Locodol Review

locodolhdr

Futsuu no Joshikousei ga [Locodol] Yatte Mita, or Normal High School Girls Tried Being Locodols, is a fairly low-key take on the typical idol show. Which is its biggest appeal in the face of seasonal idol shows. Though some may argue that its low-key feel may be its weakest point.

e1locodol4Story
Nanako Usami is a high school girl who once had dreams of becoming an idol. While these dreams were long left behind in her childhood, when her uncle becomes head of an effort to respark tourism in their town, he recruits Nanako to be a part of a local idol group (or locodol).

Though Nanako isn’t forced to go alone, instead she is paired with a fellow schoolmate named Yukari. While Yukari has much more stage presence than Nanako, their combined chemistry of shyness and professionalism makes for a great team.

While department store stage performances and low-budget cable TV appearances may not be Nanako’s dreams of national idol work, she soon grows to find the love in just making people happy and meet many of the people of their home town.

locodol1What initially drew me to this show was its simple take on the idol formula. Using a 4-panel comic, the show heavily relies in segmented situations involving the concept of being an idol in a small town.  It’s part of its humor and charm, though at times the 4-panel feel was very obvious and sometimes jarring in certain situations.

The characters are charming and very lovable.  Never trying hard to grab the viewer or appealing to certain overly used tropes.  Granted Nanako is overly shy, it fits her lifestyle and the change she is faced with.  At the same time, Yukari does feel a bit like the sheltered moe blob at first, but quickly shines when it comes to performances and how professional she actually was.  They break stereotypes in a rather refreshing way.

locodol6The moments that make this show shine the most is definitely in the chemistry of Nanako and Yukari on stage.  Every time they perform, it’s a fun and engaging experience that makes me boggled at the mindset of the crowd.  The mixture of professional and amateur is golden and I laughed every time Nanako called herself “Nyanako.”

Unfortunately, outside of those very entertaining stage performances is a mixture of likable moments and boring moments.  Some of the exchanges and events that the locodols undertake can feel boring and unengaging to the point that I often felt like shutting the show off.  Perhaps it’s the humor trying to keep too reserved and clean that it loses a lot of its appeal.  Though I guess it’s nice to see a show keep itself open to younger viewers.

locodol5Animation
From Studio Feel who did “Listen to Me, Girls. I Am Your Father!”, Outbreak Company, and several Minami-ke titles, this series shows a bit of promise despite its somewhat budgeted look.  It’s a simple look that plays off soft colors and often enclosed environments such as dressing rooms.  Though it still manages to never look dull or messy.

Though I believe the most amazing aspect of this show’s animation was Free’s willingness to avoid the typical use of CG for the stage performances.  With almost every idol show using these means to tackle this element of idols, it’s very refreshing to see Free stick to their animators.

locodol8Conclusion
Locodol is in no way a smash hit in my book.  With so many moments of very stale content, it often had me bored and willing to give it up.  However at the same time, it also provided quite a few moments of smiles and just plain good feeling moments.  If you’re a fan of idol shows, Locodol is a great new take on the idol formula, just don’t expect much.

Family Friendliness-Locodol is a very clean show with only a few select moments of faint mentions of suggestiveness.  There’s no panty shots or overly suggestive poses, instead it uses the idea of preventing it as humor in the show.  About the worst you’ll find here is swimsuits.

NOT BAD, BUT NOT GREAT..

REVIEW VERDICT:
Decent

Pros:

  • Very cute and simple
  • Idol on a low scale
  • Avoiding use of CG performances
  • No out of character fanservice

Cons:

  • Very slow at times
  • Some rather boring segments
  • A little overly simple
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Co-Founder of OtakuSpirit.com and Co-Host of the OtakuSpirit Animecast. A huge fan of anime since the early 1990s, consuming over 800 shows. While he's late to the collecting scene, he's found a lot of joy in filling his DVD/Blu-ray collection as well as collecting figures. Once a week, he posts unboxing and feature videos on anime goods to YouTube.