If you’ve already watched Girlish Number anime before, you probably don’t see anything strange with how the story begins.
The story begins with the main character, Chitose Karasuma, who is a rookie seiyuu attending a seiyuu event.
And let’s not forget how cynical she is when she’s attending an event that has a popular seiyuu like Momoka Sono and Kazuha Shibasaki as a guest.
Putting her cynicism aside, it can be a little confusing when you have no idea why a rookie seiyuu like Chitose is at that kind of event.
It feels like what you see in this episode looks more like it belongs to the second episode rather than the first episode.
But funnily enough, the story is progressing like it always does, leaving the scene that you saw in the first episode in the dust.
What if I tell you that there’s a story that comes before the scene that takes place in the first episode?
If you think that the story that takes place before that must be in the OVA, it must be in the anime with a different name or it’s trying to pull the same trick as The Melancholy of Suzumiya Haruhi, I assure you that it’s none of those.
It turns out to be that the story that you see in the first episode is actually a continuation of the story in the manga and light novel.
A different twist to the anime adaptation of Girlish Number
When we think about the anime adaptation, we tend to assume that it’s going to be a direct adaptation.
Well, that seems to be the case for all manga, light novels, and video games that receive an anime adaptation, right?
While that’s usually the case, for the most part, it’s a different story, no pun intended, for Girlish Number anime, though.
The story that you see in the anime is a continuation of the story in the manga and light novel.
And amazingly enough, you don’t feel anything strange with the story at all, save for what you see at the beginning of the first episode.
You just watch the anime without even knowing that the story in the manga and light novel is different.
But isn’t the multi-format approach a total disaster?
If you’re referring to Final Fantasy XV, then yes. Everything about Final Fantasy XV is a total basket case.
Not only that the story in the game is terribly fleshed out.
But the story in other mediums doesn’t seem to tie back to the story in the main game for some reason. It only confuses you more when Square Enix does a poor job of trying to connect the dots.
Sure, they probably want the story in a different medium to stand on its own. But it doesn’t do anything other than make the whole premise looks disconnected.
With the multi-format approach for Final Fantasy XV being a total failure, it makes sense why many of us tend to steer clear of any story that expands beyond the main medium.
But guess what? Girlish Number somehow doesn’t share the same fate as Final Fantasy XV.
Sure, the beginning of the story may feel like you’re missing out, at least for me.
But the rest of the story going forward doesn’t tie back to what happened in the manga or light novel at all.
You can watch the anime without having to know what happened to Chitose before that.
How does Kadokawa able to pull off such an impossible feat?
Not going to lie that it sure is a bold move coming from Girlish Number’s publisher, Kadokawa, considering that we don’t see such an approach for the anime adapted from the manga and light novel.
But the end result turns out to be much better than what we expected.
So, how does Kadokawa able to pull such a tricky thing to do without turning the story in Girlish Number into a hot mess?
Here are the reasons why the multi-format approach works so well for Girlish Number.
They only focus on ONE medium
Kadokawa doesn’t try to spread itself too thin by having the story spread into many different formats. They prefer to focus on one medium to push the story forward.
In this case, they choose anime since it’s easier to bring more exposure to the series with an anime adaptation. And the anime adaptation can help with pushing the manga and the light novel sales higher as well.
If you love the anime and want to find out more about what happened to Chitose before that, you can choose to read either the manga or the light novel. Both versions follow the same storyline.
In this case, the only extra material you need to read to complement the anime is either the manga or the light novel.
It’s never both.
The story in the anime doesn’t relate much to the story in the manga
I would say that this is the biggest reason why the multi-format works well for Girlish Number.
It’s the fact that the story in the anime doesn’t tie back that much to the story in the manga.
In case you’re wondering what the story in the manga and light novel is all about, it’s about Chitose who always gets a role for the minor characters finally lands one of the leading roles in Solution Revolution or LuLu for short.
It was thanks to this leading role that allows her to be on the same stage as Momoka Sono and Kazuha Shibasaki.
The only time when the anime tries to relate to the manga is when the new seiyuu, Nanami Sakuragaoka joins Chitose’s agency. That was when Nanami told Chitose how much she enjoyed Chitose’s voice acting for one of the characters in LuLu, Spyca.
Other than that, you don’t see any more tieback to the story in the manga at all. The story in the anime is progressing as if it were the original anime.
The key to the successful multi-format approach
The multi-format approach can be a huge success if it’s done right. That is as long as the creators, whether it’s the publishing houses or the game developers aware that each medium can be easily tied back to the main story while allowing each of them to stand on its own.
Just take a look at Girlish Number itself. To be honest, I don’t find anything lacking in the story for the anime.
So, I don’t need to force myself to read the manga or the light novel just to understand the story.
I don’t mind seeing more creators using the multi-format approach just to push the story forward. But if they can tell the story without having to rely on other forms of media, that will be even better.
I’m not sure the reason behind Kadokawa’s decision to use the multi-format approach for Girlish Number.
But their unorthodox approach sure is paying off.
P.S. Speaking of multi-format, did you know that the story in my light novel, The Diary of Modern Cinderella and Twisted Destiny ties back to one another?
Sure, both stories have a different main character and story altogether. But some parts of the story overlap with one another.
Do you find the idea of overlapping the story intriguing to you? If you’re into this kind of concept, you can give the light novels a try right here on my Payhip store:
Use the coupon code SEKINAMAYUBLOG to get 25% off on your purchase.
Just to let you know that they’re also available in print and on other retailers such as Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Kobo, and Apple Books as well. But you can only get a discount if you buy the books on my Payhip store, though.
Enjoy Reading The Blog Post?
If you enjoy reading any of the blog post on my blog, consider supporting me on Buy Me a Coffee.
With a one-time minimum fee of $5, I can continue to recommend more interesting manga, light novels and nonfiction books and talk about other things related to anime, manga and video games.
You can also support this website monthly or annually if you feel generous. Any amounts count!