OP: 「BULLET MERMAID」 () by Kohara Riko, Sasahara Yuu
「神田川が呼んでいる」 (Kandagawa ga Yonde Iru)
“The Kandagawa is Calling”
Kandagawa Jet Girls acts as a tie-in to a new PS4 game from the producers of Senran Kagura where they bring their brand of ecchi to the sport of jet-ski racing. But does this series bite off more it can chew by combining jet-skis with fan service and gun-play or is this trifecta the combination we never knew we needed? Whatever the answer may be by the final episode, it is at least ambitious in its goals.
Only a video game could conjure up such a fantastic concept like jet-ski racing while shooting guns that strip their pilots of their clothing, but with an anime, translating it from its video game trappings are a task in of itself. The anime wisely brings us into the fold by introducing us to the cast of appealing and eccentric characters. There are idols, gyaru, foreigners, rich girls, and two girls entranced by one another roaming around this futuristic interpretation of Tokyo. These eclectic characters are further reinforced in their appeal by animating some uncensored ecchi in AT-X broadcasts, giving viewers carte blanche to see the predominantly female cast in compromising positions with an undisclosed amount of clothing on. While Val x Love did end up making its fanservice far tamer, Kandagawa Jet Girls pulls no punches in giving us breasts within the first episode. But in its efforts to flesh out this game of erotic racing, there are some weak spots that are left exposed in this first episode. With the tone being relatively campy, it’s main lead Rin Namiki (Sasahara Yuu) does come off as far more imposing on wildcat sharpshooter Misa Aoi (Kohara Riko) in a manner that’d be hard to put up with. Misa does warm up to Rin, but being chased down a hallway at school with a picture of a dolphin cuddle pillow does make it harder to relate to Rin when she’s meant to be our eyes & ears into the universe. On top of all this, it’s a first episode that ends on a cliffhanger. “To Be Continued” can be a decent way to bridge into another episode, but it’s weird to have an incomplete first episode that requires Episode 02 to get the gist of what exactly this sport is and how Rin & Misa are experts in their field.
But even with its wilder ideas, it can still find ways to be comfortably grounded by giving Rin and Misa some time to breathe. In spite of her infantile tendencies like her love for dolphins and the term “adorbs”, Rin is easy to cheer for as she carries on the torch left behind by her late mother. Sharing her passion for jet-skiing, Rin aims to preserve her memory by sharing her love for the water and the feeling of racing through an endless ocean. Misa is fascinating particularly because of her hidden resentment for water-skiing and how she slowly comes around to the idea of participating in such activities again because of the inspiration that Rin gives her that reminds her of her legendary mother. It is all too soon to determine how in-depth the anime will get in giving more detail to each of the characters, but there are some promising signs of development with how close Misa and Rin get throughout this episode. The main attraction is definitely the fanservice, but it doesn’t hurt to have some character development with how Misa and Rin bring out the best in each other through their mutual bonding in and outside the water. Regardless of if they win or lose against the wealthy racers, it’ll be interesting to see how the two get to know each other now that Rin is living in Misa’s home as an exchange student and whether Rin’s enthusiasm will help Misa get back into the jet-skiing that she used to love.
ED: 「RIVALS」 by Tadokoro Azusa