What’s the show? Grand Blue Dreaming, Episode 1.
And what’s it about? It’s kind of like Amanchu mixed with Jersey Shore.
What? No, no, it’s kind of like… one of these 90’s teen sitcoms like Saved By The Bell, except there’s lots of drinking and also it’s an anime…
These references are all over the place… and how old are you again? Showing your age a bit aren’t you? Hmm, it’s kind of like…
—Okay, stop! How about instead of telling me what it’s like and drawing comparisons to things I (and probably others) haven’t seen, tell me what it’s actually about? It’s about a hard drinking, hard partying dive club at a University. Specifically the show is about Iori—coming back home after 10 years—to attend this university and the first episode is more or less naked Paper-Rock-Scissors tournaments, excessive drinking and other foolhardy shenanigans, you know everything but the diving!
“Naked Rock-Paper-Scissors”? Listen it’s better to just ~go~ with it and let the madness wash over you then try and make sense of it, the episode is like an American Pie-style frat house series of shenanigans, except it’s set in Japan so no-one gets hurt, also it’s surprisingly chaste—and that’s even including all the naked, muscular men.
I thought I said stop comparing it to things, also why all the naked? As they say in the show “why not”—though I do admit a modicum of disappointment that none of the women partake in the shenanigans.
Of course you do. So this is a comedy then? Yeah, and I was laughing pretty hard throughout if I’m honest—boy has this been a great season for comedies or what?! There’s a series of running gags about finding out what people are drinking by sticking a lighter to them that seemingly got funnier with each iteration of the gag! But there’s just such a fun, light-hearted, dare I say whimsical nature about this show—the way it plays up to exaggerated expressions as well as the comic timing of a lot of reactions is just spot-on!
So you’ve mentioned drinking a lot, I take it that’s a recurrent theme in this episode? For sure, and for those people out there who don’t like alcohol or find the kind of humour that comes from alcohol fuelled mayhem (albeit Japanese style, which is decidedly more palatable than the Australian style I’m used to) there’s probably not a lot else to recommend at this early stage. If you can’t get behind the drunken insanity than it’ll just be like being the sober man at a party—a lot of noise and nonsense and not much fun.
Did you want to talk about the characters or what potential you see for the plot in this show? Nah, not really. I mean aside from the protagonist, who is likeable and Kouhei—the unabashed otaku looking for a harem of high-school girls (relatable) the others haven’t had much development, plus there will be plenty of time for that in later episodes. This episode is just like the mixer, the trial-by-fire, the “initiations” before the school-year can proper begin and everything will settle down—either that or it’ll just be non-stop drunken madness and I’m kind of okay with that too!
So you recommend this show for party time drunks? Or just alcoholics like you? Haha. I was just meaning there’s a certain ~element~ to this comedy that’s either going to connect with people or fall-flat, though that’s the same with most comedy really. I’ve just been extremely lucky to connect with all the ones I decided to watch—or maybe I’m just a laugh slut, who knows!
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