Grand Blue (Summer 2018) – The Sea Is Calling Us

Genre: Comedy, Seinen, Slice of Life
Director: Shinji Takamatsu
Writer: Shinji Takamatsu

“Grand Blue” is a slice of life comedy anime with lots of stereotypical humor and adult jokes. It starts with Iori Kitahara. He is a new student who began his college life at Izu University. He lives in a residence in a diving club called Grand Blue. His adventure from here begins. As it is full of many things on his way, he started his freshman life with issues of things. There is no other way that this show maintains a lot of chaos in it. He has lots of other connections with other characters. Initially, he did not want to join into that strange club filled with often-naked students. Next, he meets Chisa Kotegawa, his cousin, Nanaka, Kouhei, Aina, Shinji, and Ryuujirou.

Among the Grand Blue club, men are the main focus of the jokes. The male cast really loves to drink rather than like diving. Not that they don’t like diving as well. However, they only prefer to whatever they enjoy. Like what the show explained from the beginning, this show full of adult jokes even tells you not to watch this show while drunk. Iori, the main character, has a lack of common sense when he meets those insane people. Initially, he saw them at strange and crazy habits they often naked. Then, his life went in the opposite direction after he was forced to join the club. Even so, he also wanted to join because of his cousin’s wishes.

After meeting Kouhei, this misdirected adventure began. “Grand Blue” uses humor about the adults stereotypical or rather college student. Stereotypically, they really like drinking, hanging out, and partying. The humor, in addition, acts as adult humor with some nudity or perverted jokes. The exaggerated expression from its characters makes it look similar to “Prison School”. The difference is, this show acts like mixing between what’s the show introduction like for example a diving club. Besides diving, there is also little knowledge about it. The most focused one is just adult humor. This show is a laughing-out-of-loud type where you just realized what this “Grand Blue” is. It’s not about diving but it’s about less society with adult jokes.

The main female cast consists of “normal” people at first glance. The main heroine, Chisa, is, I think, the most normal character among all; including all female characters. She likes diving and she takes it seriously when it comes to that. She did not care about Iori when she first met after never meeting again. But, she is the only real character because she misses her childhood with Iori. On the other hand, she also wants Iori to join the diving club and wants to introduce everything about diving. In the end, this is not a romance anime.

There is Nanaka who act as an older sister type of Chisa. At first, she was a normal character. However, her abnormal obsession with Chisa was what made her not a normal character. Sometimes, you can also call it normal and on the other hand, it doesn’t work according to the fact, including for Iori as well. I mean, it’s sarcasm of humor to say at least. There is Azusa who has the same quirky habits just like all the men in the club. Apart from her strange sexuality, he really likes to play sexual jokes, especially to Iori. There is Aina where she plays two personalities. At first glance, she was weird and indeed from the beginning too. But, she is another type of character you cannot trust other than she is also the most normal. It’s not aware of being in the “weird” category.

The way the show plays with humor, they always focused on the chemistry between the two characters. Like for example between Iori and Kouhei who always designed various absurd plans but were counterattacked by karma. They always adhere to strange problems surrounding women, especially the female characters. They play nasty humor and humor about drinking such as mixing vodka, beer, whiskey, and alcohol together. In the end, they went naked too and I want to mention that the black censored circles are so funny, self-aware, and an absurd sarcastic new level.

“Grand Blue” uses a gimmick in an excessive way. This show knows how to execute its humor and they know what their intentions are for this show. The running gag, the misunderstanding of humor, the nudity, very similar to “Prison School”. Both shows know exactly who they were and they know how to over-present it. There are moments where you can learn about the sea, enjoy the beauty of Blue-Planet vibe, natural landscape, or about diving too. But, it’s not a slice of life relaxing type show. It’s far from it and it’s a pure comedy show.

Zero-G worked on a lot of project past. There is “Tsugumomo”, “Battery”, “DIVE!!”, and “The Scales of Nil Admirari”. For winter season this year, we got “My Roommate is a Cat”. They succeeded in capturing a beauty from this show. This anime does not emphasize over-the-top or anything. But, there is a frame when the show shows the beauty of the sea like the aquarium scene. The characters are real and exaggerated when it comes to their expression. It was all about them in such an extreme way. The show managed to do it. The voice acting is really great with so many talented voice casts. The opening theme is fit and the ending theme? I mean, yeah. It’s a karaoke segment wrapped by sarcastic again.

I’m not really a fan of the manga adaptation by Kenji Inoue. But, “Grand Blue” emphasizes excessive humor with real gimmicks and quite sarcastic with self-explanatory way. Besides this is about diving, it’s not like that. It sucks you onto its theme. Character humor, adult humor, drinking, it’s a summer theme of what anime wants itself. Don’t forget to watch this show in a normal circumstance. Don’t drunk while watching.