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Girls Beyond the Wasteland[1] is, ironically, a show about committing to your dreams that does not commit to its own premise.

The basic premise of ShokoMeza is the formation of a high school club to develop, market, and release a visual novel. ShokoMeza it itself adapted from a visual romance novel and, given the nature of such games, there’s a male lead, a male sidekick (who can be mostly ignored), and four female characters for the male lead to romance.

Well, except for the fact that actually romancing one of the leads would require ShokoMeza the anime to deliver a script that shows commitment to the basic premise. About the only time a conflict seemed to be romantically driven,  it was essentially dropped and ignored by the next episode.

ShokoMeza raised issues of teamwork such as meddling with someone else’s work, or a deceptive premise for founding the club in the first place… but didn’t commit to properly resolving those issues.

Ultimately this is where ShokoMeza fails: it isn’t bad, it just ends up feeling bland. If the show isn’t prepared to demonstrate commitment to its own premise, why should I care?

Some episodes are fairly fanservice heavy, albeit with a fairly crude attempt to Lean on the Fourth Wall to make the fanservice a parody. As with Konosuba episode 9 this didn’t really work[2].

By the end I was mostly watching ShokoMeza because it was there, and a light diversion for the end of the week. The finale felt as flat as the rest of it

Visual novel adaptations can produce good anime – I’ve written before about ef: a tale of memories and Hiiro no Kakera: The Tamayori Princess Saga.

Alas, ShokoMeza isn’t one of them. Overall I rate this as “Mostly Harmless”. I’ll finish up with the OP which the show didn’t quite live up to:

[1] AKA Shōjotachi wa Kōya o Mezasu aka Girls Beyond the Youth KOYA AKA ShokoMeza (the most common twitter hashtag for the show).

[2] Although it wasn’t nearly as bad as Konosuba episode 9.