GJ-Bu might appear to be a stock standard slice-of-life series in the vein of “Lucky Star” or similar titles, but a closer look shows a series that rises above mediocrity thanks to likable characters and clever dialogue. GJ-Bu is not perfect, but it doesn’t want to be. It doesn’t take many risks, yet finds quality in a well thought-out peek into the lives of a handful of high-school students. It’s real enough to be enjoyable, yet funny enough not to take itself too seriously. While GJ-Bu will not appeal to everyone, the style of humor is fairly accessible and it’s hard not to be absorbed by the natural and often hilarious atmosphere the show provides.
Our main character is Kyolo, a polite and friendly individual who finds himself stuck with a group of pretty eccentric girls in the Good-Job club. The firey-haired and firey-tempered Mao is the club president (and shortest member). She can be a little bossy but also has a funny, immature side to her. Her older sister is Megumi, who is perhaps the most calming presence in the club. Pink-haired and polite, Megu has a heart of gold and almost never gets stirred-up even when things get a little chaotic. The purple-haired Shion is the club’s resident genius, yet somehow manages to lack a solid amount of common sense when it comes to things that aren’t… chess. Finally there’s Kirara, who is almost as much cat as she is girl, and easily the tallest of the group. The Gj-club also sees a new green-haired addition (Tama) further down the track but it’s more fun to watch her integration to the club than to read about it, so I’ll leave that one for you to discover.
There is no deep, over-arching plot to be found in GJ-Bu. Instead, the viewer is presented with a lively cast and shown their day-to-day activities in their school clubroom. On the surface GJ-Bu might look like a harem and technically the character ratio indicates as such, although it plays out very differently. There is some drama, but it’s pretty much all non-romantic. Of course there is some teasing involved but the tone of the show remains light-hearted throughout. It’s the interactions, idiosyncracies and imperfections of the cast that give GJ-Bu its charm, and are also the keys to its success. Every character is flawed, and while they all get along well, it’s Mao’s boredem or impatience that can lead to the funniest scenes – often at the expense of the long-suffering Kyolo. Although Kyolo is usually on the recieving end of these pranks and schemes, it’s not uncommon for the tables to turn upon the girls though as a result of their inward-thinking. In one episode they even go as far as putting a dress on Kyolo… only to feel bitter when they all agree that he looks cuter than them as a girl anyway.
It’s surprising and quite impressive how many funny moments come out of the clubroom seeing as it’s certainly not a huge space and provides the main setting of GJ-Bu. The style of comedy can be described as formulaic, although it’s not predictable and there’s plenty of variety as the series unfolds. More characters show up over the course of the show to keep things interesting. Various younger sisters of the main cast are introduced one-by-one, and a new club member shows up halfway through the season to keep things from becoming stale. This kind of pacing is of great benefit to the show, and allows the show to expand without straying too far from its style of comedy. The artwork and OST of GJ-bu are nothing spectacular but are of good quality all the same. Background music plays an important role in setting up the overall warmth and flavour of the show and does so just fine. A catchy OP+ED are a bonus, too.
In summary GJ-Bu is a light-hearted and fun experience from start to finish thanks to its awesome characters and the unique traits they possess. GJ-Bu is by no means groundbreaking but comfortably achieves what it set out to be. The style of comedy it presents will probably click with the viewer early on – but it will fall short for some and that’s perfectly ok. GJ-Bu is not for everyone. Some will not warm to the characters and some will simply find it repetitive despite the way its pacing makes a good case for ratifying this. However, SoL lovers will find plenty to like here, and those who are new to the genre could well appreciate its accessibility and the nearly undeniable charm of the characters.
+Fun, likable characters
+Laid back, natural feel