The Girl In Twilight [Anime Review]

Note: Review copy supplied by MVM Entertainment

Title: The Girl In Twilight
Anime Studio: Dandelion Animation Studio, Jumonji
Publisher: MVM Entertainment
Genre: Dark Fantasy
Released: March 23rd, 2020
Classification: 15
Language: Japanese
Discs: 2

Every clear day at 4:44 pm, Asuka and four of her friends go to the temple tree on top of a hill, tune their radio to a different frequency, and pray to open the door to another world. It hasn’t worked yet, but bubbly Asuka is determined that one day it will, even if some of her friends, like pragmatic Yu and Chloe, don’t necessarily agree. And then one day, it does – the girls find the right frequency and suddenly their prayers land them in a golden twilight world where they are promptly attacked. They only survive because another girl intervenes – one who looks strangely like Asuka herself.

The Girl In Twilight is certainly an interesting release. It was produced for Animax’s 20th anniversary and is designed to be a franchise. Rather than start with a mobile game and adapt that into an anime though, this took the opposite route and started with the anime. And, I have to say, while not perfect, it does have a lot going for it.

The early episodes introduce us to the core cast of girls and which of the standard character types they fall into. Despite having a general feel of the usual suspects in that regard, there’s a simple joy to the way they interact that is thoroughly enjoyable. They may not be treading any new ground there, but the characters at least feel likable. As the story progresses though, we get to see little snippets into their lives that flesh them out, little by little. That serves the story well. The best of them is absolutely Asuka, who maintains a solid layer of interest throughout mind you, but the others do get their moments in the sun.

The story itself leaps around a bit, switching up between comedy and sci-fi infused magical girl style shenanigans. For all that erratic jumping though, the series does kinda play into that, treating us to a bunch of different alternate worlds as a means to focus on the different girls. It makes it feel like the series’ inability to sit still is an intentional choice, which is a definite positive.

The animation and character designs are fairly standard for the most part. Everything looks right without truly standing out. There isn’t anything that’s bad there to be fair, so this is only a minor criticism. The animation does shine during battles though, with the shift to CG actually working very well. Meanwhile, the voice cast do a decent job, and the soundtrack, much like the animation in general, is on the whole fine.

However, for all the things that the series does well, it also suffers from having moments that drag. It’s never painful to watch, but there are certainly times that it just becomes a little dull, at the very least if you binge watch it. The worst part of that is that I can’t really pinpoint what it is that causes it; there isn’t one scene that acts a turning point into a nosedive, there isn’t one character the drags it down, it just stumbles a little. The shame there is that it really does cause the overall quality of it to dip.

Overall, The Girl In Twilight is not a bad show. At its best, it’s fun series with some interesting ideas. At its worst, it’s watchable but far from standout. Unfortunately, that inconsistency combined with the average aesthetics does lower the score here. I would still say this is a 3.5 out of 5 though.

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