Crane Game Girls (Review)
Crane Game Girls is a series of short 4-minute episodes and follows the story of 3 girls who are tricked into joining a secret organization which plans on saving the world from an impending asteroid collision. The girls are tricked into thinking they are hired to be idols but instead they spend their time in an arcade using claw machines to train them to save the world from impending doom.
They premise is actually something that if done right would pay off. Part of the charm of anime is that anything can happen no matter how crazy it sounds and I think that’s what drew me to watch the series at the beginning but after the first episode, I regretted that decision. First, let’s start with the obvious in the animation, how lazy and low quality it is. Maybe I have been spoilt over the years with characters that have full movement and mouths that actually move to the dialogue both of which there’s a distinct lack of in Crane Game Girls. It’s more akin to an anime YouTube crowdfunded project where they missed their target but decided to go ahead anyway. There are numerous times the same clips of animation are reused again and again it’s painfully obvious. Besides the poor quality animation and super low budget feel, it also lacks depth in both plot and characters. Let’s be honest how exciting does watching 4 minutes of 3 girls learning to use a crane machine sound? Each episode they learn a new ‘trick’ as such, and the end they move some asteroids slightly out of earth’s trajectory recycling the same animation clip for every other episode.
The characters are boring and the story goes nowhere. Crane Game Girls is intended as a children’s anime and it feels like one of those that science proves could lower your IQ like Spongebob only without the top tier meme bait. The real surprise with this was the fact it was given a second season. Forget Brexit and Trump, in 2016 this was the biggest surprise that someone watched the whole first 13 episodes and said I want more. The second season follows suit like the first only they added galaxy to the title and threw in a few suspiciously Star Wars looking rip off things. The only positive from this show is it actually teaches you some good methods of playing crane machines.
I wouldn’t watch again or recommend anyone else to do so, if your friend ever says you should give crane game girls a chance then they’re not really your friend. We have seen that the plot of saving earth from a meteor can be a hit (see Armageddon) but we now have the perfect example of what not to do if you’re planning on using it as a storyline. I’m obliged to say Crane Game Girls and Crane Game Girls Galaxy can be found over on Crunchyroll now but that doesn’t mean I’m not your friend.