For the average viewer the inner working of voice acting and how their favorite Seiyuu’s rise from nothing into something. Fortunately for those of us who have no way into that world the anime Girlish Number has us all covered. The anime’s first episode brings us to a stage where a cast of voice acting talent is assembled in a public debut for the faces behind the voices of an anime that is currently under production. It is here that we get to meet the wonderfully sly, upfront and humorous Chitose Karasuma as she begins the climb to Seiyuu fame and glory! That is if she can get more than just a single spoken line. Currently she stands at the stage as a newcomer with only a years experience to back her up. It also doesn’t help that she finds the industry quite rotten and lacking; openly commenting to a fellow voice actress over how an author of the light novel that they will be dubbing, looks.
While her thoughts on the industry are one thing, her thoughts about her own popularity is another. Having worked hard for the past year Chitose assumed she would have already gotten her big break and thus places the blame on her manager and brother Gojou Karasuma. Little does she know he was been working his best to get her a lead role and he finally gets a break with the voice over company they are working for begins to explore the rather popular genre of idol voice actresses and they have chosen her to play the lead character! To much of her enjoyment she is able to finally hear the praise she has longed for; even if she cares little about light novels and the overall source material. Thus ends the first episode.
Now in comparison this impression/re-cap is short due to two parts. One the first episode was just pretty much showing us Chitose and the extra cast that we will see her engage with (These members range from fellow newbies to industry tried professionals like Kazuha Shibasaki & Momoka Sonou). Secondly what this first episodes gives us viewers is a window, a looking glass into the world of voice acting. Yes there is a story her just like the other titles I have talked about, but the real gem here, the real learned lesson comes from us being able to have a chance at seeing what the inside of this industry is like; more or less. This is after all an anime and as such it won’t accurately represent the real deal. What it does represent is a scene in which we get to see a voice actress expressing her hate, disgust and aspirations for what she does. Frankly the voice acting world is harsh and a game of intrigue a lot of the time. We get to see this very well when Chitose engages in conversation with fellow voice actress Momoka. She makes snide remarks mentally while also keeping a face value with her all the while. This makes for a much more “realistic” impression on the viewer.
What I mean by that is that this is essentially something that all of us do or have done in life. If we have a opposite impression of someone within our own work place environment, we often act smug about the situation and often play along. The humanization in these characters is just done in such a phenomenal manner that is it hard to not want to laugh about it when they do something that you or I would do. The details in the facial expressions, the eye movements, the angling and everything else that goes into bringing the art of this anime to life is just gushing with phenomenal beauty. I would argue that this anime has one of the best art style for it’s characters for this season of anime releases; granted that is just my own opinion.
If you have yet to watch this anime, please give it some consideration! If you love a industry based anime then you cannot do better than this! I also highly recommend it for those of you who want more industry focused titles in order to help you understand a bit more about how everything works; bear in mind that it is not a 1 to 1 comparison. You can enjoy Girlish Number in the US and Canada