Grand Blue Dreaming – Full Season QandA Rundown

Grand Blue Dreaming – Full Season QandA Rundown

What’s the important information? Grand Blue Dreaming is a Summer 2018 anime comedy series that aired 12 episodes from July to September. It is based on a manga series by Kenji Inoue.

What’s it about? Iori has moved from the city to the beautiful Izu Peninsula where he intends to attend university, staying at his uncle’s diving shop “Grand Blue”. Things get out of hand quickly as he’s confronted by a bunch of burly, drunken nude men who are a part of the university’s diving club—despite his attempts to distance himself from them he quickly gets swept up in their drunken antics.

Just an average day at ‘Grand Blue’.

Why did you watch it? The anime’s poster had hot girls in bikini’s and the synopsis promised drunken comedy shenanigans—sometimes that’s all you need.

Did you enjoy the show? I did. It’s a very consistent show in regards to its comedy, no single episode felt like it was less funny than any of the others. That said the comedy does come from a very specific source, so your mileage with this kind of show depends on how much you enjoy drunken people acting like idiots. It’s also a very good-looking show and I’m not just talking about the fan-service, it’s bright and beautiful—when it’s not trying to be intentionally ugly.

Chisa is gorgeous.

What was your favourite episode? Episode 2 had a series of running jokes regarding redecorating Iori’s room in increasingly embarrassing ways that had me in stitches. So that would win for ~funniest~ episode, but the best episode is probably Episode 11 as it prioritises a lot more character development and even brings up some interesting things that were bound to come up when dealing with horny college students like Azusa half-jokingly offering sex to Iori. The show is at it’s best when everyone in the cast gets something to do and so the latter half is definitely an improvement in regards to the structure of the series going forward.

What were your most favourite things about the show? As someone who enjoys a drink, I appreciated just how ridiculous the drinking aspect of this show was—while still maintaining a semblance of reality about the situation. I also liked how every character has a different relationship to Iori and even with as much a glimpse you can tell what each character is thinking of him without even a word being said. It’s simply great characterisation that retains its continuity throughout the season without being all about it.

If looks could kill…

What were your least favourite things about the show? While this show is built upon running jokes and repeated antics, some of them can feel like an easy way to get a laugh—they’re still funny, it’s just there’s only so many times you can end a scene with all the men getting naked and readying to drink.

Who was your favourite character? While I’m probably most like Kohei, the anime shirt wearing, blonde haired otaku. The character I enjoyed the most was surprisingly Aina, I feel like she got the most amount of character development and despite being the “straight man” to most of the drunken antics she was still a fun and funny character to be around—plus she’s adorable!

Suddenly anime shirt!

Thoughts on the OP (opening) and ED (ending) and the soundtrack in general? The OP, “Grand Blue” by Shonan no Kaze is all about getting you in the summery mood and it perfectly accomplishes that. While the ED sums up the irreverent nature of the show by being a karaoke performance of a song called “Konpeki no al Fine” by in-universe idol Kaya Mizuki except it’s sung by the voice actors’ for the show’s male characters who get progressively more into the song (and more naked) as the credits progress.

Don’t get naked at karaoke!

What’s something unique about this show? I don’t think I’ve ever seen such reckless drinking portrayed so openly, positively and with such enthusiasm in an anime before. That counts as ~unique~ right?

What other anime are most like it for the sake of comparison? In my first episode review of the show I called it ‘Amanchu’ meets ‘Jersey Shore’ and while I think as much as that comparison was tongue-in-cheek at the time it is pretty accurate. Later episodes have enough character development to be comparable to a show like Amanchu, while the hard drinking, hard partying over the top reactions feel like Jersey Shore—at least I assume so, I’ve never watched that show for more than a few minutes.

“Trust us it’s just water”

Who would you recommend it to? While the comedy is repetitive it’s also very consistent, however like most comedies you need to see an episode before you’ll know if you’ll like it. Some people will be instantly drawn to the series and some people will be turned off by almost everything—at least that’s the reaction I’ve seen online.

Sum up the season in one sentence: ‘Beach, booze, bikinis, butts, bad behaviour, buff boys oh and there’s some diving too.’

Final score? 83 out of 100.

A moment to remember… or not!

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Drinking Like A Fish – ‘Grand Blue Dreaming’ Episode 1 Review

Drinking Like A Fish – An Anime QandA Review of ‘Grand Blue Dreaming’ Episode 1

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…

I prefer ‘Grand Blue’ for the name of the show–which it is in Japan. But apparently we have to call it ‘Grand Blue Dreaming’.

—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!

Famous last words.

“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!

We’ve all been there, right?

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.

I mean how else are you supposed to play ‘Rock-Paper-Scissors’?

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!

That’s not Oolong tea.

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!

The struggle is real.

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We Without Wings – 20 Question Anime Review

A 20 Question Anime Review for We Without Wings – Under The Innocent Sky.

What’s the show? We Without Wings – Under The Innocent Sky (2011).

Quite the mouthful. Tee-hee.

Wow, not wasting any time with dragging down the tone of this review, are we? Trust me, this show was going to do that enough on its own, I’m just getting you prepared for what’s to come. Heh, come.

Oh lord, we’re back in ecchi town today, aren’t we? Next stop ‘Ecchi City’, population: 69.

Obligatory ‘Nice’ reply. Now that that’s done with what’s the show about? Oh boy, where do I begin? This is a hard one to explain without going to ‘Spoilersville.’

Just try, yeah? Well fine, it’s an anime that’s based on an erotic visual novel, and to put it bluntly it makes no god damn sense. Like I’ve watched David Lynch films that make more sense than this show.

You watch David Lynch films? I thought you only watch anime. There’s a lot about me you don’t know, I am an enigma.

You’re a pervert, but I digress. Try and sum it up as best you can. Right so there’s three male protagonists who all live separate lives, Takashi Haneda a high-school student who also occasionally visits a parallel fantasy world to battle the forces of evil of Gredaguard under the guise of a hero called ‘Lord Hawk Cyan-Blue’. Then there’s Shusuke Chitose, an author and part time waiter at a bar filled with beautiful maid waitresses. And then there’s Hayato Narita, an antisocial “fixer” who takes up odd jobs around Yanagihara city in Tokyo.

That seemed more like a character run down than a plot synopsis, not that I’m complaining because I was going to ask about the characters anyway, is it really that difficult to come up with a synopsis for the show? Listen, I could just wiki it, but I’m trying to convey just how beguiling this show is, and I don’t necessarily mean that in a good way.

Oh? It’s based on an erotic visual novel, which I know you don’t know what that is, so basically it’s an erotic romance game where the goal is to talk your way into the digital panties of one of many of the female characters. They’re very popular in Japan but almost have no presence over here due to the fact that they contain absurd amounts of plot and dialogue. The original ‘We Without Wings’ visual novel for the PC and PS3 is over 50 hours long, I can’t imagine how hard it was to condense it down to 13, half hour episodes.

50 hours?! But wouldn’t your hand cramp up long before that? First of all, gross, I don’t want to think of you masturbating. Secondly, you don’t play it all in one sitting, and besides its more like a long build up to an eventual pay off, it’s not all sex, it’s a lot of talking mostly with fan service thrown in. Except, well I can’t speak for the visual novel, but the ‘talking’ which amounts to the plot is some of the most buck wild nonsense I’ve ever seen.

Elaborate, but vaguely. Why do I have to be vague, no one’s going to watch this show, it’s a show that’s been out for 7 years that nobody ever talks about?

Just do it… vaguely! Ugh, fine, so there’s gang warfare, a lost bicycle, egocentric authors, a radio host announcer trapped in oblivion who breaks the fourth wall, people getting shot, a preteen American tourist who flirts with much older men, high-school drama, games of Twister, massive ejaculations caused by a fast talking witch, goths, crepes and upskirts (oh so many upskirts).

I’m sorry, did you just say ‘massive ejaculations’?! I was surprised as you were; and after all despite all I’ve said, this isn’t a hentai. That one scene aside there’s no actual sex in the anime. A bit weird for something based on an eroge but I suppose there’s limits to what you can do on Japanese TV – even if I’m pretty sure there’s more than a few scenes that would have been heavily censored, thank the anime gods for blu-ray!

You wanted to see that? I’m ever the advocate for no censorship in my anime!

As funny as these images are without context, I think this one is funnier with context. They’re playing twister. I’m sure you can guess what this ‘move’ implies.

Right. Pervert, how could I forget? Hey, you asked!

So we’ve gotten this far in the review and yet I still haven’t gotten a sense of whether you like this show or not. Do you? I do! Well, I like just how bat shit crazy it can be at times, it’s never not entertaining. I’m not going to pretend like this is a good show, because it’s messy as heck and pretty insulting and offensive at times, but it’s still a spectacle. It’s ambitious but it never takes itself too seriously, it’s funny but it’s not a comedy, it’s dramatic but it’s not a drama, it’s like arthouse cinema mixed with trashy daytime soaps mixed with the kind of anime fan fiction you’d never expect to be made, only it did and somehow it got an official English dub too!

You sound kind of in awe of its existence? That’s a very good way to put it.

So this is a recommendation? I guess so! It’s a guilty pleasure, even moreso than the likes of Valkyrie Drive: Mermaid. That was a guilty pleasure because it was like “what if fan service but that’s the plot?” This one is more like, “what if erotic visual novel was an anime but also a parody of erotic visual novels but not because it’s an anime now?” I don’t know if any of it works but all I know is it’s the only anime I’ve watched 3 times through, and for only 2 of those times I was drunk.

Final score? Add alcohol and you’ll probably have a better time, this show is confusing and seedy and angst-riddled and dumb. It has a lot to say but it doesn’t say it particularly well, the messy plot does begin to make some sense by the end but it’s clear there’s a lot missing from this adaptation. However, I just enjoy it so damn much that I can’t stay too mad at all its flaws. Approach with care; 71 out of 100.