Senryū Girl (川柳少女) is a shōnen, slice-of-life, comedy anime adaptation of the original manga series written by Masakuni Igarashi. It’s being produced by studio Connect and is directed by Masato Jinbo. The story follows a socially awkward adolescent girl named Yukishiro Nanako who only communicates via senryū (Haiku-like short poetry) that consists of 5-7-5 syllables, and her good friend named Busujima Eiji who is always mistaken for being a delinquent due to his roguish demeanour. Both teens are part of their school’s literature club where they learn more about the art of crafting senryū.
In my Spring Simulcast Master List, I chatted briefly about my uncertainty of how a narrative like this would translate into an anime. Having a character that exclusively interacts via poetic verse can either be an original and endearing concept, or one that will begin to feel tedious and repetitive rather hastily. After seeing the pilot, I feel that this will most-definitely be something some viewers shall be taken with, while others will feel frustrated with. Personally, I was charmed by the characters, the comedy, the sakura aesthetics, and even the poetry itself.
The trait that works to Senryū Girl’s biggest benefit is that the episodes are short in length. They are half the size of a standard anime episode, clocking in at twelve minutes, and what this does is it gives the audience a chance to interact with a form of poetry that is uniquely Japanese in small doses. The cutesy character interactions also help to maintain interest and to get into the spring, feel-good vibe that most slice-of-life serials tend to have. Since there are so many verses being exchanged, having a minimal watching slot didn’t make the poetry come off as overkill, at least not yet. I’m not sure how it shall fair as the series goes on, and if a watcher decides to binge the series at the end of the season, then that overkill effect may very well make an appearance. As it stands right now, however, it’s quite tame and engaging.
The animation quality is relatively pretty and jam-packed with tons of sakura, or cherry blossoms. Most of the shots that we get in the episode either consisted of sakura trees or had flowy, wind-blown petals surrounding the characters or settings. At a certain point, I felt that the show was shouting out to the world about how Spring-like it is, afraid we would forget. There’s no forgetting it’s Spring with this anime.
Plenty of the humour is derived from the senryū that the characters create. One of them is horrid at stringing together lines within the given limitations, so most of their phrases are cut short or stop midway. I can see the comedic element in this, but it tends to be somewhat hit or miss. Additionally, the wit veers more on the obvious side of the spectrum, yet I didn’t feel that things were too forced. They were comfortable, especially given the shorter length.
All in all, Senryū Girl is quite average across the board, however it did have a pleasant first episode. I like that it’s very casual and laid-back that doesn’t require a hefty investment of time or effort. I would recommend this to watchers who are interested in something light and fluffy that they don’t have to think about too much. I’d also recommend this to people keen on learning more about senryū because it does offer some tips on how to hone those writing skills here and there. As it stands, I plan on watching the second episode for sure.
You can catch Senryū Girl on HIDIVE on Friday evenings.