Friday, 14 February 2014

Wake Up, Girls! - Episode 6

Following that disastrous live event, it could be argued that the Wake Up Girls need a lucky break... and whaddya know, they might just have one.

The name of the lucky break in question is renowned composer Hayasaku Tasuku, who works for I-1 Club amongst others.  It seems that Tasuku is a little bored of life at the top and wants to test his skills with some "potatoes", as he calls them, to see if he can refine the Wake Up Girls into a success in their own right.  In light of this, Tange is really in no place to argue with the idea of him taking on the group, especially seeing as he's willing to dump money into them with no return beyond a few conditions surrounding his complete control of the unit for a limited time.

So it goes that Tasuku takes charge of the girls, putting them through a grueling schedule of physical training and days of three back-to-back concerts in an effort to shape them up both physically and mentally.  After a period of this back-breaking regime, despite the complaints of the girls it seems that Hayasaku has a pretty positive feeling about most of them as potential successes, with one exception - Airi.  He isn't afraid to tell her to her face either, at a time when even Airi herself is beginning to see a gulf between her own abilities and those of her group-mates.  In the face of news that she might be cut from the group however, she crumbles under the pressure, making an even bigger error in a live concert as what seems to be the final straw.  When she doesn't turn up to the group's next training session, it's up to the other girls to choose - to abandon Airi and continue without her, or for the whole group to be fired.

As a whole, this was probably the most solid episode of Wake Up, Girls in a little while - unbelievable though Tasuku's entrance on the scene is, and as laughable as I-1 Club's depiction as some kind of villainous sweat shop might be, the episode as a whole worked pretty well at delivering what was required of it.  Once again though, the big gap in the story came from a lack of character - we really know nothing about Airi, her real motivations or anything beyond vague monologues about her intentions or feelings, and this drains much of the interest out of her story; it's hard to care to any extent about a character we barely know.  It's the same old story which continues to undermine Wake Up, Girls, which is a shame given that its offer of something beyond your typical, fluffy idol anime could have made for a far stronger selling point.

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