Shinomiya Kyouya is forced to become a new member of the GJ, an unidentified club that dwells in a room of the former building of a certain school. Here he meets the club leader, Mao, a short girl with a big attitude; Mao's younger sister, Megumi, who has the heart of a bipolar angel; the recognized genius with a lack of common sense, Shion; and the always-hungry and mysterious Kirara. Time flies with these unique girls around.
Being as frank as possible, I found the Winter 2013 season to be quite weak, despite having a lot of bright and colourful ideas. The majority of them only proved to be average, slightly above even, and they definitely won't be memorable for long. Now, this talk may portray to be a little irrelevant and bias (and apologies if it is), but the point I want to get across is that I was hoping that 'at least' one show in the season would be in a state without having to be stalled, being both enjoyable and interesting every episode and with no actual problems dragging
it down. In other words, a hidden gem.
Thankfully there was one, and funny enough it's about a school club with absolutely no purpose or theme whatsoever. Wait, what?
The anime is about... as stated earlier, nothing. Kyouya is in a club called the 'Good-Job Club', and their activities involve having various discussions, eating food, laying around the room being struck by lasers of heat, biting each other, lewdly brushing hair, bringing little sisters in and many more things. The other members of the club are four girls; the childish club president Mao who has a short-temper, the refined angel-like Megumi, the genius Shion lacking common sense and the mysterious cat-like Kirara.
You'd probably be thinking that... it sounds like a pretty generic slice of life without actually anything going on, which would naturally sound really boring to watch. To top it all of though, it sounds like a harem! There's no doubt it's harem-like with the boy:girl ratio of 1:4, and you'll probably agree that nearly all harem shows fail to be remotely good. And guess what? I found this much more interesting than all the other shows, and I'm not close to devoted with slice of life shows in a school setting. So... how, and why, did I find this more entertaining than the rest of the season?
Because GJ-bu does something a lot of normal slice of life shows fail to do - restraining from pushing itself to far.
Or in other words, it didn't try to hard to be what it is. GJ-bu acknowledges fairly well that it's a full slice of life series with the given setting; there's no unnecessarily technical writing involved and it doesn't forces the contents or intentions of the show onto the audience in a demanding way - it just does what a slice of life is supposed to be. It really does take a slice of one's life, and converts those everyday actions into animated form. Because of this, everything feels natural, both pacing and scenery, and without having to feel boring too. None of the jokes feel dragged, and neither does the dialogue, so the conversations and spacelessness you'd feel in real life are portrayed rather nicely here.
But who wants to watch some guy's life in a club in the first place? Who'd find that interesting? Which brings me to my second point. The natural flow in the entire show gives of a really, really lovely relaxing pace. The pacing does feel rather slow at times, but because nothing is so dragged along or forced, it makes the audience quite relaxed whilst watching each episode, and so the slowness isn't something to be weary of (well, depending on your preferences but I'll mention that later). Although the speed of the pace is noticeable when you start the series, it starts getting less obvious and time starts to fly by so swiftly you'd be completely used it over the course of the series.
That said, looking at a specialist's point of view, GJ-bu really isn't that unique at all. It just stands out because it does what most slice of life anime doesn't do, and that is to keep the viewers actually engaged without a plot in mind instead of building up their bore meters. The show is just about five members in a non-specified club, enjoying their time there whilst they can, so if anyone is expecting some actual plot, romance, drama, tragedy, deaths, epicness, inspiring moments and so forth, then I'm afraid your expectations are at risk (though, there is a sweet semi-closure which was done really well). But if you thought that it'd be a bore-pumper and something immensely non-memorable whilst choosing your seasonal shows (and, admittedly, that was me), then you should pretty much give this a go for a change of pace, and especially if you're a big fan of the slice of life genre.
The animation isn't so remarkable as from the outside, but during the course of the show the art department actually does get handled as greater than what you'd expect. On one hand, the budget doesn't seem so noticeable and it's understandable since it's a slice of life. The outlines of the characters can be inconsistent in terms of thickness, which is a rather rare problem in anime in general. On the other hand though, there's certain scenes where the budget goes remarkably high, in both backgrounds, atmosphere and animation (which applies to 95%+ of the last episode). Regards to the budget, there's no rubbish or quality moments in which effects the series in any way. Talking about animation, the area which it's taken in full consideration is the EDs, which used the budget pretty wildly.
Well actually, scratch that. GJ-bu wins for the best ending sequence in 2013 so far. And second place. And third place...
...and fourth place too. The anime consists of four ending sequences, one playing every two episodes and the fourth one playing throughout the second half of the show. Each ED is based around a certain character or two, provided with a theme; the first ED being based around the Amatsuka sisters (Mao and Megumi), the second being based on Shion, the third being Kirara's ED and the last one centered towards the entire club. The collection of EDs varies in the type of songs and mood, being from extremely high-spirited with a fast-paced rock style, to a more contemplative mood in J-Pop form. All four songs are outstandingly well-composed, being catchy and vibrant in their own ways, and the studio probably blew 90% of their budget in the EDs to make them as visually attractive and fluent as possible, even coming with a unique summer atmosphere and funky dancing. They're extremely fun to watch and I doubt you'd regret having downloaded the full songs of all four endings, because I know I didn't regret it.
So... in conclusion, the four EDs are the best parts in the animation and sound department, in both the entire show and the Winter season. Woops, it seems like I dedicated a whole paragraph to the GJ-bu endings, so I should start on the actual sound department now. Uh... anyway, the opening sequence plays throughout the entire show, sung by the main VA cast. It's a really catchy up-beat song, and probably not so unexpecting in a slice of life. A lot of the time the OST doesn't play, mainly for the cause of the relaxing pacing and atmosphere. The soundtrack isn't at all incredible in stand-alone, but they're very cutely composed with simple and/or retro instruments, fitting the very light mood for the show. The voice actors do a good job (haha pun) with the characters, generally fitting well in their roles. Not to mention that several of the voice actors are actually teenagers, the youngest being Kirara's VA, at the age of thirteen.
Now, despite the relaxing mood and atmosphere to the plotless show, it couldn't be as interesting as it is with just the aspects I described several paragraphs ago. Of course, we can't have a club without its members!
Nearly the entire cast consists of female (the male being Kyolo, the main character), and they're divided into two groups; the members of the GJ-bu, and the little sisters of those members. Let's introduce the main members the second (or third?) time, since I think it's a little necessary too; there's presisdent Mao Amatsuka, the orange one, who acts rather childish despite her rich background, and bites Kyolo when she's angry. But her younger sister is quite the opposite - Megumi Amatsuka, the pink one, is both refined and well-mannered, described almost as an angel, although it's not the case when it comes to weight. Shion Sumeragi, the purple one, is somewhat clever in lots of ways, but it seems common sense isn't her strong point. And then there's Kirara, my personal favourite member. She acts less human and more cat, structuring her sentences uniquely, and does lots of things the other members don't usually do, like eating meat all the time. And of course, we can't forget to mention Kyolo, our main man. He's presented in the series as a kind, caring and laid-back guy, though usually questioning whatever actions the other members perform (and usually on him too).
Oh and there's the green one. She doesn't appear in the beginning though.
All of the members are, firstly to say, stand-alone in their own way. You get a variety of personalities (and hair colours), and each have their own qualities for themselves in which both benefits and non-benefits them. However, it's the way they're presented that fleshes out the personalities further - The features of each individual becomes clearer and fresher with certain tropes and actions happening on-screen. Basically, the characters are in a club room, talking and in different ways interacting with each other. Whether it's conversations or actions, each individual would perform any kind of action which adds up as the evidence of one of the features in the characters, and it fleshes out into the characterization of the members (some of those actions may reveal one of the tropes at first shot though, depending on how obvious the feature is). In other words, characterization happens in the course of events, rather than having them explained, which feels both natural and less lazy.
The more fun thing about this though is that each of the characters has quite distinct personalities and different features, fears, knowledge, preferences and so on compared to each other, so it's pretty fun seeing them hang round together as a group. You get a lot of times when they all agree to tease Kyolo in the most entertaining way for them to watch, and then scenes where they all take their turns to do a certain activity, from having their hair brushed, to arm-wrestling, to guessing whatever picture Kyolo drew and so on. There's no real hatred, drama and problems going around in the GJ-bu, so it's hard to start hating a character in the series, though of course it's not the case for everyone. Also, need to mention development. Well, there isn't much development since the anime starts during the middle course of Kyolo's time being in the club, but he does get a well-hidden development in the entire series, to both towards the other members and personality. It's just not so easy to notice and stretched out.
Did I enjoy GJ-bu? Considering that the entire show felt really natural and relaxing, and seeing each characters with different kinds of features interact with each other and Kyolo, of course I did. I had a really hard time debating whether or not to rate GJ-bu a solid 7 or a low 8, but it seemed like it was the latter (though honestly, I still can't decide). For anyone who just regarded this as some moe anime with really bland episodes might want to give this a second thought; this was the only show I started in the season which I didn't decide upon my full plan for the season, and it turned out it was the only show I actually thoroughly enjoyed in the entire show. If it wasn't for my brother I would've never encountered this gem, so it was lucky I didn't pass on this. GJ-bu was a enjoyable and relaxing ride for me, and it seems like I've grown fond to the series more than I expected to be.
I just wish that more school slice of life anime was like GJ-bu.
Aaah... I suppose it's a little difficult to write a review for a relatively aimless slice of life anime like this, where there's no real plot or any kind of conflict - but I will give it a vague stab, as GJ-bu turned out to be a surprisingly sweet, heart-warming, amusing, and actually rather subtle series, which hooked me from the very first episode.
So, as I mentioned above, the story is relatively... non-existent. GJ-bu follows a chronological order, spanning a year, and documents the lives and various antics of the members of the GJ (Good Job) society - a school club that seems to have
no real purpose other than to eat cakes, drink tea and have fun. This might sound rather dull - and, in lots of similar slice of life anime, such a formula has proved to be dull; but GJ-bu shines in... not trying too hard, I suppose. Or, rather, not trying /so/ hard it becomes unrealistic, contrived and pointlessly melodramatic.
The events it showcases are all fairly mundane, as the members of the GJ-bu eat junk food, dress up, try to get an old TV to work or are frightened of spiders - but these are events that most people can probably relate to. For instance, most people have probably been afraid of a large spider at some point or another - and most people have probably played silly dressing up games with their friends. The situations the characters find themselves in are relatable, and the characters react to these situations as you would expect normal teenagers to react - and that is what makes the 'story' of this anime really compelling (in my opinion). Even though there's a lot of oddness going on, the majority of the show is grounded in reality, and it never feels like it's really trying too hard to be funny - it merely draws on a lot of minor irritations or fun past times regular people experience, and that is where the humour can be found.
There are a lot of zany elements in this show, too, that a lot of people probably can't relate to; for instance, there is a genius girl who claims she can beat the world pro chess champion, and a short, tsundere girl who bites anybody who disappoints her (typically the poor chew toy male lead...) These are clearly exaggerations; real people generally don't have such extreme personalities. However, as the majority of the show is rather mundane, this makes the more unrealistic elements seem even more humorous, as they're being set against a fairly realistic scenario. This show actually managed to get me to laugh out loud a handful of times, which is quite a feat!
Moreover, the anime is structured very nicely; each episode being broken up into about 5 or 6 short stories, featuring a certain scenario or a certain pair of characters interacting with one another, and they all build up to some kind of punchline. This method of story-telling is very effective in showing a lot of humourous moments to the audience very clearly, in 3 or 4 minutes, so the anime never seems to drag or become dull like a lot of slice of life anime can. This means an over-arching story is somewhat sacrificed for the sake of rapid-fire comedic scenarios; but this is a good thing, considering slice of life anime typically don't have plots anyway - and, as several jokes reoccur throughout the series (e.g. Kyoro brushing the girls' hair; Mori-san the maid; cosplaying), it serves to link these seemingly unrelated sketches together in a way that does show some kind of progression of time. The anime is structured a little like a comedy sketch show in this regard, and it works to the anime's credit, ensuring, even if you don't find one sketch funny, it'll be over in a few minutes and a new one will start, so the pacing is always very fast.
The pacing of the show is also improved in that it doesn't waste time showing how the club was established, giving unecessary character backstories, showing how everybody became members of the club, etc, etc - which is common in a lot of these 'forming school club' type anime. Instead, GJ-bu jumps straight into the action by already having the club established, and the 5 main characters are already members, who already know each other. Some people might dislike this - suddenly being thrown into a scenario without a real introduction; but I found it enjoyable. In this kind of show, which is basically a comedy sketch show, setting the scene is entirely unecessary, isn't amusing, and eats into the time to make jokes. The reason behind the club's existence; the back-stories of the characters; how they came to know each other - it's all irrelevant. The personalities of the characters are revealed through the humour; and it is by being amusing these characters become endearing - not by having useless, oh-so-tragic pasts that try to force the viewers to cry. That's not what GJ-bu is about at all; and I'm glad for it, as it means there's more time for humour.
Another big plus to the humour of this anime (that can be called the 'story', I suppose, as the primary purpose of this anime is to make you laugh) is that, although it has a lot of physical gags and can be quite over-the-top, it can also be very subtle at times. The biggest example of this would probably be the scene where the male lead drinks from a can, then offers it to a girl, who instantly starts blushing and saying she can't accept it. The 'i-indirect kiss...!' is a common gag in anime, and the moment this scenario started up, I sighed, and thought 'oh, okay, I've seen this before. When is she going to say it?' But, the girl never actually said 'indirect kiss!' or spoke about how embarrassing such a thing was. It was never mentioned verbally - but it was obvious this was the problem. Showing restraint like this, and not explaining a joke, was very refreshing for me - and, even though the gag has been done to death before, not having it explained to the audience like they're idiots made it seem... fresh, somehow. Or, if not fresh, then not cliche or irritating. GJ-bu doesn't explain it's humour a lot of the time, and it doesn't spell out the punch line of its jokes for you, which makes it more rewarding to watch then a lot of other comedic animes, and doesn't make the viewer feel like their intelligence is being insulted. This subtly, and this trust in the script writer that the viewer will be able to understand the punch line on their own, was a great asset to GJ-bu.
Because of these factors, I feel the 'story' of GJ-bu was told in the most effective manner, which made it very enjoyable.
The characters, too, are all very diverse and amusing, and this adds to the humour of the series. Although a lot of the situations the characters are in are mundane, the characters (apart from maybe the main male lead) are not; they all have distinct personalities - and although they should not be unfamliar to people who have watched a lot of anime (the tsundere, the ditzy genius, the cute yamato nadeshiko, the 'onii-chan onii-chan onii-chan!' obsessed little sister), they are all very likable. Many of the short sketches of the anime involve showing small, specific traits these characters have - for example, the tsundere cannot stand eating tangerines with the pith left on them - which helps add some slightly individual 'quirks' to them, which helps the characters break free from their stereotypes, and makes them a little more realistic. And, in addition... these little quirks are fairly realistic, and they're fun to watch. As the show unfolds, and more sketches are presented, more and more minute details are given about the characters in the form of humour, which is a lot of fun to observe. It's not a case of the characters developing (they don't develop really); it's a case of more information about them being disclosed; which is still just as entertaining.
I liked the male lead of this show an awful lot. I heard complaints that he wasn't 'manly enough' and shouldn't have put up with the girls harrassing him - but, really... what do these people want; for the main character to punch all the girls? Yeah, that'd show them how strong and manly he is!!! -sighs- But, really... I found Kyoro to be something of a sweetheart. Surrounded by a cast of girls with very anime-like, strong personalities, he is distinctly more 'ordinary'; the every-man - but this works /well/, as Kyoro... actually acts like a real, normal person, and not the anime-type 'normal guy' who's about as interesting as a paper towel with no personality, whilst girls fall in love with him for no adequate reason and/or he gets violently abused by other characters and doesn't react to it at all for the sake of comedy.
For a start, this anime isn't really a harem, despite the one male character surrounded by women, and the girls never show any romantic interest in him whatsoever (and Kyoro doesn't really show any romantic interest in them, either); apart from maybe Mao. The simple and easy presentation of one male character being content to be friends with a circle of girls, and not hoping or expecting anything more - and the girls, meanwhile, not falling over his feet or fawning over him for no reason - was incredibly refreshing; and it's just kind of touching that this anime shows merely having a friendship with a girl can be fulfilling, without needing any romance to justify it. So, I enjoyed that a great deal. Thus, the 'dull harem lead with zero personality wowing all the girls for no justifiable reason' /thing/ which crops up in a lot of anime protags isn't an issue with Kyoro.
Secondly, Kyoro acts like a real human being - not a cheap character that exists only for comedy. He tolerates a certain amount of teasing from the girls (mostly Mao), but when they go too far, he genuinely gets upset. This seems very naturalistic - as opposed to a lot of anime, where guys will routinely get beaten up by girls for the sake of comedy, but they don't react appropriately to this abuse (which can sometimes be very violent) and never seem overly bothered. In contrast, the fact Kyoro actually does get upset when pushed too far seems very 'human' to me, and relatable, in a way a lot of other anime characters aren't.
So, the art... The animation is quite fluid at certain points (mainly to express the 'cuteness' of the female characters), and the character designs are all quite charming - although the super-short tsundere club president, Mao, does look an awful lot like Taiga from Toradora. But, it's not a big issue. The art fits the nature of the show perfectly, and is very enjoyable to watch. There are a lot of bright colours, and it's quite eye-candy-ish. Also, I really enjoyed the way the characters' eyes were drawn.
In conclusion, I found GJ-bu an incredibly likable slice of life of anime, which respects its audience and doesn't spell out all its jokes. The script seems slightly more mature than a lot of other comedic anime, and was more subtle in its humour. The contrast between whacky, high-energy characters and mundane situations was enjoyable, and it was fun to watch the characters interact with one another and their environment. The characters might not have been anything special, but the script of this anime seemed so refreshing, and genuinely amusing, to me, that the characters didn't seem as sterotyped as they might have done in a show of lower quality, so this flaw is easily overlooked. The art is cute, too!
"Slice of life anime have always interested me.Watching some random anime characters doing their everyday chores and spending their life carelessly reminds me of my own life.The life which is spent in search of those small moments of happiness.It remind me of me having fun with my friends and family.There are sad times too but there are other happy moments as well.After all,life is not completely about joy and pleasure.We have to bear sadness as
well"....So,before u get bored by my life lecture(which u are sure being,T.T),I better start my review which is about an hidden gem i.e. Gj-bu or in other words "Good Job"
to begin..When I first started watching,I didn't pay much attention to it.I didn't expect it to become THIS awesome as I was like"Yeah,it is good..but there are other awesome anime too.."But I was wrong.As i watched more,I got engrossed in it to a point that I began to wait for it every week unknowingly.After watching the last episode,I just couldn't take it as I realized that "Man,I am in love with it."So I decided to write a review for this so that other people who are looking for some fun anime may give it a try.
First of all..about story..there is none...Well it is a slice of life anime,not much to expect in this department.After all,slice of anime are not about story,they are more about characters,fun,comedy and about creating an carefree environment in which a person can relax.They give us a hint of our everyday life in which this anime surely succeeds.I can this say this confidently that this will make you laugh a lot and you will grin in front of your computer(or laptop:P) screen countless times.
The story is about a NORMAL high-school boy who gets recruited in a random club in which there are no prominent club activities..They just relax,play around,get warmed up in kotatsu(when it is winter of-course),drink tea(a lot...),eat cakes etc etc.In other words,a dream-like club(I want a club like that,T.T).
Story wise,it reminds me of Seitokai no Ichizon and Sket Dance which,just like it,are anime about everyday life of their respective characters.Above all,it is very natural.It is not artificial.There are some shows which try too hard to make their audience laugh but that is not the case here.There is a flow in dialogues of the characters and a person laughs even when he don't want to.
So,I give it a solid 8 score out of 10:)The only reason I cut marks is that this is a
slice-of-life anime and marks are bound to cut in such a kind of anime.
The art is just simply great.It is elegant,vibrant and colorful just the way I like.You can see the detail in everything.The backgrounds are also beautifully done.The best thing is that,art's quality remains constantly goodt.It is not like one episode has great art but in the next episode,the quality drops,no...It remains same throughout the series which is one of those lovable points of this series.
The character designs may bug some people on their first try at this anime(it bugged me for sure) but as u get used to it,it gets better until you start to love those.It is quite unique but once you get a hang of it,it becomes pleasant to look at.So....I give it a mega-solid 9 points for its beautiful and colorful art:P
Now,Even,in sound department,this anime shines as much as in others.When I first heard the opening song,I was like is it really a song?I mean it begins very randomly but as I listened it more as new episodes aired,I totally fell in love with it.It is so catchy and upbeat,totally the genre I like.
The ending song changes after 2-3 episodes so as to give each female lead,her own song.I love each and all of them but due to them being not used more than 2-3 times(except the last one,in which all the famale leads sing together),they are sadly not as memorable as they CAN be which is a slightly weak point of this series.
Now,voice-acting...is SUPERB as well.I just love Shion,Kirara,Mao's,Megumi's(and lol everyone's) voice..(Seriously speaking)I
love megu's voice the most.They have done a fantastic job so kudos to them.About the bgm...is it important in a slice-of-life?I don't think so..but it is still good.
So that's why,I give it,a mega-solid 9 points here as well for lovable voice-acting by seiyuus and for OP and ED songs.
Now finally the department where it shines truly...the character are lovable..I love all the characters.The only complaint I have that the imoutos don't get as much screen-time as they should get as they are so lovable.
Mao-chan..is the bubbly and mischievious club buuchou or in other words,club president(uhum,my translating abilities:P).She is short,has curly hair and is conscious of her short height.Well,she sure has it rough as she is called to be in elementary school by some people.She acts bossy but in truth likes the main lead very much so she gets shy easily but hate to show her shyness so that's why she acts bossy(there is a whole cycle man,T.T)
Megumi is Mao's younger sister(but looks older..ahem).She is a sweet and kind-hearted girl who loves to make cakes and....make others drink a lot of tea especially our main male lead Kyoya or Kyoro(as called by club members)I don't like anime characters who are like her usually but she has a special magnet that attracts me to her I.She is super-conscious about her weight(both sisters have some thing to be conscious about,T.T), a pretty cute point of hers.
Shion,is a GENIUS!!... but lacks common-sense which is her MOE-KYUN point(:P)She has a lot of brothers who are as intelligent as her,each excelling in at least one field.She gets pampered a lot as one of her brother makes her lunch,dinner etc while other makes special kind of coffee for her etc,so she wants to eat things like hamburger etc.and drink things like canned coffee etc.She is pretty and lovable.
Kirara is the tigress of group(well she behaves like a cat and sometimes tigress) who loves to eat meat so she is sometimes forced to eat veggies by her younger sister which she eats...raw!(really)The meat which she eats..is a special kind of meat which only Kyoro has eaten.She speaks in very short sentences but can,surprisingly speak like a normal girl through cell-phones which is her super-cute point.
Kyoro,is our main lead who is super lucky to be in part of this harem..I mean who wouldn't wants to be there with all those amazing girls.He is very surprisingly beautiful as when he cosplays,he becomes a bishoujo,club members fear his this ability.Thats not all,he can transform into ORE-MAN.During this transformation,he gets Extra-Masculine,a fact due to which he is loved by fellow club members.His last skill is that he is super-good at hair-brushing which can
make any girl MOE-KYUN.So all in all,he is a nice lead as he develops nicely throughout the series by acquiring his...fearsome skills...
There are other nice characters too.Tamaki is a newly recruited or more like...abducted girl who eats a lot and amazingly does not become..fatter.The imoutos(or in other words,sisters.Again my translating abilities,huhu) group which consist of Kyoro,Megu and Mao's and Kirara's sisters.The have a Gj-bu at their school as well.Who can forget the strongest women of the entire world i.e. Mori who is a maid at Megu & Mao's house.When she does that maid twirl as requested by Kyoro,I bet your heat will skip a beat.She does not age..and has a daughter just like her,a mystery that has not be solved ever.In a nutshell.I totally love the characters which you may have guessed by now(:P)This department is done splendidly sooo a giga-solid 10/10 from me:D
I loveee it!This is an amazing series as it gets you on a ride full of fun and enjoyment.I laughed a lot and at end I got teary(sob sob)After completing it,I just want to say"Good Job" to the studio which has done it(dogakobo is its name,i think..)Now for recommendation..I don't recommend it to those people who watch series based on its story as there is not much here.Contrary to it,I totally recommend it to people who,just like me,love to see those cute,slice-of-life sort of anime.If u are one of these,then go man(or woman,:P),watch it as u are missing a hidden gem which u may want to add in your anime list.So,what u are waiting for,watch it now.I promise that you won't be
GJ-bu is part of a sub-genre of slice of life which encompasses K-On, Yuru Yuri and others. These shows spend most of their times showing characters on a club usually doing absolutely nothing, whether because they skip club activities or because the club activities have no real purpose. They are usually hard to review due to few complexity in plot and characters, but it's not like it's non-existent. GJ-bu, however, takes this to extreme measures.
Now, before you argue that the quality of the story is irrelevant, consider the following. If GJ-bu wants to show cute girls (and a boy, though on the verge of being
considered a girl as well) doing nothing but random stuff, then first it must get the viewer to actually care about the girls, otherwise it's just irritating rather than endearing. That's what good storytelling does, by offering a bridge between the world, including its characters, and the viewer. The problem is... this show doesn't have good storytelling.
While most shows at least try to construct a basic conceptual setting for the story to take place, this one decides it doesn't need to. Instead, we are thrown into the middle of an unknown place, with anonymous faces doing strange things we don't understand. Who are they? What are they trying to achieve? How do they relate with each other? There are many other questions, but these are the least you have to answer to convince the viewer that your characters are humans and not moeblobs walking around. GJ-bu's characterization is done through a few dialogues there and here and a few, very few, scenes outside the club. That's all you get.
Maybe the story just wasn't well executed, but the characters could still be good, right? Indeed, conceptually it's possible to elaborate interesting characters, but fail to fulfill their potential in practice. That's not the case of GJ-bu, which defines its characters in terms of clichéd stereotypes and refuses to give them any further depth. It's not that they lack back-story or psychological investigation, they just weren't meant to have any complexity to start with.
One-dimensional characters can be done well as long as they remain entertaining and/or charismatic, but to do so they must have interesting features and interactions with other characters. Characters from GJ-bu just do the same things over and over again, taking for granted the viewer's interest because of the cute and silly things going on. There's pretty much nothing fresh about the scenes, since they revolve around stereotypes doing their things.
As one would expect, if the storytelling is bad and the characters are poor, the jokes aren't exactly a masterpiece of humor, specially because they rely heavily on the characters. Shion, for instance, is very knowledgeable about many topics, but lacks common sense, as the stereotyped genius she is. That's it, there goes about 90% of all jokes about her, and not particularly creative ones. Oh, eventually she reveals that she would like to have a younger sister and has Tama fulfill that role because it's cute.
Yes, "because it's cute" and "because the public's desires must be satisfied" seem to be the main driving factors for GJ-bu. You've got tsunderes, maids, all kinds of hair colors, cat ears, little sisters, foreigners, heck, there's even cross-dressing for the girls and Kyoro. Everything is meticulously engineered to appeal the viewer through a specific stimulation. If the show had used at least half of the time spent on this planning towards making the characters and their context actually interesting, a great deal of its problems would have simply disappeared.
Now that we've got the bad things out of the way, let's focus on the bright side. Since visual appeal is relevant to GJ-bu's purposes, it tries to build its own style, as colorful, cute and comfortable as possible. These efforts are mostly successful, but the character designs are easily forgettable, nothing you haven't seen in other moe shows, and the animation is only average. As for the soundtrack, it's pretty catchy, and a lot of effort is put into the ending's themes... still, they end up sounding quite generic as well. As a whole, though, the production values are all right.
Now, after all of this, it could be concluded that this show is lame and boring, incapable of doing anything remarkable on its own. Well, there's nothing remarkable for sure, but surprisingly, it's still enjoyable. That's the ultimate secret of GJ-bu: it knows what it's doing. It was previously said that everything is meticulously engineered to appeal the viewer, and this becomes evident as the show goes on.
GJ-bu's focus on quantity rather than quality may lose points in artistic and creative value, but it's an important trade-off. You don't like this girl? Oh, then have another, and another, and another, all with distinct specifications, until you have one that you like. The stereotyped personalities are very helpful because otherwise it would be difficult to do this. Real people have common mindsets and physical attributes due to sharing the same environment, many have similar goals and ideologies, are constantly changing or trying to change, show different sides of themselves depending on the context... Stereotypes, on the other hand, are static, simple, and make sure that two characters will be as different as possible.
But surely there must be at least one grumpy old man who isn't charmed by any of the show's attempts, right? No problem. It may sound crazy, but GJ-bu doesn't deliver enjoyment solely from the viewer's love; hate is also effective. The series tries so hard to be cute and funny with its endless list of clichés, shallow characters and situations, fetishes and repetitive jokes that it turns into a laughable parody of itself for those who are not amused and become increasingly cynical. For example, the fact that the maid spins around every time she appears may either be seen as endearing or a pathetic attempt at being endearing. Both are acceptable, because GJ-bu doesn't care if it's being loved or hated, as long as it's not being ignored.
GJ-bu is, quite literally, an anime for everyone. It has generic written all over it, but you end up either loving or hating it because it goes so overboard in applying all sorts of tested formulas. Truth be told, if you are a fan of this kind of series, has no problems with underdeveloped characters and poor storytelling, and want something with a sort of relaxed atmosphere and all types of cuteness, then try GJ-bu, as it probably won't disappoint. Otherwise, it's not advised to take the risk, but the show could be good for a few laughs; if not genuine, then mocking.
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