Bad show time again! Sleeping With Hanako and Himegoto were extremely short ones to do, so I figured that I should really do a full-length one. I have no qualms in putting myself in misery like when I saw Tatsuya Shiba become Jesus (and crazy Miyuki turning people into ice blocks whenever he looked at other girls) in my first marathon. Oh what fun that was, staying up all night to sit it out in one long go!
(NB: I’m typing this first part before I actually do this challenge)
I think Girl Friend BETA was one of those cheaply-made shows that simply faded out of existence the moment the final episode ended. Then soon enough, when people came to listing what are the worst shows of the year, this ended up being one of them…along with the other trashy meaningless harem shows, and the occasional badly-written sci-fi and the over-the-top fantasy. Truth be told, all I know about this is another one of those…*ahem*:
“School life/making new friends/sitting in class by the window/having lunch on the roof/walking to school with cherry blossoms in shot/coming home with onii-chan/onee-chan moaning/whittering on about other meaningless shit”
…fluff. And briefly looking at MAL, the words in a couple of the reviews included “Bland”, “Sleep-inducing”, “Diabetes-inducing” and “Boring”. I’ve watched too many slice-of-life shows, so could this be the one to send me over the edge?
Warning: Here be a long, boring, sleep-inducing post.
Episode 1: “Hire better voice actors next time.”
Alarm clock goes off, girl wakes up slowly, toast in hand, off running to school…along with 13 billion “Ohayo~”s along the way, to her parents, to random strangers along the way, to the old lady next door, and so on. At the time I thought the number was a curse of what was to come, well perhaps I’m about half-right.
Now one thing I did look up before watching this was the characters in this show, and there are…a lot of characters! And I figure all the high-profile names would be some sort of redemption…you know, that this would be something okay to watch, but I tell you there’s something seriously wrong with some of their voices; as if they were recorded when they had colds or coughs or something. The large majority of the characters only had a handful of lines, so it’s a kind of worry how much the studio had to pay these high-profile seiyuu.
But the one I had to feel really sorry for was poor Sakura Tange. Yes, the voice of Sakura Kinomoto ended up in this, playing what only be described as laughable:
The obligatory Western exchange student, Chloe Lemaire, soon became the butt of all sort of 4chan jokes, and Nico Nico Douga went, predictably, bonkers. And I genuinely do feel sorry for her, when I really shouldn’t, as she just acts so adorable in this, but stupid at the same time. Adorably stupid; yeah, that’s the one.
Episode 3: “Episode 2 was too boring so I just skipped to this.”
No really, nattering on about how one of the main girls ought to go on a diet when I’m sure she burns off enough calories doing rhythmic gymnastics…and then a bunch of other random girls who arrive from nowhere decide to form a ‘diet club’? Skip.
Well another amazingly-bad voice came in Erena Mochizuki, who ends up developing a crush on the obligatory kuudere of the show and proceeds to stalk her, taking pictures of her along the way while she’s doing random kuudere crap, like reading books emotionlessly. I’m not sure how quite to describe her voice, aside from if the seiyuu did her lines with food still in her mouth. Or cotton wool. Or both.
But sending the kuudere on a guilt trip was actually kinda funny:
“Oh no! Just because I asked you to stop stalking me behind trees and bookstands, that’s doesn’t mean you have to quit photography altogether!!!”
Episode 5: “At this point, I had entirely forgotten the title of the show.”
Episode 4 involved quite possibly the most exciting plot ever: an all-night study session so girls could rehome cats! I like to think that slice-of-life story writers like to think long and hard when it comes to good story, but that didn’t hit it for me, considering the fact that, at this point, I have discovered that ever moe girl in this show is just the same. Over 60 characters! Maybe they just made clones and just changed their hair a little.
Anyway, I couldn’t believe the fact how we were only a quarter of the way in, and there came a point where I had actually forgotten that this generic show was called Girl Friend BETA. Maybe this is a good sign that I ought to just quit this genre altogether and find something else.
Episode 6: “First-years are really really really really…ridiculously dumb!”
I was actually siding with the second and third-years on this one; after an incredibly silly misunderstanding, the token airhead of the 60 characters decides to turn to the Occult Club to help her fix her rudeness…
Yeah, I know…
…and to think the studio who made this actually made some pretty decent stuff.
The rest of the show: “…because it dawned on me that the rest of the show would be the same.”
I have watched shows in the past that feature several people; I mean you only have to look at Shirobako and Lucky Star to see what I mean. But there’s a clear difference between those shows and Girl Friend BETA, and that’s because each character has to have a few things to make them memorable and likeable:
- Unique traits that not every Tom, Dick and Harry has.
- A personality that can be either lovable or really evil; nothing that can be between.
Big boobs/nice six-pack.
And so because all of these girls are instantly forgettable, I just lost caring halfway through. Adding to the jilted voice acting and pretty bad story…I wanted something fun to happen to these girls; anything. An earthquake? That would have been cool. A zombie attack? Excellent. For the school to go all Corpse Party? Even better…in fact if those dumb girls did all up waking up in a creepy school in the past then I would be cheering at the screen, wishing for their demise.
Generic moe girls making generic moe friends and having a very non-exciting life in their little moe bubble of a moe high-school where barely a single male is heard. They wake up every morning from their moe bed, rush around putting on their school uniforms on, have moe breakfast, run to school, sit in the corner…when they smile, the sun is out and shining and the score is all happy and twinkly, and when they frown, it chucks it down with rain, and terrible upset music plays. But everything all be alright…
Oh god, what the hell have I been watching these last few years?!?!?! Have all slice-of-life school shows been like this, and I’ve just been too blind to notice?!?! My otaku glasses must be off, and I need an eye test or something.
These 60 characters all merge together to make 12 episodes where they either make a massive presence or just a few frames in shot. And of the guys? What guys? They exist but at the same time they don’t. But yeah, the fact that there are no set main characters seriously put me on edge; an episode ended, and someone other dumb girl’s story then began, and so on and so on, until the show ended. I didn’t care if Chloe’s Japanese got better, or if Kokomi got better at rhythmic gymnastics, or whether Erena and Fumio ended up in bed together, or whether the dumb first-years actually graduated with a few brain cells between them all.
So I am very angry…at myself, for not seeing the light. That a good majority of fluffy shows are too bad for words. Saying that though, I have actually seen something that’s worse than this, but only marginally worse, so Girl Friend BETA has to be on the list, at the very least. I can happily accept that a lot of game adaptations suck most of the time. Now if this was a visual novel then I could actually understand, but this isn’t (it’s instead an adaptation of a mobile card game).
I think the studio were forced onto a deadline, otherwise this piece of shit could have gone on for several episodes, detailing every single character…even the guys would have had some lines! As for a rating? This show deserves no rating. If you want to lower your IQ fast then feel free to watch this. There are considerably better generic moe shows, I can tell you that!