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Battle Girl High School – 01

「私たちガソバリます!」 (Watashi tachi gasobari masu!)
“We Can Do It!”

Battle academy shows are fun in the sense you always know what you’re getting. Cute girls, cute things, some dehumanized, faceless enemy (usually), and a lot of courageous, overcoming the odds character development. Because most of these shows are so similar, judgement largely comes down to quality and execution. Sure, some throw a twist or two in for uniqueness (a la Qualidea Code), but it almost always returns to the base setup. In this regard Battle Girl High School sticks close to tradition.

Off the mark you definitely know—you better—what BGHS is about. We have a huge cast of all the usual archetypes, some magical power up ability investing each cutie pie with a unique weapon, and a random threat they must defend against. Having apparently decided to fully embrace the genre tropes, BGHS also goes full out and features not just an idol squad, but bloody school club antics to boot. Guaranteed if the show finds a way to work competitive sports into things too it will do so wholeheartedly. God knows we have seen these things a thousand times before, but BGHS at least gets brownie points for combining it all into one moe-infused, yuri baiting, grade A voice actress package.

The bigger issue for BGHS moving forward, however, will be the characters. Such a large cast (~18 girls, not including teachers) will make learning names a joy in of itself, but at least we have those handy dandy archetypes to expedite the process. The key though will be the fleshing out because one way or another BGHS will need some form of standout character for any sort of strength. Besides best main girl Miki (Suzaki Aya) and her bubbly complexion, there’s a lot of options for a tragic basket case or courageous saviour, especially with the obvious rival in Misaki and her very likely dark past. While the tomboyish Subaru (Sakura Ayane) is a good bet for a run in with disaster, I quite hope it involves our eccentric club duo somehow though. Something about quirky introverts fighting against the shackles of society that makes me all giddy inside.

With this episode largely devoted to introductions, BGHS’ challenge is now actually producing a story. We all know where the Irousu threat is heading—the girls’ poor combat performance or the dream sequence wouldn’t be highlighted otherwise—and that some super serious sacrifices and acts of valour are coming, just not how, when, or with who. No matter the heavy paint by numbers approach being used, there’s still a few surprises BGHS could come up with yet. We may not see any ridiculous and demented story twists here, but hey, you never know. Just have to wait and see how this little adventure unfolds. After some training of course.

 

OP Sequence

OP: 「ホシノキズナ」 (Hoshi no Kizuna) by Hoshimori

Preview

July 2, 2017 at 10:36 pm
8 comments »
  • July 3, 2017 at 11:06 amArche

    I could be convinced to give the second episode a shot but this intro didn’t give the best impression… It felt like the staff made three separate episodes then tried to cram them all together

    • July 3, 2017 at 3:09 pmLyfe

      So what you’re saying is that you think the show is a disjointed mess?

    • July 3, 2017 at 3:49 pmPancakes

      It certainly tried ramming everything “important” in our faces, that’s for sure. Not sure it’s enough to judge the show yet though, next episode will be the big tell.

  • July 3, 2017 at 4:51 pmdaikama

    To start, I agree with Arche that this felt quite crammed with all the character introductions. I can barely discern the main three as it is. Agree with Pancakes that getting all the characters down is going to be a very potential issue. I suppose they do have their own little differences – club girls, the likes shopping girl, strict SC pres., the… likes plants girls? Oh, can’t forget the idol girls *sigh* along with the idol wanna be. Just had to throw that into the mix. Covering all bases indeed. Then again, visually I didn’t find the characters all that distinct.

    Part of my motivation to watch was simply to see how well this might translate to anime. As I suspected, this type of story is readily adaptable to anime. Not saying it’s good (or bad, but not off to a strong start IMO), but that this particular game is anime adaptation friendly. This strikes me as a very standard, “normal” setup, not unlike some LNs who feature special snowflake schoolgirls that go off to save the day against monsters/aliens.

    That premise can work, but with this show the problem for me is that there is NO “hook” whatsoever. Characters? There’s no “best girl” or even “best character” for me. It’s all a jumbled pile of “meh”. There were some small differences I suppose, but no one really stood out – good or bad. Well, the super nice male teacher stood out a bit. He came across as a little stupid. Lines like “So this is how practice pays off, huh…” don’t help with that. Uh, yeah, practice helps. That’s how it works.

    The “comedy” did not resonate with me either. Only laugh I got was when the above line about practice was spoken. It’s not CGDCT SOL per se. Girls und Panzer has that and GuP TV is one of my favorite anime. Again, this just didn’t work for me. Action/Battles? OK… maybe? Didn’t make much of an impression. I get that the battles right now are supposed to be easy for the plot, and there’s definitely some foreshadowing that something will go wrong, but just the general quality/direction didn’t stand out.

    99% sure this is going to be a drop for me. Honestly just finishing Ep. 1 was too much like work. Just to be thorough, I’ll probably check out Ep. 02, but I highly doubt I’ll stick with the show.

  • July 3, 2017 at 5:49 pmFlocks

    Having played the mobage myself, this show is most definitely directly targeting people who’re playing the game. All the shit it crammed in was pretty much everything I wanted to see as a dude who formerly played it. What looked like a complete clusterfuck to most, looked like completely delicious pandering to me.

    And I can respect that attitude but I can also see why nobody else would want to watch it. That’s fine, sometimes niche things should stay niche. Niche is probably the best way to describe this show anyway.

    • July 3, 2017 at 5:56 pmdaikama

      @Flocks: Thanks for the comment. I was curious as to what game players thought.

      “All the shit it crammed in was pretty much everything I wanted to see as a dude who formerly played it. What looked like a complete clusterfuck to most, looked like completely delicious pandering to me.”

      I’m actually fine with this. As someone who’s played KanColle, while I do have some issues with the KC anime adaptation, I liked that it was oriented towards the core fan base. Some of the moments I enjoyed the most were things for the game players.

      As noted, not sure if I’ll stick with this or just acknowledge and move on, but regardless, hope this works out for you and other game players.

      • July 3, 2017 at 6:09 pmFlocks

        Oh yeah pretty much, from the idol concert, to all the little quirky details they added that people who haven’t played the game won’t catch, to the sensei being voiced by Sugita of all people, and even the new girl at the end. The story in the show is even a continuation to the game’s story which was the one thing I really wanted the most the mobage to finally have when it entered it’s god damn prequel shenanigans.

        So fuck yes. I might actually go back to play it again because of this episode. That’s fulfilled I felt as a player of the game.

  • July 4, 2017 at 9:16 pmGray.

    I bet Misaki is Miki from the Future.
    I’m calling it right now.
    Lol.