Back Street Girls
Kentaro, Ryo and Kazuhiko are low ranked members of the yakuza who messed up big time. While prepared for the worst, the boss makes them an offer: either sell your organs or take a trip to Thailand and get a sex change. The boss has taken an interest in idol groups, seeing the potential for big profits but missing the girls to start one. Thus the three take the Thailand option and form pop group Gokudolls.
They are still Yakuza with the meager lifestyle the had before, but with added beatings and training to "become better idols". The hardest part to cope with in their new identities? Thailand does good work and they're very cute now. It's a tough adjustment for thugs like them.
This is a low budget anime, getting close to animated comic. While faithful to the source designs, it doesn't look good art wise. That aside this is a good watch provided you want comedy craziness but I was also impressed how other core fundamentals are good too.
The deep history backing the characters is a big plus for Bakstreet Girls. Each of them have circumstances leading them to the yakuza life and they had a rough time in the organization too. A part of why this works well is because Back Street Girls stays true to old fashioned yakuza style drama, then leverages that in contrast to pop idol life.
The pacing is pretty good with about 6 chapters/stories per episode, so a lot is packed in a half an hour. I figured this was doomed to fall into a rut with such a gimmicky concept, but not so. Back Street Girls has plenty of regular fish out of water stories, but weird things develop on the side to branch into various side plots which develop on their own. In the absense of a bigger story, these smaller stories did a great job in drawing me in, wondering where they would go next.
With a wacky premise and nearly non existant animation and lacking artwork I had low expectations. Lets be honest, do we need yet another idol anime? This doesn't feel much like an idol anime, since it mostly deals with the off stage (mobster) life of the characters. It's a great comedy well worth trying.
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reviewed by archen in 2021