OP: 「STARTING NOW!」 by Mizuki Nana
「問題がある人たち / さよなら内巻くん」 (Mondai ga Aru Hitotachi / Sayonara Uchimaki-kun)
“These People Have Problems” / “Goodbye, Uchimaki-kun”
Kono Bijutsubu ni wa Mondai ga Aru! was one of the anime I was most anticipating this season, even if my expectations for it were only moderately high. I hadn’t read enough of the manga to get a sense of the content, but after looking over the staff list and the promotional material released up until this point, I had a feeling we had a hidden gem in our hands. If popularity polls are anything to go by, then it appears many people overlooked this series as well; it’s not surprising given how loaded this season is, but that just means it ends up a pleasant surprise to those unaware of its existence.
This is what happens when you take an amusing little manga and hand it over to a talented director and animators. In case you couldn’t tell from this episode, this is being produced by Studio feel. and is directed by Oikawa Kei, who gave us the impressive Yahari Ore no Seishun Love Comedy wa Machigatteiru. Zoku. While it was evident this is a much more lighthearted comedy than Zoku, the talent of the staff still shone through in this episode. There’s was a nice balance of humour and seriousness that didn’t feel forced or uncharacteristic. What we have here is a classic club comedy with a bunch of kids who are dumb and fun, and the occasional moment of romance or at least the hint of development. I love comedies, and I love dramas, so I’ll be eager to see how the two balance out in Kono Bijutsubu ni wa Mondai ga Aru!
Although the opening shows plenty of characters, this week focused only on three (and a fourth if you count a certain girl hiding in the locker). Our main heroine is Usami Mizuki (Ozawa Ari), an energetic middle schooler with a passion for drawing apples and is quick to emotional outbursts. She could very easily have been an intolerable tsundere, but is instead cute and amusing with her uptight view of what counts as ‘art’. On the other hand we have Uchimaki Subaru (Kobayashi Yuusuke), who is quite the character. Don’t let that cute exterior fool you, because this boy has a brutal side to him. His preference for 2D waifus over real 3D girls is amusing, especially when he deals poor Mizuki plenty of ice-cold insults that she takes to heart. Their banter and shipping potential is through the roof, but there stands at least eighteen waifus between them if there is going to be any development in that department. The third club member we have is the aptly named, President (Tone Kentarou), the president of the art club, who mainly sits back while all this drama and hilarity unfolds, clearly much smarter than he lets on.
I had hopes this would be good, and I’m glad to report it was even better than I expected! The characters may not be the most original – but you don’t need originality with comedies like these. The production quality is high here, and the talent from the staff sure helps make this a seamless watch – especially in the outdoor scenes with the warm colours and striking closeups. Something about the art and animation reminded me of early Kyoani, which is most certainly a good thing. We’ve got all the pieces for a solid comedy here, so I’d recommend everyone who overlooked it to give it a shot – especially if you’re a fan of school club anime about a bunch of bubbly eccentrics. It may not be the most thematically rich show currently airing, but if it continues on this path I may consider blogging it just for a fun of it.
ED: 「恋する図形」 (cubic futurismo) by Uesaka Sumire