Produced alongside a visual novel by Minato Soft, Girls Beyond The Wasteland is not, as the name might suggest, about a group of young women surviving in some post-apocalyptic hellscape, but rather a series that follows a plucky team of fledgling game developers.
High-schooler Buntaro Hojo has a fairly average life, mooching around with his friends and doing the odd bit of writing – until he’s cornered by the mysterious Sayuki. Sayuki’s dream is to create a best-selling visual novel, but she needs Buntaro’s help, and it isn’t long at all before her enthusiasm wins him over. Together the pair begin a school club dedicated to fulfilling this creative endeavour, with a selection of new and old friends taking on various other roles within their newly-founded company.
Most anime with visual novel connections tend to focus solely on the source material’s love story, leaving room for little else in the series. However, Girls Beyond The Wasteland (which actually aired in the run-up to the video game version’s release) doesn’t lean too heavily on romantic plotlines. Instead, it treats viewers to a surprisingly engaging series about the trials of working on a creative project as part of a group – especially one with as many clashing personalities as this one has.
It’s a shame that the series caps out at a dozen episodes, as with a little more time to develop them, the characters could have become something truly memorable. As it stands, there’s still a lot to like about the show. With well-executed art and animation, and a short but sweet story, you could do a lot worse than spending a few hours in the company of this likeable cast. Reviewed by Jacob Boniface
Release: 14 August 2017
Format: DVD & Blu-ray
Price: £29.99 (DVD), £34.99 (Blu-ray)
Age rating: 12