Recaps for Wake Up, Girls!

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Wake Up, Girls! Episode #12 Anime Review (Season Finale)

At the end of the previous episode Yoppi discovered that her ankle was swollen from an accidental fall. Panicking, she attempts to hide this from the other girls, but constantly stumbling and wincing sort of gave the whole thing away. When they see how bad it is, there’s a discussion about whether or not Yoppi can perform, or if they can perform without her. Very predictably, Mayu says she will not perform without all seven of them, and they will withdraw as a group. Read More... //

Wake Up, Girls! Episode #11 Anime Review

After the twist at the end of last episode, it seems like the girls are facing a crisis: I-1 sings the song Wake Up, Girls! used to get into the finals, and since they’ll be releasing it on CD it’s not possible for them to sing it in the competition. They’re all ready to turn on Hayasaka — the only one who could have given their song away — but when he arrives he has his own news. Acting surprised that Wake Up, Girls! won, he announces that he thought of a “better song” that he wants the girls to learn for the finals. They only have a short time to learn this song, but, as Hayasaka points out, top idols learn new songs and choreography in a day, so if they can’t do this, they don’t deserve to win. Read More... //

Wake Up, Girls! Episode #10 Anime Review

With last episode’s revelations, tensions within the group are basically done: the girls understand each other, and they now strive toward their common goal. This takes away some of the natural drama in the show, even the mellowed out version given here, but the anime finds other ways to make the girls struggle. Read More... //

Wake Up, Girls! Episode #09 Anime Review

In an attempt to fix themselves after the fighting they had last episode, Wake Up, Girls! (and their managers) decide to take an overnight trip to Kaya’s aunt’s inn. Thanks to the location, Kaya, the oldest one in the group, finally gets some focus as she reveals to Mayu her reasons for joining the group, and why she left her hometown. Oddly, the show is a little vague about the details: a fishing village that’s rebuilding, her town was obviously hit by the tsunami, but they never directly say that, and though Kaya mentions that she “ran away” from the town, she never specifies what she was running from. But, we see that she has a similar reason to Mayu for joining the group — she wanted to make herself happy. Read More... //

Wake Up, Girls! Episode #08 Anime Review

Now that Airi is firmly a part of Wake Up, Girls! again, new producer Hayasaka has another ask for them: they will enter the “idol festival” an attempt to win so they can compete in a final battle against I-1. To do this he gives them a new song, with new choreography, that they’re expected to master before he comes back from his paying gig with I-1. Read More... //

Wake Up, Girls! Episode #07 Anime Review

We pick up where we left in the last episode, with the girls being forced into a decision by their new producer — agree to cut Airi, or stop their lessons and end the group altogether. While the girls struggle over the decision, Matsuda does us a little proud by yelling at Hayasaka, decidedly not approving of the brutal way he’s choosing to run WUG. But, as President Tange says, it’s not up to them, and if this one decision breaks them apart, maybe they weren’t meant to make it big. Read More... //

Wake Up, Girls! Episode #06 Anime Review

After the I-1 concert from the previous episode, a new producer, Hayasaka Tasuku approaches President Tange with an offer — he wants to help the Wake Up, Girls! Though he currently works for I-1, he explains that they don’t inspire him anymore, and he wants the challenge of working with the Sendai girls. Though suspicious that he wants no money in return, Tange agrees to hand over control of the group. Hayasaka proceeds to subject the girls with intense practices and multiple concerts. He does this mainly to train them up, to push them to their limits — and, it turns out, as he announces his intentions to cut Airi, to see who will break. Read More... //

Wake Up, Girls! Episode #05 Anime Review

Walking home after her talk with Tange, Mayushi runs into a current member of I-9 — the girl who seemed angry at her in the last episode for daring to enter another idol group. While she seems to brag, bringing up the I-9 concert, she brings the conversation back to Mayushi, asking, “Why did you do it?” Mayushi doesn’t have an answer, and after reminding her of “the trouble you caused us” — probably referring to the male fan brought up last episode, and hinting at a bitterness from this girl — the conversation ends there — for now. Read More... //

Wake Up, Girls! Episode #04 Anime Review

The story gets a text-based start this time as the bespectacled fan we’ve seen off and on in past episodes takes part in an online discussion about Mayu being a part of the new idol group. While he’s excited, he’s shocked to discover that not only are other fans unhappy about this, they’re angry that Mayu would dare attempt idolhood again. This links back to other moments where Mayu looked uncomfortable talking about fans, and we get hints that her break with I-1 may have had something to do with a supposed boyfriend. Read More... //

Wake Up, Girls! Episode #03 Anime Review

The opening sequence changes in this episode, pretty suddenly considering this is only the third one. The new song, ___, is even peppier than the last, and does a better job of showcasing each of the girls. Still, like before, the animation comes almost entirely from recycled movie and episode clips rather than something original. In this story, the girls start the new job President Tange set up for them, with half the girls doing a weather segment for a local news channel, and half doing a food segment. Some of the weirdness of becoming an idol comes up here, as Tange explains that the first half will be doing a “scalding weather report”, where they will literally drop into scalding water. This is because, rather than wanting the girls to just be cute when they start out, today’s idols basically need to set themselves up for pratfalls and ridicule. It’s pretty weird at first (though not as uncomfortable as last week’s bikini moments) but Matsuda figures out how to work in the girls’ favor and gets them to perform in animal costumes instead — embarrassing, but not painful. Read More... //