Girls’ Step is a straightforward teen story about unexpected friendship and finding your own true self. There’s nothing new to see here, nothing that hasn’t been done before. But still worth a watch.
Nishihara Azusa (Ishii Anna) is a 2nd year high school student struggling to fit in with the popular kids and just be liked by everyone. All the cool kids are apparently in the school cheerleading squad. While they let Azusa hang with them, she was more like an errand girl, buying them lunch and stuff.
One day, Azusa along with 4 other girls were called by their PE teacher, Fujiwara sensei (Otozuki Kei), telling them that they were failing the class. I was only watching this movie for Otozuki, by the way. The girls had to do a street dance performance at an autumn festival or fail the subject. Not surprisingly, all the other 4 girls were the very unpopular ones. I’m so sorry, I don’t really remember the other girls’ names.
The teacher called her friend, a dance instructor to help the girls out. They started practising at the school gym, the same venue the cheerleaders use for their team practices. Immediately, the dance teacher could see that Azusa has potential.
A side note, Ishii Anna is a dancer for LDH’s E-Girls so I bet she had to really water down her moves to make it like she’s just a beginner.
Autumn festival arrives and things didn’t go so well at first. Then, with Azusa’s encouragement, they picked up the pieces and the audience were cheering them on. Even the popular kids didn’t seem that mean after all.
It didn’t stop there. The girls were actually enjoying each others’ company and perhaps even dancing that they decided they wanted to enter a dance competition. Initially, Megane girl was unable to join, but she really loved dancing. Throughout the practice, things start to get a little bit shaky between them. Popular kids start questioning why Azusa is still hanging out with the unpopular kids. Azusa, who still has no backbone and wants to be accepted, started to back away from her dance teammates.
Underage girl actually has an adult boyfriend, who likes to call her over to his house for Netflix & Chill (although in Japan, I heard people use Hulu more, so I guess Hulu & Chill?). Underage girl started to miss practice and school altogether because she was sick. Why though? We’ll find out later.
With Azusa missing in action, the team kind of broke up and everyone went on their own way. Yankii girl was just pissed off at everything. She just wanted to dance, guys! I forgot what the Other girl was doing. When dance teacher came by to the gym, no one was there.
But they weren’t happy with the way things are now. As Asuza was just staying home, thinking about the choices that she made, she received a call from underage girl. She left the house immediately, running to her friend’s aid. Turned out underage girl was pregnant and she was having a miscarriage. As she was being treated at the hospital, the gang was somehow reunited. Yankii girl, who only knows violence and profanity, decided to take matters into her own hands. She was going after underage girl’s boyfriend to set him straight with a baseball bat.
The boyfriend didn’t want anything to do with them. He was already getting humiliated as they confronted him in front of his workplace. The gang was finally reunited and a good, loud cry fest in public was definitely what they needed. Underage girl was suddenly healthy enough to start dancing again despite the miscarriage she had the day before.
Practice resumes. Popular kids are now nicer and let the dance team use the whole gym to rehearse. The competition day arrived, compared to the other dance crews there, they were clearly the underdogs. But who cares, what’s more important is the experience and the friendship bonds they gained from this journey. The popular kids were also there to help out and support them.
It was not a bad movie, I actually enjoyed it. There was a few things I didn’t include though, like Azusa liking her neighbour, or the dance teacher’s backstory.
Did I mention that Ishii Anna is super cute? She looks so pure when she cries or smiles. Members of E-Girls love seeing her smile. You should check out episode 3 of Koibumi Biyori where she plays the role of a blind girl. Otozuki only had like a few minutes of screen time but I can see her Otokoyaku-ness peeking through.
So this is a good movie to watch if you have nothing to do on a Saturday evening and you just want a simple, feel good, maybe even inspirational movie.