Kono Bijutsubu ni wa Mondai ga Aru! – 02

Yup, this one’s a keeper.

Kono Bijutsubu - 02 -1Kono Bijutsubu ni wa Mondai ga Aru! is totally channeling vintage Gainax, which I won’t deny gives it a big leg up in my book.  There was an explosion in Gainax nostalgia for a couple of seasons not long ago, with many shows trying to catch that lightning in a bottle – some a lot more successfully than others – but it’s decidedly cooled down in the past year or so.  As a forever fan of something that’s gone forever, I’m favorably disposed towards a series that understands the vibe well enough to capture a piece of it – and Kono Bijutsubu certainly does.

Kono Bijutsubu - 02 -2Ultimately though, this series is a comedy, and nothing really matters unless it’s funny and it entertains.  And Kono Bijutsubu is indeed funny, often very funny.  It looks great too (certainly the best animation and background detail of any feel. series in my view), and veteran comedy director Oikawa Kei shows off his confidence in the way he lets the humor play itself out without rushing or forcing it.  Again, I like it when a series takes advantage of a middle-school setting because there’s enormous potential there (just as there is with college settings) but too often series simply have middle schoolers act like miniature high schoolers (and perhaps part of the issue is that anime high schoolers act too much like jumbo middle schoolers).

Kono Bijutsubu - 02 -3Kono Bijutsubu is not a sweetness-first sort of comedy.  It’s somewhat ecchi and quite edgy, to good effect.  The characters are genuinely likeable but they’re all weird in their own ways, and they can be rather cruel to each other (usually but not always unknowingly, as middle schoolers often are).  I would call this show a character-driven situation comedy, because it’s the quirks of the characters that drive the situations which produce the humor.  Mizuki is hopelessly in love with Subaru in a very classic middle-school way, and he’s thoroughly devoted to his own fantasies.  In a sense she’s every bit as chuunibyou as he is, a romance otaku – but that’s quite a believable state of existence for a girl in the eighth grade.

Kono Bijutsubu - 02 -4The three skits in this episode showed off the various comic faces of Kono Bijutsubu quite well, starting with the one where the Kaichou faked his own death rather than admit he’d ruined Usami’s painting (in the end, it must be said, she took it rather well – much better than the unfortunate conclusion of her princess carry).  The punchline here, of course, is Uchimaki-kun’s school swimsuit waifu taking 2nd place in the district art competition.

Kono Bijutsubu - 02 -5After that things got a little more serious, as Usami revealed to her friend during a sleepover how she’d come to fall for Uchimaki.  This flashback didn’t just show off Uchimaki’s calm under pressure and decent nature – it also introduced the mysterious Collette (Uesaka Sumire) who was a mere sixth-grader at the time she met the seventh-grade Subaru and Mizuki.  Subaru’s quick thinking in drawing the lost girl’s mother not only saved the day, but displayed a rather astonishing natural gift that the series has already hinted at.

Kono Bijutsubu - 02 -6Finally, we got a nightmare scenario for Usami – Uchimaki receives a love letter in his shoebox. The funniest part of this sequence for me is the President haplessly trying to clue Uchimaki in to what’s really going on with Usami, but there’s a lot of fodder here for the shippers.  I suspect the girl who went where Mizuki didn’t dare go is going to be a returning cast member, especially as it was her sister that mistakenly thought (as did Mizuki) that “Lolimaki” was ogling her on the street (in reality, it was the chara strap on her Randoseru).  As silly as this non-couple is, I like them both as comic foils for each other and as prospective partners – their relationship has real comic charm, but then that could be said for Kono Bijutsubu on the whole too.



  1. I agree this show is good ! I want to add the casting choices are like amazing

    Mizuki Usami / Ari Ozawa

    The first two roles are perfect for this Usami is like the lovelorn Chiyo then Wakaba as being naive sometimes Then being feisty like Kurumi / Just perfect

    Gekkan Shojo Nozaki-kun as Chiyo Sakura
    Wakaba Girl as Wakaba Kohashi
    School-Live! as Kurumi Ebisuzawa

    Next up Colette / Sumire Uesaka I did a fast forum post last night before a more in depth and I said Colette reminded me of Sanae Dekomori / Love, Chunibyo & Other Delusions like you I check out the VA’s and to my shock Sumire did Sanae also . I thought because of the hair and the zany antics so far .I guess you watch enough anime you ge a feel for similiar traits

    Next Subaru Uchimaki / Yusuke Kobayashi ( Also Subaru RE: Zero) That is like what are the odds of that But he is als Arslan ( 3 anime in one season wow! )

    Now I never heard of Studio Feel but really they have a knack for this type of comedy

    Mayo Chiki!
    Listen to Me, Girls. I Am Your Father!
    Minami-ke: Omatase
    Minami-ke: Tadaima
    Minami-ke: Natsuyasumi
    Outbreak Company
    Suzakinishi the Animation
    Dagashi Kashi
    Please Tell Me! Galko-chan

    Give Director: Kei Oikawa and Episode Director credit ! Experience is important

    All the pieces fit well.

  2. s

    i dont know about this show being feel’s most technically superior show since they also showed what they were capable of with oregairu. I will say that there are certain elements of their digital composition skills demonstrated here that shows that their animation techniques have improved from the past shows.

  3. I like the facial expressions here much better than Oregairu Season 2, the faces over there looked unnatural to me.

  4. s

    the facial expressions here are a bit more expressive and cartoony than they were in oregairu but that’s a factor of character designs; they’re much more simpler in this series. Not saying oregairu’s character designs are super intricate or anything but just remember that the more simplified character designs are, the easier they are to animate. Besides, the facial expressions were toned down to fit the tone of that series.

  5. s

    plus i wouldnt use the word unnatural. Either way, i think konobiju is a good looking series that shows that feel as animation studio is only getting better.

  6. The character designs are generic(unlike in season 1) but I wasn’t talking about that, more like how the scene with Hachiman crying looked weird and the girls having that weird mouth half open smiling expression. It looks unnatural to me, but I understand how that differs from person to person.

  7. s

    There is much more detail in the character designs in season 2 than in season 1; that’s what im referring to when im talking about the character designs, not the art design itself, which decided to neglect the LN designs of season 1, which i dont think translated properly in season 1, but that was more of a production issue.. But yea, i realized you were referring to things like the hachiman crying scene which has less to do with weird facial expressions more than that being hachiman’s personal crying face. If that bothered you, that’s fine, because he’s supposed to have a weird crying face; Yui didnt have an unnatural crying face when she shed tears. Unless you can site other unnatural expressions, i cant really see your point. Maybe it the slight implementation of cgi mixed with traditional animation whenever the animation quality went up that irked you?? As for your comment about the girls having a half open mouth smiling face……i dont know what your trying to critique exactly. The half open mouth smiling face has proliferated the anime scene for the past decade so i dont get that complaint. But like you said, i guess it differs from people to people.

  8. I’m fine with the CGI, and I’m aware that the half open mouth smiling face is common. I just think that the smiles(and art generally) in this series look better, but Oregairu Season 2 still looks pretty great all things considered(unlike the new Berserk series unfortunately…)

  9. s

    Well again i do think the digital composition is a bit better in konobiju than oregairu (plus the sunset scenes look pretty nice); but shot composition and visual directing-wise, i gotta give it to oregairu. If i had to make a final judgement, I would say that konobiju looks nicer on a superficial level, but oregairu edges it out on craftsmanship level, if that makes any sense. And yea, berserk 2016 aint winning any awards for visuals (well, probably a razzie) anytime soon. For an anime to be released in 2016 and be that unpolished is unacceptable; but it is berserk and the content still holds up even with the visuals and the average directing behind it.

  10. J

    I don’t get the Gainax thing – not trying to be insulting or anything but I can’t think of any Gainax show that this is overtly similar to, and I’ve seen most of their catalogue. Is it just a general ‘vibe’, something that’s hard to explain? I see you bring up the Gainax thing quite a bit and it always kind of puzzles me.

  11. F

    That’s what I wondered last week.

  12. F

    I liked this ep better than the first because the (unintentional or not ) cruelness of Uchimaki towards Usami is downplayed a bit. In the premiere I found Uchimaki obnoxious because of his blindness to the situation around him but this ep was a step in the good direction as we get a glimpse that Usami’s shyness and unwillingness to confess her feelings also play into the status quo as well.

  13. r

    Ah, so it’s the same studio that made one of the seasons of Oregairu. Now I understand why the heck was Totsuka one of Uchimaki’s waifu paintings… I swear, if I’d been drinking anything, I would have made a spit-take for sure.
    Plus that scene where the Club president stands up and splashes red paint on Usami, while the later keeps her expression inaltered. I completely lost it there. This humor reminds me of Nozaki-kun.

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