Posted by psgels on 18 August 2009 with categories: GA Geijutsuka Art Design Class

As if this series didn’t already have enough characters, this episode introduces even more of them! Is that a bad thing? Not really. It really goes along with the notion that you can really meet a lot of people at school, rather than only talk to four or five people and ignore just about everyone else like what you see in most anime. Anyway, this episode was about exhibitions, in which the lead cast visits two art exhibitions. And really, there was lots and lots of dialogue this time, including some pretty in-depth stuff about art…

But first the episode plays around with perspectives a bit. First we switch to the Art Club, who had to make a large drawing assignment that consists out of several sheets taped together. Awara and some mysterious new character created a surprisingly convincing drawing of a corridor which took me a few seconds to realize that it was actually drawn. You have to love how this series makes use of the fact that it’s an anime.

The rest of the episode is about the members of the Art Design, which carries further on the Trompe L’oeil technique that plays around with optical illusions (on a side-note, I keep getting surprised at how bad the Japanese meshes with French… if you thought Engrish was bad, try listening to a Japanese who’s trying to read something French…). Anyway, Miyabi comes with a bunch of examples of this, for example a painting of someone looking at a painting, or a painting of a corridor.

Then comes another new character named Yoshikawa, who seems to have invited Miyabi to a visit to an exhibition, and the rest of the club tags along with them. I’m not knowledgeable about paintings, so I unfortunately can’t name all of the famous works that they run into, but the topic then becomes realism in art, which then thanks to Tomokane then switches over to nudity in art, which was prevalent even in the Greek and Mesopotamian eras, since the nude skin was supposed to be closest to the gods. Over the years as art started to evolve, it seems that these paintings became more and more human and nothing like God, so the need to show skin also dropped.

Anyway, it seems that Yoshikawa and her classmates also contributed in the exhibition, and her work seems to be something abstract, with a bunch of cubes and white stripes. Since it’s quite a big painting, Namiko wonders how she carried it to and from the exhibition, and that turns out to have been the reason why she invited Miyabi, to help her carry such a big thing in public.

The next subject is about touching paintings, presumably to confirm whether or not they’re real (if I understood correctly) and Tomokane comes up with the rather silly theory that they forbid people to touch paintings because of secret holes and passageways that lie behind them. All she can find with the picture in question is a bunch of strange Chinese seals…

Yamaguchi meanwhile wandered off in her own world, even when Yoshikawa tried to call her out. She then becomes a bit embarrassed over her fascination over paintings, but the others reassure her that it’s nothing to be worried about. When they’re about to leave, Yoshikawa then shows Yamaguchi one final thing, which brings us back to the Trompe l’Oeil when Yoshikawa ends up tricking everyone while she makes it seem that Yoshikawa suddenly has been swallowed by a painting. I’d love to see such a thing in real life, by the way.

In the second half we suddenly get greeted by Noda with a different hairstyle (took me a while to figure out), who laments the fact that she really doesn’t know much about famous artworks when her mother asked her about it. Because of that, Yamaguchi suggests to visit another exhibition, this time with professional art.

Yamaguchi and Noda nearly get distracted by the kids’ zone (bunnies!), before they enter the real exhibition. In there, Noda progresses through the paintings in a much faster way than everyone else, so Yamaguchi questions whether she’s actually looking at them. What follows is a great joke in which Noda notices that she could have gotten one of those headphones that explains each painting, so in order to make up for it Miyabi borrows Tomokane’s headphones and narrates for her. :P

Kisaragi then runs into a picture that she once saw before in a house of an uncle of hers. They then run into a bunch of pictures that may look impressive, but they figure that they also could have made them themselves. They then continue to give their impressions (as in live, not painted) of famous artworks, like The Thinker, Michelangelo’s Pieta, three sculptures of three people who all are surprisingly similar to each other, Manet’s Young Flautist, The Scream and Raphael.

Next up they meet Usami, who is quite surprised to find out that students are visiting a museum. They talk a bit and then say goodbye, after which they, intimidated by all the quality works of art, inspire themselves a bit by the children’s corner. They then meet Takuma, who also happened to be there.

Okay, so today I got the inspired idea to watch and review this episode late at night… which may not have been the best idea ever… This is one of these series that needs to be watched in broad daylight, not at midnight.

Anyway, despite this we had another fun episode this time, I especially liked the idea of Trompe l’Oeil and the illusions they create. A problem with a lot of comedies for me is that when they stop being funny, they get really dull if they don’t have anything else to offer. GA solves this wonderfully when it has both the slice of life and the attention to art to keep itself interesting when it’s not funny, and because of this I’m not watching this show just to get to the next good joke, like what I notice with most comedies.
Rating: * (Good)

One Response

  1. astrocurrent says:

    As an art student, I really like the way this show approaches Art. People don’t go to museum often, and for some reason they think of Art as distant and unattainable. But in GA, when Noda and Tomokane see those art works in the museum, they think they can do that too. In fact, that’s what it really is. Art is nothing special. If you want to do it, you can. It is the heart that eagers to make something and what you want to make that makes the art piece special. The scene that those girls review and critique those children’s work is hilarious also, not to mention how they try to recreate those master pieces. They really love and enjoy being in the preocess of creating something. And that’s what it counts.

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  • Bam
    (Saturday, Nov 28. 2015 05:45 AM)
    It takes a true magnificence to propose such a grand question as: What dot life?!
  • Bam
    (Saturday, Nov 28. 2015 05:42 AM)
    @Kaiser: the show does vary in quality, but for the first season they generally crank up the insanity with every episode until a very remarkable season finale where Xavier faces his worst enemy.
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Saturday, Nov 28. 2015 05:40 AM)
    @Bam: Oh in symphogears case, I certainly laughed but I wasn’t supposed to.
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Saturday, Nov 28. 2015 05:39 AM)
    @Bam: While it didn’t always work, that first episode of renegade angel was amusing, I particularly liked the part where he went on about Aids being invented.
  • Bam
    (Saturday, Nov 28. 2015 05:22 AM)
    and don’t be fooled by the simple graphics, the crudeness is completely intentional.
  • Bam
    (Saturday, Nov 28. 2015 05:21 AM)
    @Kaiser: as far as Xavier goes I implore you to download and watch the first episode to get the gist of it. That show is the pinnacle of absurdist and meta humor. It’s strangely adored within the animation circles, getting very high praise from the industry, but it’s very dense and bizarre so people either love or hate it. If you’re anything like me it might become one of your most beloved shows.
  • Bam
    (Saturday, Nov 28. 2015 05:17 AM)
    @kaiser: If Symphogear gets as bad as Valvrave then we’re talkin. Few companies make entertaining trash like Sunrise does.
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Saturday, Nov 28. 2015 04:54 AM)
    *At first I thought it would be like nanoha
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Saturday, Nov 28. 2015 04:49 AM)
    I read a comment stating that season 3 of symphogear got so bad that it came off as along the lines of “worse than a Mari Okada melodrama”.
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Saturday, Nov 28. 2015 04:36 AM)
    @Bam: That renegade angel thing looks off the wall, haven’t seen an episode but my thoughts from looking up the show is “I’m not quite sure if this is a good/bad thing lol”

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