Sep 22, 2016
HaXXspetten (All reviews)
Sometimes, a strong character cast is really all an anime needs to be successful.

Kono Bijutsubu ni wa Mondai ga Aru (or Konobi for short) is a perfect example of an anime which technically doesn't do anything particularly different from your average romcom, but it accomplishes what modest goals it has with flying colors. We have a standard middle school club setting and barely any plot development to speak of; the show is simply about the everyday events the characters experience in their lives, and their interactions with each other. No more, no less. But with characters as interesting and likable as these, and some good laughs to go with them, that's really all you need to still deliver a very funny and entertaining anime.

The story mainly takes place inside a quite typical middle school art club room. What are not quite so typical though are its members. Uchimaki Subaru may be a very talented artist, but contrary to what you'd maybe expect, he's not very interested in drawing apples, statues or landscapes. The only thing he's interested in drawing... is waifus. Perfect. Uchimaki is like a tongue-in-cheek representation of what people like to joke around that the average anime viewer is like. He's very devoted and serious when it comes to his waifu drawings, he claims to not be interested in 3D girls at all since they're impractical and "incomparable to 2D greatness", and he even gets into trouble with his schoolwork because he's too busy watching 30 episodes of seasonal anime every week. I'm sure a lot of the viewers can relate to at least some of those things, and the ways Konobi sort of breaks the fourth wall time and time again is part of what makes it so amusing to watch.

At the same time though, Uchimaki's world views are much to the dismay of his fellow club member Usami Mizuki, who doesn't have any interest in anime at all and thus finds his drawings to be in rather questionable taste. But at the same time she also finds out that he is a very kind and easily approachable guy on a personal level, and she just couldn't help but fall in love with him over time as a result... however since Uchimaki is only interested in his waifus rather than noisy 3D girls, she's in a pretty tough spot. A spot which Konobi also makes great use of to be a consistent source of really great comedy. Especially since Usami's feelings are clear as day to literally everyone other than Uchimaki, and they never stop making fun of her for it.

Then there's the resident oddball duo consisting of Imari Maria and Collette (family name unknown). Maria is the only one whom Uchimaki can converse openly with about his interests, as she's the only other character in the show who's also into anime and manga. In a certain way she's even more hopeless because she's seemingly gotten quite a bit of chuuni fever from it as a result. Though unlike your typical chuuni girl, Maria doesn't really play her character straight but rather it's more like an occasional chuuni act she just pulls out because she thinks it's fun. She doesn't appear to be too delusional on the inside, but for some reason likes to act like she is. Collette on the other hand... where do I even start; this girl is borderline incomprehensible. Everything she does seems completely random and not properly thought through, like a little kid with way too big of an imagination. She also wants to be a super hero, so naturally seeing Maria's confident chuuni act was like finding the person she always wanted to be herself, and thus she wastes no time at all in asking to become her apprentice. And so we end up in a situation where a pretend-chuuni girl tries her best to teach an underclassman how to become a real one. You don't see that every day. There's also the (nameless) president of the art club in there but there's not a whole lot to say about him because his shtick is basically just to fall asleep wherever and whenever possible, and never actually contribute anything useful to the club.

It's a very simplistic show at heart, mainly consisting of shorter skits (about 5-10 minutes each) and not much actual plot progression. But honestly it doesn't have to be anything more than it already is. Just seeing these characters live their daily lives and interacting with each other during it is more than enough to provide a solid anime, simply because of how likable all of them are and how good the comedy is. There are a lot of meta cultural references taking jabs at modern anime fans (all in good fun of course) as well as a lot of more traditional romcom elements that are used quite tastefully. I should probably mention though that any romance fans out there might be disappointed in hearing that there is almost no romantic progression between Uchimaki and Usami at all in this anime, but you only need to watch a few minutes of it to figure that out on your own. It was never going to happen because that's not actually what Konobi is about. It's an infatuation used solely for the sake of comedic effect, not feels. Poor Usami.

It may be a very "standard" anime as a whole, with a common setting, normal animation quality and soundtrack usage, and no real plot progression to speak of. But the only thing an anime of this nature really needs in order to blossom is likable characters and generally good comedy, and that is exactly where Konobi's strengths lie. And as a result this was definitely one of the shows I was looking forward to the most every week this season; it's just so much fun to watch every time.