The first episode of High School Girls nearly put me off entirely – only Moetan has this many panty-shots and blushes, and that’s parody. High School Girls is Azumanga Daioh without the zaniness, and much more openly perverted. It’s about a group of six girls who become friends as they enter high school, whose silly antics get them into comic scrapes and usually involve them getting scantily-clad and using their sexuality to get what they want. Most of it’s just brainless, but occasionally there are some funny situations and amusing backstories, and the little loli one, while really there for comic relief and to be adorable, is very cute indeed.
Look elsewhere for substance, look elsewhere for cleverness, and look elsewhere if you want to show other people a series that won’t embarrass you by being nothing but fanservice. Look here only if you want lots of obvious bishoujo being sexualised, if you want to see comedy archetypes or if you need an example of gross-out humour outside America…because this is the only anime I’ve ever seen that tries to get laughs from menstrual blood.
On the other hand, while this is certainly not a place anyone should start familiarising themselves with anime, but for those who understand its tropes and clichés, it will at least amuse in passing.
(originally written 3.5.08)