Title: Hi sCOOL! SeHa Girls
Production: TMS Entertainment
Director: Soto Sugahara
Episode Reviewed: “Connect Your Passions Into a Combo”
Since the last review garnered a decent amount of attention, we’ve been renewed for the time being! That means I’ll be delivering the lowdown on the adventures of our console-themed heroines each and every week from here on out. So please look forward to them as we explore the world of classic gaming and make note of the myriad references found along the way!
Anyway, in this week’s episode Dreamcast, Saturn, and Mega Drive find themselves within the world of the very first Virtua Fighter, a game best known for being one of the first 3D fighting games when it was first released over twenty years ago. And, just as they were informed in last week’s episode by Center-Sensei, the girls must clear a specific challenge in the game to win credit towards their graduation. That challenge… to win 100 fights in a row against the cast of Virtua Fighter! To this end, Center gives each of the girls a single move to use, with Saturn being given a punch combo, Mega Drive a knee strike, and Dreamcast a flying headbutt.
With their newfound powers the girls take on the entirety of Virtua Fighter’s roster before their 100-man survival battle takes an odd turn, as they begin to find themselves fighting it out with the stars of Sega games past that have nothing at all to do with the game they were presently in. Foes such as the pair of midbosses from Golden Axe, the werebear from Altered Beast, Alex Kidd, and an over sized beetle from the obscure Japanese arcade game Mushi King all seem to be formidable obstacles, but in the end, they all fall prey to Dreamcast’s headbutt, which fells them all in a single strike.
With only a single match remaining, the girls felt confident they will win the credit, only to lose a good portion of their hope when their opponent turns out to be Sakura, the main heroine from the Sakura Wars series of tactical RPGs. Fighting in her Kobu, a steam-powered mecha, Sakura quickly overpowers Mega Drive and Saturn, leaving only Dreamcast to finish the fight and win credits for her friends. The fight is great, so I won’t spoil it for you. But I will note that as a fan of Sakura Wars, it was great to see the series representing her, especially given that the theme song for the first Sakura Wars game and anime, “Roar Imperial Flower Troupe!”, is played in the background during the fight.
Getting down to an actual assessment of the episode, here in episode 2 we see SeHa Girls hitting its full stride as its premise takes center stage over the goofy character introductions that made up nearly half of the first episode. This allows the anime to show off just what we can expect from the series in the future: a cavalcade of Sega characters put on display for our amusement while the girls serve to further define their own archetypes, with Saturn as the cool but easily flustered girl, Dreamcast as the flighty and cheerful one, and Mega Drive as the intelligent but shy type. Though archetypal in personality, each girl is a likable character in her own right and, as of this episode, has not done anything to overstay her welcome.
Visually, as I mentioned last week, the contrast between the girls’ character models and the graphics of the games they enter is an interesting contrast, and lends the anime a unique visual style that more than makes up for that —our heroines sometime appear as if they are made out of shiny plastic. The girls also interact seamlessly with Virtual Fighter’s old school polygon models showing that the animation here was far less of an after thought than it typically is in similar short form anime.
Whether the series can carry this momentum into the future is debatable, but for now, SeHa Girls remains an enjoyable expedition through Sega’s history. I give the second episode 8/10.
Till next time, make sure to follow us on Twitter @APGNation. While you can watch SeHa Girls online at crunchyroll.com
And to send us off, enjoy the Sakura Wars theme song I mentioned earlier.