Posted on 3 April 2010 with categories: GA Geijutsuka Art Design Class



Amongst the surprisingly good start of the Spring Season of 2010, GA also comes along to remind why I consider this to be the single best 4-Koma adaptation out there. This episode was everything that made the series so much fun to watch, and I’m really glad that the creators managed to release one more episode of it.

On top of being such a damn good comedy (the characters in this episode were just downright adorable in their quirks, and yet these quirks aren’t overplayed and don’t take control over their entire stereotypes), this episode also breathed so much life into the high school that the story is set in! The second half of this episode in which we see Kisaragi look around for people were really inspired. With high schools being so incredibly overused in anime, this was one of the very few ones that made me a bit nostalgic to my days in high school.

A large part of this episode was also about costume design, and again it was very inspiring and informative, as we followed Kisaragi find her inspiration. That was also one of the great things about this series: the characters already know how to draw. Instead, this series is all about how to apply this art: making it as interesting as possible.
Rating: ** (Excellent)

Posted on 22 September 2009 with categories: Anime Reviews, GA Geijutsuka Art Design Class



Let me start this review by saying that I’m usually not much of a fan of slice of life comedies. In my experience, they’re often boring, repetitive and stereotypical, and just look too much like each other. However, there are of course always exceptions. Hyakko last year for example was great example of a series that hit all the right notes for me, and here’s another one: GA Geijutsuka Art Design Class. This really is everything that a good slice of life comedy should be.

The way this series stands out is that it’s not only enjoyable, it’s also very informative. In every episodes the creators put these nice facts about rt, art techniques and equipment that also made it a very interesting series to watch. I raraly run into a series that actually teaches me something, but this series is one of those rare exceptions. Especially if you like art, there are enough details put into this series to keep you interested.

On top of that, this also is a really well written and directed series. Even though it follows the daily lives of a bunch of characters, it hardly ever repeats itself: every episode is distinctly different, and about a different topic, it hardly ever repeats jokes, and when it does it builds further upon them, rather than milking them out.

This really is a comedy for those who like fast-paced series. The creators really jump from one scene to the other, to keep the show fresh and from dragging. However, that does lead to a bit of a chaotic pacing, and you really need to pay attention in order to be able to follow it, so if you’d like your comedies to be more straightforward you’ll probably be turned off by this series.

Nevertheless, with a lovable cast, an excellent script and a very good portrayal of a bunch of high school girls, this really is one of my top picks in terms of this year’s comedies. It’s always consistently fresh, enjoyable and interesting, and even the parts that aren’t funny are still enjoyable or informative. It’s really a shame that it flew so much under the radar, because it’s definitely among my top 5 series of the past summer season.

Storytelling: 9/10
Characters: 9/10
Production-Values: 8/10
Setting: 9/10
Posted on with categories: GA Geijutsuka Art Design Class



Excellent episode to close off the series. There’s no real climax or conclusion, but it’s not like this series ever needed one. I’m looking forward to that OVA in March, and it’s definitely been fun blogging this show. At this point, it’s got a very good chance of being my #3 of the shows that debuted the past summer season, but that’s still going to depend a bit on how Spice and Wolf II is going to close of.

In any case, in this episode we first see Nozaki missing a day at school due to sickness (strange how you rarely see regular flues in anime, right? When a character gets sick, it’s often some sort of life-threatening illness or something). Kisaragi was as cute as ever trying to worry about her.

But what I absolutely loved in this episode was how the cast would eventually visit Nozaki’s house (after she got better), in order to eat dinner together, which eventually lead to the creation of the evil stew of doom, in which Noda and Tomokane threw in a bunch of horrible, horrible ingredients, like sweets, cookies, chips and melon bread. The horrors that resulted were… hilarious.

In terms of art, this episode the characters had to create these mood boards, and they had a bit of fun trying to draw the mood of the characters behind them. This also resulted in a bunch of awesome jokes. Especially when Noda turned into an evil witch because of this.
Rating: ** (Excellent)

Posted on 15 September 2009 with categories: GA Geijutsuka Art Design Class



It’s interesting that while in High School, I had no interest in art whatsoever. And yet I really find all the references of GA to different artworks, techniques and equipment very interesting to watch. But yeah, in high school I also hated reading, writing and subjects as French and German. I really wonder how my high-school self would react if it learned that its grown-up version would create a blog with thousands of posts, dedicated to an art-form and blogging series in a foreign language learnt as a hobby. ^^;

Anyway, this episode starts out with Kisaragi daydreaming about entertaining an kindergarten class with pieces of art, nearly running into a statue. Next up, due to a shortage of clean sheets, Kisaragi picks up one with a bunch of scribblings on it (including “NICE TRAP” (lol) and a black cat, which Kisaragi obviously can’t resist to add a few more of them.

We then turn to the other Art Club, in which Awara created a cheesy but charming fairytale about a country where all of the colours were solen, and a fairy that somehow resembles Kisaragi being born and having to take care of it. They spend a while thinking of how to continue this (including some really bad suggestions by Oomichi), and Mizubichi ends up inviting Kisaragi for ideas.

The second half of this episode shows Kisaragi as she goes after a bargain day on a local art supplies store, and antics ensue as usual. Yeah, I’ve gotten bored with writing summaries at this point. It still was a really fun episode as usual, though. A real trend of the series for the past half year was consistency: delivering, and doing so consistently for every single episode, and GA is also really good at it. I can hardly remember any weak moment, other than getting used to the other Art Club, which happened soon enough.

it’s a shame that there’s just one episode left, and by the looks of it the creators aren’t going to pull a forced dramatic climax in the end. I know the director, he did Cromartie High School and that one too had an ending that in no way tried to cheap out on the ending. Because of that, I’m looking forward to that final episode. it’s really been a fun series to watch and I was right to blog this one. And the amazing thing is that we’re 11 episodes in now, and it still doesn’t feel like this series has run out of ideas.
Rating: ** (Excellent)

Posted 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)

Posted on 1 September 2009 with categories: GA Geijutsuka Art Design Class



I’m still amazed at how much the creators are able to cram into just one episode for this series, and still continue to be fresh, original, varied, interesting, charming, and quite a few more adjectives that I’m too lazy to think of.

The episode starts at the beginning of classes on a particular day of bad weather, so everyone arrives with a bad hair day. We also see the members of the Art Club battling the weather in this way, in which Awara is having a bit too much fun and hits Uozumi when he tries to calm her down, and Tomokane’s brother becomes a bit too exhausted from the weather, so he moves to the infirmary to rest.

The next sketch is about a bunch of bottles of very good paint that Yamaguchi has kept with her ever since elementary school (or whatever it’s called in English). Typical of her, she’s never used it because she figured that it’s just be a waste. Next up are a bunch of short sketches about the bad weather, including Yamaguchi getting blown away and a role play in which Awara and a new character are trying to imagine what the sun and the clouds must be thinking when they cause weather like this.

Next up we see the characters sharpening their pencils the old-fashioned way: I never realized it, but it is indeed ideal if you want to determine the shape of your pencils, and what kind of stroke they’ll leave. Tomokane however, takes this way too serious and nearly cuts off her entire pencil.

We then learn that Noda also has a sibling, who apparently works part-time as a model, and sometimes appears on the cover of some fashion magazines. She’s in the same class as Uozumi, and for some reason we never get to see her face. A running gag of this episode is also that Oomichi seems to have just about everything along with her that people might need, including some sort of dye colour (yeah, the focus is all over the place in this episode: you’ll never know what the next scene is going to focus on) and a cold drink, which turns out is something that she just bought with Nozaki.

Yamaguchi then collapses and gets brought to the infirmary. Interestingly enough, Tomokane is so busy with other things that she doesn’t even recognize her own brother, and they leave. As it turns out, Yamaguchi didn’t eat enough and therefore collapsed, but she turns out to be fine after a bunch of cookies. She then comments on how sturdy the box of the cookies turns out to be.

The next sketch is just… crazy. While taking out the trash with Yamaguchi, Tomokane hears Uomichi and Yasumura complain about how bothersome taking care of the chickens is. What follows is an epic battle between the super sentai version of the five leads, versus a giant GAR chicken in what I presume to be Tomokane’s head. It made no sense at all, but it was absolutely hilarious.

Next up: rain, and a quiet couple of scenes involving characters who forgot their umbrella. As usual with this show when it comes back to topics it used to talk about, it doesn’t just milk these topics, but instead it builds further upon them, including a surprisingly charming scene between Awara and Uomichi.

They then talk about rainbows, and confuse Newton to be its discoverer (“Why is this apple red? Yes, because of its spectrum!”).

If I had to give this series a criticism, then it’s that they overplay Oomichi’s weirdness a bit too often, especially in this episode. Her quirks are often too stereotypical, as opposed to the other four characters who still remain characters when they make jokes about their quirks.

In any case, what this episode was really good at is bringing the school alive: it focused on many different characters spending this day at school at which the weather happened to be rather bad and there was always something going on. I’m really not much of a fan of most moe comedies, but I’m glad that exceptions as this one exist.
Rating: ** (Excellent)

Posted on 25 August 2009 with categories: GA Geijutsuka Art Design Class



I already suspected this for a while, but now I’m sure: Yamaguchi is awesome. She’s such an adorable character in her innocence and love for art, and that dream sequence at the end of this episode was all kinds of awesome compiled together. I’m really getting more and more warmed up to the characters for this series.

The episode starts with a strange sketch in which Noda theorizes what kind of colours and items would match the different members of the cast. This becomes sort-of a running theme throughout this episode. It seems that it’s an idea she has for a manga, though I suspect that she never really started on it. When she asks what kind of item would match Yamaguchi, it seems that everyone quickly thinks of a pair of glasses.

Next up is another quick sketch in which the cast members start to imitate their classmates, of which Noda’s impression of Nozaki made Nozaki rather angry… The sketch after that is a strange one, which I guess imitates one of those nature wildlife programs and talks about students in their natural environment…

They then turn back to color associations, and how you look at the warmer colours like red and orange, and the colder ones like blue and purple. Noda figures that Tomokane and Yamaguchi both belong to the warmer colours (due to Tomokane’s energetic personality, and Yamaguchi’s warm nature), while Nozaki and Oomichi are the colder ones (Nozaki due to her calm and down to earth personality and Oomichi… yeah). As for the question who Noda is, Nozaki figures that yellow fits best.

Next up Nozaki, who comes up with a magazine that has one of those tests that analyzes people based on their favourite colour. Oomichi, with her favourite colour being black, obviously gets some rather negative results.

Next up is a short sketch about Origami, especially Yamaguchi and Oomichi are good at it (with Oomichi only folding pure black stuff). Yamaguchi is out of a certain colour, and so she goes to buy some new stuff, while Nozaki keeps reminding her not to talk to strangers, et cetera.

Next up is a long series of short sketches about the use of colours and materials, in which the series tries to explain certain terms in art in a playful way. They are:
– Vivid Tone, or lots of bright colours. This has Noda dressed up as a witch who turns Tomokane’s hair dark green and Nozaki’s tea bright green. Certainly vivid. Interestingly enough, when she drinks milk her colours become so diluted with white so that she nearly fades away.
– Pale Tone. Witch Noda is back, this time with pale colours.
– Dull Tone. We somehow turn to the other Art Club for this one as Awara tries to get Homura to draw an oil painting, who obviously has no idea how that works. Awara doesn’t seem to have a clue either. Don’t ask me what this has to do with a dull tone… perhaps it’s referring to the dull tone in which oil paintings were usually painted?
– Dark Tone. We see a very dark picture of Oomichi in a very dark background, and they use the interesting example of how a room with a dark ceiling seems to look much more ominous than if it had a dark floor instead (hmm, never noticed that one).
– Grayish Tone brings us to a setting in slightly grayer colours. Another nice example is having a birthday party in which everyone is in gray. It just doesn’t fit.
– Strong Tone, at the Art Club again. They talk a bit about pencils versus brushes, and how you never seem to need white pencils (so true ^^;).
– Mono Tone. Somehow this involves moldy bread. I’m still not exactly sure why…

The next half of the episode ranks among my favourite parts of this series so far. We see Yamaguchi in a very sleepy mood as she walks to her next classes, and she can hardly stay awake as they try to attend a class about surrealism. I’m not going to bother to try and understand what the teacher says about this, because half of the time people talk right through her.

Anyway, Yamaguchi eventually falls asleep, and even when it’s her turn to read parts from the book there’s no way to wake her up, so Tomokane and Noda try to do some ventriloquism act with her. In the end, Yamaguchi can’t even remember that that happened to her. It seems that she always gets very sleepy after breakfast or exercising. Noda suggests to go to her locker and gets something against sleep.

What follows is a crazy sequence of dream scenes inside Yamaguchi’s head that I can only describe as brilliant. No seriously, the enormous amount of creativity that runs around in her mind is just awesome, ranging from mermaid Nodas to flying staircases. It also builds further upon the Trompe l’Oeil of the previous episode, without even making it seem like the creators were simply reusing the same stuff.

We even get to see an image of a young Yamaguchi drawing. After that there is a bit of an aftermath and after that the episode ends.

Anyway, I may be a bit late in saying this, but this is a very good adaptation, isn’t it? I mean, I haven’t read the original 4koma manga, but I doubt that it was literally the same as what we see here right now. You can see the which sketches were directly taken from the manga, but there also is lots of stuff that really amazes me if it started out in a simple 4koma format. The director really did a great job of adding the energy to this adaptation and adding a few nice things here and there to keep this consistently entertaining.

But what amazes me the most is the following: out of all of the eight episodes so far, every single one of them has been different and unique from the other. They were all dedicated to a different topic, style or mood, and even when they revisit old material, they build further upon it, rather than simply milking out the same jokes like what too many comedies do nowadays. I remember how a previous work of Hiroaki Sakurai (the director) did have this problem: Cromartie High School was hilarious, but it really tended to repeat itself. I’m really glad to see that he realized this and made every single episode new and fresh. This really is everything a good comedy should be.

Also, this is one of the first school series I have seen in a long, long while that actually teaches me something. Am I the only one who sees the irony in this?
Rating: ** (Excellent)

Posted 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)

Posted on 12 August 2009 with categories: GA Geijutsuka Art Design Class



This show is schizophrenic! It may be called GA Art Design Club, but if it weren’t for that name you’d hardly guess that the main characters are indeed those five girls of the Art Design Club. This episode again was about the other art club, in which they turn their clubroom into a haunted house. Definitely not what I expected, but nevertheless this episode was a lot of fun.

This episode starts out a small skit about Tomokane chopping up a asleep Noda. Next up we get a little skit about Tomokane returning a game that she borrowed from Noda. It was surprisingly quick, so Noda wonders what’s wrong. It turns out that Tomokane’s brother got hold of the game, overwrote all of her saved files and got much further into the game than she did. Only now I realize that this was a clever little bit of foreshadowing.

The next scene properly introduces the real meat of this episode as we see the mysterious blue-haired boy, who turns out to have some sort of health problems, after which he enters the Art Club’s clubroom along with Yasumura. Uozumi also arrives. The clubroom seems empty, so Yasumura at first thinks that they have some kind of day off or something, but Uozumi reassures them that there are club activities that day. Which becomes all the more apparent when Awara is found under her box wrapped in bloody and nailed bandages. Yasumura doesn’t fall for it, though.

Bluehair however is quite startled, and eventually Mizubuchi also manages to scare Yasumura by suddenly appearing in a room full of skulls. It turns out that Awara and Mizubuchi found some nice material made by some former club-members, and decided to give everyone a nice scare. Those former materials also include a daily rip-off calendar (or however you call that in English) of the Mona Lisa, who slowly turns into an old hag. It turns out that in their first year, Awara and Uozumi also were scared quite a bit by their upperclassmen.

I have a lot of trouble following the names of this series around, because even the OFFICIAL SITE omits the first names of some of the characters. It’s therefore interesting to note that Yasumura(the red-haired guy)’s first name (or last name; Japanese names still confuse me) is Homura. Could be handy for the future. Anyway, it turns out that Bluehair wants to join the club, and Awara immediately jumps on him. A teacher then explains to some other teachers that Bluehair had a bad health and spent his first year with rather bad attendance records, so the nurse figured that it might help him to join a club somewhere.

Anyway, then we see some scenes of Bluehair getting introduced to the club, and the basics get explained. Then the idea comes to create a haunted house with the things that they have lying around. In the meantime Samecha (the blond teacher) gets lured into the new clubroom. Mizubuchi meets her own her way out, and guides her in and she immediately gets scared by an overenthusiastic Yasumura.

When Samecha goes outside, she runs into the Art Design club, who happened to be there. And they offer to get what Samecha was supposed to be taking when she visited the clubroom. It’s interesting that apart from Mizubuchi, the rest of the Art Club has no idea who they are. Anyway, next up they’re scared by some old ghost tricks like a wet sponge on a string. The haunted house continues for a bit, but the club members didn’t take into account that Tomokane wouldn’t be scared at all and instead would start to break everything. There are also some nice jokes, like Uozumi completely forgetting that he’s supposed to be a monster, and therefore trying to help Noda when she fell into one of the traps that were set up.

Eventually, Bluehair also manages to scare Tomokane with a bunch of fake bugs. Eventually they get to the exit, which has two doors. If I understood correctly, then Tomokane choses the wrong door and gets overrun by some of the old stuff from the Art Club, and gets even more upset and starts wrecking even more stuff. Eventually Miyabi manages to stop her with the help of her fingernails and a chalk board. Since they forgot what they were supposed to get for Samecha, they just take out a bunch of random items that in turn scare Samecha even more.

The episode ends with Bluehair’s official registration, and he turns out to be Tomokane’s older brother. Tomokane seems to hate him because he always beat her in whatever kind of game they were playing. By the way, it’s rather annoying that we never get to hear their first names. It’s going to be hard talking about them this way!

So I was a bit disappointed that there wasn’t much art design in this episode, but it nevertheless was a cute episode with as much energy as ever. There’s hardly a moment that leaves you dulled in. I especially like Awara as a character.

Oh and on a side-note: I’m surprised that an OVA has been announced. It’s nice to see this show getting a bunch of extra episodes.

And on another side-note: the art in this series looks surprisingly good, and I especially notice that when I take screenshots. This series likes to put as much characters on a screen as possible, and hardly ever makes use of close-ups that just focus on one person. That really gives off an interesting effect, and it does really well in making the characters alive, rather than posing for a camera all the time like what you see in for example an average Shinbo-series. It’s subtle, but it works really well.
Rating: * (Good)

Posted on 5 August 2009 with categories: GA Geijutsuka Art Design Class



Yeah yeah, I know. I’m blogging another moe series. But seriously, the second episode took like what… FOUR WEEKS to get subbed? Talk about the dark horse of the season: that’s the kind of release schedule you’d expect from your average World Masterpiece Theatre or Osamu Dezaki series, not a show about lots of moe schoolgirls…

But yeah, that’s pretty much why I decided to blog this series: because of the lack of subs I’ve been following this series raw and I like it a lot, but the dialogue turned out to be surprisingly difficult for a series that’s about a bunch of 15-year-old schoolgirls and has no plot whatsoever. By writing about it, I hope to be able to catch more of the countless jokes and details that the creators threw in it. My Japanese is far from perfect, so do note that I could make mistakes here and there.

The first half of this episode starts with the GA members handing in some assignments, in which they had to design items that people use every day. Nozaki first came with a vaccuum cleaner, Tomokane took way too much creative freedom in creating a UFO, while Yamaguchi created a cup (which she ironically used to fake a cup she previously knocked over). Yamaguchi and Nozaki obviously get the advice to be a bit more creative. In the next round, Yamaguchi comes with a bunny-shaped cellphone, while Tomokane comes in with a desk. In the next round, Nozaki delivers a copying machine, with Tomokane comes with a bunch of cheap ideas, like pasting her previous desk below a bunch of bookcases. And a desk whose drawers have eyes. Noda in the meantime rips off some of Tomokane’s ideas throughout the sketch. A running theme throughout that sketch was Yamaguchi knocking over the teacher’s cups over and over, so in the end she delivers a cup warmer.

The next part of the episode was about the Nozaki’s birthday. Since she didn’t announce it, nobody could prepare anything for her. Tomokane comes with a hastily drawn gift token (I hope that that’s the right word for it in English). Yamaguchi gave her a picture book. Oomichi and Noda meanwhile organize a small birthday party after classes, in one of the art club’s empty classrooms, it seems, in which they all have a drink. The subject then turns over to these drinks and some word puns that only the Japanese can pull off (like wondering who it was who hit Fruits Punch).

The rest of this episode was about the strange other art club that took up most of the third episode. It’s very strange, because whenever they pop up, the rest of the series also completely changes and becomes much more that of a traditional slice of life series about these people. I still find it strange that this series advertises itself as the “GA Art Design Club”, and yet we’ve already spent more than an entire episode to these guys…

Anyway, the second half of the episode starts with them simply cleaning up their clubroom and getting rid of the stuff that they don’t use anymore (including a strange doghouse that the club-president was sleeping in). The president (I believe her name was Awara Chikako) is pretty much the oddball of that club, and obviously tries to get away from having to clean. When she does end up helping out (as in, ordering everyone around), she finds a book back that she thought she had long lost. In the same process, Homera finds a bunch of soda cans that turn out to be more than ten years old.

The next part of this episode starts when “Same-sensei” (who apparently got her nickname when she first introduced herself in front of a class and got too scared to speak straight) comes in the room, searching for her colleague. The next teacher to visit the room is Kotoma, who seems to be looking for some past work that is stored in the clubroom. For some reason, some of the older members are shocked by this and start fearing for their lives. It turns out that these works are stored in a particularly dirty room that doesn’t seem to have been cleaned for many years.

It seems that it once belonged to a yet another art club, which seems to be long gone now. Awara then comes with a story of how once someone was chased by a ghost when he tried to enter it, and that ghost somehow turned into a strange mannequin that’s in the clubroom.

We then see a bit of back-story on how the doghouse came to be, as it turned out to have been an attempt to make Awara stop whining. It’s broken now anyway, as Awara brings the remains to the local garbage collection place. The episode then ends with the GA club, as they try to go home as it’s raining outside. The ED this time seems to have been sung by Horie Yui, who voices Nozaki. This is one of these series in which all of the main voice actress get to have a go at singing the ED, which makes me wonder what the creators are going to do with the next episode: are they just going to start with Miyuki Sawashiro, who voiced the first one, or are they going to try something different?

In any case, I know that this is not a summary blog. There was a time in which I would write an incredibly detailed summary for every single series that I was blogging, but after a while it just became way too tiring to continue doing that and so I instead changed the focus of this blog on storytelling. Nevertheless, having one show to summarize each week shouldn’t be that much of a problem, and I had a lot of fun writing this entry and figuring out what’s going on. This episode wasn’t the best we’ve seen from this show right now, and the characters have a long way to go before they become as good and enjoyable as Hyakko, which I didn’t end up blogging, but I like the focus on art. I like how the characters in this series already know how to draw, and are instead now looking at expressing their creativity and putting them to practical use. It’s very close to my personal interests, and I don’t think that any similar series is going to pop up any time soon. And besides, it has the director from Les Miserables. Is there any way you can go wrong with that? ^^;
Rating: * (Good)

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  • Vincent
    (Sunday, Dec 21. 2014 10:01 AM)
    Watched Letters from Iwo Jima again. Ken Watanabe is a great actor.
  • gedata
    (Sunday, Dec 21. 2014 09:32 AM)
    Note that it’s not just regular AIDS, which is definitely treatable if caught early, it’s some dtug resistant SUPERAIDS that the character in question got from a blood transfusion soon after being born
  • gedata
    (Sunday, Dec 21. 2014 09:29 AM)
    It’s not that the disease being AIDS is really all that important. You could even replace with anything, even Sudden Moe Death Syndrome from Clannad and the emotional impact would still be as blunt and forced.
  • Emma
    (Sunday, Dec 21. 2014 07:02 AM)
    Oh for fucks sake sword art? You put HIV drama into your show?
  • Emma
    (Sunday, Dec 21. 2014 06:57 AM)
    Pretty much looking forward to the next two episodes and hope it gets more seasons too.
    I also liked how bleak it was.
  • Emma
    (Sunday, Dec 21. 2014 06:55 AM)
    *how twisty
  • Emma
    (Sunday, Dec 21. 2014 06:54 AM)
    . I was told to stay away from story six. Story seven was the most developed and ambitious of the selection but I feel mixed on it and didn’t really get into it until midway or so.
    Still I do love weird tales anthology stuff and this all fit the bill for me.
  • Emma
    (Sunday, Dec 21. 2014 06:54 AM)
    The first story even I have to admit was genuinely horrifying, uncomfortable and got under my skin and of the selection it still stands out as having the greatest impact. The second one was good social commentary but doesn’t really give me much I didn’t already know. Stories three and were the most emotionally investing for me. I thoroughly enjoyed who twisty, twisted, truly nasty and cruel story five was and it is my second favourite of the lot.
  • Emma
    (Sunday, Dec 21. 2014 06:54 AM)
    I did however feel that some of the dialogue and acting could have done with some very very slight tweaking in parts/some segments.
  • Emma
    (Sunday, Dec 21. 2014 06:53 AM)
    Okay even though I don’t watch western tv shows all that much I finally properly spent whole day going through black mirror. For the larger part this is creative, unpredictable, well thought out/written, varied, I like the technological end of it, the stories manage to fit into the short film runtime without ever feeling like they needed more time and its clear that Charlie Brooker has a lot to say with this and is very intelligent man, some of it does ring fairly true.

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