Plot: What’s it about?
Buntaro Hojo is one of the drama club’s shining stars, adapting all of their stories and giving them some great shows. He is friendly and decently popular, but he is always writing and doesn’t spend much time on his own personal life. But as school won’t last forever, he needs a new outlet and Buntaro isn’t sure what that might be. Then he is approached by Sayuki Kuroda, a classmate who has had her eye on Buntaro’s talent for a while. She is part of the video game development club and thinks Buntaro could be the key to her latest project, a bishoujo game. While Buntaro has adapted other works with skill for the drama club, for this project he will need to create an original idea, no small task. Buntaro is doubtful of his own abilities, but Sayuki believes in him and soon, the two start recruiting more members to help. Can this group manage to work together and create a memorable game and can Buntaro overcome his own inner doubts and find his new creative outlet?
Girls Beyond the Wasteland is a twelve episode series and winds up as a solid, fun to watch show in all aspects. I was pleased to see some video game elements within the story, so that hooked me in from the start. The story doesn’t break from well worn ground often, so this will feel familiar in a lot of ways, but that’s not a bad thing in this case. While we’ve seen this style of narrative before, it is well crafted in Girls Beyond the Wasteland and never feels like a retread. Yes, things do feel familiar and not that original, but the writing is so solid, it is rarely noticeable. Buntaro is a good lead, while Sayuki tends to steal the show, though I wasn’t all that sold on some of the smaller roles. Most of the supporting characters are effective and add to the series, however. The visuals are colorful and well designed, which is good as it adds some needed kinetic presence to the narrative. I will say that we don’t learn much about these characters outside of their current situations, so development and depth are limited. Perhaps if more time were taken to let us get to know them, the story would have stood out more from similar shows. In the end, Girls Beyond the Wasteland sticks to familiar territory, but does it well enough that it works. I wish we had more character depth and some fresh twists, but this is still a rock solid series.
Video: How’s it look?
The episodes are presented in 1.78:1 widescreen. This is a very recent show, so as expected it looks excellent in this presentation. The image is super clean and provides no source issues, leaving us a crisp and vivid look. The animation really shines here thanks to the bright colors and high level of detail, letting all of the depth come through. I can’t imagine this series looking much better than this, as this is a sharp, beautiful presentation.
Audio: How’s it sound?
A Japanese 2.0 soundtrack is included, which sounds solid, but not all that memorable. The dialogue comes across in perfect form, with a clear and clean presence. No issues with the music or sound effects either, but neither has a lot of presence or depth. This is to be somewhat expected though with a 2.0 track, so you can’t fault the technical presentation of this release. The audio is solid and shows no errors, which is what counts. This release also includes English subtitles.
Supplements: What are the extras?
- Clean Opening & Closing Animations – As you’d suspect, the opening & closing animations are presented without the credits.