“Rise and shine, little girls!”
Welcome to Wake Up, Girls!, another idol anime that reminds you of Idolmaster, AKB0048, and Love Live! But unlike the three, there’s a deep connection in regards to the Tohoku Region.
Nevertheless, this post will contain both the prequel movie and the first episode of the TV series, so let’s get started.
First things off, Director Yutaka Yamamoto (aka Yamakan) from Haruhi Suzumiya fame, as well as Lucky Star and Kannagi, is in charge of this series. The reason he direct WUG is because he often visiting the region ever since the Tohoku disaster.
So without further ado, Wake Up, Girls! starts where a small talent company named Green Leaves is on a brink of bankruptcy. In an act of desparation, President Tange decides to make an idol group after seeing an I-1 TV performance.
Naturally, Matsuda has no choice but obey the president’s order by scouting 6 girls and becoming their manager. As for President Tange, she ran away along with the money.
I have to say this but she should have closed the talent agency earlier instead of wasting her time planning for a comeback. I mean, all of the money put on training to those girls will be for naught. But luckily, Matsuda saved the day by putting up a concert on the last minute… which is held on Christmas Eve BTW.
On the other hand, Matsuda met another girl named Mayu Shimada who has good voice and potential to become a center of an idol group. Despite her talent, she refused to join Wake Up, Girls! nor any other idol groups in Japan for personal reasons.
In actually, she was once an idol herself, a center from the prestigious AKB48-expy idol group called I-1. No wonder she doesn’t want to return to the idol business it’s because she’s not being happy encouraging others.
But thanks to her classmate named Airi Hayashida, she got back up again and joined the group as the center. I have to say that Ordet should have used CGI for the dance sequence, but using hand-drawn animation also gives it a nice touch, even though it has rough edges that needs to be polished.
Maybe Yamakan doesn’t like using CGI for dances, since it looks so cheap in his eyes. Beside, he did directed the famous ED sequence of Haruhi Suzumiya 8 years ago so it’s a given reason why the dance sequence is animated traditionally!
Anyways, it was a good debut performance from Wake Up, Girls! Even though they only performed one song with only a few people attended to their mini-concert, it’s a good stepping stone for the girls at Sendai to rise and shine and become glittering stars!
Of course, I don’t want them to be overconfident though as I-1 is planning for expansion by setting up a theater at their home turf. Not a good sign there…
Now then, let’s move on to the next episode. I have a feeling that this shady Sudo guy might derail those girls by wearing skimpy swimwear and doing nasty things. Also not a good sign there!