• Titles: Grand Blue
  • Genre: Comedy, Slice of Life, Sports(?)
  • Episodes: 12
  • Studio: Zero-G

Iori hasn’t seen his cousins in years. After all, they live by the ocean and helo their dada run a diving rental. It’s not easy to just hop in after school. But now that Iori is finally in college and manage to get accepted at a school in Izu, he can once again have fun with his family. And maybe, he could pick up a new hobby, or two. He is a college man now, it’s time for the best years of his life to begin. All he needs is to stay out of trouble, charm a beautiful girl into becoming his girlfriend and strengthen his familial bonds by, for instance, learning to dive along with his cousins. Too bad that Iori isn’t always all that smart, kind of a jerk and deadly afraid of water. But you can’t let the little things stop you. Iori is going to have the best college career possible, no matter how rocky the start may be!

I keep forgetting I have prime. I should probably cancel it. The Canadian library is pretty sad and I end up using it maybe once every other year. This said last time I watched anything on prime I think it was Land of the Lustrous and I enjoyed that show enough to justify the subscription for over a year. Will Grand Blue do the same?

a sweet show about shy boys

Production

You know how sometimes you can kind of tell that a show was done on a budget. It looks fine for the most part, you can’t point to a screenshot and say, look how awful this is, but there’s this general downgrade in image quality throughout. Grand Blue dreaming is that type of show. It looks fine. The character models are fine and some of the backgrounds can be downright pretty but it also just looks a bit…discounted.

Like the colours are vibrant and all, but they’re also very flat. Little to no shadow work, no gradients, just flat colour that makes the image that much more noticeably 2D. Those character models also lose integrity pretty quickly even though the animation is fairly minimal. Oh, and there’s not that much animation. That whole thing. When you’ve watched enough anime, you start to recognize it at a glance.

…sensitive boys

But that’s not what people are going to remember about Grand Blue Dreaming. They are going to remember those super-deformed faces. Every episode has the characters pulling grotesque, exaggerated expressions for laughs and the visual impact is unmistakable. I think it works. Despite everything I’ve said, at the end of the day I’m more likely to qualify the production as playful than cheap although it’s both.

Also, the ED is sung by the cast at Kareoke. I thought that was pure genius. It’s a very fun way to end every episode. If they had varied the songs a bit, I think it would have become one of my top ED of all time. Even as it is, I consider it very fun.

kind boys!

Story & Characters

Grand Blue Dreaming is one of the rare anime I have watched that has a PSA disclaimer before every episode because of the heavy use of alcohol. Heck, even I found it excessive. You know how I out the genre as Sports? rather than the usual Sports!. That’s because the characters really don’t spend much time diving over the course of the season. For a long time, I wondered if the Sport in question might actually be drinking since they do that a heck of a lot more.

Now I don’t think most people have the same issues with drinking as with fanservice for instance. Not sure why. There is a bit of fanservice as well by the way, surprisingly not that much though. I guess a few viewers could be turned off by the series because of the drinking but I want to stress that it doesn’t exactly glorify alcohol. The show is so dumb, to begin with (more on that later) that I don’t think any viewer could walk away thinking that anything in it was an endorsement. And the series regularly shows how drinking is a terrible idea you end up paying for in all sorts of ways. But then the characters go right back to binging!

In my notes, I wrote down that Grand Blue Dreaming is like an anime version of Animal House or maybe the American Pie series. It says something about the society I live in that I could write that down with confidence having never seen any of those movies. What I was getting at is that Grand Blue Dreaming is one of those slightly sexy and very dumb teenage comedies. It also happens to be the show that is best reviewed by the people I follow on Anilist with a few of them giving it a perfect score.

a show full of little angels!

Grand Blue is pure comedy. Maybe some things in this post may have lead you to believe that there are more serious or dramatic aspects but no. It’s a nonstop slapstick, jokefest about terrible people making terrible decisions. It’s low-brow, crass and dumb*…. in a smart way?

Do you guys know that Dolly Parton quote “honey, it takes a whole lot of money to look this cheap?”. Well I,m not going to go as far as to say it takes a whole lot of brains to write a show as dumb as Grand Blue but it does take talent.

First of all, Grand Blue Dreaming is dumb, not stupid. It’s about occasionally very stupid people making stupid decisions and the jokes can be particularly low-hanging fruit. But the show is nevertheless well written and fantastically paced. It dumb in question is doled out and presented in a way that never annoyed me, instead consistently entertaining me and making me laugh. And from the looks of those ratings, I’m not the only one that felt that way.

Fact is, it was also one of the funniest shows I have watched in a while and I looked forward to watching more every time.

a respectful show that pays homage to its predecessors

Noturally, this won’t be for everyone. It’s immature and a lot of the humour is very repetitive. I wasn’t exaggerating when I said it was about terrible people either. I know for a fact that I have readers who would not at all be into this type of series. However, there are a lot of people who also enjoy once in a while finding a show they can openly laugh at and not think too hard about. One that will just give them easy humour and a lot of visual jokes without bringing the mood down. A dumb, silly show with occasional ladies in bikinis that’s not trying to be anything else.

For those times, I think there are very few animes better than Grand Blue Dreaming. Admittedly, I haven’t watched that many in the genre at all but you know it’s a show that manages to be all the things I mentioned above without doing it at the expense of anyone. It’s not misogynic, it doesn’t make fun of foreigners, occasionally they jab a few jokes at otaku but sort of equally to everyone else so it doesn’t feel like the show looks down on them either. In a twisted way, Grand Blue Dreaming was kind of wholesome and I enjoyed that thoroughly.

I can just imagine someone picking up the series thinking it was going to be wholesome and just leaving me a dozen hate comments. Look it’s wholesome in a way that includes a lot of young men getting drunk and running around naked all the time. We need a new word for that.

such a loving friendship

You might like this anime if:

You want a silly show to laugh at and enjoy some lowbrow fun

My favourite character:

Well, they all kind of suck. I guess I at least identify with Kouhei a bit. Oh and I thought Azusa was super fun. Those two are my favourite.

Suggested drink:

a Grand Blue

  • Every time a character drinks  – reflect on your life choices
  • Every time Bukki is naked – get a blanky
  • Every time Chisa’s angry – duck
  • Every time Iori get’s valled a pervert – agree
  • Every time Kohei has a poney tail – get the hair out of your face
  • Every time anyone gets sick – be grateful you’re not hung over!
  • Every time Iori and Kohei fight – calm down guys!
  • Every time Iori does something because he might get/meet girls – call him a pervert
  • Every time anyone goes diving – clap!
  • Every time Iori says something impressively stupid – shake your head
  • Every time anyone is a “scumbag” – remeber that not everyone is a scumbag
  • Every time the boys call cakey by her acual name – congratulations!
  • Every time the club needs money  – nod in understanding
  • Every time the guys end up sleeping together – stretch

I save all my screencaps on my Pinterest and you can find more there if you are interested. But I still like to show you a few in the post. If you’re like me, screencaps are something that really helps you decide to watch an anime or not.

5 thoughts

  1. Amazon Prime Videos annoys the shit out of me because I feel like I pay for it (although truly I pay for Prime because I order monthly from Amazon so the free shipping makes it worth it) and then anything I want to watch they want to charge me extra for. It’s like – then why am I paying you monthly if you want another $30 on top of it so I can watch this movie? Ugh.

    That said, if I get this one for free, it sounds like something my beloved and somewhat lowbrow humor loving hubby would love… and who doesn’t need a laugh these days?

  2. Episode 1 of this show was among the most uncomfortable I ever felt in anime, so I never saw more. I don’t quite remember why; I’d say it’s the compulsory drinking but there are other shows with that element. Frat vibes? I don’t know, all episode long I just wanted to be anywhere else than around those people, so no episode 2 for me. I have to admit I’m still curious, but I’ll definitely never look back.

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