Senryuu Shoujo Review Episode 11

Fireworks and Festivals

Senryuu Shoujo Episode 11

They are very keen on this summer theme and this week we are hitting the festival with a firework display in Senryuu Shoujo. I do have to wonder if these last few episodes haven’t just been Haruhi Suzumiya’s endless eight spread out over more episodes and not repeated. Either that or it feels like the happy days of Higurashi before the slaughter. Or literally any high school anime that has a summer vacation where they all hang out together.

None of that is actually criticism of what Senryuu Shoujo has been doing. More just acknowledging that we aren’t getting anything new. If you are after mind-blowing and original, look elsewhere. Here is the comfortable standard for high school club anime and it is doing it with a reasonable amount of care. Again, not redefining what a summer sequence is or blowing the audience away with any kind of exceptional standard, it is just like an old pair of slippers. They fit and they are warm and comfortable, and that’s all they need to do.

This time we have ditched a lot of the support characters to simply focus on the core of Eiji and Nanako with the third wheel of the club president at the festival. We’ll get a fairly standard montage of festival activities before the real ‘drama’ begins.

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This is perhaps the first time the anime has really acknowledged that Nanako not speaking is actually a problem. While she’s waiting for Eiji and the president, some classmates find her and drag her off to see the fireworks with them. Unable, or unwilling, to speak, Nanako gets dragged away. In that situation, stopping to write a poem to express herself is a little difficult, and more importantly she doesn’t actually really try to resist the other girls. She simply goes along.

However, we do get a very pretty reunion, a firework display, and the usual saccharine conclusion to the episode that we’ve come to expect from this series. The one sour note is Eiji’s fierce denial that Nanako and he are together because with one episode to go that kind of shatters any hope that we might get them officially together before the end of the season.

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Senryuu Shoujo Review Episode 10

Ghosts and Fireflies

Senryuu Shoujo Episode 10

We’re sticking with the summer vacation theme this week but here we hit the super cute button as the characters make a plan to go to watch real fireflies. Of course the club president isn’t happy just to let it rest with that and makes alternate plans that involve scaring Nanako and Eiji by creating a ghost tunnel. It is the usual summer break silliness from school characters in a slice of life and yet there’s something just kind of adorable about this episode that makes it work and feel memorable.

Part of this is the great chemistry in the cast. Despite each character being a walking gimmick they each bring something cute to the table and together the group dynamics are just kind of perfect. Art girl continues to be a personal favourite (and I promise I will remember her name by the end of the series, though we are running out of episodes) and the fortune teller girl adds enough cynicis to the mix to take the edge off of the sickly sweet.

However, the real highlight of the episode, as is the case most episodes, is the relationship between Eiji and Nanako. The two are very sweet together and whether it is Nanako admiring the bug Eiji caught, their genuine delight at the plan to look for fireflies, or Eiji’s efforts to protect Nanako in the tunnel, they are just too cute to watch.

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I’m really hoping these two become an officially acknowledged couple by the end of the season because it wouldn’t make a lot of sense not to acknowledge what has become very clear from watching these two. They have a genuine mutual like of one another and they are both sweet people. Now if only they would act on it.

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Senryuu Shoujo Review Episode 9

Eiji’s Day Out

Senryuu Shoujo Episode 9

Instead of following Nanako, this week we follow Eiji as he goes about a typical day while on Summer vacation in Senryuu Shoujo. Admittedly, I don’t think most of us start a typical day by dropping our phone in ramen and then run into literally everyone we know while wasting time in town before being invited back to our ‘not’ girlfriend’s place, but really this seems pretty typical for these characters.

This is actually Nanako’s father’s thoughts and not Eiji’s.

Honestly, there isn’t a lot to say about this episode as we simply encounter Eiji’s ‘big-sis’ character, the fortune teller, the club president and then the art girl in succession. Each encounter is cute enough but not particularly note-worthy as it simply reinforces their standard characteristics. Then Eiji runs into Nanako.

The highlight of this anime continues to be the adorable nature of any sequence between Eiji and Nanako and even if this encounter ended up being emotionally overblown when Nanako’s father met Eiji, it couldn’t take away from how cute the two are. The conversation between Eiji and Nanako’s mother was also cute, but now we know Nanako has just always communicated through poem and we still don’t know why.

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This was very much easy viewing but didn’t really bring anything new to the table for Senryuu Shoujo.

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Senryuu Shoujo Review Episode 8

The Obligatory Swimsuit Episode

Episode 8

Another standard plot development for Senryuu Shoujo as we move into Summer and of course that means the girls need to go shopping for swimsuits. There’s not a lot more to the episode as the president takes Nanako, the girl who communicates through drawing, and the psychic to a shop and they all pick out a swimsuit, meanwhile Eiji’s childhood friend ambushes him by turning up on his bed while wearing a bikini.

The usual eye-rolling follows. Why characters get bent out of shape about swimsuits and the amount of shy fidgeting and turning red these characters do in this episode is just beyond a joke. Worse, the episode doesn’t feel the need to even try to string anything more together than Eiji sees Nanako in a swimsuit for the punchline and then the episode ends.

I have no idea why this line was included. It seems so random and doesn’t connect to anything that happens.

Even for a short anime this episode of Senryuu Shoujo was lacking substance. While the cute sparkles surrounding girls in swim suits might compensate for some viewers, this one is a solid low point for the series for me so far. There were just no actually cute interactions between the characters and the standard routine of check out swimsuits and have jaws dropping over the one that looks like strings and then the boob staring to compare chest sizes just doesn’t appeal in any way.

I do continue to enjoy the art girl as she’s usually pretty amusing.

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Overall this episode didn’t actually do anything wrong but it didn’t do a thing to make me feel it was really worth the time it took to watch.

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Senryuu Shoujo Review Episode 7

Cute Umbrella Sharing Moment

Episode 7

We are back to super cute this week with Senryuu Shoujo as we get a standard girl wants to share umbrella with guy plot. Fortunately the story begins and ends with this set-up and the middle section is a fairly cute mission to build a rabbit hutch.

Nanako with frizzy hair - Senryuu Shoujo.

This episode does make me wonder why Nanako and Eiji aren’t already together. It is quite clear that they are both into one another and Nanako’s adorable concerns about her hair going frizzy in the rain is highly entertaining as is her slight lie and manipulation in order to get to share an umbrella with the endlessly clueless Eiji.

Eiji chasing rabbits - Senryuu Shoujo

Where I’m less thrilled is in the club president manipulating the situation by lying to Nanako about the legend and through the announcement of the escaped bunnies. While her intentions might be fine it all just seems a little too contrived.

Nanako and the girls - Senryuu Shoujo

That said, watching this motley group of characters – the delinquent, the girl who communicates only through poems, the girl who hides herself with her drawings, and the psychic – try to repair the rabbit hutch was utterly adorable and honestly I think I’d happy watch that combination of characters take on almost any task.

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This anime is very average but in terms of being cute and light viewing it succeeds admirable and the half-length episodes are just right.

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Senryuu Shoujo Review Episode 6

Leader of the non-rebellion.

Episode 6

There’s definitely something seriously wrong with Nanako’s family, particularly her father. I mean, I get he’s playing the overprotective daddy trope but how on earth could you reach the conclusion that Nanako is rebelling. And why is that his biggest issue with his daughter when she never actually speaks. Surely that’s of greater concern than whether or not she’s becoming a thug.

I did like the lead in this week with the club president and Eiji sharing pictures of their pets. One thing that I always find weird in any kind of show is when someone has a pet rabbit. Given it is illegal to own rabbits where I live and they are considered an invasive pest, the idea of keeping one as a pet just strikes me as bizarre. More or less like owning a pet cane-toad.

The moments with Eiji, his sister and Nanako at the park are cute but that’s about it in terms of what you can say about it Unless you want to get into the repeated rabbit poo joke that just seemed there to fill run time as it was pretty much nothing.

With the majority of the episode focusing in on Nanako’s father freaking out about his potentially ‘rebellious’ child though there just wasn’t enough cute going on to off-set it. And while we did resolve the issue at the end and everything ends with a sparkling smile, there’s just too much that doesn’t sit right. I think I prefer this anime when it focuses on the school stuff and it is rare for me to say that.

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Senryuu Shoujo Review Episodes 3 + 4

It’s cute but fairly pointless.

Nanako and Eiji - Senryuu Shoujo
On the plus side, it is easy to get screen caps without subtitles in this show without even turning the subs off.

Episode 3

Honestly, if I was actually expecting anything from this anime, episode 3 of Senryu Girl would be the moment I’d decide to drop it from my watch list. Starting with a weird game of charades, having a middle that involves an amusement park mascot licking  Eiji’s shoes, and an end that blows a sentimental moment on a cheap joke and all and all there just isn’t enough that is working here.

I just found this title image really bizarre – like, what is with the rabbit?

Admittedly, the cute interactions between Nanako and Eiji continue to be cute, though his denseness became far more apartment this episode. What works less well is that the club president and the newly introduced big-sister character already seem reduced to side bar commentary on the non-progress of the main couple’s relationship doing the creepy stalker thing while the other two go on a date.

Nanako and Eiji at the amusement park.

I’d also like to throw a what is up with Nanako’s family into the mix given the few moments we saw the parents and sibling it mostly just made me wonder if everyone in this show actually suffers from some mental illness.

Nanako's father - Senryuu Shoujo

Anyway, I wasn’t really expecting much more than passing entertainment and while episode three might be a low point so far, overall this anime is doing enough for its twelve minutes a week so we’ll see what episode 4 brings.

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Episode 4

Introducing a new weird girl who doesn’t talk but communicates via drawing sounds like a really silly idea but the scene where Kino and Nanako introduce themselves to the other by drawing and poem writing is actually pretty adorable so I’ll have to give Senryu Girl a pass for this fine effort. While there isn’t a whole lot more to the episode, given the episode length of twelve minutes, one really well delivered scene is actually enough to leave you with quite a good feeling after watching.

Senryuu Shoujo Episode 4

The episode begins with Eiji feeling like he is being followed. In discussion with the literature club, they determine it might be a stalker or someone trying to confess. There’s a fairly cute moment where Nanako starts to write the question of how Eiji would respond if she were to confess, but mid-way through she realised what she’s doing and actually bends her board in half. Probably the one benefit of writing over talking. She did get the opportunity to not have those words actually come out. That said, she’d have been better off erasing it rather than bending the board given the club president still reads it after Eiji runs out after her.

Nanako - Senryuu Shoujo
Note to Nanako: This does not erase what is written on the board.

When they finally meet the stalker, she’s pretty much Nanako the second but her responses take even longer because she has to draw a whole picture. That said, it works well enough and again, the short episode length sells it.

No matter how you want to look at it, this scene in Senryuu Shoujo was adorable.

While this episode was a step up from episode 3, honestly, I think this is as good as this series is going to get and honestly that makes it watchable but that’s about it. With this new character, it is clear Senryuu Girl isn’t all that interested in actually looking at any of the issues these kids have but just wants to put them in cute scenarios together, and while that works to kill twelve minutes it doesn’t leave much of a memorable impression. Though Kino tilting her drawing was kind of adorable.

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