The Girl in Twilight tells the story of a group of teenagers belonging to their school’s radio society who end up dabbling in the supernatural and discover a different dimension after embarking on a ritual dubbed the “Ritual of 4:44”.
How this ritual succeeds ties directly into their work at the society as they have to find the right frequency to put things in motion. What ensues is a story that follows a trend of giving each of the main cast their time to shine in episodes that develop their personalities and motivations before opening up to a wider overall story line that ties into the Twilight itself.
The different dimensions, or frequencies as they’re referred to, often centre around the individual who makes the jump using a device which is modelled on a Sony Walkman (retro). This results in the alternative frequency being a reflection of their desires and/or present situations. Examples include a seemingly ideal husband-to-be that’s hiding a sinister secret and a Wild West setting wherein the shy character takes on the persona of a confident sheriff whose MO is to round up outlaws and keep order. As a little twist, the process of facing up to their issues results in a Magical Girl-esque transformation which aids them in vanquishing their demons as “Equalisers” which gives them robotic battle suits, usually to battle antagonistic forces.
Essentially, these initial episodes allow us to witness the characters evolve from their initially somewhat stereotypical archetypes. Nana Nanase has to deal with her strained parental ties and arranged marriage woes, Mia Silverstone is shy and reserved and wants to be more self-confident and outspoken, Yuu Tounaka is an honour-student who is sometimes too honest and has a counterpart who is their opposite, being more devious and manipulative, and Chloe Morisu is the quiet type who enjoys their own company and worries that they’ll become too close and, ergo, dependent on their friends.
At the core of the story is extroverted chatterbox Asuka Tsuchimiya whose other self, dubbed “Seriousuka”, is often stoic and focused on trying to stop the evil Twilight King, sometimes wishing they could be more carefree and upbeat like their counterpart.
Towards the last third of the series, The Girl in Twilight takes a more dramatic turn as the fragment world of Seriousuka is revealed to be in dire straits. To make it worse, she refuses the help of the others and explains just what happened to their counterparts. Eventually, tragedy strikes and it leads to an emotional final episode in which Asuka must finally face up to her inner demons, many of which manifested as a result of the loss of her brother.
The series was animated by DandeLion Animation Studio, that had previously worked on the film Miss Hokusai and two Pingu animated series, of all things. They do a decent job with less visually demanding scenes and showcasing the spectacle of some inter-dimensional sequences but the use of CGI in the more action-charged scenes felt a bit off and janky.
The Girl in Twilight is brought to us by MVM Entertainment with a standard two-disc Blu-ray release. I didn’t spot any issues with the image quality or with the audio, which is presented in Japanese only with subtitles. On-Disc special features include Japanese promos and textless OP and ED.
Highlights of the voice cast included Tomoyo Kurosawa who voiced Asuka and Marina Inoue who voiced Chloe. The series’ music was composed by Kenji Itou who provides a varied score that appropriately reflects the various dimensions – the Wild West, for instance. The OP “Soranetarium” by MICHI was a neat listen each episode with its more downbeat approach whilst the ED “Kowarekake no Radio” by Amy Wajima felt similar in tone though it has some odd lyrics and visuals.
The Girl in Twilight is a show that slipped under the radar for some, myself included, which is a shame as the series has a fun story to offer, complete with a likeable cast who get their time to shine and develop.