Oct 3, 2015
Mixed Feelings
Wakaba Girl pretty standard fare for a cute girl show. Our main character, the titular Wakaba, is starting her first day of high school hoping this will be the time she finally gets to make friends & do the things Japanese men like reading about Japanese girls doing. In this instance, Wakaba is a rich girl who has spent all her previous childhood following her father's work, so naturally she doesn't have a clue what to do in normal school girl situations. Cute!

Not wanting to waste time, Wakaba soon latches on to the first group of girls she meets. This forms the quartet of friends who we'll be following through the school year, & what a bunch they are: Wakaba is rich & naive; Nao is "rotten" & a bit boyish; Mao is the impulsive one & speaks in the third person; & Moeko is moe. Together they'll go to the usual places, talk about the usual things, & get into the usual misunderstandings.


Wakaba Girl is by the same mangaka who graced us with Kiniro Mosaic, & it seems likely that it's the success of that show which resulted in this one, which ended circulation in 2013, also getting the anime treatment. It's certainly clear why it was Kirino Mosaic & not Wakaba Girl was the one that became the success it has. For lack of a better way to put it, if Kirino Mosaic is like eating cake, then Wakaba Girl is like eating refined sugar.

The components to a good cute girl show are there. The moe character designs, vibrant colour palette, voice actresses trying really hard to reach the upper limits of human hearing, the day to day vignettes about girls doing things & girls crying over what great friends they are. It's all here, all arranged in such a way that feels like Wakaba Girl was practice for what would become Kirino Mosaic (although they began publication at around the same time).

The setting is one that's been done to death several times over. The characters lack anything that makes them seem more than just cute girl cutouts. Wakaba being a rich girl whose spent a lot of time abroad is simply used to make fairly pedestrian jokes resulting from her apparently having never had friends, seen snow or used a kotatsu before. The other three girls are just kind of there for the most part, there to react to Wakaba rather than do much themselves.

Occasionally it can even get rather mean spirited. One episode, for example, sees Nao try to enter a beauty contest, only to first be all but told she isn't good looking enough by her friends. Then, after a self-inflicted cold causes her to have to let Wakako take her place, they throw out the dress she designed & made herself in favour of a bland maid outfit. Wakako wins, of course, because rich girls are amasing. Maybe that's funny, & maybe there was a point to it. But I didn't laugh, not once throughout this predictable cute girls doing cute things parade that did precisely nothing to distinguish itself.

It's inoffensive, & it does enough that If you're a committed fan to the cute girl thing, Wakaba Girl might be alright if you need a quick sweetness fix & aren't picky so long as there's girls with oversize heads smiling on screen. Otherwise, you can pass this one by. It's sweet, but it lacks heart.
Reviewer’s Rating: 5
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