Welcome, one and all, to this month’s anime review. This month, we’re having a look at Kaiju Girls Season 1. Now, this is going to be an odd one because … well … I only actually started watching it because I clicked on the wrong show. When the show opened up, I thought that the synopsis sounded interesting enough, and seeing that the episodes were short, I figured I may as well give it a shot. But, was it a lucky find, or was it a train wreck? Let’s find out.
Background: Produced by the special effects company Tsuburaya Productions, Kaiju Girls (aka Kaijū Musume/Kaijū Gārūzu) is an anime original. The show was conceived as part of the moe anthropomorphism project, Ultra Monsters Anthropomorphic Project, the twelve episodes run to around five minutes and were originally released as a web series.
The story is pretty straight forward: the battle between humans and kaiju ended many years ago, but the monsters have been reborn. If the title wasn’t a giveaway, their souls now inhabit the bodies of Kaiju Girls, or young women who can summon anthropomorphic monster forms. The organisation known as GIRLS gathers these ladies together to do all manner of things (such as take part in fight shows, run public appearances, and fight humanity’s greatest foe, the shadows). The episodes focus on three new Kaiju Girls, Agira, Miclas and Windom, as they begin their journey.
The Good: My initial impression of the screen shots that I’d seen was that the simplified, chibi style art wouldn’t sit well with me. I like art like that, don’t get me wrong, but I don’t think I’ve ever taken an interest in a full show set in the style. Interestingly though, the style grew on me here. It really suites the feel of the show, and helps create the light hearted feel that they were obviously going for.
In terms of the characters, the usual suspects are on full display here. We have the bespectacled no-nonsense girl with a secret yaoi obsession (Windom), the quiet, timid MC (Agira), and the energetic snaggle-toothed girl (Miclas). They look and act in the way you’d expect such characters to act. Rather than seem overly generic though, the short run time of each episode means that you don’t get the chance to get bored with them.
Where the series really shines though is in the designs of the girls’ Kaiju forms. Honestly, they look like cosplay costumes, and at times are pretty silly to look at. Somehow though, it works. Much like the general art style, it all fits.
Strangely, despite clearly being a show designed to sell merchandise, the end of the series does hint at a bigger overall story arc. While unlikely to be anything hugely complex, it does a good job of creating intrigue for the currently running second season, so that’s pretty much job done.
They’re little things, but the opening theme is brilliantly catchy, and I thought that the pixel art on the closing credits was great fun.
The Bad: When the girls activate their kaiju forms, they do so by way of a magical girl style transformation scene. These scenes are actually in a different style to the rest of the series and remind me a little of shows like Winx Club. The animation is fine, but I personally found the shift in style to be a little off-putting.
Subbed or Dubbed: I do not believe that a dubbed version exists. The subbed version was fine though. Aina Suzuki in particular does a good job with Miclas and puts far more playful emotion into her energetic nature than I expected.
Final View: Kaiju Girls thoroughly embraces the type of show that it is, but does so gleefully and as a result, exudes an air of simple fun. It’s not a classic, but the short run time makes it a decent time waster that will no doubt gain plenty of fans as it continues onward.
Final Score: 4 / 5