It is the spring break immediately after Mao and the others graduate. It is the season of cherry blossoms, and the new school term will soon begin. One day, Kyouya is suddenly stuffed into a bag. When he is let out, the scenery he sees around him is that of New York—except the room looks exactly like the GJ Club's room.
When watching a special or an OVA, a general idea that pertains to many anime that have these sort of things, is to give us, the fanbase, a little story or "extra" set of moments that we can laugh at and enjoy. For sights like our very own MAL, it gives us an extra thing to add to our list to prove that we're watching more anime, as a singular special or OVA counts as something in our list. Today, I will be reviewing a very interesting and fun OVA anime that is very dear to my heart. GJ-bu@.
Let's be honest here. If you've watched GJ-bu, you're pretty much going to expect the same thing here. For those who don't know, GJ-bu is an anime series revolving around the club activities of the GJ club, which basically boils down to doing absolutely nothing in a room while they idle their precious high school lives together drinking tea and talking. The only real difference that this OVA makes, is the fact that it takes place in New York rather than in Japan. With such an ordinary and absolutely boring plot idea, why is this even good? The reason, my dear readers, is comedy.
Comedy is what GJ-bu is about. It excels in its branch of mindless banter and interactions within the characters so well, that it can basically harvest pure comedy gold from the words of these characters. This sole reason is why GJ-bu is loved by many people and truly the only reason to even watch this series. The comedy of this OVA pertains to its parent story's roots, and continues this trend by adding new jokes, and occasionally reusing the same gags from the original series that is surprisingly still hilarious to watch.
Aside from that, the OVA does what a lot of animes don't do, and that is, completely finish the story. The OVA uses its timeframe to continue on the story from the original series, giving it a very nice and quite adorable ending. While this part of the OVA isn't exactly something that screams pure comedy gold like the majority of the actual series does, giving it a rather melancholy feeling as a whole, it still plays its part in the OVA and gives it a nice end to series.
The pacing wasn't rushed as was quite consistent all the way through, there's nothing wrong with that there.
Ultimately, I feel quite satisfied with the story. As mentioned before, the OVA gives an end to the series altogether, and gives off the very sweet and happy message of remembering and treasuring the moments that are most precious to you. While I would've REALLY liked a second season, I must confess, that this series was put to rest quite peacefully.
+ PURE COMEDY GOLD
+ Steady Pacing
+ Reuses its gags tastefully
+/- Rather cheesy ending (This is half and half on good and bad points.)
- Bland plot idea
Characters (8.88/10): The cast of GJ-bu just screams comedy. It genuinely screams comedy. Without any changes to the main or supporting cast, fans can rejoice at the fact that their favorite characters in the series will without a doubt return without any problem or issue.
What I like about these characters, is the fact that they all have a branch off of a general anime troupe that differs them from everyone else that can be classified in that way. Each character has their own personality, their own gags, and are quite easy to get attached to because of just how fun and colorful they are.
Another thing is the fact that GJ-bu is a character driven anime for the most part, focusing more on the dialogue and the interactions between characters rather than the story itself. Because of this, the characters can and are put into a situation that puts the comedy idea in the backseat, putting character development and the future ahead as the focal point. It really makes the series a lot more serious than one might think. And to a viewer that really treasures on how much of a comedy gem this show is, it makes my heart flutter.
+ Extremely fitting cast
+ Good supporting characters to meld into the cast
+ Character development placed well
+ Likable personalities
Art and Sound (7.89/10): As far as art is concerned, the style doesn't really change very much throughout the entire OVA. It stays rather constant in its normal "moe" style, where the characters are drawn in a very bright palette, with crystal-like eyes that make the characters cuter than they actually are. (even the guy.)
Occasionally, they still use the fun chibi animation that has also persisted throughout the series, and brings the memory of the original series back together.
From a sound aspect, the music is for the most part pretty average. The songs are definitely very nice to listen to and not jarring or generic to the extent of sounding unoriginal, but compared to many other tracks, they're not as memorable. Nice to listen to, but not that something that would stick in your head for days upon end.
+ Consistent art style
+/- Moe style art. (Good or bad depending on your tastes)
+/- Good soundtrack, but not memorable
Personal Enjoyment (9.54/10): I have a saying when it comes to certain anime, and that is the fact that there are some anime, that I feel that I enjoy more than the average person should. This is one of them. After finishing the original GJ-bu, I was quite saddened to see an anime that I consistently laughed at end so soon. But when I saw that an OVA was going to be made, everything changed...
The OVA retained the charm and the valor that its parent story had to the highest degree. It doesn't disappoint in any way, and I throughly enjoyed it all the way through. I had fun laughing at the pointless banter, the reintroduction to the overused gags of the show that I loved so much, and ultimately, had a very pleasant experience watching this anime again. While I was sad that the anime is essentially finished with no second season in sight, I can't help but think that is the reason why I enjoy this series so much.
While I am sad, to see such an enjoyable series come to end in its OVA, one thing to keep in mind is to know that the good things in life never disappear until their gone.
Story: so this one has like two different thing too it them being in New York and also being back in japan to lighten the mood with mao after her graduation and what not
Art: nothing really too say was really good
Sound: same as the art nothing bad about the sound at all
Character: again kinda with the series basically everyone acts the same in this special from the anime
Enjoyment: personally i enjoyed this alot was very neat in a sence too almost see mao in a depressed state from her leaving the gj club than having one last little go at it and all the
other charcters cheering her up and having a good time also comedy was very good aswell
Overall: this gets a 8 from me for just being funny wasnt really that funny as the series but it got a good number of laugh from me too give it a 8
GJ-BU@ is essentially two episodes packaged together.
The first episode deals with them in new york. I enjoyed it, but it sort of felt like a waste considering they contained themselves to the classroom. I know it's not like this is the first time it's happened (remember the school festival they didn't actually show?), but I still sort of wish it showed them going out and sightseeing.
The second is both funny and a bit more serious. It showed the potential GJ-BU had as a non-comedy series. This makes me wonder something; why didn't they expand the story or characters more in the parent series? They've
shown they are capable of making a series which can seamlessly transition from funny to serious. Keeping it all contained to a single room feels like a waste of potential. Perhaps they just wanted to play it safe. Ah well. The ending wraps up the series nicely enough.
Anyways, GJ-Bu@ is an enjoyable addition to its parent series. It gives you one more chance to see the characters you love and provides a reasonable amount of closure to the series while also making you want more. It's a shame this series didn't get a season 2. Between the junior GJ club and the original one, there's a lot that could go on.