless you're like me who only watch something cute, weird, and just want something to make you laugh and say "why did I even get this anime in the first place lol".
This is a hard anime to talk about as it's essentially just short animations about four minutes long where girls save the planet from meteors by learning to operate crane games. The premise is silly and the plot is sillier, but I kinda enjoyed it for it's bizarre charm.
Each plot revolves around the same thing for the most part, the girls must master some new technique for getting prizes in a crane game, and then when they succeed meteors are stopped, there is more to it, but thatch the essential premise and it works for the most part. It's not a lot, but it's a short series that almost the length of a movie so it's not TOO bad I don't think.
The characters aren't too much to write about, you have the three girls that want to become idols, a gorilla that gives the girls orders, and their teacher that shows them what they have to do.
To me it's weird there is nothing special in this anime, but I found it charming enough to recommend, it's at least short enough to go through pretty quickly.