Note: Review copy supplied by MVM Entertainment
Title: Kandagawa Jet Girls
Anime Studio: TNK
Genre: Ecchi / Sports
It’s wild and it’s wet!
Rin Namiki’s greatest ambition is to follow in her late mother’s footsteps and compete in Kandagawa Jet Racing, where teams of girls on jet skis race while firing high-powered water guns to slow their competitors’ jets (and blow off their clothing!). But since there’s no jet racing in Rin’s remote fishing village, that means moving, all by herself, to a girls’ school in faraway Tokyo! Meanwhile, Misa Aoi dreamed of becoming a great player, but those ambitions floundered until Rin transferred to her school, displaying astonishing skill for a newcomer. Is it fate? Now they “only” have to resurrect their school’s Jet Riding Club, endure brutal training, and face some seriously skilled rivals… but even the toughest tasks are easier when you’re doing something you love with someone who’s quickly becoming far more than just a friend.
Depending on your viewpoint, the race scenes in Kandagawa Jet Girls offer a glimpse at the best and worst the series has to offer. In many regards, it’s those scenes that sum the series up perfectly though. What you essentially get therein is a mix of excitement, character bonding, and a hefty dose of fan service, all wrapped up in a visually inconsistent package.
Starting with those visuals. I’m most familiar with TNK from their work on Seven Mortal Sins. I described the animation on that series as inconsistent but mostly fine. Here, I would say you’re getting much of the same, but with the inconsistent moments being a little more obvious.
The races themselves are built to be exciting, and they certainly succeed there, to the point that you can absolutely understand why the series has a game adaption. The problem is, the CG is far too much of a mixed bag. When it’s done well, the CG lends itself to the fast-paced action. The problem is, when you catch a glimpse of the characters faces during these scenes, it has a tendency to feel doll-like and empty, no matter what expression they’re wearing.
The traditionally animated moments suffer some similar issues, too. For example, we get plenty of focus on Misa during the moments that she’s feeling embarrassed or unsure. Here, there were a few moments that her face shape seemed to change compared to her normal appearance. The real shame is that the studio obviously spent a great deal of time detailing the smooth animation of the characters’ butts and boobs, so it’s certainly not as though they can’t create something that remains visually decent.
In terms of the characters, this isn’t the sort of show that will feature long, growth-heavy arcs for the core cast. That’s not to say that it’s devoid of such things though. Seeing Rin and Misa interact was a lot of fun, their bond did grow as the story went along. Little touches like Misa playing with her hair while nervous were welcome too and the supporting cast was well portrayed when it came to facial expressions. The other characters may not have been given the same treatment, but they all had distinct enough personalities and designs to stand out from one another.
In terms of audio, I thought both the Japanese and English voice casts were generally fine, though I wasn’t a fan of the accent used for Rin in the dub. Ambient sounds were what you’d expect, and the music was fitting enough, with a few background music being very good.
So, where does that leave this overall? Not being a big ecchi fan, I knew coming into this that it wouldn’t likely become a favourite. I will say that, for all the issues I had with it, Kandagawa Jet Girls was consistently entertaining though. It may not have doubled down on the silliness in the way Keijo!!!!!!!! did, but it wasn’t over-serious either. If fan service is your thing, you’ll likely get some enjoyment here, but for me, it’s an average 3 out of 5 series.