Friday, 21 February 2014

Wake Up, Girls! - Episode 7

At the end of last week's episode, new temporary manager Hayasaku left the girls with a simple choice - cut Airi from the group, or they'll all be fired.  So what will their decision be?

In exactly the kind of display of uncertainty that Hayasaku was expecting, the girls find themselves pondering what to do, with some seriously considering that perhaps Airi should be let go while others are willing to quit.  Eventually, after some heated moments, some semblance of common sense prevails and the group decides to do the right thing - go and persuade Airi to rejoin their number, while similarly persuading Hayasaku that she should be allowed to do so.

While Mayu and Yoppi head to Airi's house, some of the other girls take up their case first with Tange and then with Hayasaku himself, finding him at a local arcade where he sets up a rather strange goal - to win him three toys at said arcade's crane game before he'll reconsider his position on Airi.  Put simply then, the word of the week is "perseverance", as that trio's crane game challenge comes to fruition after numerous attempts while Airi is finally persuaded to rejoin the group largely after Yoppi finally comes clean about her own self-doubt and worries and these are issues that they all need to face together.  Thus, the Wake Up Girls are whole once again... just in time to face another new challenge!

For all of its attempts at drama and emotion, there really wasn't anything surprising about this week's Wake Up, Girls - crane game as metaphor for perseverance aside, there were no surprises in store during the episode and as a result the whole thing felt decidedly flat without anything to really punctuate its narrative or message.  For a show that promised to dare to be a little different in its early running, this felt like pretty typical stuff that even the likes of AKB0048 managed better, if only through sheer force of personality - that being that it actually had some.  As long as it struggles to make anything of its cast - and its character-building drama seems to be failing to do much of exactly that - Wake Up, Girls continues to descend into the realms of "just another middling idol anime".

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