Thursday, September 11, 2014

Normal editors tried becoming Locodols.

So I've been doing a few J-dramas for Crunchyroll behind the scenes. Things that aren't up and running yet but are in progress or done. Will naturally be talking about those once I can, because they're interesting.

But a couple months ago, I got my first simulcast. I'm not really up on a lot of anime this season short of Sailor Moon Crystal simply because I've been super scattered mentally. New job, new lifestyle, etc. It happens.

So I had literally no idea what Locodol (full light novel-ish title Normal High School Girls Tried Becoming Locodolswas before I was handed it. It's not the sort of thing I'd normally watch -- I wouldn't not, but unless I'd been handed it I wouldn't have sought it out. Pretty much it's the story of one of many little Japanese prefectures who need some way to drum up tourism and throw their hat into the 'Locodol' ring. Locodols, according to this show, are essentially small-town idols competing with each other on their way to national recognition in order to bring prosperity to their hometown. In the case of Nagarekawa, a pair of strangers named Yukari and Nanako team up to become an idol duo.

So it's a show about a pair of people -- one laid-back, one criminally awkward -- who team up in the name of business to bring money and attention to a small seaside town. Phrase it that way and I can make anyone believe I'm talking about Local Hero.

'Locodol' is short for 'Local Idol.'

I promise you this was funny two months ago.

I'm actually kind of glad I was put on Locodol because, as I said, it's not something I would have looked at and immediately thought, 'Oh, hey, this is what I need in my watchlist, right between Hideaki Anno as Ultraman and John Barrowman failing to die again.' It's everything you'd expect of a 4koma adaptation: fluffy, cute, and light on plot, but still enjoyable in a sort of relaxing Saturday afternoon way.

Things sort of pick up properly when they introduce third and fourth group members, being a pair of suit actors for the Nagarekawa Girls' mascot, Uogokoro-kun. (Technically Uogokoro-kun is the fish carried on the mascot's back, but never mind that.) It's primarily slice-of-life stuff with low-level entertainment industry commentary and a smattering of prefectural pride -- the sort of thing you'll also get with Magica Wars -- and a dash of passive lesbianism.

There's also the fact that this is my first simulcast, which means I have to get used to watching my e-mail religiously and praying for a speedy workflow. I'm honestly fascinated by the whole process: starting with a watermarked video and moving from there, to know that Japan and America will both be watching at the same time. We'd never have dreamed of this a few years ago. I love being a part of it.

Please watch Locodol on Crunchyroll. It's cute as heck. And it'd also make me feel super-good knowing people are digging it.

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