Grand Blue is a Zero-G comedic anime from last year. I can’t speak to the quality of their work in general since I only found thirteen titles listed for them and haven’t seen any of them. It’s based off of a manga by Inoue Kenji. Well, I like a lot of slice of life comedies so this may be relevant to my interests. Let’s take a look.
Our protagonist is Kitahara Iori. A young man who moves into his Uncle’s place while attending college. Once there, he’s immediately marked by the diving club, which is made up largely of drunken morons who can’t keep their clothes on. They coerce him into joining, sensing a kindred spirit. The series basically covers Iori’s exploits and club activities.
Let’s start with the massive, gaping issue with the series. It isn’t funny. For the vast majority of it, we just watch these drunken idiots act like drunken idiots. It’s like watching that group you always avoided at University very closely and that’s just annoying. There’s a reason you avoid the intellectual shrimps who just want to party in a loud, obnoxious fashion. Another thing the series seems to find absolutely hilarious is giving the characters stupid looking, exaggerated features. Which kind of contributes to the generally annoying atmosphere. Then we have the humour that centres around Nanaka wanting to sex up her sister. It’s like the worst part of Yuru Yuri, except the rest of the humour is on par with it.
Actually, any time this series touches on the idea of romance it’s horrible in some way. Whether it’s Iori getting caught being pervy towards one of his cousins, the aforementioned sister complex, the group of incels or the bisexual fan-service girl.
Another big problem with the series as a whole is that the characters are all horrible. You pretty much hate 95% of them within minutes of them showing up and they don’t even have the defence of being well written characters. They’re very shallow. Unfortunately, they’re shallow in a way that makes them incredibly unbearable.
Now, I’m not saying you need characters who are amicable for a comedy to work. The BBC’s Black Adder serves as proof positive that you can have characters who are terrible people in a comedy and make it work really well. But that series has the benefit of clever writing and the writers made the titular character a charming rogue in every series save one. That factor, coupled with the cunning behind his actions does make him both interesting and funny. This series doesn’t have any cleverness or charm to speak of. Which just makes the awful characters a slog to deal with.
This is the one element where I can give the series some credit. The underwater scenes where we don’t have insipid dialogue, shite facial expressions or any garbage character interactions to deal with can look very nice. If this series were just the seven or eight minutes of underwater scenery, I could enjoy it somewhat.
Of course, it does have issues with really stupid looking facial expressions popping up constantly and the characters randomly taking off their clothes because Inoue apparently finds nudity to be the funniest thing of all time.
While Grand Blue does have some talented voice actors, it’s also one of those series where they aren’t allowed to have good performances. The dialogue is so over-exaggerated and the characters are so devoid of anything resembling complexity that it becomes nearly as annoying to listen to as it is to watch. The music is, at least, only sub-par.
We have Nanaka with her romantic feelings towards her own sister. We also have Azusa, who is openly bisexual. The series also loves to make jokes in poor taste about people mistaking Iori for having romantic feelings towards his otaku friend.
Areas of Improvement:
- Having clever jokes instead of loud, obnoxious unfunny ones.
- There is literally no benefit to the nudity, just have your characters keep their clothes on.
- Just say no to the incest. At best, it’s cringey and mildly unpleasant. At worst, it’s fecking terrible.
This is easily among the worst comedies I’ve ever seen. It tries to force humour out of being loud and obnoxious but, ultimately, all that does is make it loud and obnoxious. You hate the characters pretty much within minutes of them showing up. The actors are wasted since you could just replace their lines with a crying baby and it would only be mildly more annoying. Ultimately, it’s just an unpleasant, horribly written and devoid of humour work. I’m giving it a 2/10 and it only gets that high of a score because of the nice underwater scenery. If you really find drunken idiots charming, it may be the series for you. Otherwise, I’d suggest staying away from it.