Moeta “Kaos” Kaoruko is — apart from a Disney Princess — a high school manga artist whose series has just received the lowest ranking and she doesn’t take the news well. So her editor suggests she goes and live with other mangakas so she can learn from them.
That’s the setup of Comic Girls: a female manga artist dorm inhabited by four quirky girls, a somewhat novel variation on the regular slice of moe formula of four quirky girls being in a club together. Kaos-chan is the crippling shy one, while her shojo romance drawing roommate Koizuka Koyume is the boisterous big eater. Their two senpai are Katsuki Tsubasa, who is the slightly chuuni one who draws dead serious shounen battlers and Irokawa Ruki, the serious but easily embarrassed one. Who turns out to be the one coerced into drawing porn, which to be honest is a bit creepy, the sort of anime cliche that should’ve died a long time ago, likewise the boob gags later in the episode.
What makes Comic Girls a bit more special is that it does go into the nitty gritty of making manga, with the four girls working together to beat Tsubasa’s deadline in the first episode, while in the second episode they go to a supplies store to check out new zip-a-tone patterns. It’s always interesting to see people at work, even if you can’texpect Shirobako levels of fidelity here. It adds a bit of crunch to what otherwise would be a fairly undistinguished slice of moe series. It also adds a bit more to each of the protagonists’ personalities, seeing the differences between their work and normal modes.
As with any good slice of moe series there’s an undertone of yuri: the two senpai are roommates who behave as if they might as well be in a relationship, while both Kaos and her own roommate are crushing hard on them. Kaos likes the shy one, while Koyume likes the chuuni one, to the point where she draws shojo romance flowers in the background of the latter’s oh so serious shounen fantasy series… Nothing much is likely to come of this queerbaiting, but as long as it doesn’t start to deny its own subtext like some other series I could mention, i’m happy. This isn’t going to be as mold breaking as last season’s Yorimoi or Yuru Camp, but I always like a decent, well executed slice of moe series.