I like to cook, with that I also watch a fair bit of cooking shows. A lot of cooking competitions broadcast on the tube are usually timed, or have limited ingredients to make the challenge harder. With that comes deconstruction, and the definition of deconstruction that will be used in this post.
Let’s take the task as a taco. Ingredients assigned, and our chef gets ambitious. We’re going to make our own tortilla for this challenge. Oh crap, we’ve run very short of time. Instead of assembling our taco, we’re going to put the meat in one corner, lettuce/tomato here in this corner, cheese and other dairy here, and finally the homemade tortilla on the side. It’s presented as a deconstructed taco. The mildly intelligent are smart enough to figure out that this is nothing more than a taco salad that you dress yourself, the judges however must re-construct the dish and sing praises of the tortilla that our chef was so ambitious in making.
Wake Up, Girls! is a supposed deconstruction of the idol genre. Yamakan, our chef, is working with an obvious limited budget, and is trying to put out a product that I believe is trying to tell us something. Simply put, the idol world is not as flashy and glamorous as is seems. It’s squicky at times and there’s a lot of crying. A far cry from other examples of the genre with their shiny scenery and happy production companies.
This is rather grungy, and it’s not fearful of going into some pretty objectifying stuff. In fact, the whole idol/manufacture of bands things is entirely objectifying from most angles you look at it. In everything except for its final produced product.
We follow our girls from serving gross old men in a “health” spa, to the final stage where they sing it out with their rivals. There’s a lot of other stuff along the way, but nothing spectacular along the way. Oh, aside from episode eight, where the girls go on a trip to visit a family friend in an area devastated by the Tohoku quake and tsunami. Even watching animated characters try and make the best of the dire scene in front of them is pretty heartbreaking.
In the end, this show is a bit of a mess with a few tasty bits. It’s limited budget and fair animation is obvious no matter how much Yamakan tries. At the end of the show, you’re forced to look at the bits on the plate and need to put the whole thing back together to decide if it all works as a whole. Personally, I wasn’t too disappointed; I wasn’t going into this expecting it to blow my mind.
On a final note, there’s a reason why a taco is so good. It’s a perfect bite and works as a whole, putting it together when you’re expecting a package makes the whole experience longer and harder to get through. I prefer tacos even if they can get messy, but at least I didn’t have to put it together to enjoy it. It’s honestly not a super fun watch. Guess I’ll go watch Love Live! (mmm…tacos).