Comic Girls
Episode 8

by Amy McNulty,

How would you rate episode 8 of
Comic Girls ?

Kaos has another bout with chronic self-doubt and the adults get some time in the spotlight in a consistently entertaining Comic Girls. In this week's first segment, Kaos finds herself stretched to the breaking point. Between drawing up doomed storyboards and plugging away at her studies, the show's main character in unable to devote sufficient time to either activity. Eventually, all four girls decide to buckle down and study for their upcoming exams, but hitting the books isn't exactly the group's strong suit, and with the possible exception of Ruki, no one receives high marks on their tests. In the second half, Ririka, Amisawa, and Nijino get together for a night of drinking, reminiscing, and talking about the girls. After the party moves from a pub to the Bunhousha Dormitory, Amisawa and Nijino get a chance to observe the girls in their element, leading Amisawa to develop a newfound respect for Kaos.

While a fairly strong episode overall, the latest installment meanders, especially in the second half. However, meandering isn't uncommon in shows of this type, and for the most part, episode 8 features reasonably solid plotting and story progression for a CGDCT series. Both segments nicely tie into the show's core themes of creativity, hard work, and close friendship. The story that focuses on the adult characters features some interesting reveals and presents a number of parallels (and stark differences) between the trio of young women and the Bunhousha Dormitory's current crop of residents. Although the show has strongly hinted at this in the past, this week's episode confirms that Ririka, Amisawa, and Nijino once collaborated on a manga, albeit one that never saw professional publication.

Though well-intentioned, the ending feels off and somewhat counterintuitive to the episode's intended message. Since she realized her notes weren't having much of an impact, Amisawa decides to start grading Kaos's storyboards as if they were school tests—which doesn't serve to make her rejections any less upsetting or provide Kaos with additional tools to improve her work. It's good that she advised Kaos to take an anime break after observing her up-close, but from what the audience has seen, none of her advice has given way to actual improvement. It feels like the lesson is supposed to be about perseverance and the importance of support networks, but this is muddled in light of Kaos's complete lack of discernible progress from one week to the next.

Throughout the past two episodes, Comic Girls placed its focus on Kaos's feelings of inadequacy and lack of professional success. While this seems like a potentially interesting direction for the story to go in, it's becoming depressing to watch Kaoruko suffer one defeat after another. There's a good chance Kaos will experience some measure of success by the time the series wraps up, but it would also be nice to see her meeting more milestones along the way.

Rating: B

Comic Girls is currently streaming on Crunchyroll.

Amy is an author who has loved anime for over two decades.

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