Now that was an interesting beginning. And there’s a sort of interesting story behind Shoujo-tachi wa Kouya o Mezasu, which is based on a VN – a VN which doesn’t come out till March. So at this point it may as well be an original series for all anyone is going to have insider information about what’s to come. But if the premiere is any guide, it should be worth finding out.
I like some VN-based anime, certainly, though the premise of this one (amiable male lead with no idea what he wants to do with his life surrounded by female tropes and a goofy best friend) sounds pretty plain yogurt. But the reason I’m here is that the writer is Tanaka Romeo, who for me is one of the best scenario writers in the VN business (he also wrote the brilliant Jinrui wa Suitai Shimashita novels and the excellent Aura). Tanaka-sensei is capable of very strong work, and anything he crafts deserves a close look.
The twist here is an interesting one – the MacGuffin of the story seems to be that the main character is going to become a scenario writer for exactly the sort of “bishoujo games” Tanaka is known for. Normally that sort of self-aware parody is flying too close to the sun for a VN or anime, but Tanaka’s wings are anything but waxen – if anyone can pull it off, he can. And based on the premiere he’s off to a pretty good start.
Before we get to that plot twist things look pretty standard – the MC Houjou Buntaro (Yamashta Seiichirou) is the usual nice guy who everybody leans on for help. His best friends are genki girl Yuuka (Hanazawa Kana) and amiable bishounen Atomu (Toyanaga Toshiyuki). He lives alone most of the time, is surrounded by a classroom full of cuties and one mysterious girl in black, Kuroda Sayuki (Chigusa Haruka), writes scenes for the drama club and wiles away his youth in seishun idyll. That’s when Kuroda takes him on a “date”, which is really a sort of audition/interview to find out if Bunta has the stuff to help her fulfil her otaku dream of writing a bishoujo game.
The twist has potential in Tanaka’s hands, but what’s really notable about the premiere is how laid-back and fun it is. This is clearly a writer who doesn’t feel as if he has to try too hard and it shows. There’s an easy charm to the interactions among the main trio – I especially loved how the two friends secretly followed Bunta and Kuroda but got bored with it and left. And like KoiChoco and Mashiroiro Symphony, there’s more of a dignified air than we’re used to seeing with this sort of setting. I liked the premere of Shoujo-tachi quite a bit, and I’m rather curious to see where Tanaka (who has a big year coming up in anime) takes things from here.