I’ve already posted about Barakamon and Nozaki-kun, and I remain convinced that those two are the big winners of the Summer anime season. However there are some other shows which aren’t quite in the same league but are still workmanlike and entertaining. I think some of these deserve at least a brief mention.
Locodol (Crunchyroll) is the most lightweight of the lot, a simple show about cute girls being cute. That kind of thing usually gets boring quickly but this one has managed to hold my interest.
The full title is Futsuu no Joshikousei ga ‘Locodol’ Yattemita (“Ordinary High School Girls Tried Being ‘Locodols'”.) I commend Crunchyroll’s decision to shorten it.
The heroine, Nanako, is a shy and awkward high school girl. Her uncle is a local bureaucrat charged with promoting business in the minor city of Nagarekawa. His problem is that Nagarekawa has little to recommend it. It is a typical town distinguished only by its unsurpassed mediocrity.
So he decides to put together a group of “locodols” (“local idols.”) These are basically cute girls who make public appearances to promote local businesses. He makes Nanako join the group because she is available and will work cheap.
Any mention of “idols” brings up images of naive teenagers being slickly packaged and exploited by sophisticated media managers. That’s not quite what this is about.
It’s more about naive teenagers being ineptly packaged and exploited by bumbling adults who have only a vague idea of what they are doing. The whole operation is low-budget and cheesy. Appearances are unscripted and unrehearsed, maximizing the chance that the girls will mess up in embarrassing but cute ways.
The girls are mostly aware of this (though they don’t know quite how messed up things are.) Nevertheless they press on with dedication and even enthusiasm because they genuinely want to help their community and don’t want to let their friends down.
It’s silly but I can’t resist.