“Deji” Meets Girl Review - Is Everything Outstanding or Just Okay in Okinawa?

Magic goldfish, never-ending sunsets (literally), strange sake-drinking sea men… This series of strange events is the perfect recipe for a balmy, beachy summer mystery, sprinkled with supernatural circumstances. Sounds like a great way to spend a summer, right? Not if you ask Maise Higa and Ichirou Suzuki! These two clueless teens are just trying to chill out, but with all the inexplicable incidents around them, it doesn’t look like they’re going to get a lot of downtime. Dazed and confused (and tired, tbh) these two just give up and roll with the punches because there’s no answer to the who, why, and what the heck is happening in Okinawa.

Short, sweet, and somewhat saucy, this two-minute short may not be everyone’s cup of tea (it really puts the short in shot-form programming) but with its rich blend of magic realism, deadpan comedy, and charming art, “Deji” Meets Girl has the makings of a fun and fabulous fable. So we at Honey’s Anime are ready to break it all down and tell you whether you should join Maise and Ichirou as they’re dragged down the proverbial rabbit hole!

The Not-So-Nebulous Web of Intrigue

The magic behind the magic of “Deji” Meets Girl is a truly well-conceived concept. At the heart of this slice-of-life lies a mystery wrapped in many more mysteries, and the entirety of this short is trying to make sense of the senseless situations that Maise and Ichirou suffer through. Sounds pretty cool, right? We thought so too and the first few episodes really did promise great things to come, but unfortunately it seems like this anime bit off a little more than it could chew. Okay, it big off a lot more.

The slowly-building strangeness, the charmingly confused main characters, the mystery behind the events happening around Ichirou, and even Ichirou himself, all grabbed our attention in the beginning. Unfortunately, the story never really gets a chance to take off. The two-minute run time really limits what the narrative is able to communicate and thus, in an attempt to show us everything (and trust us, there’s A LOT going on) we kind of get a bunch of haphazard and lacklustre tidbits that we have to string together ourselves. And after all that build up and the race to get to the bottom of the mysteries, everything kind of just falls flat because the pacing gets in the way of building any urgency, energy, or momentum.

It’s a Vibe

Anime is about more than just a good storyline. It’s an art form and as such a good story is only further strengthened by well-designed art which complements the atmosphere of the narrative and the nature of the concept. “Deji” Meets Girl has a novel concept that really leans into blending the supernatural with the commonplace, and while it is a mystery, it’s also a slice-of-life show made up of charming characters in a charming place trying to have a charmed summer break. Thus, to support this kind of atmosphere this show has very unique art style that sets it apart.

For this kind of almost laidback magic realism, the aesthetic is dreamlike and picturesque, even with regard to events of the story that are meant to be ominous. The vibrant art and the soft palette creates a really pleasing atmosphere perfectly in keeping with the summery tone. Not to mention the details of each composition in the short highlights the high quality of work put into the production, and LIDENFILMS has really done a beautiful job. The fluidity of the animation coupled with its dreamy aesthetic bring the magic realism of the story to life in a truly well-executed fashion and you’ll find yourself wishing you could jump right through your screens into this breathtaking world.

The Race Against Time

Sometimes less is more. Why use twenty words when ten will do? However,
“Deji” Meets Girl is a rare happenstance where the anime probably would’ve benefited from being longer. This show tries to do a lot in two minutes and while it does cover everything it set out to, the story feels lacking because certain moments can’t be highlighted enough, certain questions can’t be answered thoroughly enough, and certain characters can’t develop a bond deep enough (will Maise and Ichirou ever get beyond the sassy employee stuck with exasperated guest stage? ) when all the episodes of the anime put together barely make the run time of one regular episode. While “Deji” Meets Girl does have the makings of a solid story, it misses the mark and doesn’t quite hit right because its briefness messes up its pacing and narrative impact. Honestly, we think it could’ve benefitted from either running full-length episodes or having a longer run (more episodes please!) to really flesh out the story in a satisfying way, because we definitely need more exposure and closure with this one.

While most shorts benefit from their runtime because they tend not to have a whole lot to say, this anime has so many different elements which we wish we could’ve explored more in-depth, like Ichirou’s backstory and why he came to Okinawa. Or the deity behind all the weirdness and its motive behind the same. Or why Maise is the only Okinawan who can see whats happening. Or Ichirou and Maise’s friendship. Or… you get our drift.

The Takeaway

“Deji” Meets Girl is a great anime to pass time, if the amount of time you have to kill is under 30 minutes. We do think you’ll find the art style and ideas rewarding, but if you’re invested in the story (no doubt you will be because it starts off strong), you’ll be left feeling robbed of a satisfying ending due to pacing issues caused by its two-minute run time. That, and you’ll be wishing LIDENFILMS had developed this into a full-length show, or at least one with a longer run (we’d so be down for a full-length reboot).

Final Thoughts

And that’s a wrap on “Deji” Meets Girl! While we do wish the story could have been expanded (in breadth, in depth, in literally any and every direction) we doubt we’ll be seeing much more of Maise and Ichirou seeing the story reached a natural, albeit vague and haphazard conclusion. We’ll be missing that balmy, scenic view but we don’t doubt that there are probably better things coming are way. “Deji” Meets Girl had great potential if not for the pacing and two-minute time constraint that shackled its narrative and prevented it from really taking off. Alas, it wasn’t meant to be!

So what did you think of this anime short? Do you also wish it were full-length like us?Are you going to dive into the strange happenings of Okinawa? Let us know in the comments below!

Deji-Meets-Girl-Wallpaper-700x394 “Deji” Meets Girl Review - Is Everything Outstanding or Just Okay in Okinawa?


Author: G

An aspiring animated filmmaker, graphic designer, writer, I’m pretty much a jack-of-all-trades hoping to master some! I’m an artist with a knack for software, so epic fight scenes, campy aesthetics and artsy animation are right up my alley. Webcomics, late-night cartoons, obscure movies, rare books and of course, anime take up the bulk of my free time (and my not so free time too! ). So I spend my days cycling between my anime obsessions and existential dread over my never-ending watchlist.

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