In the film, the titular idol group Wake Up, Girls! are formed by the Green Leaves Entertainment company. After getting the girls together, the president goes AWOL and manager Matsuda is left to deal with everything. The series starts after the film and focuses on the group’s attempts to become a successful idol group.
Wake Up, Girls! consists of seven girls, each one with her own history and motivation. However, as there are only twelve episodes and seven girls, some characters receive more focus than others.
Mayu is the protagonist, and a former idol of the I-1 Club. She had a dark and troubled past, though it is eventually elaborated upon during the course of the plot. Naturally, she gets more focus than the other characters.
Another issue is that due to the art style, it is somewhat difficult to differentiate between the girls. Twelve episodes doesn’t really offer much time to adjust, but it will probably be sufficient for some.
Each girl does have her own specific colour and animal motif in the form of a predator, so that may also help.
The big rival in this anime is the I-1 Club. Their manager never refers to them by their names, rather identifying each member with numbers. He also believes that idols are solely meant to entertain and doesn’t seem to consider them human. This is in stark contrast to the view shared by Wake Up, Girls!, who very much operate on the power of friendship.
During the earlier episodes, there is some fanservice. It comes across as awkward, as the girls are forced into wearing skimpy bikinis whilst working at a hot spring, which results in them receiving a lot of unwanted attention.
Fortunately, the person responsible receives his comeuppance thanks to a certain character’s return. After that, the girls receive less demeaning jobs so the fanservice pretty much disappears.
As an idol anime, the music is fairly important. The songs are enjoyable enough, and appropriately performed with energy. Fans of idols will probably find a lot to enjoy here.
An enjoyable series, which shows the seven girls overcoming obstacles in their quest to become idols. The fact there are seven girls means that some don’t get as much focus as others, but this is a fairly decent watch.