I’m throwing my hat into Yomu’s This Art Club Has A Problem collab! The project is really fun, so if you haven’t seen their post, please check it out. It’s a really neat idea and I’m super excited to be a part of it. Maybe join us in the blog-along of this series!
The theme I picked for episode one is “Sometimes It’s The Little Things In Anime,” which Yomu listed as a core theme for the series. I haven’t seen any other episodes just yet, so I don’t know if I’ll write about this for each post, but it does feel like a great place to start. There were A LOT of small details throughout this first episode that were really endearing. I realized as I started to write about the episode that these little things were actually what I appreciated most.
I honestly expected this to be an extremely basic looking comedy anime series, complete with painfully average animation and character designs. Sometimes I forget that comedies can be just as cinematic and gorgeous as a drama, but thankfully This Art Club Has A Problem reminded me. Like, for one, look at how PRETTY these sunset shots are! Look at those sunbeams! The sunset color palettes were beautiful, but the addition of those sunbeams really took the cake.
The symbolism of the walk signal was something I picked up on during the scene on the bridge at sunset, as well. There’s a lull while Subaru teases Mizuki, and Mizuki contemplates coming clean about her feelings for Subaru. The signal is red while they stand awkwardly, and then turns green right before the scene cuts away from the bridge and Mizuki begins to talk. The scenery itself is gorgeous – again, much prettier than I expected this anime to be – but that brief little change of the sign really drove home that there was, in fact, quite a bit of time and effort going into to this series’ visuals and its pacing.
The directing in general is really impressive. The series is directed by Kei Oikawa, who directed Uma Musume, aka the gay horse girl anime. In particular, I was impressed by the way characters’ personalities shine even when the camera isn’t trained on them. A perfect example of this is when Subaru is teasing Mizuki. We can’t see her facial expressions because it’s an over-the-shoulder shot focused on Subaru, but cleverly timed animations of her hair waving and shaky hands shows us her reactions. It’s a subtle little trick, but it really impressed me.
Speaking of subtle background tricks, HELLO? There’s a girl in the locker? I absolutely loved that this is never addressed and that the episode just continues, leaving you to wonder what the fuck is going on there. That’s another sign of a good director – the balls to have a character hiding in the background in a blink-and-you-miss-it introduction.
The characters are all very distinct from one another, which is a relief because I’ve seen PLENTY of high school comedy anime series where the dudes are borderline indistinguishable from each other. Instead of a bunch of boring guys with the same face swapped on to different hair styles, the fellas in this series actually have defining features. I particularly like the club president’s look – that sloppy mullet looking hairdo tells you a lot about his character from the get-go. I greatly appreciated the mullet.
Subaru’s shirt was also very endearing to me. Star! It’s true, he is a star. Subaru is definitely my favorite so far. I’m digging his horny geeky punk attitude.
MOST IMPORTANTLY, we have Mizuki’s beautiful bunny clip. I took so many screenshots to showcase this clip. It’s such a nice touch to her character design. I kept expecting the bunny’s facial expressions to change with her emotions. I really hope that happens at some point in the anime. I keep unintentionally fixating on it, so I will be READY if it happens.
Another thing I got a kick out of was this funky statue. It’s just so funny to me that this realistic, heavily detailed and shaded bust is just…there. Who made it? Mizuki? I know Subaru couldn’t have made it, because it’s 3D and also a dude. Maybe the club president made it and it exhausted him so much that now he’s resigned to take naps on the couch forever? Also, since these guys are anime characters themselves, do they register that this statue looks like a real person, or does this look like a cartoon to them? Who knows, but either way, I love this statue.
A few more quick things that made me smile:
Overall, episode one was a pleasant surprise. It wasn’t perfect, and it admittedly felt a bit off somehow for an introduction episode, but there were enough glimmers of quality shining through to make me look forward to the next episode. This is a series I had completely overlooked, and something that I certainly would not have thought to watch on my own. This collaboration is not only a really fun way of having everyone watch a show together, but it also let me discover something that already looks like it could qualify as a hidden gem. So thank you, Yomu, for picking this one and making this collaboration! I’m looking forward to watching more episodes and looking for more little things to gush about.
And again, if you’re reading this, check out the original post for the tag. It’s not too late to join in on the collab fun!