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Wake Up, Girls!

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Director  Yutaka Yamamoto
Genre  Music, Slice of Life
Duration  
Wake Up, Girls! movie poster
Release date  2015 (2015)

Wake Up, Girls! is an anime series produced by Ordet and Tatsunoko Production and directed by Yutaka Yamamoto. A film titled Wake Up, Girls! - Seven Idols (Wake Up, Girls! 七人のアイドル, Wake Up, Girls! Shichi-nin no Idol) opened in Japan on January 11, 2014, and a television series aired in Japan between January and March 2014. The film was streamed online in 108 countries upon its release. A spin-off series, Wake Up, Girl ZOO!, aired between September 2014 and February 2015. Both the series and film are being streamed with English subtitles by Crunchyroll. A new anime series, titled Wake Up, Girls! Shin Shō, has been announced for 2017 and is currently in production. Wake Up, Girls is also the name of a voice acting unit composed of the seven main voice actors.

Contents

Plot

Green Leaves Entertainment is a tiny production company on the verge of going out of business in Sendai, the biggest city in Japan's northeastern Tohoku region. The agency once managed the careers of magicians, photo idols, fortune-tellers, and other entertainers, but its last remaining client finally quit. In danger of having zero talent (literally), the president Tange hatches an idea of producing an idol group. On the brash president's orders, the dissatisfied manager Matsuda heads out to scout raw talent.

Wake Up, Girls!

Mayu Shimada (島田 真夢, Shimada Mayu)
Voiced by: Mayu Yoshioka A high school freshman who used to be center in the famous idol group I-1 Club. She was one of the earliest members of the group, auditioning at age 12. Her popularity as the I-1 Club's center helped the group became more well known, but tensions between her and the group's manager and president Tōru Shiraki, when Mayu protested about the firing of her friend from I-1, led to her being fired after her next single did not beat that of rival center Shiho Iwazaki in sales records. Her firing also led to her parents' divorce and an estranged relationship with her mother. In the movie, she is the 7th and last member to join the Wake Up Girls, her reason being seeking her own happiness by becoming an idol once again. She later makes up with her mother after showing the latter how much she enjoys her job and, with her mother's blessing, becomes properly contracted with WUG and Green Leaves (as she joined the group without auditioning). Nicknamed "Mayushi" by both her peers and fans. Like the I-1 Club, Mayu is the center for Wake Up Girls.
Airi Hayashida (林田 藍里, Hayashida Airi)
Voiced by: Airi Eino A 15-year-old high school freshman and Mayu's best friend. She's a simple girl with no particular abilities, but with a lot of drive and is a hard worker. Her family owns a sweets store. She was almost fired from WUG when Hayasaka saw her lack of improvement but Nanase (Yoppi) and Mayu convinced her to stay in the group while the other girls convinced Hayasaka not to fire her. She continues to practice and later becomes just as good as the others during their performances.
Minami Katayama (片山 実波, Katayama Minami)
Voiced by: Minami Tanaka A 14-year-old girl who enjoys eating various kinds of food and has a big appetite. She is recruited after Junko saw her winning a local folk song singing competition. She is also known to sing at a local home for senior citizens who give her their support during her concerts. She and Miyu are usually the mood makers of the group due to their bubbly and cheerful personalities.
Yoshino Nanase (七瀬 佳乃, Nanase Yoshino)
Voiced by: Yoshino Aoyama 16-years-old. Nicknamed "Yoppi" by her peers, she is well known in Sendai as a former child actress and a model before joining the group. She and Kaya are among the most mature members, often questioning the antics of Kohei and Junko. Because of her having the most experience in the Entertainment Industry, she's cited as the de facto leader by the group. She is also a very determined person as shown when sprained her foot during a rehearsal for the Idol Festival finals yet continued to practice and perform properly albeit with a slight mishap caused by her injury.
Nanami Hisami (久海 菜々美, Hisami Nanami)
Voiced by: Nanami Yamashita At 13-years-old, Nanami is the youngest member of the group. She constantly practices singing, acting, and playing the piano in hopes of becoming a successful idol. Her dream is to one day perform at a Hikarizuka Theater, a type of Takarazuka play. After an overnight trip to Kesennuma with the group she decides to devote herself to WUG after hearing about Mayu's history.
Kaya Kikuma (菊間 夏夜, Kikuma Kaya)
Voiced by: Kaya Okuno At 18-years-old, she is the oldest member of the group. Kaya was originally from Kesennuma, living with her aunt after her parents died when she was young. Kaya then left for Sendai working in various part-time jobs after the fishing vessel "Shotomaru", in which her childhood friend was among the passengers, went missing 3 years prior to the start of the series. She joined the Wake Up Girls on a whim and originally planned to leave when she gets bored, but has since dedicated herself to be with the group. She acts as the group's second-in-command after Yoppi. Nicknamed "Kayatan" by her peers.
Miyu Okamoto (岡本 未夕, Okamoto Miyu)
Voiced by: Miyu Takagi A 17-year-old girl with a bubbly personality. She has a job at a maid cafe in Sendai and is self described as "twin tailed and incompetent". She is willing to participate in almost anything and enjoys being the center of attention whilst respecting others in the group. Miyu is the first person to be successfully recruited by Kohei as a member of the Wake Up Girls. She and Minami are often the mood makers of the group.

Staff

Kōhei Matsuda (松田 耕平, Matsuda Kōhei)
Voiced by: Shintarō Asanuma The group's manager. While having a good heart, his timid persona and inexperience as an idol manager makes it difficult for him to effectively make decisions that help boost the group's career. He nevertheless cares for the girls and would take action if he sees the girls in an uncomfortable situation. In the movie, it is revealed that he used to play guitar.
Junko Tange (丹下 順子, Tange Junko)
Voiced by: Noriko Hidaka President of Green Leaves Entertainment and Kohei's superior. A chain-smoker with a brash personality, she often harasses Kohei both physically and verbally on the job. She came up with the name "Wake Up Girls" (WUG for short) from a local motel that bears the same name, as well as inspiration from the group Wham!.

I-1 Club

Shiho Iwasaki (岩崎 志保, Iwasaki Shiho)
Voiced by: Yuka Ōtsubo 17-years-old and at her second year of High School. One of the 1st Generation members of the I-1 Club. She and Mayu competed for the center spot as part of president Shiraki's stipulation and won the spot after defeating Mayu in sales records. Despite her center spot and among the most popular members of the I-1 Club, she continues to view Mayu as a rival. Nicknamed "Shihocchi".
Megumi Yoshikawa (吉川 愛, Yoshikawa Megumi)
Voiced by: Minami Tsuda One of the most popular members of the I-1 Club. 16-years-old. She constantly sends text messages to her friend Mayu on the group's progress. She is also a 1st Generation member of the group nicknamed "Yoshimegu". She openly supports Mayu, and WUG as a whole, despite their two groups being rivals.
Mai Kondō (近藤 麻衣, Kondō Mai)
Voiced by: Emiri Katō A 1st Generation member and one of the oldest members of the I-1 Club at 20-years-old. She serves as the group's team captain and is very strict in maintaining their top performances and activities. Nicknamed "Maimai".
Nanoka Aizawa (相沢 菜野花, Aizawa Nanoka)
Voiced by: Kaori Fukuhara 19-years-old. She is a 2nd Generation member and one of the most popular members of the group in part because of her wearing glasses throughout her performances and promotions. Nicknamed "Nanokasu".
Moka Suzuki (鈴木 萌歌, Suzuki Moka)
Voiced by: Nozomi Yamamoto 13-years-old. She is the 4th Generation Member of the I-1 Club. Her goal is to one day become the club's future center.
Reina Suzuki (鈴木 玲奈, Suzuki Reina)
Voiced by: Satomi Akesaka 20-years-old. She is the 2nd Generation Member of the I-1 Club and Moka's older sister.
Tina Kobayakawa (小早川 ティナ, Kobayakawa Tina)
Voiced by: Kiyono Yasuno 18-years-old. The only member of the group who is half-Japanese (her mother is English whereas her father is Japanese).
Tōru Shiraki (白木 徹, Shiraki Tōru)
Voiced by: Mitsuru Miyamoto He is the I-1 Club's General Manager, Producer, Company President. His goal is to push the I-1 Club to be the most popular Entertainment Group in Japan. He shows little to no emotion and does not change his stern expression even when publicly giving a speech. Because of his ambitions, he imposes strict guidelines towards the group, in which among those guidelines was that members are forbidden to have any personal relationships and would frequently remove any member of the I-1 Club that does not meet his expectations during training drills, citing that it would tarnish the group's reputation. These led to tensions between him and former center idol Mayu Shimada, which led to her firing when Mayu's next single did not beat rival Shiho in sales records. His belief of forbidding the members to have personal relationships are based on real life instances where idols who are known or even suggested to have such relationships are either demoted or removed from their respective groups. A recent example of such is that of Minami Minegishi.
Tasuku Hayasaka (早坂 相, Hayasaka Tasuku)
Voiced by: Kenichi Suzumura Introduced in Episode 6. An A-list music producer of which the I-1 Club is one of his clients. After seeing the Wake Up Girls' dismal performance, he decides to offer his services to Green Leaves Entertainment at no charge in exchange for total control as manager, without intervention from Junko or Kohei. Under Tasuku's control, the girls engage in a series of harsh training and a grueling performance schedule. Tasuku has gone so far as to consider removing Airi from the group or disband the group entirely if they choose to keep Airi as a means of testing the girls' commitment and unity. He is also the composer of the songs both WUG and I-1 perform during the Idol festival. He appears to really care for WUG as he was shown to be happy with their performance during said festival (and the crowd's reaction to it) as well as disappointed when they didn't win.

Other characters

Twinkle
A successful singer–songwriter duo composed of Karina (Haruka Tomatsu) and Anna (Kana Hanazawa), whom Junko helped in boosting their careers. They're responsible for writing some of the songs for the Wake Up Girls to sing.
Kuniyoshi Ōta (大田 邦良, Ōta Kuniyoshi)
Voiced by: Hiro Shimono A long-time fan of the I-1 Club. He attended the Wake Up Girls' first concert and discovered Mayu as one of the members, reporting it later in social media. He continues to watch the girls' performances as well as comments made in social media. He later assembles a small group to support WUG as their popularity grew and often holds loud meetings in restaurants much to the disturbance of the other customers and waitresses.

Social game

An idol-training simulation social game titled Wake Up, Girls! Stage no Tenshi (Wake Up, Girls! ステージの天使) launched in January 2014. In the game, the player takes the role of manager and must train the girls on their way to stardom. The game features unique idols not present in the anime.

The game was discontinued in December 15, 2014.

Anime

The film, titled Wake Up, Girls! - Seven Idols (Wake Up, Girls! - 7人のアイドル), was released in theaters on January 11, 2014. Box office is under ¥10 million(JPY). The television series aired between January 11, 2014 and March 29, 2014. The final volume of the series was released on August 22, 2014, and sold 2,193 copies. The opening theme of the first two episodes is Stand Up! (タチアガレ!), and from episode 3 onwards is 7 Girls' War, both credited by the cast of Wake Up, Girls!. The ending theme is Kotonoha Aoba (言の葉 青葉), also performed by Wake Up, Girls!. An original net animation spin-off produced by Studio Moriken, titled Wake Up, Girl ZOO! (うぇいくあっぷがーるZOO!), began streaming on Avex's YouTube channel from September 5, 2014. The main theme is "WUG Zoo Zoo" by Wake Up, Girls!. The film, titled Wake Up, Girls! - Seishun no Kage (Wake Up, Girls! -青春の影), was released in theaters on October 30, 2015. Box office is under ¥10 million(JPY). And DVD and BD were sold 1,416 copies. The film, titled Wake Up, Girls! - Beyond the Bottom, was released in theaters on January 29, 2016. Box office is under ¥10 million(JPY). And DVD and BD were sold 1,862 copies. It was announced at the "Wake Up, Girls! Festa 2016 Super Live" event on December 11, 2016 that a new anime series titled Wake Up, Girls! Shin Shō is currently in production, and is scheduled to premiere in October 2017 on TV Tokyo.

Voice actor unit

Wake Up, Girls! is also a voice acting unit formed of the series' main cast; Mayu Yoshioka, Airi Eino, Minami Tanaka, Yoshino Aoyama, Nanami Yamashita, Kaya Okuno, and Miyu Takagi. Their first single outside of the Wake Up, Girls! anime franchise is the ending theme for the 2016 anime television series, Scorching Ping Pong Girls.

References

Wake Up, Girls! Wikipedia


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