「青空が描きたい」 (Aozora ga Kakitai)
“I Want to Draw the Blue Sky”
The GA Geijutsuka Art Design Class OVA is out! I wasn’t planning to post about this, but I love this quirky art school-themed series and wanted to share some thoughts since I didn’t cover the TV series last year. For those who are unfamiliar with this series, GA is a slice-of-life comedy revolving around five girls at their art design school. It stars a bunch of my favorite female seiyuus in a lighthearted setting and can even educate you on art topics at times thanks to characters such as Oomichi Miyabi (Nazuka Kaori), whom her friends promptly call “Kyouju” (Professor).
This OVA episode focuses on a new character not seen in the TV series, the textile fashion teacher Yoshino Koshino (Nishimura Chinami), who is the most feared instructor at Ayanoi Academy because she puts students on the hot seat while she scrutinizes their work and is very blunt about what she thinks of it. She’s better known as the “Executioner” because of this, and Kisaragi (Tomatsu Haruka) fears her so much that she prays for a calamity that will suspend classes after hearing from Noda (Tokunaga Ai) that you can wish upon a weather vane when it spins full circle. Noda on the other hand actually likes the textile fashion design class because of the freedom Yoshino-sensei gives her students, and her opinion remains unfazed even as Kisaragi and Tomokane (Sawashiro Miyuki) come fresh off the chopping block.
The first half of the episode revolved around Tomokane’s quick attempt to redeem herself, only to be accused of plagiarizing and having her design put on the wall of shame. I absolutely love Miyuki’s wacky portrayal of Tomokane in this series, so hearing her freak out at that point was just gold. Kisaragi on the other hand is losing confidence quickly, but Noda manages to encourage with some words of wisdom, telling her that if you’re passionate about something, improvement will follow suit, and there’s no girl she knows who isn’t passionate about fashion to some degree. Motivated, Kisaragi manages to impress Yoshino-sensei with her latest design and is overjoyed about it, but soon finds out that Noda wants to be treated to free stuff next Saturday in return.
The second half entailed Kisaragi getting caught up in running errands one after one another, making stops at the Fine Arts Club before eventually trying to return a sketchbook to her sempai, Mizubuchi (Koshimizu Ami) a.k.a. “Buchi-san”. In search of her, she stumbles upon the president of the Fine Arts Club, Awara Chikako (Kanda Akemi) a.k.a. “Aa-san”, who’s camping out in her cardboard box as usual but looking awfully dead to Kisaragi. She’s actually alive and kicking however, and just using the box’s “sunroof” as a way to frame the sky for a picture she’s painting. Mizubuchi happens to come by shortly after and decides to give away Buchi-san’s painting out of spite, as she was responsible for losing her sketchbook. It turns out Kisaragi’s been in love with drawings of the sky ever since Mizubuchi gave her one of her drawings.
That’s the quick rundown of this OVA episode, which may not seem like much at first, but is ample material for a slice-of-life series such as this. Most of the entertainment doesn’t really come from what happens anyway, but from all the character interactions and reactions to what’s happening. As you can probably tell from the screenshots, there were a lot of tsukkomi-type remarks to the dumb things the characters said, which were primarily from Namiko (Horie Yui) as usual. As much as I enjoy a Hocchan character with her head on straight (e.g. Takeshita in B Gata H Kei), Tomokane is still my favorite because of how stupid she is at times. Not often will you find someone who overhears people talking about drawing crystals and light and responds with a computer edited image like this out of the blue. This is just one example of why I find her random otaku-like personality a lot of fun to watch too. A lot of times it’s simply cast off as stupidity, much like in Noda’s case for using standard computer generated characters for her Lettering class, but I enjoy the cheap laughs those two provide.
The only thing missing here that I would’ve liked to see are the Irodorangers (“Coloring Rangers”) and their awesome theme song, but all in all, this was a cute and quirky episode like all GA episodes and is worth the watch if you followed the TV series. In terms of something new, they included an interesting real-life ending sequence for the song “Heart-colored Palettes”, so be sure to check it out below.