Was originally going to press the start button on my overdue rundown of 2014 New York Comic Con today, but am gonna hold off for just a tad bit more. Why? Because it happens to be the 26th birthday of the Mega Drive, better known as the Sega Genesis, aka my fave console of all time!
And to mark the occasion, here’s a birthday cake, courtesy of the official Sega Hard Gals Twitter account!
So you might be asking: Sega Hard Gals? Yup. Sega Hard Gals. Remember way back in early 2013, when it was announced that Sega consoles in the form of animu babes were set to appear in some free to play Vita game? Well, those same girls are starring in a brand new animated series that’s recently made its debut on Japanese television, called Hi-sCool! Seha Girls.
The official homepage is where you can find all the info you need… provided you understand Japanese. There are 17 girls in total (all the ones from the aforementioned DLC, along with a few extra) who collectively represent a wide range of Sega hardware.
Naturally there’s ones based upon consoles we all know and love, along with those that never made it Stateside. Yet you also have one based upon the super obscure Mega Drive/PC combo, the Tera Drive, another that’s the personification of the Dreamcast VMU, plus something that seemingly has nothing to do with video games but instead shoots baseballs, I guess for kids wanting to practice their baseball swing.
Though at the moment, there are only three principles: the Mega Drive, Saturn, and Dreamcast. The premise goes something like this: all three are brand new students at Sehagaga (not be confused with Segagaga) Academy. Their instructor is some mystery (and pixelated) bunny who teaches the girls lessons by sending them into various Sega games.
As one might expect, before stepping inside whatever Mega Drive/Saturn/Dreamcast title, the three are super deformed looking. And as they enter the other side, there’s a transformation similar to Sailor Moon, meaning they’re naked before becoming “normal” sized girls. The characters designs, btw, is by the same person responsible for Hatsune Miku’s look, Kei Garou.
Also as expected, the shows bursting at the seams with Sega references. Heck, less than three minutes into the first episode, one of the girls busts out a Sega Aiwa, which was a combination Mega Drive/radio cassette player. Not long after is a discuss as to identity of the driver from OutRun (the original arcade version; the dude’s face is clearly visible in OutRun 2 as you all know).
The first lesson has them in the original Virtua Fighter, and each girl has access to only one move; they have to work together to rack up 100 K.O.s by defeating the entire VF roster plus a host of special guests, including Alex Kidd, the Werebear from Altered Beast, Bruno Delinger from Dynamite Cop (aka Bruce Willis from Die Hard Arcade, a bunch of color palette swapped dudes from Golden Axe, and even Sakura Shinguji from Sakura Wars.
There are three episodes thus far, and Crunchyroll has them all. And… it’s okay I guess? Am only watching it for the Sega references, hence why I found episode three to be boring, since the bulk of it is character development, which is not only needless but also poorly executed. The formula appears to be: spend an episode to set up a dilemma or personality quirk, then dive into a game in the following installment to see if said problem/quirk can be overcome. So in episode four, let’s see if Mega Drive-tan can learn how to dance.
In the end, Sega Hard Gals/em>Hi-sCool! Seha Girls is what it is: a love letter to Sega, for their most dedicated fans, one that celebrates both the company’s successes and failures (it’s definitely not afraid to make fun of the Sega legacy when appropriate). At the same time, the show itself is both hits the mark and also misses it, something Sega has become the experts at. It’s also an excuse to sell figures, and I mostly definitely want one of Sega Saturn-tan…
… You can see more here. BTW, back to the Sega Hard Gals Twitter; it also posts other bits of Sega randomness. Like this guy…