GJ Club is BOTH Silly and Relaxing? “Gooood Job-buu!”

A spoiler-free review of the 12-episode winter 2013 anime “GJ-bu” or “GJ Club,” produced by Doga Kobo, based on the light novel series by Shin Araki.

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Assume for the moment that this is an anime about a poor boy engaging in harmless games at the expense of a group of totally-pure high school girls. When demons from the underworld aren’t wreaking havoc amongst high-school kids or when bras and boxers aren’t being violently stripped from these fine teens, you have, in this situation, a school-life harem. These cookie-cutter shows are the dreams of many anime fans. I mean, could you imagine a world where after school you hung out in a homey club room with your best friends to discuss the trivial gimmicks of school life, or perhaps spend the entire afternoon eating cake, drinking tea, and playing games?

Last time I played this game was in elementary school. Stubbed my toe pretty bad, too.

Well, that’s what we do in the “Good Job-bu” club, or the GJ Club for short. Its mission is known to none – that is, if it has one – and it inhabits a decently-sized room in a former building of the school. But today is different for this seemingly pointless gang of ladies: Shinomiya Kyouya is kidnapped forced to become a new member – and he’s a boy.

Paging Dr. Kyoro . . . Yeah, you know what’s up.

Each episode of GJ Club begins and ends in the club. Sooooo what is done in the club room stays in the club room. But there’s nothing sinister about it! There is no record of home life or how they act during class. Also, despite it being a harem, it’s neither romantic nor erotic in any sense, never going past that boundary of “what just happened?”

And that is exactly what makes GJ Club the ideal slice-of-life school anime.

They play wacky games, eat tons of meat snacks, read manga; the whole package. As for story . . . . Unless the moral was to enjoy time with friends before high school life is over then there is none. AND THAT’S OKAY. Funny and consistent with its environment, the anime is merely a lighthearted reenactment of our favorite anime tropes. Enjoyable because of the dumb stuff they do and their reactions to it all, but very average in story, characters, and even animation.

This anime doesn’t do anything to challenge the stereotypes. We’ve got the short tsundere club leader, Mao; the overly intelligent yet lacking-common-sense cool rich girl, Shion; the pink-haired airhead, Megumi; the girl who thinks she’s an animal, Kirara (yes, she is a foreigner); and the bratty little one that no one likes (Tamaki). There is also a plentiful batch of token little sisters for those who enjoy hearing “ONII-SAN” five-hundred goddamn times. Watching Megu struggle and obsess over her weight was unintentionally hilarious, though. Same with Kirara’s uncanny strength.

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Best shit in the entire series

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Modesty. The women folk love it.

I suppose the lead boy is a little more interesting, if only he actually developed throughout the series! Nicknamed “Kyoro,” he remains the only male in the club, not that his status as such matters. You see, he is constantly ridiculed as cute or feminine, regardless of that just being his innate politeness when it comes to dealing with women. The fact that he prefers shoujo manga over the more popular mecha and “boku” as his title rather than “ore” doesn’t help his case. To add insult to injury, however, he admits his talent of being able to deal with those of the feminine persuasion, which partially stems from the routinely brushing of his little sister’s hair. And how do the other girls react?

“Baka! Just brush it and get it over with – it’s not like I asked or anything!”

“Shinomiya-kun, would you be as courteous as to demonstrate on me? I am . . . curious.”

“YAY! Your brushing is so cute!” ~<3

*after taming a wild beast*Purrr purr, this is nice.”

“Hey, WATCH IT! It’s MY turn next!”

Me: *eternally bangs head on desk until it bleeds*

Commence: POWERFUL HAIR BRUSHING

The sparkling studio Doga Kobo did the animation for GJ Club, and though it’s nothing spectacular, it should be noted for its consistency and colorful, bright atmosphere – Specifically in the clubroom and the perky hair colors. The eyes take the signature “bubbly anime eye” to the extreme and I always found them weird to stare into. With this anime, however, atmosphere is more important, and I can rest in peace knowing the ideal clubroom was captured in brilliant light and warm tone. Leaving that room on the last episode was the hardest part.

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Hot as balls. It happens.

I honestly can’t recall the soundtrack for this anime, but it is not bad without a doubt. I shouldn’t stress something that didn’t stand out. So I won’t. The opening, “Mousou★Koukan Nikki” by Otome Shinto, is my favorite song from the series. Those first ten seconds of sass and choreography of the characters walking towards the clubroom was just awesome! It’s such a happy song!!

If I were to squeeze out a negative, it is that despite how quirky and fun they seem, characters like this will never exist in real life because they are so heavily rooted in these anime clichés. If you do manage to find a group of friends like this (and actually don’t find them annoying), then that’s great. But maybe that’s why this show appeals to me so much: GJ Club provides the after school family I always wanted, but probably will never have. It’s very sad to hear and take in, but hey, it is, after all, just an anime.

GJ Club is a slow anime – I dare say unexciting half the time – but that works in its favor. It draws out unusual comedy, never taking things to far, and milks those scenarios for all they are worth. If you just got finished with the new crazy shounen anime kids are raging about today, or the most depressing romance you’ve seen to date, and are wanting something to give you breath, do consider GJ Club. It’s silly, colorful, and very relaxing.

“There are two types of people in this world. Those who fan, and those who are fanned.” – Mao Amatsuka

+ Ideal slice-of-life school comedy with consistent direction and environment

+ Very relaxing anime to watch after something heavy; nice palate cleanser

– Does nothing to challenge the popular anime tropes

There we go! Had you even heard of this anime before I brought it up? Yes? “Good job-bu!!!” No? Well now you have a pleasant way to spend your afternoon. The entire series is available on Crunchyroll for FREE, yet sadly has not yet been licensed and released in the U.S. GJ Club can be found in the “Coffee” section of the cafe, but don’t let that discourage you from hitting it up. Did you enjoy the review? Let’s talk about it down below (feel free to hit like button to let me know)! Until next time, this has been

– Takuto, your host

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MASSIVE End of November Update 12/14/15

WAHOO! So I’ve kinda been absent for +2 weeks (not that anyone actually noticed my disappearance), and while I would apologize about it and regret life for the next month, I thought I’d celebrate my return instead. Hence,

WAHOO! I spent all of yesterday to catch up on everyone’s posts :), so now I’m ready to resume writing reviews. First and foremost, however, here is the list of excuses reasons I’ve been out of the blogging world, and hopefully these reasons will suffice:

  1. School (y’all can relate), Swim, and Music
    • ‘School’ of course is just school work, finals, exams, mini-quizzes from Satan, the usual. It’s also swim season (even though it’s an indoor sport, so all the time), so I am physically exhausted by that. I also reek 24/7 of that chlorine/pool water scent, which sucks. Lastly, music has been lurking in the background. If you remember that recital I mentioned forever ago, yeah, it’s over. I did pretty well if that means anything to you! But between concerts, contests, and auditions, I’m pretty drained.
  2. Shopping, Saving, YouTube, and Not Wanting to Write
    • Rightstuf.com basically puppets me around the sales this year, like guys, I’ve never spent this much money on anime and manga at one time. So after school, practices, and all other work is wrapped up for the day, I head on over to Righstuf.com and see what I can get my hands on, muahaha. All this spending and saving via the internet leads me to my next issue: YouTube – What was life like before it? Yeah. I can’t remember either. These are my time wasters of the day.
    • And by the time a long day of online shopping, video watching, and school concludes, I have NO energy nor creativity to write! I don’t know if you knew this, but I am not a writer by nature – I swim against the current to write posts. But I do this to get better, and hopefully you notice a slight improvement from day one.
  3. Free Crunchyroll Trial
    • When Crunchyroll offered their 30-day free trial + free Japan Crate, I hopped aboard as soon as possible. Turns out, however, that I was “unfortunately too late” and was downgraded to their standard 2-week free trial, even though I signed up during the event. Several email messages later, I finally received my Japan Crate code (thanks!) but they couldn’t do anything about the extra missing 2 weeks, which is why I really signed up. It would have lasted all of my winter break! But instead, it expired yesterday 😦 Now I am a hopeless pleb, abandoned by the Fractale System. Anyway, I bring this up because (thanks to my losing 2 weeks), I had to cram all of the watching I wanted to do. “Watch now, write later” mindset. If you had no advertisements, you’d know what’s at stake!

But because of that trial, I got A LOT of anime watched! Here’s what I recently finished:

Sound of the Sky – I actually finished this one beginning of November, but if you happened to miss my review, it’s right here (click me). Go read: I thought I did a good job, but it could really use some love . . .

Rokka: Braves of the Six Flowers – HOLY SHIT I didn’t even notices that this anime slipped by last season but it’s absolutely incredible! GO WATCH ROKKA NOW. Watch it before the spoilers destroy it for you. It is a fantasy action at first, but quickly turns into a mystery thriller when one too many heroes show up at the rendezvous point. One of them is a fake. Hopefully, a review will arrive to you soon!

Voices of a Distant Star – I’m not very good at reviewing movies, so see what you think for yourself by watching this 25-minute flick. Don’t let its short run time fool you, though. You’ll be surprised at the amount of emotion that can be conveyed in that short time. 25 minutes earlier, I was so happy . . . now my heart is distraught. Great watch!

GJ Club – After Rokka and all of the busyness around me, I really needed something to calm me down. GJ-bu did the trick alright! Take your average set of cute highschoolers and set the scene in a random afterschool club in the winter. BAM, relaxing AF. It wasn’t anything spectacular, but I didn’t need it to be. I’ll see if I can get a review out soon, but don’t be shocked if I don’t have much to say. :3

Akame ga Kill! – But happy-cub-time is over. I needed assassins, gore, betrayal, action – the whole package – and this anime delivered spectacularly! If you are for whatever reason unfamiliar with this over-hyped shounen, it’s basically a battle royale of assassins that clash in the shadows to overthrow their gone-to-sh*t corrupt capital. I know I’ll be talking about this one, so stay tuned!

So it was a pretty great time of anime-watching and attempting-to-relax for me. Hopefully now you’ll understand my absence. As for reading, shoot, SAO’s Fairy Dance is on hold now, but I want to finish it sometime this or next week.

But anyway guys, that’s what I’ve been up to these past few weeks. I’m back on the blogging trail, and I don’t plan to stop for the rest of this month! It’s been a lot of fun (and hard work) catching up, but it’s rewarding to get to speak with all of you wonderful people again!! Thanks for keeping the cafe warm while I was away 🙂 I also want to do a holiday haul(s) for those that are into that kind of stuff, just let me know in the comments! Expect hauls, reviews, and more sporadic conversations from me this December. Stay warm, and until next time, this has been

– Takuto, your host

PS: Does anyone else hate the new WordPress? It’s been like a month and I’m still not used to it. Why must we fix something that’s not broken? Just why?