Ever gone through an anime synopsis and read: Three Yakuza brothers are forced to alter their bodies, form a girl group, and break into the underground J-Pop idol scene?
You read that right, the YAKUZA, one of the most notorious Japanese criminal organizations out there, underwent a radical transformation and became the newest J-Pop girl group sensation. These notorious criminals are now sashaying their way through the underground idol scene! Brace yourself for a non-stop, side-splitting journey as these rough and tough dudes navigate their way through the world of glitter, glamor, and high-pitched vocals. If you get around reading an anime synopsis like this, you know it’s going to be a hilarious anime.
However, this anime has garnered mixed reactions from fans, with some labeling it “trash” yet still recommending it, acknowledging that the anime has both good and bad aspects. See the comments below Gatsby J Smith’s Youtube review on Back Street Girls: Gokudols to better understand these opinions:
Back Street Girls: Gokudols History
Back Street Girls: Gokudols is a manga series written by the talented Jasmine Gyuh. Published in Weekly Young Magazine, the series ran from 2015 to 2018 and was widely praised for its unique storyline and characters. The success of the manga led to an anime adaptation in 2018 by the talented team of J.C. Staff, with writing by Susumu Yamakawa and direction by the experienced Chiaki Kon. The anime premiered on July 3, 2018, and was broadcast throughout Japan on popular networks like BS11, Tokyo MX, and MBS. Additionally, the series was made available worldwide through Netflix’s Japanese branch starting on December 12, 2018.
Check out the Netflix preview for Back Street Girls: Gokudols here:
Aside from the anime, a live-action adaptation of the series was also announced in November 2018, followed by the announcement of a live-action T.V. series in January 2019. This shows the continued popularity of Back Street Girls: Gokudols and highlights the potential for its continued growth and impact.
Here’s a sneak peek of the live-action adaptation of Back Street Girls: Gokudols:
Back Street Girls: Gokudols – The Bad
Back Street Girls: Gokudols is a series that has sparked intense debate and discussion among anime fans and the wider public. Despite its popularity, the series has also been criticized for several reasons, including:
- Dark humor: Despite being marketed as a comedy, the series takes on a dark humor tone as it depicts the lives of three Yakuza members who are forced to undergo gender reassignment surgery and become J-Pop idols. Some viewers find the humor in the series to be distasteful or insensitive and feel that the series is exploiting serious issues for the sake of comedy.
- The portrayal of gender: The portrayal of gender reassignment surgery as a punishment has sparked criticism among some viewers, who feel that it perpetuates negative stereotypes about transgender individuals. Additionally, the comedic take on serious issues such as gender identity and sexual orientation has also been met with criticism, with some arguing that it trivializes the experiences of individuals who are part of the LGBTQ+ community.
- Animation style: The animation style used in Back Street Girls: Gokudols is produced by the same animation studio behind The Way of the Househusband, J.C. Staff. Both of these have been the subject of criticism, with some viewers feeling that it is relatively simplistic compared to other anime series that feature more detailed and sophisticated animation.
- Lack of emotional depth: Some viewers feel that the series lacks emotional depth and that the characters are shallow and one-dimensional. They feel that the series is more focused on humor and less on character development, which can make it difficult to connect with the characters on an emotional level.
- Offensive content: This raised questions about the responsibilities of anime producers and distribution companies to screen content for potential harm to viewers, particularly younger viewers. While it can be argued that some offensive content is necessary to accurately portray a story, it can also be argued that excessive violence and gore can have a negative impact on the viewers, especially for children and teenagers who may not have fully developed critical thinking skills.
Back Street Girls: Gokudols – The Good
Despite the criticisms mentioned above, Back Street Girls: Gokudols also has a significant following of fans who recommend the show. Here are some of the reasons why:
- Unique and thought-provoking concept – It takes a unique approach to the sensitive subject matter and raises questions about gender identity, societal norms, and the price of fame. This makes it an entertaining and thought-provoking watch for audiences who are looking for something that goes beyond the usual formulaic anime series.
- A comical take on serious issues: The show’s entertaining characters make it a must-watch for anime fans and the show’s over-the-top humor appeals to audiences, who find it to be a refreshing change of pace from more serious and dramatic anime series.
- The portrayal of Yakuza members: The series does not glorify the Yakuza lifestyle, but instead, it presents a realistic and nuanced view of their lives and experiences. This allows the audience to gain a deeper understanding of the Yakuza and the challenges they face. The series also highlights the themes of loyalty and brotherhood that are central to the Yakuza lifestyle and how these values influence their actions and decisions.
- Insight into the J-Pop industry: Fans also add that the series sheds light on the often-unseen challenges faced by J-Pop idols in the entertainment industry. The pressure to conform, exploitation, and mental health issues are faced by J-Pop idols, who are often expected to work long hours, perform under difficult conditions, and endure extreme stress and pressure.
- Well-rounded characters: The characters in Back Street Girls: Gokudols are well-rounded, with each character possessing unique personalities and motivations to make them stand out from one another. Furthermore, this also adds to the dynamic relationships between the characters, making for an engaging and intriguing story as they navigate their way through their crazy journey.
As with any piece of media, Back Street Girls: Gokudols elicits a range of opinions and reactions. It is important to remember that the media can play a powerful role in shaping attitudes and opinions, so it is crucial to approach it with an open mind and a critical eye. It is essential to consider the themes, characters, and messages present in the series, as well as the intended audience and the cultural context in which it was created. The series may challenge one’s beliefs and push boundaries, but this is part of what makes it an interesting and thought-provoking piece of media. Ultimately, it is up to each viewer to determine whether or not Back Street Girls: Gokudols is worth watching.
Read more: Cowboy Bebop Creator Says He Disliked the Netflix Live-Action Adaptation of the Anime