Posted by psgels on 8 September 2009 with categories: GA Geijutsuka Art Design Class



GA really is the best 4Koma adaptation I have ever seen. And sure, the competition isn’t exactly dazzling, but it’s the first 4Koma adaptation that managed to really portray the short and snappy pacing of those sort of stories. It always brings something new to the table and never fails to catch my interest.

Anyway, this episode yet again seemed focused on torturing those with a limited understanding of Japanese like myself, because there was a lot of dialogue again. It starts with a rather morbid aspect of Japanese schools that I never knew about: donating blood. Yeah… apparently sixteen year-old school students all have to donate their blood at one point. My question to the Japanese among us: is that really true? O.o

Anyway, the teachers also seem to accompany them while the students of 15 years and below are asked to come up with designs for the blood donation truck’s mascot. Nozaki is the only one of 16 years, and so the rest comes up with all sorts of designs, ranging from cute to morbid. In the end, Awara’s design wins.

I also love how this series randomly introduces characters like they’ve been part of the setting all along. It just isn’t afraid to just pull out an extra person whenever he or she is needed, in order to make the setting come alive. And somehow these types of characters all feel real in their own way, instead of cliches or plot devices.

Anyway, the four remaining members of the art design club also play a strange little word game, in which they in turn name various things that have to do with blood donations, in order to get some inspiration for their designs and torture me, trying to understand it. The suggestions were: scene of the crime, blood transfusion, rose, pictures of the scene of the crime, and a whole bunch of words I just couldn’t make sense of. *kicks Japanese*

Next up is a short joke about how Usami keeps telling everyone not to smoke or drink coffee too much, after which she’s seen taking lunch supplements and a strange appearance of a teacher called Morita, who never really does anything. We then see Noda catching Nozaki’s happiness because she’s feeling down. After that we see another collection of drama pieces in which some of the characters are acting out very dramatic death scenes.

Yamaguchi ends up burning her hand when she uses water that’s too hot. Noda then spills a box of screws, and Oomichi cleans them up by her hairpin which turns out to be magnetic. Next up is lunch with Yamaguchi who took medicine and is fine again and Noda and Tomokane acting out yet another dramatic death scene. We the learn that Yamaguchi likes to leave the egg in her udon for last because it’s her favourite part. Seriously, at this part it feels like the show keeps changing subjects every ten seconds.

Next up Oomichi scares Yamaguchi with her magnetic misunderstanding, then we switch to Noda hiding in one of the boxes that were supposed to have been cleaned up. Noda then shows off some of her pencils that she made, one for each member of the Art Design Club. Nozaki’s somehow is twice as large. They then talk about how colours in dreams. I can’t relate to that because I hardly remember my dreams, but it’s indeed interesting if some dreams are indeed in monochrome.

Next up is a class about drawing in crayons in which Yamaguchi is in her element again drawing yet another sort of cute animal. We then go back to the box which has Oomichi and Yamaguchi in it. The episode ends with a small joke about catching happiness again, after which we see a small part of the girls buying new supplies and saying goodbye to each other. Oomichi, Noda and Nozaki need to catch their bus, while Yamaguchi gets overly enthusiastic about some of the supplies, making the rest miss their bus. Oomichi then invites them in a restaurant and the end credits roll.

Seriously, I’m still amazed at how much the creators manage to stuff into one single episode. It really feels like regular comedies can’t even get the same amount of stuff in double this amount of episodes. My favourite part of this episode was where Yamaguchi suddenly found that screw inside of Oomichi’s hair. Without knowing the context, it must have looked really weird from her perspective. ^^;

And really: what ever happened to the subbers for this series? I know that they were busy a few weeks ago, but it’s been ages since the last release and the subs still are stuck at episode 2. Even Mouryou no Hako got faster subs than this one. At times I really don’t get the moe-loving crowd. With the popularity of series as Hidamari Sketch, Lucky Star, Azumanga Daioh, Saki and K-On, this should have been at least moderately popular. When comparing series of slice of life with thrillers, then okay you could argue that it’s a matter of different tastes. But what does the cast of the aforementioned series have that the cast of GA doesn’t have? Fanservice? Moe fans, enlighten me!
Rating: ** (Excellent)

12 Responses

  1. Tlacuache says:

    Oh, I haven’t seen this anime, but sounds good. Is just the style of anime that I like. Thanks, I’ll look for this right now.

  2. Revenger1589 says:

    Subs are coming, Ayako is already encoding 3-7.

  3. totoum says:

    from the subbers yesterday

    “GA 3+4+5+6 are encoding as we speak, 7 is half done, 8 is being TLed. 9+10 will follow aswell, might aswell batch release 3-6 or single, check back today and/or tomorrow to find it thou.”

    Yeah,i think it’s the lack of fanservice and the fact that not everyone is that much into art,if you watched k-on for the music it’s likely you ended up disapointed by the lack of it,when i think k-on,i think of tea azunian wearing neko ears and a bunch of other stuff,but not music.

    My favorite 4 koma show remains “sketchbook full color’s”,completely different from this show though lol

  4. totoum says:

    Just reread this entry and I have a question,do saki and Hidamari Sket really belong in that list?
    AzuDaioh,LS and k-on are really popular take a look at the MAL popularity rankings: 40th for AzuDaioh , 15th for lucky star and 61th for k-on
    Saki and HS are really far behind,saki is ranked 489th and HS first season is ranked 608th while the second is ranked 1015th (not that far ahead of GA) so i’m not sure that they belong on the same list as the first 3,not to mention that saki,contrarly to all the others isn’t a 4 koma adaptation

  5. SaintAjora says:

    This series might be my favorite of the Summer 09 season. Where as K-ON! was my favorite of the Spring 09 season. I should also note that I’m very fond of Sketchbook, Hidamari Sketch, Azumanga Daioh, and Lucky Star.

    Actually, it’s kind of funny. Enjoying Hidamari Sketch caused me to try out Sketchbook. Enjoying both caused me to try out Geijutsuka. Funny how that works.

    Also, I’ve got to love when a joke I’ve read in the manga comes into play in the anime. Yay for dreaming in sepia with subtitles!

  6. clara\'s buddy says:

    donating blood>>you have to be 16 in order to donate blood, but it’s optional. The reason why Noda is whining is that if you do donate blood, you can skip class.

    The cute teacher was always too chicken to donate, so she decided to do it this time, only to find out her blood didn’t have enough nutrients (or something along those lines) which leads her to the supplement obsession.

  7. voor says:

    Going from the meager amount of subbed episodes that Ayako has actually managed to squeeze out so far, I’d say one major thing that works against the popularity of GA is its tendency to jump from funny situation to funny situation without any coherence. It’s as if the studio decided to animate the 4-koma literally and just throw up strip after strip with no plot to glue them all together into 1 episode. I’d love to be proven wrong about this though.

  8. psgels psgels says:

    voor: it’s actually a bit of a combination. There are long stories, in which the events flow really naturally, and at the same time there are also sketches that are taken from the 4koma format. It’s the combination between these two that’s interesting, because in this way it never drags or keeps milking its jokes, and you’ll never be able to know what to expect.

    But yeah, I can now understand that if you want a fully linear story that moves from A to B, you’ll have a hard time liking this series.

  9. voor says:

    psgels: For some reason I never got the same big feeling of disjointedness when I was watching Hidamari, Lucky Star or K-On.
    But I’ll certainly give GA another shot, provided Ayako can deliver. I had tried watching raws, but they were way over my head.

  10. Howling-kun says:

    “there was a lot of dialogue”

    I’ve heard subbers complaining about this many times on other occasions.

  11. ahbonk says:

    Long-time reader, first-time commenter. Osu!

    You seem to be blogging whatever anime I like, including this one :) I’m loving this series a whole lot, also Tokyo Magnitude and Cross Game this season. Also struggling with the dialogue and all ^^;; Other 4-koma anime are ok, just this one! Roar!

  12. ahbonk says:

    Anyhow keep up the good work! Will always be your long-time fan.

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  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Saturday, Jul 23. 2016 05:07 PM)
    And I’m more than open for an anime to do things a bit differently from the source, I mean look at the new berserk they included an action scene that wasn’t in the manga, I liked that.
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Saturday, Jul 23. 2016 04:59 PM)
    @Mike: Makoto Takahashi! Makoto Takahashi! I know who he is, I spent a while looking at his art, best example of good oldschool shoujo style. He also is credited with kickstarting the shoujo-ai genre I think…
    @Bam: flowers of evil both improved on and took away from its source material.
  • reaLjustified
    (Saturday, Jul 23. 2016 04:16 PM)
    Furthermore, it’s not as if Berserk is so special by itself that a decent adaptation is automatically impossible. You’re watching one right now. If you think otherwise than it boils down to personal preference.
  • reaLjustified
    (Saturday, Jul 23. 2016 04:13 PM)
    @Vyse It’s obviously not trying to cater to children, the studio knows its audience. I wouldn’t automatically assume that just because it’s an anime adaptation that it’s an attempt to please everyone.
  • VyseLegendaire
    (Saturday, Jul 23. 2016 03:45 PM)
    Because the story is so dark and so violent, its hard to cater to a middle ground audience that includes kids or maybe even adolescents.
  • VyseLegendaire
    (Saturday, Jul 23. 2016 03:45 PM)
    Hey Bam, the reason for Berserk’s neglect is how unadaptable it is to other media. As a manga it stands as a monolith. but the thematic and graphical content -as well as the long and rather convoluted presentation – don’t lend well to either anime or games.
  • Badesh
    (Saturday, Jul 23. 2016 01:58 PM)
    Yeah, you could even easily do a spin of series in the berserk universe, it’s that well thought out unique and huge. I dreamt myself continously into that world – mostly because of it’s bright, shimmering side, which aren’t mentioned that often because of it’s ultra dark counterpart.
  • Bam
    (Saturday, Jul 23. 2016 01:47 PM)
    I never understood how a franchise like Berserk with huge sales and avid fan base struggles so much to get anything made. The PS2 videogame was never released outside of Japan, and it took 20 years for the anime to get a follow-up. And after all of that we get a slim-budgeted series from an unknown studio, all the while D.Grey Man gets a full-blown slick looking second series that nobody asked for. Quite baffling.
  • Bam
    (Saturday, Jul 23. 2016 01:42 PM)
    @Badesh: well the creator of the Souls series Hidetaka Miyazaki is an outspoken Berserk fan. The games are replete with Berserk references.
    Cheers to you too m8.
  • Bam
    (Saturday, Jul 23. 2016 01:38 PM)
    @Aidan: for some reason I thought you were talking about the iOS game Berserk: Raging Wave of Mercenaries. Looks like the Musou game is getting a North American release, which is good news. But the weird part is that it’s a Sony exclusive, for whatever reason.

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