by Amy McNulty,
How would you rate episode 5 of
Comic Girls ?
In a similar vein to last week's Ruki-centric outing, this week's Comic Girls shines a character spotlight on Koyume. As the most boisterous and outgoing member of the group, Koyume often acts as a foil for the eccentricities of her housemates, but as episode 5 illustrates, she can also be a compelling character in her own right. This week's first segment finds the girls going to the beach at the behest of Koyume, who's instantly able to make new friends and enjoy herself while her fellow mangaka go out of their way to avoid social interaction. In the end, Koyume's enthusiasm proves infectious and draws each of the girls out of their respective shells, although Tsubasa and Kaos are too tired for any more summertime outings. In the episode's second half, Kaos, Ruki, and Ririka engineer an amusement park date for Koyume and Tsubasa. Not only will this enable Koyume to collect some research for her romance manga, it will provide her with a prime opportunity to get closer to her crush. Although Koyume is ultimately unable to confess her feelings, she winds up receiving invaluable words of encouragement from her regularly published peer.
Koyume's turn in the spotlight is decidedly less focused on her manga-making experience than Ruki's. True, she's essentially trying to get life experience to make herself a better shojo mangaka, but actual manga creation takes a backseat this week. Unfortunately, in the absence of its usual focus on the creative process, Comic Girls becomes a run-of-the-mill CGDGT show in many regards. The girls go to the beach, show off their swimwear to the viewers, and as far as Ruki is concerned, spend unrealistically long amounts of time comparing boob sizes. Two of them go shopping while the other two stay at home and game. Then Koyume sort of gets Tsubasa to go on a date with her, though she never makes it clear that's what she has in mind. At least her crush on Tsubasa is endearing—albeit vexing due to the whole "we can't date! we're both girls!" cliché.
Perhaps if we saw Koyume work on her manga more often, this kind of respite would make more sense. Instead, Koyume is known primarily for her shapely body and bubbly personality, with her interest in manga coming off as secondary. The second segment makes a good effort at tying manga creation into the main story, but at this point, not enough is known about Koyume's creative process for the emotional beats to have their intended impact. While episode 5 certainly helps add depth to her character, Koyume still comes across as a vehicle for fanservice.
Koyume's episode may not be as compelling as Ruki's, but getting a glimpse of the girls in different settings makes for an interesting change of pace. Still, taking an episode-long break from manga creation this early on may not be the wisest course of action. Unlike Tsubasa and Ruki, Koyume doesn't have a serialization, but seeing more of her actual manga may have made certain parts of episode 5 more meaningful on a number of fronts.
Comic Girls is currently streaming on Crunchyroll.
Amy is an author who has loved anime for over two decades.
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