It is only natural as humans to crave meaningful relationships with one another. However, for as much as we can try to foster worthwhile relationships with everyone, it is inevitable that we realize not all relationships are fortuitous. As we weed through to decide the ones worth keeping, mistakes and misunderstandings are bound to arise. In fact, we’re bound to get burned at some point or another. These mistakes can sometimes do us more harm than good, as the pain of being burned can serve to form mental walls, preventing us from being vulnerable.
While I can commend Girlish Number for attempting to explore these themes of vulnerability and misunderstandings, it often misses the mark entirely. Just when we start to see the potential of introspection or self-awareness in characters necessary to advance the plot, they quickly revert to their old ways. Sure, creating a compelling cast of characters who explore these flaws is not an easy task, but it does not excuse the monotonous nature of the piece as we see these same characters repeat the same mistakes over and over again. To say it becomes rather grating after a while is putting it lightly.
The primary issue with Girlish Number is that it is a character driven piece without any depth of characters. Everyone is so painfully obvious they’re pretending to be happy and that doesn’t change. It’s as if everything about this show adheres to a character’s emotional state too tightly. There’s no sense of growth or transformation. There’s no emotional journey, so-to-speak. Throughout the course of the entire series, characters cling to their facades without showing any form of improvement. They are all the same people they were when they started; emotionally insecure rocks that run away from their problems. And this does not make for a particularly engaging or entertaining story. The characters don’t really learn from their mistakes, even after they’re pointed out to them in the most explicit of terms. They’re not really well developed with the exception of Shibasaki whose development came completely out of nowhere.
Another huge underlying issue with the story is the pacing of the plot. Actually, it feels like nothing really happens primarily because Chitose is a passive protagonist. Throughout the entire series, she does not take the initiative. The only time she was about to do something out of her own accord was when she volunteered to visit Shibasaki’s family and even then, she ended up sleeping through it. It was a completely unnecessary plot point. Yes, she’s supposed to be self-centered to a degree, but when it gets to a point where it holds the story to a complete standstill. . . well, it doesn’t make for a very interesting story, to say the least. Nor does she make for a very appealing character.
Chitose is a character plagued by self-deception, often boasting about her capabilities as an actress without merit. Chitose didn’t feel compelling; She’s an immature brat who wants people to cater to her every whim. When she was feeling down about seeing insulting posts online, I honestly didn’t feel a thing until her brother commented on how accurate they were. Then I just laughed like a hyena. Her insecurities are painted in a manner that is way too heavy-handed. None of the characters are explored beyond the point of stating they’re all deathly afraid of vulnerability.
Everything about this show is superficial nonsense. The topic of vulnerability is only scratched at surface level. Maybe that’s the point of the series. Maybe it’s supposed to be mentally draining to point out that as people, sometimes we don’t learn after committing the same mistakes over and over. Whatever the point Girlish Number is trying to make, it doesn’t make for a potentially moving or worthwhile story. It simply fails to have any redeeming qualities beyond its art. Gi(a)rlish Number? More like, Boorish Number.
– Palpable -___-