Japanese Title: Back Street Girls – Gokudolls
Similar: Detroit Metal City
Watched in: Japanese
Genre: Ecchi Comedy
Length: 10 episodes
- Occasionally funny.
- Comedy drags.
- Too many extra skits.
- So disappointing.
The idea of three yakuza men forced to have sex reassignment surgery to become pop idols after messing up an important job should be hilarious. I am crushed – utterly crushed, I tell you, that Back Street Girls: Gokudolls is a failure. Such a dumb premise had me laughing at the mere thought, but the final product isn’t anywhere near as funny as the premise lead me to imagine.
Skits that drag the jokes for too long and an excessive number of outright unfunny scenes (some unrelated to the idols) made just 10 episodes a chore to complete. Even with each episode split into several mini episodes for separate skits it felt too long.
Watch one minute of Back Street Girls and it will remind you of the great Detroit Metal City. So how is it that with such similar styles and humour, Detroit succeeded where Back Street Girls failed? The key, as ever with comedy, is in the timing. Detroit kept it sharp with ~10-minute episodes (excluding OP and ED). Everyone has experienced the difference when hearing two people tell the same joke – one person knows the flow, where to put emphasis, when to pause for effect and the other person doesn’t. Great comedians are also great storytellers.
Back Street Girls, ideally, should have had the order from up high to cut half the material, keeping only the best skits and trimming them down to bullets of comedy. Some skits barely relate to the idol “girls”, leaving me wondering why they are in the anime.
The best material relates to the yakuza boss dealing with the idols. He realised how much money idols make and wanted that for his gang, but no idol would willing join the yakuza, so he put his wimps to use. See, this boss is an idol fanatic that knows every minute detail of the idol lifestyle. Idols are in bed by 9 p.m. Idols don’t play mahjong (it isn’t cute). Idols don’t drink alcohol or even water – only cute drinks like juice allowed!
While these skits had me laughing, they aren’t enough to carry the series. It is also difficult to watch the screen when the art is so poor. The art style, which is similar to Detroit, is suitable in that intentionally ugly way. However, the lack of animation and overuse of shaky cam with action lines grows old fast. It’s one of those anime where it being specifically an anime doesn’t seem to matter.
I was adamant on watching and reviewing Back Street Girls based on the premise alone. What a disappointment. Absolutely crushed. If I were a drinker, I would be drinking my sorrows away like these lads.
Art – Low
Back Street Girls relies on texture and expressive stills instead of animation. The most animation is in the lip flaps, which is motionless at times. If a character needs to move, it jumps to the end frame. (e.g. When someone stands up, they will be sitting one shot and then be standing the next.)
Sound – Medium
The best audio is the early 2000s style idol J-pop opening. The overacting and screaming matches the series tone, though lives and dies on the quality of the skit.
Story – Low
Three yakuza men become teen girl J-pop stars as repentance to their boss. The occasional funny skit isn’t what this wonderfully silly premise deserved.
Overall Quality – Low
Recommendation: Skip it. At most, I would recommend watching a few of the best skits on YouTube or somewhere if available. Back Street Girls: Gokudolls isn’t worth more.
Awards: (hover over each award to see descriptions; click award for more recipients)