The Girl in Twilight – Ep. 1 (First Impressions)

And so Fall 2018 begins!

Back in my Season Preview, the best I was able to describe The Girl in Twilight from what details were provided was that it seemed like a cross between Steins;Gate and Black Rock Shooter. Honestly, I don’t think I was that far-fetched now that I’ve seen the premiere.

For a while, I really did find myself comparing it to Steins;Gate. Similar to that show, The Girl in Twilight follows some passionate researchers exploring the unknown, half-expecting their silly experiments to work only to, one day, discover them bearing fruit. Obviously, the details are different. The research club is comprised of high school girls instead of young adults and the subject isn’t time travel but rather some urban legend involving parallel dimensions and a radio. Still, it almost is like the same basic plotline, at least until you get to said parallel dimension. From there, that’s when things feel more like Black Rock Shooter complete with a striking color palette and a super-powered doppelganger resembling the main protagonist.

Right now, the tricky thing about The Girl in Twilight is how vague it can be. It’s easy to infer what the circumstances of this so-called ritual the girls do are but how it came to their attention is left pretty vague. Asuka (Tomoyo Kurosawa) seems to be the passionate leader keeping this club invested in the ritual though only time will tell what exact reasons the others have for staying. The other world being a complete enigma is an appropriate tone but a lot sure gets thrown at you — killer rabbit monsters, a digital cassette player, magical girl transformations, laser cannons. It’s a bit overwhelming if you ask me.

That being said, I did find the characters to be off on a decent start. Nana (Ami Koshimizu) I immediately came to like because of her silver tongue. The part where she told a teacher not to ask a girl how many times she’s done something (wink wink) is pretty funny. Chloe (Marina Inoue) is also pretty interesting since she’s the one who seems to be taking the “radio research” seriously, certainly more legitimately than Asuka who does nothing but pray to a miso god. Yu (Lynn) and Mia (Nao Touyama) seem pretty archetypal — just the serious one and reserved one respectively — though maybe time will change that.

By far, the most readily appealing part of the cast though is Asuka and by that, I mean both the one in our world and the one in the parallel dimension. One is a bubbly high schooler while the other is a wary warrior who’s clearly fought in her world for a very long time. There’s potential for some really interesting chemistry and so far it’s working as evident in the third act where Asuka lets her doppelganger stay at her place for the night, offering the first real meal and bath the latter has probably had in ages. I also quite like how the anime subtly reveals that both girls lost their younger brother, using indirect dialogue and visual cues. Finally, I’m not familiar with Tomoyo Kurosawa as a voice actress but I think she’s doing a pretty good job with making both versions of her character sound somewhat distinct from each other. I hope she’s having fun with such a task placed upon her.

DandeLion Animation Studio and Jumonji are two studios I’ve never heard before but they both seem to be doing a good job with the visual department. The highlight is of course, the other world the research club stumble upon. It looks eerily barren and the shadows mixed against a palette of yellow and white is a very distinct aesthetic. The CGI used when Asuka’s doppelganger fights the monsters though is pretty distracting. I know that is the case with a lot of anime CGI but it’s still going to be hard to shrug off.

Obviously, we’re very early in the Fall 2018 anime season so by default, The Girl in Twilight is kind of just floating in my watch list because competition hasn’t arrived yet. That said, I think this first episode is pretty good so depending on how the remainder fares, maybe this will end up being a mainstay.

OP: “Soranetarium” by Michi

Not too impressed with the visuals or direction but the song is awesome. Now there’s a tune that’ll get stuck in my head.

Thanks for reading!

The Girl in Twilight is officially available on HIDIVE.

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