For my latest review, I got to watch MVM Entertainment’s release of Girls Beyond the Wasteland, coming in standard editions for both Blu-ray and DVD formats. A 12-episode anime about a group of 6 high-school students creating a Visual Novel (VN). Based on a Visual Novel itself and produced by Project No.9 (And you thought there is never a girl online?) Girls Beyond the Wasteland is a drama/romance anime that aired between January and March 2016.
As mentioned, Girls Beyond the Wasteland follows Buntaro Hojo, Sayuki Kuroda, Yuka Kobayakawa, Teruha Ando, Uguise Yuki and Atomu Kai as they try to make their own VN game from scratch. During the creation of their game, everyone must deal with their own problems and as a group. Buntaro is the writer; he’s had experience as a writer in the past as he previously wrote for the Drama Club, although this is the first time he has written an original story, so as expected he falls behind schedule and then had a race against time to finish. Sayuki is the director, and the main reason why everyone is creating the game, she convinced Buntaro and the others to join her, although her true reasons why she wanted to make the game is hidden from everyone. Yuka is an actor from the drama club who is recruited by Buntaro to be the lead Voice Actor in their game, like Atomu she is Buntaro’s childhood friend and is shown to have feelings for him. Teruha is the programmer in charge of getting the game to work and designing the website, she often clashes with Sayuki over a difference of opinions. Uguisu is the artist, she easily gives into pressure, so whenever someone gives her new work to do, she accepts without regards to her workload leading her to overwork herself. Atomu is the Assistant Director, who has had various bad experiences with girls and lets this known whenever he sees couples or gets called a nice guy.
The voice acting was a bit hit and miss. Seiichiro Yamashita (Buntaro), Satomi Sato (Uguisu), Toshiyuki Toyonaga (Atomu), Haruka Chisuga (Sayuki) and Satomi Akesaka (Teruha) all gave decent performances. The only issue I had with the voice acting was with Kana Hanazawa (Yuka). I’m a big fan of her work, and she is a good voice actor, however, this time I felt she put in one of her worst performances in a while. I found the pitch she used to be slightly on the annoying side especially when she was being energetic, however when she was needing to be more emotional was when I felt she was doing her best for Yuka.
Girls Beyond the Wasteland comes in Blu-ray and DVD formats with Japanese language track only and the only on-disc extras are clean opening and ending themes. The opening theme is WASTELANDERS by Sayaka Sasaki and the ending theme is Sekai wa Kyou mo Atarashii sung by all the female cast. Nothing too special with the visuals, with most scenes taking place in the school club room or on the rooftop of Buntaro’s apartment building. The romance aspect could have been handled better, as it wasn’t fully touched on till towards the end, even then it was only in passing, and the only attempt at adding interesting story element came too late and didn’t last long enough to have any major impact.