Wake Up, Girls! Episode 1 [First Impression]
Eva’s First Impression
Wake Up, Girls starts off on a low note, but they definitely gave us the pointers that there will be serious angst and drama in the upcoming episodes. Shimada Mayu is the one in the spotlight for the upcoming angst as she was a former center member of the I-1 Club, who is very popular group right now. (In fact, it’s almost a taboo in the group to ask Maya anything about it, so it’s without a doubt a very sensitive topic!) As of right now, it feels like the whole situation of getting into the industry with their failing agency (no thanks to their president having ran off with the money) is going to be incredibly grim. Sudo-san (who looks like a shady, perverted pig), who is supposedly a big producer that Matsuda was pouring in hopes into for getting the girls somewhere is probably going to get kicked out the door by someone soon enough. The first thing he does when he walks in is tell the girls to get changed into the bikini, and not a single one of them look happy about that- in fact, they look disgusted. I get the feelings this show is going to have that darker tone because it starts off that way. There is nothing more ominous then hearing the social media gossip about Mayu is past her prime; how she lost her center position and was exiled to Sendai and not to mention rumours floating around that her family committed suicide (which hasn’t been explicitly confirmed or denied yet). And that doesn’t even include the part where the president of the company had ran way with the money! (Thus they are going under!)
We didn’t learn a whole lot about the characters with the exception of keeping the spotlight on Maya (despite the fact she has been mostly quiet throughout the entire episode). So I expect to learn a bit more about them next week, but there’s a few that already easily stand out such as Katayama Minami who has a big appetite and loves food and Hisami Nanami who is passionate about theatre.
On of the things I disliked was the panty-shots. The Idolm@ster didn’t do anything of the sort so really there’s no excuse of “legitimately” having to show it besides the blatant reason of the fanservice. (If they don’t over-do it, I will happily turn a blind-eye to the matter). The overall animation was far from spectacular and really failed to give a good first impression. You can only hope it won’t pursue all throughout the series. While I was pleased to see the dance was not in CG, it was unfortunate to see that the quality wasn’t up to pare either. But I’ll take that over CG any day. As for the characters designs, I can’t help but describe them a lower quality of the Idolm@ster’s character designs. :\ They are pretty darn similar for most part, but that’s all the more reason why I wished it had been a bit better.
I have no complaints whatsoever for the music. They didn’t showcase much of it, but it was still good and appeals to me. I’d be seriously concerned if it weren’t good, I mean- this is a music show! Both the OP and ED themes are really nice, not to mention the sequences as well. The OP was sure to give us a glimpses of the drama that is yet to come.
That said, Wake Up, Girls is going to have a very difficult time meeting up the the high standards of The Idolm@ster had produced. I am not going to hold any sort of high expectations, but I do however, hope the Mayu’s backstory will be strong, because it’s going to be what keeps people watching besides for the music. As for blogging, it’s hard to say. I’m going to have to go with the three episodes rules for this one before I make up my mind.
Possibility of Blogging: Moderate (Giving it Three Episodes)
Possibility of Watching: High
Extra Note: Wake Up, Girls! Seven Idols movie serves as the pre-sequel to the anime series just after Maya was “exiled” from I-1 Club and covers the beginning of the girls’ careers/auditioning to enter the Green Leaves Agency. I actually recommend you watch the movie first before the first episode because it explains a lot of the contents that was brought up.