The wonderful work of Wakaba Girl

Don’t let the shorter duration of the show fool you. Wakaba Girl is still a great show to watch, even if you’re not a fan of the slice-of-life genre. Rest assured, this review article contains no spoilers.

Shorter anime are usually lower-rated than their full-length counterparts, and that is perfectly understandable. With the limited air time they air given, anime that fall under the short-form series have less of an opportunity to present a worthwhile show. And while it is true that shorter anime tend to drift away from stories with heavy plotlines, that does not necessarily mean the anime itself isn’t worth watching. There are reasons why anime without the standard duration exists, and they serve this purpose rather well. As the saying goes, to each their own, and anime is certainly not the exception of this.

Wakaba Girl, a 2015 anime with 13 episodes that average just under eight minutes each is a delightful show about a group of high school girls hanging out. No, seriously that’s about it. Getting ice cream after school, baking cupcakes, watching fireworks and even sleepovers are a few of the activities the girls get involved in. Nothing mind-boggling or thought-provoking about it, but that is exactly what makes the show so darn relaxing.

All things Moe

For anime fans who enjoy the slice-of-life genre, a show about cute girls enjoying themselves won’t come as a surprise. That’s because the moe culture of anime has proven to be a popular and commercially successful premise that focuses more so on the characters, and their relationships, rather than a progressive story. Cute characters have a certain appeal that just draws the audience towards them like moths towards a fly, and we definitely don’t mind it at all. Despite its short duration, Wakaba Girl still manages to make it an entertaining, heartfelt watch that leaves you feeling pampered, and perhaps a bit envious over their hilarious but extremely close friendship.


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from: Things From Another World

Wakaba, a wealthy girl who speaks like a traditional Ojou, enrolls in a less-than prestigious high school due to her bad grades. As unfortunate as that sounds, there were some delightful opportunities that transpired after being turned down from her first-choice high school. Wakaba meets her eventual friends in Mao, Moe and Shiba. The sheltered rich girl explains to them, ever so excitedly, that she wants to be a high school girl, but not just any, a gyaru. Wakaba wants to relish in the freedom and social outings that a typical high school girl experiences, but is presumably under the wrong impression of what an actual gyaru is. The rest of the girls play along and befriend the innocent Wakaba almost immediately. Their adventures of a non-stop thrill ride begin there, with Wakaba learning and experiencing the outgoing and spontaneous life of an actual high school girl! 

An unlikely friendship

So, despite her ineligibility to enroll in a fancy rich school, Wakaba is still ecstatic to have the chance of living like the free spirited girls she saw growing up as a child. She is, of course, unfamiliar with having friends, to the point where she subconsciously offers wads of cash to show her appreciation. Because of her status as a rich girl, Wakaba has been extremely devoid of partaking in common activities girls her age have done countless times. It is comical, yet embarrassingly delightful, to watch Wakaba experience everyday functions that are nothing outside the norm. She tends to be overly excited when the girls make plans and rarely, if ever, tries to contain her enthusiasm.

Wakaba’s innocent infatuation with her friends, and the newfound activities she discovers with them, are simply a joy to watch and a breath of soothing air. She is a sweet-hearted girl whose ignorance of the real world is both an endearing and humorous masterpiece to witness. Wakaba’s loving innocence and eagerness to spend more time with her friends are what make Wakaba Girl click. The friendship they share is pure and unadulterated. The girls genuinely enjoy each other’s company, and no amount of cash would ever change that. 

The girls are alright

The girls in the show, and the chemistry they share with one another, is another major factor that Wakaba Girl has perfected. Mao is your typical silly girl who likes to fool around and playfully tease others, mostly Shida. She is almost always upbeat and, oddly enough, refers to herself in third- person. On the other hand, Shida plays as the straight man character who is tasked with ending Wakaba or Mao’s tomfoolery when it gets out of hand. Despite her level headed coolness, she is also into the otaku culture. Shida is perhaps the most reliable and is often tasked with most of the larger responsibilities. Lastly, Moe is the soft-spoken nice girl who watches over Wakaba the most out of the bunch. She is, by far, the most feminine and resembles Wakaba in terms of her pure, innocent nature. Moe, as her name suggests, is also the shortest.


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from: Things From Another World

The girls have a dynamic relationship with each other that often ensues in hilarity. Instead of seeing Wakaba as a walking sack of money, they regard her as a friend not too long after meeting for the first time. The girls are initially taken back from Wakaba’s rather loose touch with society, but they are super sincere and genuinely care for their newly acquainted friend. Wakaba was so delighted to make friends that she cried tears of joy in front of her mother and sister. Later that night, she wrote that she wanted to remain at that high school forever.

A sweet send-off!

Wakaba Girl is a short and sweet anime that will have you grinning from cheek to cheek. Wakaba, the character, is as wholesome as a slice of bread, and her group of friends are icing on the cake. Every episode is a unique experience that strengthens the bonds between them. No two episodes are the same and just keep getting better as the girls become more familiar with one another.

There is never a dull moment when they’re on screen, and that is easier said than done. It’s an adorable, wacky anime that delivers its goodness in short bursts of seven to eight-minute-long episodes, perfect for those who only have a sliver of downtime. The opening song just about sums up the characters and is every bit as catchy as the show. The only major drawbacks are the length and no additional seasons. There is also a single OVA episode that holds its own rather well. No, you won’t find an overarching storyline in this anime, but you will find a group of girls enjoying their best times together. And sometimes, that’s all we’re really asking for.       

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Wrence

Wrence Trinidad is a current Bachelor of Journalism student at Toronto's Humber College. His favourite genre is slice-of-life and comedy but is willing to watch anything that even remotely resembles Japanese animation. He hopes to provide different perspectives on certain shows and to spark friendly discussions amongst fans of all geek culture. His username on MAL, AniList and Kitsu is surprisingly just his first name, Wrence.

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