12 Days of Anime #4: Gj-bu

Gj-bu End Window

In the final episode of Gj-Bu we are treated to a shot of Kyoya standing by a window with a sunset in the background.

The shot is pristine and wonderful. The setting sun basks everything in a warm yellow glow and the lonely silhouette captures the loneliness that comes before a goodbye. Perhaps just as important as the lighting and the framing is the expression on Kyoya’s face.

It is a rather complex smile Kyoya is wearing. It is a sad, somewhat confused smile. He is confused because Mao didn’t have a one to one session with him like the other two did. He is sad because of the upcoming goodbye.

He knows he needs to organize a farewell party but he hasn’t quite accepted the farewell. It is hard to say goodbye to people you have spent time with every day for the past year.

And yet, I’d like to think that there is a bit of happiness in that smile. Kyoya understands that he has had fun this entire time. As we see later on in the episode, he not only understands what it means to be in the Gj-club but he also promises to carry on the Gj club spirit.

While this shot doesn’t capture the great sense of humor nor the great underlying sexual tension, it is  a shot that captures the essence of this anime.

Gj-bu is an anime full of warmth and heart and no where is this more apparent than the way characters interact with one another.

The characters were strange. They pulled light pranks on one another, lightly mocked one another and most importantly, they toyed with Kyoya. And yet, all of their interactions from simple things like pouring tea to saying goodbye carried hints of affection.

It is hard to describe what I am getting at but I guess the best way to describe it would be to claim that that they were comfortable in the company of one another.

Nothing in the club felt awkward. There were few if any repressed feelings and any conflict that arose got solved quickly. You’d think that would get boring but it never did. The characters may have been comfortable but irrespective of their comfort (or perhaps because of it), they were still able to have lots of fun with one another.

And by fun, I mean stuff like biting one another, combing each others hair (BEST THING) or transforming into an exceptionally manly figure (OREMAN). There was never a dull moment.

Week after week, Gj-bu impressed me with how consistently high quality it was. It was a simple show but do not take simple to mean dumb. It impressed me with its warmth and heart. It was a show filled with love.

Going back to that shot. Of course Kyoya is going to be somewhat sad. Loosing his seniors is going to leave a hole in his day to day club life. But, fortunately, the fun he had in the club room isn’t over because he is neither alone nor unloved.

[Anime-Koi] GJ-bu - 12 END [h264-720p][F555FF40].mkv_snapshot_12.43_[2013.03.31_14.31.14]

Post-Script

It is hard, really hard to talk about Gj-bu. I spent a lot longer on this post than I should have and it is a pretty short post. I didn’t want to cover any specific moments or characters per say because I already covered a good chunk in my season thoughts.

So yeah, I kind of already talked about that sunset scene but I wanted to revisit it and more importantly, I wanted to revisit this anime.

I am very, very sorry this post is a day late. I have no real excuse either. Yesterday after work, I got hooked on a manga (this one) and I was up till 1 reading it. I wanted to make up for it and publish two posts today but:

  • This post took a while
  • I have to get up for work in the morning…

I am hoping I can fix this mess by tomorrow but if not by then, then sometime this weekend.

GJ-bu - 07 OreMan

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  1. #1 by Highway on December 19, 2013 - 8:42 pm

    GJ-bu was so great. It was a show that wrapped up so many emotions into so little bandwidth. It was so understated most of the time that the entirely ordinary antics of Mao seemed like someone who was almost completely out of control at times, but she wasn’t, she was just more up than the rest of the crew.

    I also said about all I can say about the show in that previous post’s comments, but I’ll add here that it hasn’t diminished a bit. The hairbrushing scenes are some of the most understatedly erotic and exciting scenes I’ve watched. They make me wish *so much* that you were there instead of either one of the characters. It made me remember fondly my teen years, those encounters with girls at parties and hangouts that were so similar to GJ-bu: exploring the opposite gender, flirting, light touching, banter, dares, confessions, finding limits, testing approaches. All part of learning to be a person.

    • #2 by Reiseng on December 20, 2013 - 1:28 am

      Glad to hear that it hasn’t diminished. I will need to rewatch it someday.🙂

      I really wish my highschool life had involved a club or like in Gj-bu. It seems like such a fun place to be.

      • #3 by Highway on December 20, 2013 - 1:37 am

        Club life in anime (and Japanese schools) is something that I think the North American paradigm misses out on. There are a lot of reasons why, but I think it’s something that would be a benefit if clubs were expanded. But then, I have a lot of problems with the way North American (and heck, Japanese) schools are as well. Elements from both would be improvements.

    • #4 by Reiseng on December 20, 2013 - 2:35 am

      Yeah, Japanese high schools are too difficult and harsh. American/Canadian schools lack school spirit.

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