The Nihon Review - Anime Reviews & Editorials

High School Girls

Title: High School Girls aka Joshikousei aka Girl’s High
Genre: Comedy
Company: GENCO/Girl’s High Production Committee
Format: 12 episodes
Dates: 4 Apr 2006 – 20 Jun 2006

Synopsis: With their first semester at a prestigious all-girls high school beginning soon, three friends, Takahashi Eriko, Suzuki Yuma and Sato Ayano sneak onto the campus for a taste of their imminent high school life. However, after wondering into a change room, they realize high school life isn’t the romantic experience they envisioned. There they meet three students from the middle school in the same building, Kouda Akari, Himeji Kyoko and Ogawa Ikue and thoughtlessly trick them into thinking they’re their upperclassmen… something that inevitably works against them.

The Highlights
Animation: Far below average.
Fanservice: Apparent, but not the sole focus; rarely impedes comedy.
Comedy: Low-brow, but very funny.

Anime with boys being crass and acting in a perverted manner are a dime a dozen. Far less common are anime with female characters acting in such a way, which is what High School Girls is all about. Unfortunately preceded by an unfair reputation that this anime is all about fanservice, High School Girls attempts to deliver low-brow toilet humour about the less-than-romantic facets of being a female high school student in an all-girls school and succeeds at it both admirably and refreshingly. It may not win any awards for brilliant plot or deep characters, but it does the one thing I ask of any comedy: it remains consistently funny.

High School Girls hardly provides the pinnacle of presentation. Neither the art nor animation can be considered above average in this time, and the character designs, though in a sense is realistic, given the cast, are plain. The music is largely uninspiring, comprising of a collection of tunes ranging from bland to annoying which exist only to reinforce to the audience that, yes, this is in fact a comedy… just in case you didn’t realize. Unlike the generic OP piece, “Kirameku” from yozuko*, meg rock’s toe-tappable ED “incl.” does a great job of bringing forth the perfect mood for High School Girls – even if the more memorable component of the ED is the somewhat innocent dancing sequence (dancing ED sequences being something that have an unusual knack for winning my thumbs up). I strongly argue that “incl.” would have made a better OP.

High School Girls’ brand of toilet/situation comedy is arguably an acquired taste, but I couldn’t help but find it hilarious on several occasions. Being fairly low-brow, there wasn’t much to the jokes, whether they involved characters finding themselves in embarrassing situations or jests at the expense of one in the circle of friends or even commentaries on the nature of high school life, meaning that they’re best taken at face value. But the combination of timing and a relative lack of restraint (without going overboard) makes for numerous funny moments in a comedy that manages to keep its momentum for the entire course of the series. The plot though, is lacking, even for an episodic slice of life series. This is slightly augmented by a cast of characters that aren’t particularly memorable past their respective gags, but numerous episodes are resolved in ways that, when not ridiculous, are predictable. In a sense, it’s to be expected though, since these episodic plots really only existed as an excuse for laughs – but one certainly should not expect to find any semblance of depth or character development.

Even though fanservice is an undeniable part of High School Girls, it’s hardly the point of the series. Anyway, given the substandard animation and plain character designs, it’s barely of a quality worth writing home about. But, more importantly, it very rarely distracts from the comedy and, more often that not, actually aids it. It’s this comedy, the refreshing, yet low-brow jokes that are delivered with a surprising frequency and consistency, that High School Girls was always intended to be about, and it’s this very comedy that makes High School Girls a worthwhile watch… well, for those who aren’t easily offended anyway.

The Rating: 6

Reviewed by: Sorrow-kun

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