GJ-bu - Complete Review

GJ-Club: Watch as a Man's Life Peaks in Highschool

Posted by: Shere @ 2014-04-24 17:34:36

It's incredibly easy to describe GJ-bu with one word and encapsulate the whole of its being: Endearing.

There is no plot to be found, there's scarcely even a setup, but what you get in lieu of that makes up for it in spades. Our hapless protagonist finds himself searching for a club at high school. He nearly literally stumbles into one called the GJ-club (short for Good Job Club, of course). They don't do anything, they're just a club comprised of 4 female members that hang out in their own private room at school. That's it, there's your plot. What follows is 11 episodes of sweet nothings, nearly non-existent romantic subtext, and just good natured fun.

Look, if I were to sit here and talk about how developed or not the characters were or weren't it would give the wrong impression about what type of show you're getting here. If you're concerned with things like that, this largely isn't made for you. You might enjoy it all the same, but you're going to have to set aside your critical viewer persona and just go with what's being presented as it is.

As an animated production, it does everything it needs to. The studio is Dogakobo, whom you've likely never heard of. They were largely and most recently known for their work on the Yuru Yuri series, and scarcely little else. They make excellent use of the one-room setting of the show and do a fair bit of perspective work to keep things interesting. There's nothing outright impressive going on behind the scenes here, but it's adequate and never detracts from the show in any way.

On the audio side of things, you'll notice that the opening is horrendous, and the endings are adorable. One thing of interest to note: The vast majority of the voice actresses in this show are either new or new to leading roles. The protagonist, Kyoro, is veteran voice actor Hiro Shimono (Had leading roles in Ef, Kannagi, and more recently The World God Only Knows), but beyond that the talent is rather raw and things are all the more endearing for it, strangely enough.

Things it does very right:
- No recurring gag recurs too often
- Keeps the quantity and content of fanservice to tasteful, acceptable levels.
- It's actually funny without trying so hard to be so.

Things it gets a bit wrong:
- The romantic subtext is thin as a mint, but it's largely evident that the show suffers from a mild case of harem-itis.
- Character bloat. It becomes evident about halfway through that they may have had trouble writing for only the main cast, and as a result they start just throwing more characters on top that add little of value to the show as a whole
- It ends after only a single cour.
- It ends at all.

From head to toe, top to bottom, and all throughout, GJ-bu is adorable. It's not merely cute, it's transcended that by a fair bit. It falls into the same pattern these things are want to do, but without falling into the same traps that many of them can't avoid. It's imperfect, it's not going to be anyone's favorite show of all time, but I will approve it as well worth your time to watch. It's cathartic, relaxing, funny, and cute. It's endearing.