It’s Luna again! Back at it with another first impressions. Now, I know that so far most of the reviews I’ve been doing are for shows that are rather action oriented, so I thought I should broaden my horizons—after all, this season of anime has so much more to offer. So with summer ending, I decided to dive into something a bit more comedic, which is why today we’re gonna be looking at Grand Blue.
First off, this first impression is a bit different than the rest. While most anime I watched a good four episodes before reviewing, this one I come at with only one episode of knowledge. Truly, this is my first impression of the show as a whole, and I’m going to start off by going ahead and saying it’s fantastic.
Grand Blue starts off with a simple premise (as most comedies do): main character moves in with his uncle and gets ready to start his new life in college that he expects to go so perfectly normal (so you know that it’s absolutely, 100% going to NOT). This premise is introduced to us in about the first minute or two of the anime in such a cliche way, that we’re already waiting to see what awaits him which starts with a cute girl and ends with a…um…well, that →
Our main character Iori (as pictured being chased) is immediately introduced into the surprisingly booze-filled, exhibitionist world of the Peek-a-Boo (aptly named) diving club. And who is responsible for said exhibitionism and alcoholism? Well, those two lovely men chasing dear Iori. Ryujiro and and Shinji are so open, so forceful, and so obnoxiously loud that they’re extremely hilarious onscreen. Their antics, while seemingly dumb or irrational to other, they take in due stride—completely normal, completely unashamed, and so…passionate? Yeah I’m going with passionate. They are extremely passionate in all they do, making them slightly eccentric as they earnestly welcome Iori with loads of alcohol and a fair amount of nudism.
Which speaking of nudism and alcohol—I think I’ve seen more of both in one episode than I have in all the rest of the shows out this season. Seriously, for an anime about diving, I’d say only a fraction of this first episode actually had to do with diving, and the rest was drunken/hungover/naked fun. And yeah, I know describing that, might make it sound like this anime isn’t that appealing or that funny—hell if someone told me what I just wrote, I’d probably pass on this anime, but y’know? All the alcohol and nudism is actually quite hilarious for no other reason than the fact that even when it’s expected, it manages to take the joke just that little bit further to hit all the right notes.
Take for example a scene in which Iori keeps being offered drinks that are alcoholic even when he asks for non-alcohol. By the second time this gag happens, you anticipate that it’s gonna be alcohol, but this reoccurring joke continues to be funny as they do this time and time again. Why? Because the characters (okay maybe just Iori and his otaku friend/rival Kohei) are just that trusting to fall for the same thing again. I think, In all honesty, it’s the sheer ridiculousness that makes this anime so much fun to watch. Because it’s ridiculous in a way that isn’t being outrageous, and it also does really well in its comedic execution. Instead of having Iori and the others be over-the-top all the time, they have the character grounded in other moments where they are reasonable characters. Reasonable meaning, normal—simple—some would say even idiotic. So when those comedic moments do hit, it’s not obnoxious but actually laughable. Or at least they have been so far this first episode.
Another thing that makes this particularly funny is that the character isn’t just surrounded by ridiculous circumstance, there comes a point where Iori, off-screen, embraces it as normal. Which only solidifies in the viewers heart that he belongs in the Peek-a-boo diving club.
So after all that, what am I really saying about Grand Blue? Well, there’s a lot of naked men. Lots of alcohol. Not a lot of diving, but an incredibly wonderful time to be had. A perfect summer comedy, I’d absolutely recommend watching it—and that’s coming from someone who doesn’t find a lot of comedy truly funny. I’m not sure it’s the best comedy I’ve seen, but I daresay it may be my favorite comedy of the season (despite other great ones I may or may not get the chance to review by end of season). Still, definitely recommend. Let me know what you think of it if you’ve seen it! I can’t wait to see how the rest of it’s season holds up.
First Impressions Rating – 8/10 glasses of Oolong Tea
P.S. I’ve watched more since watching this. There’s not a lot of diving.