Genre: Action, Comedy
Aired: Jan 2017 to Mar 2017
Also known as: スクールガールストライカーズ Animation Channel
Summary: Several students within the newly established girls’ private school, Goryoukan Academy, are part of a special unit called Fifth Force. Said students use their abilities to fight off these enemies called O’bli.
Review: While this series shines with its comedic moments and is an uncommon all-girls action show with yuri undertones, the rest of the show’s aspects fail to deliver and leaves much to be desired.
The biggest draw for this series is the gags. That can be both a strong point (humor is humor, right) or a weakpoint (the jokes are rather silly and could be considered juvenille. Depends on taste and preferences). Still, I can confidently say that Schoolgirl Strikers, in general, was the second funniest show I watched in Winter 2017. Considering that it was competing against KonoSuba, SGS pulled off an impressive feat.
To aid with the humor, the characters themselves are quirky. However, they also felt a little one-note and this statement even applies to the five main characters (the group called Altair Torte). Nearly every character had two to three little eccentricities that remains relatively unexplored. The result has the viewer feeling like a bunch of goofy and shallow moeblobs are running around doing this and that. The fact that the main teacher figure is both useless and prone to engaging in behavior that’s unbecoming for a woman of her age (who the HELL would wear a school swimsuit as a 30 year-old? Well, fanservice demands it) doesn’t help.
I will admit that a certain hammy character who pops up into the story in episode 7 is both hilarious and multi-facted. She, along with the amnesaic main character, Tsubame, were the most interesting characters in SGS. While I got fed up over how Tsubame’s amnesia was repeatedly brought up in the first few episodes even though she was making no actual effort to remember her memories, the amnesia angle avoided being a terrible plot device, in my opinion, by having an interesting reveal towards the end. At any rate, I wish the other characters were more like these two. This includes the main villain, who only has vague goals and motives that are never elaborated upon. A bad “guy” who mucks around with no clear result in mind makes for a bad bad “guy” who bores the audience more often than not. But hey, at least the characters have cute uniforms, right?
One of the controversial points regarding the show would be the writing. While there are small hints here and there in earlier episodes, the semblance of an actual plot starts about halfway into the series. Some viewers will end up dropping the series before it even gets going should they be unable to tolerate the half-dozen or so zany slice-of-life episodes. The fact that the O’bli are generally easy moments means there’s no true sense of tension until episode 7. This also ends up causing some last-minute revelations to be made during the last few episodes, which is typically emblematic of poor pacing in my opinion.
That being said, some elements that are important later on are carefully introduced in earlier episodes, so there’s some degree of foreshadowing at work here. And yet the story concludes with a few glaring plotholes that are never properly explained. Furthermore, there are a few instances where the dialogue is poorly worded which leads to the characters awkwardly jumping from one topic to another. As a result, the schoolgirls give viewers the impression that they fail to grasp basic conversational skills.
The animation unfortunately alternated between being barely average to being mediocre. From idyllic scenes where the girls stand around and eat food to the lacking battle scenes, SGS tended to have off-model characters as a whole.
The OP and the instrumental OST was nothing really worth noting, but I did find the ED extremely catchy. SGS SGS SGS SGS. The ED also appealed to me due to how its animation paid homage to retro video games.
As for the yuri, there are a few ships here and there. Some minor shiptease moments as well, yes. I personally think Io and Tsubame were the best couple, but Io was also the flattest character in terms of personality and development. I mean, she is good at volleyball, is protective of others, and wants to always be near Tsubame. That’s it for her entire character! So the fact that the best couple involves a bland character like Io paints a less than spectacular picture of how engaging the characters were outside of their quirky shenanigans.
The comedic bits are the best part of the anime series, Schoolgirl Strikers. Unfortunately, the animation and writing frequently fluctuates between being barely passable to downright disappointing. The fact that the show takes a lengthy amount of time to heat up will also test some viewers’ sense of patience. It’s a bit of a problem when I found myself more interested in keeping track of the different ways the uniformness of the school uniform could be compromised than, say, what the schoolgirls were actually doing.
If you’re looking for an all-girls action series with yuri undertones that is better, I would recommend you watch Ange Vierge instead. The levels of fanservice and the fact that everyone ends up wanting a piece of the main character (effectively giving her a harem) might seem off-putting, but the animation is consistently better than that of Schoolgirl Stikers. Furthermore, the main villains in Ange Vierge actually have a goal in mind. The execution of said plan might have sucked, but it’s the thought that counts, I guess. Schoolgirl Strikers is, in my opinion, funnier than Ange Vierge, however, so there’s that.