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Girl's High
Reviewer: Aaron Murphy 06/28/2008

Synopsis:
High school, the most important time of your life!  No wait, that isn’t right.  High school, the most drama filled time of your life!  There we go.  At least if you’re a group of highly energetic and loud girls who want to become women now that they’re entering high school.  Eriko and her five friends will try to get boyfriends, attempt to lose their virginity like it’s burning a hole in their pocket, build new friendships, battle against other students and above all, have a blast while doing it!

Review:
Girl’s High is a slice of life comedy, of the raunchy variety.  Within its 12 episode span you will find sex jokes including penis size remarks, an attempted rape (not serious at all though), numerous “body hair” references and occurrences (a little bikini line help), and constant embarrassment at still having their virginity, a fact other girls love to rub in.  It’s a bit disconcerting watching these young girls who have just entered high school being so vulgar and talking about the need to get a boyfriend so they can have sex.  The series is based on High School Girls, a manga by Towa Oshima, who used a number of her real life experiences as stories.  So I’ll attribute my slight unease to the fact that I am an oblivious guy.

Now, not only is the comedy focused on the sexual side of the pendulum, but it also causes a more lax attitude towards developing the characters and story, which takes a backseat to making sure there are enough jokes per minute.  This is plainly obvious by the fact that almost every episode is stand-alone; focusing on some sort of event or incident in the girl’s life that results in some sort of hilarious situation.  Such as the day at the water/amusement park with the added benefit of getting hit on by your teachers or going out on a group date with a couple boys from another school and things not going quite as planned…  Nothing quite like two girls singing pi (yes, singing 3.14159265) while another acts as a mime.  However, without any type of overarching storyline, there isn’t a whole lot to draw you into the characters and their situations, or lack thereof.  And even though Girl’s High may not be the most ingenious titles to come out, it does have something all its own, a winning sense of humor.  It successfully takes the series from forgettable and dull, to fresh and, by God, interesting to watch!  Not only do the jokes work, but if you can appreciate the more lewd aspects, it can really be quite funny.  That isn’t to say it works all the time, but often enough to keep it from having to fall back on its more basic story and characters.

The characters, while somewhat unique, do not fully extricate themselves from your standard archetypes, so I’m not going to go through each one individually.  Suffice to say, there are 6 main characters, all of whom receive almost the same amount of screen time.  While Eriko is the technical lead, other than a slight focus on her, there is a surprising attempt to develop each girl equally, usually spending at least one episode exploring some aspect of her life.  This may be why Girl’s High succeeds as breaking the bounds of generic character models, but the series is not long enough to fully succeed with such a large cast.

On the technical side, the animation is pretty average, and given that most of the series consists of taking, it really doesn’t have to pull off anything impressive.  I will give it credit for successfully using various techniques to convey different effects and feelings, which occur quite often.  It would have been nice if the character designs made up for the shortfalls in animation, but even though a number of the girls are pretty, some of them are a bit plain, and none are particularly novel in design.  The soundtrack only succeeds as background music, and that’s about all I have to say there.  Finally, the only complaint I have with the US release of the series is that it does not include an English dub.  Being a man who likes to have choices, I’m always sad to see a sub only release.  There isn’t anything wrong with the Japanese language track and the subs are fine, but it loses something that could have been by going the one track route.

Girl’s High isn’t exactly going to mesmerize you with character development or bring you to tears with dramatic storytelling.  It’s pure fluff, crude fluff, but fluff nonetheless.  Fortunately, the crudeness of the series combined with jokes that are usually funny and situational comedy that works well, keeps the series from being 12 episodes of slice of life tedium.  When I decided to watch Girl’s High all I wanted was something light and fun, with no emotional baggage or active brain cells necessary, and it fit the bill perfectly.

Miscellaneous:
In addition to the 12 main episodes, there are a number of extra episodes as well, which run at about 8-10 minutes in length.

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Girl's High
Girl's High
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Review Title:
Girl's High
Alternative Titles:
High School Girls, Joshi Kousei, Girls High, Girls' High
Type:
TV
Episodes:
12
Duration:
300 Minutes
General Rating:
3.5 out of 5 stars
Aired:
2006
Suitable For:
Young Adults
Genres:
Comedy, Drama, Ecchi,
School, Slice of Life
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